Change maturity versus Change Management maturity

8 minutes
Change Maturity

In the business world, change is a constant, and organizations must adapt quickly and efficiently to stay competitive. However, managing change effectively can be challenging as it often involves overcoming obstacles, minimizing disruption, and maximizing the benefits of change. There are two important concepts here – change maturity and change management maturity. While often used interchangeably, they aren’t the same thing.  

I’m Isolde Kanikani, Strategy Consulting Specialist and in my previous blog, I talked about the need to invest in change. In this blog, I will explore the difference between building change maturity and building change management maturity along with the major difference in outcomes their respective best practices will bring. 

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What is Change maturity?

Change maturity refers to an organization’s ability to handle change effectively and efficiently while minimizing the effects and maximizing benefits. An organization with high change maturity is able to more quickly and smoothly transition to new systems, processes, and structures. It inevitably grows a mindset for change that is deeply embedded in an organization’s people and culture. Building change maturity involves developing a culture that values change. One that is agilely equipped to handle change as well as standardizing the approach to it and continually improving the ability to manage change.  

It is also important that key organizational structure and design reinforce agility rather than rigidifying it. Why? Consider the shift from a bureaucratic and change-resistant corporate governance to a fully automated, data-driven approach that enables real-time updates and efficient data sharing. Many professions have Maturity models that capture their Change maturity best practices, such as CMMI, CMM, and P3M3.  

So, when building change maturity, look at the maturity of the things that are changing and mature the approach to change itself. This means that every employee embodies a dynamic mindset, builds maturity from their professional standpoint, and has the intrinsic knowledge to support the organization in profiting from it.  


Practical maturity-building solutions include – 

  1. Assessing the maturity level to gauge potential development steps. 
  2. Growing discipline maturity, and strategic flow. 
  3. Using different types of change in organizations.  
  4. Setting up a strategic transformation office and project-program portfolio management office (PMO) to formalize change maturity efforts and build an approach. 

All in all, building maturity is about the organization or smaller business unit becoming change capable.  

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How is change management maturity different?

Change management maturity refers to the level of sophistication and effectiveness of an organization’s change management processes. It encompasses the methods, tools, and techniques that organizations use, as well as the level of experience and expertise of a small set of individuals responsible for managing change.  It covers the methods, tools, and techniques organizations, along with the expertise and experience of a select group responsible for it. 

Building it involves developing a robust change management process often associated with project management. This involves training those responsible for change management, and continually improving the methods and tools used to manage change within the organization.  

If we only focus on building change management maturity, the end result will reinforce the need and even dependency on Change managers. This can make things bureaucratic as everyone follows the same process. A higher purpose is required to maintain agility when growing Change management maturity as well as furthering the strategic goals of the business.  

Steps to handle change maturity problems

You can use these steps to tackle change maturity problems-  
Step 1 – Create a Change Playbook.  
It defines change management capability and assesses value loss situations in your organization. This helps establish a standardized approach to scenarios like combining instances, M&A, or reorganizations. Why? The scenario focuses on situations where high value is regularly lost. When we apply and customize change management effectively, we can immediately boost a project’s ROI.  
Step 2 – Set up a strategic change management office (CMO), Center of Excellence (CoE).  
Gone are the days of no change management or using a blanket approach. We require tailored and consequential approaches for short-term increases to project ROI and longer-term cumulative benefits.

Important points to remember

It’s important to note that building change maturity and building change management maturity are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they are interdependent and complementary.

An organization with high change management maturity is likely to have high change maturity. This is because the processes and tools used to manage change will help minimize resistance and maximize benefits. Similarly, an organization with high change maturity is likely to have high change management maturity as it builds this capability within the organization.  

In conclusion, the terms are often used interchangeably, they aren’t the same thing. Building change maturity refers to developing a culture that values change and is equipped to handle it at high levels. Meanwhile, the latter refers to developing a robust  process and continually improving the methods and tools used to manage change. Both concepts are important for organizations that want to manage change effectively and efficiently. Organizations should strive to build both change maturity and change management maturity in order to achieve the best results from change initiatives. 

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Isolde Kanikani

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Isolde Kanikani
Strategy Consulting Specialist

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