Change is the only constant in the world and is considered to be the universal condition of humans. This applies true to business organizations as well. Businesses must evolve and adapt to various challenges such as a change in technology, new competitors, new laws and regulations, and economic trends. Failing to accomplish the change leads to business stagnation. There are certain steps that you need to follow to successfully implement a change management process.
There are various approaches regarding how to change and what to change from an organizational perspective. Nearly 50% of the organizational changes are unproductive due to improper planning and coordination. Carrying out the change process is one of the most valuable skills for business managers to adopt.
In this article, let us explore certain fundamental aspects of change management and key strategies involved in accomplishing it correctly.
What is Change Management?
The concept of change management covers all the essential types of processes planned and executed for a successful organizational change. These changes range from internal processes, company culture, corporate hierarchy, budget allocations, and other vital aspects of a project.
Change management is not just applicable to projects and organizations, but to people as well. You are preparing your team to adapt to change. Change management involves a structured methodology that can control your project, which subsequently leads to organizational success. Only a proficient leader can manage the change process.
Change is an inevitable fact that any team or project should plan. It is essential to understand a clear definition of change management to respond to the change in the best possible manner. You and your team should identify the need for change and what it involves. During the change management process, the organization should support the employees through the process and shouldn’t affect the organization’s productivity.
Organizational change management can be categorized, as mentioned below:
Adaptive change – Adaptive changes are iterative and gradual changes that the organization adopts to implement the processes, products, and strategies.
Transformational change – Transformational changes are implemented on a larger scale.
Now that you know what change management is, let us explore the steps involved in the change management process.
Change Management Process
The business goals, environment, and culture created within the organization are some of the factors that make the change management process unique. The steps involved in the process, technical details, and the people you work with differ from one organization to another, but the base principles remain the same.
Here are a few steps that lead to organizational changes being implemented successfully:
Having clearly defined objectives or goals help you to know whether you have reached them. Ensure to align your change-related objective with the business goals.
Plan for a Change
For a successful change implementation, the organization must be prepared logistically and culturally. Outline the entire change process with definable steps, targets, measurements, analysis, and incentives.
When the organization is ready for change, the management should develop a realistic plan for implementing change. The plan should include the following details:
- Strategic goals
- Project stakeholders
- Project scope
- Key performance indicators
The change management plan should overcome all the obstacles that might arise during the process.
Implement the Change Plan
In creating a change management plan, follow the steps defined, such as change made to the organization’s structure, processes, systems, strategy, and other essential aspects. During the process, the change managers should take all the essential measures to empower their teams to take proper steps to attain the goals.
Create a Communication Plan
On approval for the change from the decision-makers, it’s essential to develop a reliable communication platform. Having clear communication helps the upper management to hear frequent updates, and the team involved in the change process feels that management heeds to their feedback and concerns.
Communication has a profound effect on the entire process and makes it more transparent and digestible.
Look for Obstacles and Remove Them
During the change implementation process, it is common to expect barriers. You need to deal with the issues promptly to overcome unforeseen problems. Do not ignore these obstacles as they might hamper the change process. Here are a few ways to overcome the blocks during the process.
- Include additional training and upskilling activities
- Have a well-planned organizational structure
- Adopt new systems to accommodate new techniques
- Update the job description relating to new workloads
- Consider all the essential measures to remove the barriers to the change process
Understand Key Performance Indicators
Usually, milestones are enough to gauge organizational success but to have comprehensive data, go with Key Performance Indicators(KPI). Team members of the change process should have accurate data about the situation. In this context, KPIs help to track the change progress and any changes made to the process.
Adjust the Change Management Process When Required
If certain aspects fail to cater to your requirement or expectations, adjust the change process to fit into your requirement. It would be better to make slight changes and attain your goals rather than keeping the same plan and failing to execute it.
Incorporate the Changes Into the Organizations’ Culture
When the changes made are implemented within the organizational culture, you have almost reached your goal. There is always scope for improvement, and incorporating the principle of continuous improvement will help to involve further changes.
7R’s of Change Management Process
When raising a request for change, there are a few checklists to consider, known as 7Rs of the change management process. Here are a few essential queries related to the change management process.
The person who identified the need for change might have some insights to initiate the organization’s change request. A centrally located system records all the essential changes made and ensures that every individual is aware of the team’s accountability for changing the raise request. This system record will further assist during the audit process.
There are varied reasons for change requests, such as capacity increase, minimizing the security risk, or increasing availability. Regardless of the reason for the change, it must be presented in front of the entire management and board to decide whether to approve the request or not. This helps to prioritize the changes.
Before implementing any changes, it is quite essential to recognize the return from the changes made. For instance, if the change request’s return is low, then the change request can be ignored and vice-versa. Before considering any change request, it’s essential to consider the benefits change that has been implemented.
All sort of change involves risk. Some of the changes can be ignored/avoided with a remedial plan, whereas some have to be accepted. While planning to implement change, consider the risk of not implementing changes as well. While it is difficult to predict the risk involved in the change processes, you can make aforethought before making any changes.
Lacking sufficient resources leads to the rejection of change requests. So, while planning for change implementation, it is equally essential to consider the resources as well. Keep track of people or assets that are required to address the change. While accepting the change process, consider its impact on other projects, and ensure it doesn’t negatively impact other projects.
In the change management process, having explicit knowledge of responsibilities and who should be responsible for which tasks are essential. The duties should be actionable, traceable, and enforceable.
Many changes occur simultaneously in an organization. The relationship between the changes should be determined across and within the functional boundaries. Failing to accomplish the task might result in prolonged downtime duration.
Implementation of the change management process is indeed very much essential as it creates a business dependency on IT services. Invensis Learning’s Professional Change Management Certification Training equips you with the latest tools and techniques to attain successful organizational change management. Some of the popular Change Management and Project Management certifications that professionals can take up to drive organizational change management.