The Best Change Management Tools, Toolkit & Templates for Change Managers | Everything You Need to Know
This step-by-step guide is designed for Change Management Practitioners, Project Managers, Program Leads, HR, Learning & Development Teams, Leaders, and other change-related practitioners.
It provides everything you need to know about the best change management tools, change toolkits, and business change software that you can use to increase the success of your change deliverables.
Rating the Top Change Management Tools, Systems, & Software for 2021
As a Senior Change Management Lead and Consultant for top banking and technology companies including Intel, Apple, HSBC, Capital One, and Goldman Sachs, I understand the feeling of overwhelmingness that people often experience when trying to navigate the tremendous number of change management tools and software to determine which product is best for their needs.
Some of the best change management tools have simple-to-use features, while others have more advanced capabilities.
This situation is further complicated because there are “IT change management tools” which are used to track and manage software, hardware, and product change requests. Often referred to as IT Change Requests & Implementation Tracking Tools, these software products are completely different from “organizational change management tools,” which are used to manage the people side of change for a transformational project or initiative.
This end-to-end guide provides you with information on both the best IT change control tools and also the best organizational change management tools for driving change adoption and enablement.
Top Rated Change Management Tools
You can continue scrolling down for an end-to-end review, or you can click below to jump directly to the type of top change management software that you are interested in:
What Are Change Management Tools?
“Tools” is a catchall term. Tools for change can include a wide variety of different aids, guides, and applications that assist organizations, change managers, and consultants with managing a change project or program.
Some of the change management tools that can help with managing a change initiative include:
- Software change management tools
- Cloud-based organizational change management tools
- Excel database change management tools
- Change Management Tools PDF or PPT
You’ll also find both paid and free change management tools available both from AGS and elsewhere online.
When using a change management software or cloud-based application, you can expect to have a framework that allows you to input data about a change project, see analytics related to your project, and leverage tips, guides, and roadmaps.
For example, the AGS list of change management tools all includes additional guides designed to help a person managing a project through the process and that explains how each area of change management fits into a successful outcome.
When looking for the best change management software to use for a change project, you want to consider several things:
Do I Need to Share Data with Others?
If you work with other change managers or consultants in a collaborative way, then you’ll want to choose a change management toolkit or software that allows you to share data and collaborate with others.
In this case, you may want a cloud-based solution that makes it possible for more than one person to access the change data at the same time, make changes, and see each other’s changes in real-time.
Do I Want to Customize Excel Data?
If you prefer customizing your change tools by adding columns or creating different analytics, then you may want to choose an Excel-based organizational change management software.
Purchasing tools for change management in Excel format gives you more control and customization abilities.
Do I Need the Best Change Management Tools for One Specific Thing or the Entire Change Project?
Change management tools and techniques cover multiple areas of a change project, including:
- Resistance management
- Readiness assessment
- Communications planning
- Employee training
- Stakeholder assessment/management
- and more…
When reviewing a list of change management tools, consider whether you need all-in-one software change management tools that include several areas of change management or if you are looking for something that addresses one thing, like stakeholder management.
This is important to know upfront, because if you choose something like a change management tools PDF guide or change tools that only cover one or two areas, then you find out later that you need something more robust, you could end up paying more than you need to.
For example, the AGS organizational change management software All-in-One tool that includes tools covering 9 areas of change management costs less than if you were to purchase tools for those areas individually.
Do I Want to Access My Data from Anywhere on Any Device?
Today’s offices are more flexible than ever, with mobile devices taking on more of the workload every year. Do you want to access your paid or free change management tools from both your computer and tablet no matter where you are?
In this case, you may want to look for organizational change management tools that are cloud-based, which makes anywhere, any device access easy.
Change Management Principles, Methodologies, and Tools
Where does the structure for the best change management software come from? It comes from change management principles, methodologies, and tools.
There are several change management methodologies that that outline best practices for managing organizational change and transitions. These methodologies and models are based upon decades of study of organizational change and learning what works and what doesn’t
Successful change projects use change management methodologies and tools that emphasize these best practices and guide change managers through each process (e.g. Impact assessment, stakeholder management, change coaching, etc.)
A common thread throughout these different change management principles, methodologies, and tools is the importance of identifying employee resistance to change and using strategies to mitigate it.
Most successful change models put the “people” part of change first and foremost because if the people don’t change their actions and workflows, then an organization can’t change.
When reviewing a list of change management tools, you want to ensure the one you choose is based upon sound change management methodologies and models, such as the Prosci ADKAR® Model.
Top Organizational Change Management Tools – Overview
All organizations go through changes. They may be adding a new product, implementing new business processes, integrating new systems and solutions, downsizing a department, or adding new digital tools to their workflows.
Change, both big and small, causes disruptions and may or may not be adopted well by employees, managers, and customers.
How well change is managed using change management tools and techniques has a direct impact on whether a project will meet objectives or be sustained over time.
According to Gartner, a typical company has been through five major changes within the past three years, and 50% of those change initiatives fail.
Some of the reasons for change projects to fail include high employee/manager resistance to the change, a disorganized change project, and failure to use organizational change management software or other change tools to properly manage the change process.
Change initiatives are more complicated than other types of projects because they involve the need to guide people through a change. Years of psychology research tells us that people are naturally resistant to change.
The Best Change Management Software & Tools – AGS
What are the best change management tools to consider in 2021? If you want to have the flexibility to choose to work the way you like (cloud or Excel) and use only as many or few tools for change management as you need, then you’ll want to look at the AGS software change management tools.
One big benefit that these AGS change management toolkits and modules have over other change management tools – PDF, PPT, Excel, or cloud-based software is that you can choose between different key activities of change management, they provide you with your own Change Manager platform. You can also choose to use the All-in-One AGS Change Management Tool that includes all these toolkits and modules in one.
The top individual toolkits based upon best change management principles, methodologies, and tools include:
- Project Assessment Tool
- Change Impact Assessment Tool
- Organizational Readiness Tool
- Change Champion Network Tool
- Coaching Management Tool
- Stakeholder Assessment & Management Tool
- Communication Planning Tool
- Resistance Management Tool
- Training & Enablement Tool
- AGS All-in-One Change Management Toolkit
The AGS change tools incorporate change management tools and techniques from the most popular change models (like ADKAR), which means you’re set up for success at the very beginning of your project.
You’ll also find free change management tools inside the software, including free PPT’s, change management tools PDF files, Excel roadmaps, guides, and more.
We’ll go through a thorough overview below of the AGS change management tools and how each one can benefit a change planning project in 2021 and beyond.
AGS Change Management Software for Change Consultants & Managers
Database Change Management Tools – Excel & Cloud
The AGS organizational change management software is database-driven, which makes it possible for the software to provide real-time analytics and allow data uploads from a spreadsheet template or copy/paste data capabilities.
Database change management tools are the smartest to use because they make it simple for you to use your data how you like and export it as needed. It can also enable time-saving data sharing capabilities.
For example, The AGS organizational change management tools share unique organizational information that can be used in the dropdowns of any module within the tool – both Cloud and Excel.
You enter your list of divisions, departments, groups, and job roles just once, and those lists will populate dropdowns throughout each tool module.
AGS Change Tools – Enter One Unique List to Populate All Modules
You Have a Choice – Excel or Cloud
Most change management tools and techniques will have you choose between a cloud-based software and a file-based, such as an Excel workbook. Airiodion Global Services (AGS) the creator of the AGS tools, understands that some change managers like to work in Excel with a local software file, while others enjoy the capabilities of the cloud.
So, the firm offers its AGS change management toolkit in either a cloud version or an Excel version.
Both types of software change management tools have similar capabilities, including:
- Database driven input template
- Real-time analytics dashboard
- Unique list dropdowns
- Ability to purchase all the tools in one or each module separately
- Additional guides, playbooks, itineraries, and templates for change planning
One more unique addition is the ability to work with a real live senior change manager with over 15 years of experience as a service add-on. You can ask them questions, brainstorm with them, and basically gain an extensive knowledge resource to facilitate your project.
Differences between the two types of tools include:
- Cloud version:
- You will always have the most current updates
- Access from any device
- More easily collaborate with others
- Spreadsheet upload feature
- Paid by monthly subscription per user
- Excel version:
- Downloadable Excel change management tool
- You can edit columns or add your own charts/analytics if you wish
- One-time purchase, is not updated
AGS Project Assessment Change Management Toolkit
One of the initial activities in any change management project is a project assessment. This allows the change manager to identify the scope, budget, and timeline of the project, among other things.
A project assessment will provide the foundation for other activities, such as resistance management and employee training.
The AGS organizational change management software for project assessment gives you a roadmap for conducting a project assessment. It also provides an analytics dashboard where you can keep track of your progress on each project assessment task.
Project Assessment Change Management Software Key Features:
- You’re guided with 13 tasks and task details already filled in
- Editable database that allows you to edit, delete, and update tasks and task details
- Assign due date and status to each task
- Analytics tell you which tasks are coming due in 5 days, which are past due, and which are completed
AGS Tools for Change Impact Assessment
To identify the type of training you may need to do, the areas of resistance in an organization, and other key information, a change impact assessment is done.
The Change Impact Module of the AGS database change management tools helps you gauge where the impact is happening in your organization and to which job roles. It gives you the ability to chart the change between your “as is” and “to be” process and identify training and communication requirements.
Impact Assessment Change Management Software Key Features:
- Identify the levels and areas of change impact in your organization
- Input your requirements for upcoming training & communication planning
- Identify the change benefit per process for resistance mitigation activities
- View the percentage of impact to groups
- Get a full list of changing and non-changing job roles
- View severity of impact per division, department, group, and job role
Using this organizational change management software can ensure you’ve identified any potential areas of resistance. The tool helps you pinpoint all probable areas of an organization that may have larger impacts, thus more resistance.
AGS Change Management Software Readiness Assessment
This next AGS change management toolkit helps a change manager establish how ready an organization is for an upcoming change.
This change tool allows you to ascertain many of the same states that are used in the ADKAR methodology by Prosci. For example, you’ll have the ability to chart a division, department, or group’s awareness of a change, support of the change, and the users’ knowledge and skillset level.
Additionally, these best change management tools help you identify potential resistance red flags by giving you a place to designate experience (both negative and positive) with past change.
Readiness Assessment Change Management Software Key Features:
- Use database to note multiple points of readiness and potential resistance
- Identify levels of both negative and positive experience with past change
- Note the group’s capacity for change
- Chart readiness progress with detailed analytics that show how awareness, support, and other factors are advancing with each assessment
- Workshop & meeting planning itinerary database with Gantt chart
When you’re using free change management tools that aren’t as detailed, you may only get some (but not all) of your readiness assessment tasks covered.
But with the AGS change management tool for readiness assessment, you have a detailed database that not only collects the expected information, but also incorporates important data you may not have considered (like change capacity for a department).
AGS Change Champion Network Change Toolkit
Change management methodologies and tools often note the need for developing a network of change champions to help drive change and identify resistance in their departments.
When looking over the AGS list of change management tools, you’ll find that this one offers quite a bit of help when it comes to putting together a group of employees to be your change champions, including providing you with meeting talking points.
Change Champion Change Management Software Key Features:
- Include details of each champion, including their level of change experience
- View an analytics list of each division, department, and group with a champion identified
- Use talking points & tips guides to drive your meetings with managers and champions
- View the levels of change experience of your champion network
- Get a bonus itinerary database filled with editable tasks for planning, launching, and managing a change champion network
This is one of the best change management tools and techniques that takes you step-by-step through the change champion network planning and management activities and offers detailed instructions and guides.
AGS Coaching Management Toolkit
Many of the support players in your change project will include leaders, trainers, and other stakeholders that don’t have a lot of change management experience.
The coaching software change management tools you’ll find in this module help you manage your coaching activities, chart change management competency, and categorize mentees by their level of coaching needed.
Leadership Tools for Change Management Key Features:
- Chart each coaching task per mentee and its status
- Group mentees into different types (e.g. manager, executive, etc.)
- View a breakdown of all coaching mentees by division, country, state, and city
- View number of mentees by change management competency
AGS Stakeholder Assessment Change Management Toolkit
Stakeholders are at the heart of any change management project. Understanding where they are as far as support or resistance to a project is key to ensuring project success.
This AGS change management toolkit gives you a place to chart just about everything you need to know about your stakeholders, including the type of stakeholder they are (critical, executive sponsor, etc.) and their current state as to support or resistance.
Stakeholder Assessment Change Management Tool Key Features:
- Establish each stakeholder’s current and desired state as to resistance/support
- Note the engagement approach and resistance resolution plan by stakeholder
- View detailed analytics on support or resistance for the change
- See a correlation between a stakeholder’s ability to impact a project AND their support/resistance level
- View support levels by country and division
This is one of the best database change management tools to use if you need one place to manage multiple stakeholder data points, including your resistance resolution owner, activities, and date resistance is mitigated.
AGS Communications Planning Change Management Toolkit
Without proper communications planning, a change management project can easily go off the rails. Communications about the various aspects of the project are the “glue” that holds everything together.
Change management tools and techniques to develop and launch your communications strategy are included in this Communications Management Module.
This includes the ability to track communication audience types, how communication is delivered (email, Teams notification, etc.), and details such as who is responsible for sending and approving the communication.
Communications Management Change Management Tool Key Features:
- Organize communications by the audience, type, and delivery channel
- Identify communication responsible parties (who will draft, approve, send?)
- View analytics of communications by priority level
- See an overview of your entire communication timeline
AGS Resistance Management Change Management Software
This module in the AGS organizational change management software is designed for one of the most important areas of change management, which is resistance mitigation.
The database in this Resistance Management change management tool gives you a place to chart each stakeholder and each resistance management task you’re undertaking. You can also track notes on identified resistance and resistance resolution activities.
Resistance Management Software Change Management Toolkit Key Features:
- Chart important details like current resistance state and ability to impact the project
- Detail each resistance management task and its status
- View analytics like stakeholders by type and current levels of resistance
- View your stakeholder count and current state of resistance by country and by division
- Easily view the status of your resistance tasks at a glance
AGS Training & Enablement Change Management Software
Training for employees, managers, vendors, and others impacted by a change is a vital part of a change project. In order for a change to succeed, impacted users need to be trained on the system or process management tools and techniques that will be changing.
The Training & Enablement Module of the AGS change management software includes a trainee scorecard to chart progress on each training topic group you enter. This top change management tool has two separate databases, one for training topic entry and the other to chart trainees and their progress.
Both databases feed into an analytics dashboard that allows you to keep oversight on your trainee progress throughout the project.
Training Change Management Software Key Features:
- Input your training topics, expected training date, and method of training delivery
- Training topics automatically populate into your training audience database so you can chart progress
- Manage all trainee information including their manager’s contact details
- View your training by status (percentage complete, pending, etc.)
- Get a breakdown of trainees by division, job role, and region
- See your trainee progress scorecard by topic, updated in real-time
AGS All-in-One Change Management Toolkit
For an end-to-end experience that includes all nine of the modules in the list of change management tools above, you can choose the All-in-One Change Management Tool.
This provides you with one dashboard from which you can manage all the change management tools and techniques needed for a successful change management project.
This set of best change management tools is akin to having an online change manager. You have one place from which you can manage and review analytics for all activities related to the management of your change initiative, program, or project.
In addition to having nine complementary and holistic change management software modules, you also get several free change management tools that include planning itineraries, roadmaps, and change management tools PDF and PPT based.
Conclusion | 2021 Best Change Management Toolkits & Software
Trying to manage a change management project manually without change management software is possible, but it is typically much more time-consuming. Additionally, the change manager must know everything about every part of change management, or they risk missing something important that can impact project success.
The benefits of using one of the best change management tools when managing a change project include:
- Time savings
- Guidance to help ensure you don’t miss anything
- Provides a framework of best practices for managing change
- Improves productivity through ready-to-use templates and itineraries
- Eliminates the need to spend hours charting data to share updates
- Ensures consistency in how change management projects are handled
- Gives you a better chance of project success
When reviewing change management tools and techniques, you’ll find that the AGS change management software is one of the most flexible, robust, and customizable tools that you’ll find.
2021 and Beyond Best Change Management Tools & Software
Best IT Change Management Software Tools
As mentioned above, there are two categories of change tools. This section covers the best IT change management tools on our list for managing your product, software, or development change requests and implementation workflows.
Before reviewing this year’s top IT change management tools, let us very quickly provide an overview of the importance of having a structured change management process for your program. You can skip this overview by going directly to the Best IT Change Management Tools section
Importance & Overview
IT change management is a critical component of IT service management, and involves a structured, systematic and efficient methodology to managing changes.
This allows development and other IT teams to more effectively control the impact of any iterations, configurations and changes.
Changes to software development, hardware, or other IT infrastructure can arise from a wide range of factors including hardware changes, end-user software change requests, changes to business or IT processes, requested changes to software configuration, etc.
Applying a structured change management methodology ensures that a streamlined and consistent approach, procedure, standard, and process is applied for all levels of change related to software or hardware development and upgrades.
This structured methodology facilitates efficient, centralized and fast responses to managing technical changes, while ensuring a balance between the need for software and hardware change requests, and the potential impact of the requested changes.
Top 2020-2021 Best IT Change Management Software Tools
Our top rated and best IT change requests and management tools for 2020-2021 include:
- ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus
- Solarwinds IT Change Management Software
- ServiceNow Change and Release Management Tool
ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus Review
ManageEngine provides one of this year’s top ranked best IT change management software.
With ManageEngine’s ServiceDesk Plus IT change management software you can easily streamline change requests, planning, approval, design, development, and roll outs. You don’t have to worry anymore about unplanned outages.
This change tracking tool allows you to effectively handle standard, emergency, and critical changes separately with unique and customizable workflows.
Make informed decisions to reduce unauthorized, failed, and emergency product changes.
What about creating impact, roll out and back out plans? Check! With this IT change management tool you can easily use Change Advisory Board (CAB) to configure systematic workflows for every stage right from submission through to closure to ensure that nothing is missing.
Solarwinds IT Change Management Software Review
Solarwinds’ IT Change Tool, named Web Help Desk, is another one of this year’s top rated best IT change management software.
This ITIL-ready tool allows you to effectively simplify and automate all levels of your IT change management program, including change requests and change approvals by providing simple-to-use, CAB-based, advanced, and highly customizable tools. ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library), is a set of structured IT service management (ITSM) practices that focuses on aligning IT services with business needs.
This top IT change management tool integrates robust IT ticketing with an easy-to-use change requests, execution, and tracking process.
It offers simplicity and flexibility, and lets you manage change control through automated approval workflows. This tool also comes with a free trial which allows you to test it out before purchasing.
ServiceNow Change and Release Management Tool Review
No top rated list of IT change management software should be considered complete if it doesn’t include ServiceNow’s Change and Release Management software.
With ServiceNow’s change tool, you can effectively control all aspects of your IT change processes, starting from the first step of creation, through risk‑assessment, conflict detection, approval, implementation and monitoring.
This top rated change and release management tool allows you to schedule requests easily, analyze implementation risk with dynamic impact calculations, and use the Change Advisory Board (CAB) Workbench to schedule, plan, and coordinate.
Conclusion | Top IT Change Requests & Management Tools
As previously mentioned, there is a wide range of best IT change management software tools that can be found on the market today.
In the sections above, we have provided you with information on some of the top rated tools.
If there are other highly recommended IT change requests and management software that you strongly believe should be included and reviewed on this page, kindly Contact AGS with additional information on these products.
Or scroll below to review AGS’ previous years’ ranking and reviews.
What are the best change management tools?
The top individual toolkits based upon best change management principles, methodologies, and tools include: Project Assessment Tool, Change Impact Assessment Tool, Organizational Readiness Tool, Change Champion Network Tool, Coaching Management Tool, Stakeholder Assessment & Management Tool, Communication Planning Tool, Resistance Management Tool, Training & Enablement Tool, AGS All-in-One Change Management Toolkit, Read more at https://www.airiodion.com/change-management-tools-software/
What are the best IT change management tools?
Our top rated and best IT change requests and management tools for include: ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus, Solarwinds IT Change Management Software, and ServiceNow Change Release Management Tool. Read more at: https://www.airiodion.com/change-management-tools-software/
What Are Change Management Tools?
Change management tools can include a wide variety of different toolkits, guides, and applications that assist organizations, change managers, and consultants with managing all aspects of a change project or program. Some of the change management tools that can help with managing a change initiative include... Read more at tttps://www.airiodion.com/change-management-tools-software/
AGS’ Best 2019-2020 Organizational Change Management Tools & Software
Below is a list of our 2019-2020 top transformational change management software tools for managing the people side of change for a project, initiative or program, including people, process, skill set, merger and acquisition, new technology integration, and other types of business changes within a company.
Applying one or more of these tools will allow you to increase the success of your organizational change management activities.
Additional overview of each of these software products is provided in the sections below.
- AGS’s All-in-One Organizational Change Management Toolkit
- Communications Management Tool
- Stakeholder Assessment & Management Tool
- Impact Assessment Tool
- Audience Assessment & Management Tool
- Org. Readiness Assessment Tool
- Change Network Management Tool
- Program Assessment Tool
- Impacted Documents Tracking Tool
2019-2020 Top Communications Management Tools
Airiodion Global Services’ communication assessment, management, and tracking tool allows program managers, change practitioners, change champions and other project practitioners to eliminate the guesswork on what communications need to be sent, and when.
This communication change management tool includes a structured database matrix for capturing key communications information, as well as a 360-degree advanced tracking and analytics dashboard for gleaning key insights on your communications campaign.
With this organizational change management software tool, you can quickly share key communication insights with senior leaders using graphical visuals. Click here to read more: Change Management Communications Tool.
2019-2020 Top Stakeholder Assessment & Management Tools
Using one of the best rated, defined and well-structured stakeholder change management tools allows you to increase the success of your stakeholder assessment, engagement, and management.
Click here to learn more about Airiodion Global Services’ Top Stakeholder Tool which allows you to manage all aspects of your stakeholder management, and holistically see which stakeholder groups are receptive to the change, which ones are resisting the change, and which groups need additional engagement to increase their receptiveness to the change.
2019-2020 Best Change Impact Assessment Tools
Conducting a change impact analysis using one of the top ranked change assessment tools that can be found on the market today will allow you and your team to more effectively identify the processes, technology solutions, groups, divisions, departments, teams, segments, and people that will be impacted by the change.
AGS’ change impact assessment and management software tool allows change practitioners and program managers to get faster insights for their stakeholder and end-user planning.
It empowers you to quickly eliminate the guess work on who is impacted, as well as the severity of the various impacts.
Easily share segmentation impact views with senior leaders, steering committee members, and other program team members using easy to understand graphical visuals.
Click here or below to learn more.
2019-2020 Audience Assessment & Management Tools
When conducting your target audience analysis to identify those front line employees and managers that will be impacted by a change, it is critical that you leverage an audience assessment, management, and tracking software tool.
Airiodion Global Service’s audience assessment and engagement tool has been developed for leaders, program managers, change practitioners and other change resources.
It allows you to effectively assess, track, report, and manage targeted internal and external audience groups, and impacted end-users.
Click here for additional information on this top change management tool.
2019-2020 Organization Readiness Assessment Change Management Software Tools
To enable impacted end-users to more effectively embrace and adopt a small, medium or large-scale change, it is imperative that you leverage a structured and well-proven interactive process.
An interactive assessment process allows you to better determine how ready impacted groups are to transitioning from their current state to a defined future state.
Click here to learn more about AGS’s Readiness Assessment Change Management System.
2019-2020 Change Network Management Tools
Creating and launching a change champion network is one of the most critical deliverables you can deliver when implementing a medium-scale or large-scale transformational change.
A change network that includes key individuals from impacted groups allows you to move ownership of the change to the impacted business units, which decreases the overall level of resistance and increases the long-term sustenance of the change.
Click here to review Airiodion Global Services’ Change Network Management Tool which provides you with step-by-step procedures for developing, launching, and managing a top-performing change network.
This highly rated organizational change management toolkit includes defined and easy-to-use templates, talking points, and an advanced implementation itinerary for managing all aspects of your change network.
Free Change Management Templates (Excel, PDF, PPT)
Authors: Ogbe Airiodion (Senior Change Management Lead) and Francesca Crolley (AGS Cloud Content Producer)
Content on Airiodion Global Services (AGS)'s Airiodion.com website is copyrighted. Questions? Contact Airiodion Global Services (AGS) .
Free Change Management Templates (Excel, PDF, PPT)
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