Finding the right change management software can be a painful journey.
You might be familiar with some of the problems that arise when you use the wrong tools for your strategy:
- Endless meetings to align teams on shared goals
- Messy and outdated spreadsheets
- Lack of real-time visibility into performance
- Wasted time on data gathering and reporting
- Lack of employee engagement and motivation
- No effective way to track progress across initiatives toward desired outcomes
The list rumbles on…
Your change management plan isn’t worth diddly squat if it never makes it beyond the boardroom or spreadsheet. You know this, and you’re already thinking beyond the planning stage—but it seems impossible to find software that can cover all your needs to drive execution toward positive outcomes.
In this article, you will discover:
What is change management software?
Change management software is any type of IT application that companies use to manage the process of organizational change effectively.
Also known as change enablement tools, these platforms help teams assign activities, communicate smoothly, monitor progress, and improve decision-making and collaboration to reduce risks and bottlenecks to accelerate the company's journey toward its goals.
Just as there are different types of organizational change and change management processes, there are also many kinds of change management tools to help you execute your change management strategy.
How to choose the right change management software
Execution is the biggest stumbling block when it comes to making changes—mainly because people are resistant to change (pesky humans). The reason for this is twofold:
- Motivation: From Lazy Larry to Stuck-in-her-ways-Sandra, every company will have naysayers who struggle to adapt to changes.
- Accountability: Building genuine accountability is hard until you win stakeholders over with your vision. But you must follow through for your strategy to mean anything.
With these simple truths in mind, you need a tool that covers all stages of a change management strategy - planning, executing, measuring, and adapting.
We’ll discuss 7 types of change management software, each of which excels in different areas when it comes to navigating successful change. But first, we’ll start with Cascade, our own strategy execution software.
Cascade: The #1 Strategy Execution Platform
Cascade is the #1 strategy execution platform in the world. As an all-in-one platform, it covers all aspects of change management strategy, from planning to execution, measuring performance, and adapting to succeed.
Teams leading organization-wide change can forget about digital exhaustion and the hassle of switching between multiple tools, like Excel and Powerpoint. Instead of wasting time with old-school tools, they can bring everyone and everything together on Cascade to improve organization-wide alignment and accelerate toward their vision.
How does Cascade help with change management?
Define a clear strategic structure
You can create a strategic change management plan that connects organizational change objectives, projects, and key performance indicators (KPIs). Some key planning features include:
- Templates to get started on strategic planning for specific use cases
- Drag-and-drop interface to quickly customize plans
- Create multiple change management plans and link them back to the overall strategy
- Visual representations of your strategic plan to boost engagement
Align your teams, goals, and vision
Cascade provides a single source of truth that everyone can rely on, draw from, and be inspired by as they work together to execute change initiatives. As you map out the journey to success, you can unite every employee, team, and department under a shared vision.
Empower your team
Every team member knows what to do, how, and why without suffering a series of never-ending PowerPoint presentations. Cascade makes it easy to assign ownership, which improves accountability. You can offer people more context about how their roles impact the company's goals and vision. This clarity improves employee engagement, so they can prioritize activities that drive towards the company's success.
Measure and drive your progress
Cascade makes it easy to transform your change management strategy into results you can see with real-time performance insights. The customizable dashboards help you track and measure success, as you can add KPIs that suit your strategic objectives.
This data-driven approach makes it easy to identify underperforming areas and potential risks, take action when needed, and stay focused on what matters.
Foster a culture of collaboration
A critical tenet of any change management strategy is the ability to nurture a strong culture that embraces change and effective collaboration. Cascade has a range of great features that save time, smooth communications, and ultimately bring your people together so that they can close the planning to execution gap:
- Integrations. Cascade integrates with over 1000+ applications, including Excel, Teams, Outlook, SAP. This helps you to reinforce focus across your teams by pulling all important information from other platforms into one place.
- In-app updates so everyone can be notified immediately if there are any changes to the plan
- Automated reports. Share information and spark innovation across your team. You can also export reports to gorgeous PDF reports or detailed Excel files.
- Notifications. Keep everyone up to speed with email and in-app messages related to activities happening around key goals.
What clients are saying about Cascade:
Over 15,000 teams use Cascade as their strategy execution software.
G2 - the popular review site - gives Cascade 4.8 out of 5 stars based on 155 reviews. We pulled a few of those below:
“Cascade has given my company a single source of truth when it comes to our goals and what specific actions the business is taking to get there.” - G2
“Prior to using Cascade, it was cumbersome to update progress against targets and having the visibility and accountability across the team has given the team confidence that as a business we will be able to make meaningful progress to achieve our 2025 Vision. Cascade means that we can focus on delivering against the strategy rather than spending too much time setting goals and targets in tools not designed for this purpose.” - G2
Every year, we've struggled to implement our plans. There's been a disconnect between what we set out to achieve and what our teams are working on. Cascade has brought visibility and alignment. Our team members are all talking about strategy now! - G2
- Cascade has a free forever plan that supports smaller teams with up to 4 users.
- Teams plan is $24/month per user (for small to medium teams looking for a strategy platform for their department)
- Enterprise plan: You get a customized proposal based on your company’s needs. (perfect for larger organizations with multiple teams and distributed projects)
Cascade is a great choice if you want an intuitive, user-friendly, and straightforward way to manage change initiatives and deliver results.
If you’re ready to see how Cascade works in action, book your 1:1 demo with Cascade expert.
Project Management Tools
Most companies execute their change management strategies by working with project management tools. However, most of these tools aren’t the right fit to manage change across the organization.
They do, of course, have some great uses, which is why Cascade has a bunch of advanced project management features (for instance, tracking the status of multiple projects or change initiatives simultaneously).
But, we digress.
Let’s take a look at some other project management tools:
Jira is a project management tool that is part of the Atlassian suite of products designed to help teams manage their work. Originally, Jira was purely for software developers to monitor and identify coding issues. Now, the platform helps different non-IT teams with work management.
- Track progress. Like any decent project management dashboard, Jira allows different teams—like sales, marketing, HR, and finance—to stay connected and on track with their key metrics and business goals.
- Collaboration. As an IT service management tool, you can use Jira to bring business teams together with software development teams. This collaboration helps improve the customer experience and employee engagement.
- Test case management. With its roots in software development, Jira is great for any team that wants to use iterative approaches. As change management involves some trial and error, the custom fields and workflows are excellent features for any testing activities.
Although Jira has evolved in the past 20 years, it’s still a software developer’s tool at heart. And so, there are some issues:
- Learning curve. Jira is tricky to set up and complicated for most people to use. If you want to hit the ground running, this platform could hold people back.
- Limited change management. You can’t link projects and tasks with your change management strategy.
- No real-time insight into progress because you can’t link projects and tasks with KPIs.
- Strategic planning is not covered
Jira Work Management has a free forever plan for 1-10 users. After that, the paid plan is $5/user per month.
Does Jira integrate with Cascade?
You can use Cascade's integration with Jira software to link your task-tracker progress with your goals, which makes it easy to share Jira stats in Cascade’s dashboard. After you hook Jira and Cascade up once, Cascade automatically syncs the data for you.
IT Change Management Tools
These tools focus on change management from the perspective of information technology teams. While these platforms are excellent for IT projects, many of them are not suitable for companies that wish to effectively manage organization-wide changes.
BMC Helix ITSM (previously Remedy)
Source: BMC Helix
BMC Helix Platform is a cloud-based tracking tool for service and operations management that helps companies increase workplace efficiency and drive game-changing innovation.
How does BMC help with change management?
Traditionally, BMC Helix is best for medium-sized businesses in the software industry, such as DevOps organizations. But fear not—companies from other industries can use it, too. Here are a few nifty features that might help your IT teams manage change:
- Reporting features. Users can create and share custom reports. You can also convert them into dashboards to make it easy to learn more from your data.
- Incident management. Every campaign for change will have some bumps in the road. This platform has a big focus on problem management, with automated features to detect incidents, prioritize tickets, and help teams resolve issues.
- Self-service application. In addition to a deep knowledge base, users have easy access to virtual assistants and live chat features.
There is a free trial version available. You need to contact them to request pricing.
Freshservice is an IT Help Desk and service management platform that helps organizations simplify their IT operations. This cloud-based solution offers some time-saving features like a ticketing system, knowledge-base, and self-service portal.
The big claim from Freshworks is that they help organizations “minimize the impact of change and improve change rollout efficiency.”
How does Freshservice help with change management?
- End-to-end change management. Teams can visually track changes from planning to rollout and make sure they fulfill all requirements at every stage.
- Automated notifications. When you’ve got limited resources, you need to minimize redundancy and make sure all manual efforts count. The automated features of Freshworks keep everyone aligned, so there is no wasted effort.
- Change calendar. If you want your change advisory board (CAB) to know what's happening on the ground, you must keep them up to speed. The calendar makes it easy to view tasks, changes, and schedules of other teams.
There is a free trial version available. Paid plans start with €25/month (billed monthly).
One of the biggest challenges of company transformation is getting your people to embrace the change. Not everyone will want to use the latest technology, stick to the modern guidelines, or drink the new mushroom-based coffee in the office kitchen.
Before you can get people on board, you must help people overcome their fears—and we don’t mean secretly swapping their Maxwell House.
Here are some supporting tools that help drive the adoption of new processes and systems in your company.
Haiilo claims to be “the single most intuitive and advanced platform for driving, understanding and leveraging employee engagement.”
Their words, not ours. While we all think Cascade is pretty darn awesome in this area, we’ll graciously tip our hat to Haiilo, as this is the one (and only) area they specialize in—and it’s a critical part of change management.
How does Haiilo help with change management?
As a specialist software, Haiilo helps companies increase employee engagement through a range of communication and analytics tools. This focus offers several benefits:
- Team alignment. You can bring all employees together on the platform, united by shared goals, even when they work and live in different places.
- Reduce information overload. With greater team alignment between people, processes, and goals, people get clarity about their roles. As the communication flows, there’s less confusion and less chance of anyone feeling overwhelmed.
- Strengthen your company culture. This platform helps with consistent communication of the benefits and clarity about why the company is undergoing change. As you make people feel involved, you get buy-in, which leads to happier employees and more meaningful work.
No free plan is available. You need to reach out to get a tailored quote.
Whatfix is a digital adoption platform that helps companies onboard, train, and support their employees as they use various enterprise software solutions. You can create interactive walkthroughs and in-app guidance that coaches people in real-time.
How does Whatfix help with change management?
This onboarding and training platform focuses on one specific problem in change management—user adoption of company tools. This setup is unlike Cascade, which covers everything in change management (no biggie, it’s just how we roll).
So, what makes Whatfix handy for change management?
- Personalized onboarding. You can easily onboard users to enterprise software applications and quickly show them how to perform basic tasks and everyday processes.
- In-App Training. Not every company has a friendly admin ready to walk the new guy through his paces. Thankfully, this software has real-time guidance, so the rest of the team can get on with their work (or refill their Lion’s Mane coffee).
- Monitor user behavior. You can understand how your employees use software and adapt the training to help everyone deliver a bigger impact with every tool in your tech stack.
No free plan is available. You need to reach out to get a tailored quote.
Reach your goals faster with the most complete change management software
Many companies go for project management platforms or specialist tools that help with some aspects of change. But if you want to go beyond standard changes to lead a complete overhaul of your company culture, processes, and practices, you need a more comprehensive change management system.
Cascade is not a project management tool. However, it does have everything that the leading project and reporting tools can do—and more. Whereas it's easy to fall prey to distractions and lose sight of goals with project management tools, Cascade is all about focus.
Our platform helps your team:
- Visualize how change initiatives and projects link to high-level outcomes.
- Get real-time visibility into the progress of your change management strategy.
- Understand the why behind the change and the impact of their role.
Cascade replaces other tools like project management, goal tracking, reporting, and planning, giving you a single coherent ecosystem that puts the progress of different projects in the context with greater organizational objectives. With your teams aligned, it’s easier to accelerate your transformation.
Are you ready to accelerate change in your company? Book a free Cascade demo today.