Change management process

Change management process: make changes safely and effectively

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Making changes within an organization can be a daunting task. Whether it’s a minor change or a large-scale transformation, there are always risks involved in making changes. Therefore, it’s important that the change management process is well-defined.

We wrote about this topic a few years ago but it’s a topic that is worth revisiting because we have seen the importance of this in a couple of recent projects that we worked on. In both cases, there was no change management process, and the result was that both projects failed. This led to the agencies losing time and money and we’re sure you agree that this is not good.

The process is designed to help organizations make changes safely and effectively. It usually includes four key steps: planning, implementing, monitoring, and assessing.

The importance of change management

Making changes within an organization can be a scary proposition. There are always risks involved in making changes, and it’s important to have a well-defined change management process in place to help you minimize those risks.

How to plan for a change

When planning for a change, it’s important to first analyze the current situation. This includes understanding the current state of the business, as well as the goals and objectives of the change. You also need to develop a detailed plan for how the change will be implemented. This should include a timeline for implementation, as well as a communication plan to let people know about the changes. The communication plan is key and this should include:

  • The expected benefits of the change
  • The timeline
  • An honest assessment of expectations of the team and probable disruption.

Communication should be relentless and in different formats, for example, emails, newsletters, videos, presentations, and workshops are just some examples of methods that can be used.

Change management process steps

Benefits of using a change management process

The planning stage should also be used to assess the readiness of the impacted people to the change. They typically fall into the following categories

  • Advocates – they see the need for change and embrace it
  • Sceptics – who want to be convinced
  • Rebels – will overtly or covertly undermine change. They may not be against the change itself but may have another motive for undermining it.
  • ROAD (Retired On Active Duty) warriors – They are happy with the things as they are and have no interest in changing.

Try and identify which category each member of the organization sits to be aware of during the change and plan accordingly. Note there are 4 most common reasons people resist change:

  1. Desire not to lose something of value
  2. Misunderstanding of change and its implications
  3. Belief that the change does not make sense for the org
  4. Low tolerance for change

Implementing a change

Once you have a plan in place, it’s time to start making the changes. In other words, execute the plan. This is where you integrate the change process with the change that is being made, which will have its own plan. For example, we implement software, so the change is a new software solution, and the change process is making people aware of the implications of the new software and how that will impact their jobs.

The communications will start to flow as per the predefined plan and using a variety of channels.

This is also the point at which you recruit the “advocates” to help communicate the change. This is also the point at which you convert the skeptics to believers (if not advocates.)

Rebels are not always easy to identify but ROAD Warriers are. In both cases, the most effective ways to help people overcome the change are:

  • Involving them in the decisions
  • Keeping them informed with clear, consistent communication
  • Creating safe harbors where they feel empowered to express opinions without judgment
  • Listening. This is a key leadership attribute that’s often overlooked

Monitoring & assessing the change process

These are the third and fourth steps in the change management process.

Monitoring is where you track the progress of the changes and make sure that they are being made as planned. This step should include regular check-ins with those who are responsible for making the changes, as well as a system for tracking the results of the changes.

Assessing is where you evaluate the results of the changes and make sure that they are having the desired effect. This step should include a review of the change process, as well as an assessment of the results of the changes.

Benefits of using a change management process

When done correctly, a change management process can bring several benefits to an organization. These include:

  • Improved communication – need we say more on this?
  • Improved organizational performance – A change management process can help to improve the performance of an organization by ensuring that changes are made in a controlled and safe manner. This will help to avoid disruptions and ensure that changes are made in a way that is best for the organization.
  • Reduced costs – A change management process can help to reduce the costs associated with making changes. Failed projects are very expensive.
  • Improved employee morale – A change management process can help to improve employee morale by ensuring that changes are made in a way that is best for the employee. This will help to ensure that the employees are not disrupted and that changes are made in a way that is best for the employee.

There are many benefits of using a change management process, but these are just some of the most important. If you want any project in your agency to run smoothly, then it is imperative that it has a proper change management process.

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