What is the Change Management Process?
The Change Management Process clearly spells out the series of activities required to effect change in an organizational setup. Consider them as a set of rules that a project leader must follow to achieve desired outcomes. This process involves several elements to make it successful. We consider each of these elements briefly below.
Elements of the Change Management Process
Here are the elements of the change management process to launch a successful drive in any organization.
- Scope Assessment
A set of tools or questionnaires can be used to assess the need for change in the organization as well as the degree of openness for change by staff. When assessing the current state of the organization, the project manager or whoever is undertaking the assessment has to review the corporate history of the firm as well the employee behavior, client’s interaction with the firm, and the effect of previous change management strategies. Doing this will provide the reviewer with the requirements for executing a successful change campaign.
- Communication Planning
Making Change decisions and hoping that they work out is not the way to go. If members of staff do not understand why there is a need for change in the first place, they may resist it and stall the effort completely. Effective communication is needed to bring everybody on board. When there is an understanding between management and staff, the chances of having a successful process improves.
- Develop activities that encourage Change Recipients
The staff will be the greatest recipients of the change, so they need to be involved in the process. Managers can test run the process by implementing within a few departments and monitor the outcome. Staff can be encouraged to come up with suggestions to improve the corporate culture of the firm or to provide recommendations about the things that need to change in the workplace.
- Management Training
Managers or department heads who will implement the change should be provided with training and education first. If employees see the commitments from their managers, they will be more responsive.
- Resistance Review
A resistance to change is expected as change is not so easy, especially in environments with a long history. Breaking away from tradition is not as easy as many will want to believe. So managers should expect resistance and be on the lookout for it during the implementation phase. Managers can adopt procedures to manage employee resistance to change.
- Change Reinforcement
While successes should be supported, executors should pay close attention to weaknesses and stamp them out. Continued monitoring of performance and reinforcing the new culture is the only way to prevent employees from slipping back into their old habits.
- Final Review
This element involves the final revision of the change management process. At this point, management should evaluate the success or failure of the change plan, make corrections, and design a policy to address possible future outcomes should changes occur.
These elements are integral to the success of any change management process. Creating and managing an effective plan is only possible if members of staff are part of the process. Managers and heads of departments who will initiate the process in their respective domains also need sufficient training so as to be able to implement the change strategy successfully.
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