What is Change Management?

What is Change Management in the Construction industry?

Change Management is a broad term used by experts to describe the guidance, preparation, and execution of new plans. In the construction industry, change is effected with the aid of planning tools. The main goal of change management is to adopt efficient practices or solutions so as to improve work capacity.

 

Factors that might cause a change in structure, approach, or the entire organization.

There are many factors that may necessitate a change in the project scope or execution approach. Action may be facilitated by weather or regulatory conditions. Some other factors are:

Budget overrun

Let’s say the approved budget for a project stood at $150,000, and halfway through the project, the cost of materials and labor has exceeded $100,000; project managers will know that the cash left at hand will not be sufficient. In such an instance, the project manager or the organization at large will have to identify why there was a budget shortfall and how to cover up the extra cost.

Differing site conditions

Every project is unique, and so are their conditions. For companies that operate a standard procedure when executing projects. Their procedure may not work for all conditions even if two different projects have the same structure. Having dealt with similar experiences over the course of their work, managers will need to adopt a more flexible approach when executing projects. They can do this by analyzing projects based on their unique factors.

Regulatory changes

Industry regulators frequently change regulations in light of new data and technological innovations. To keep in line with the prevailing regulations of the day, construction organization have to change their strategic plans and policies. Regulatory changes may include occupational hazard regulations to protect onsite workers, the adoption of eco-friendly building materials, increased IT security, etc.

Labor turnover

Labor turnover in the industry is relatively high. What is even more challenging for managers is when there is a high turnover of highly skilled workers. To combat the negative effects of a volatile labor market, management may decide to change their HR strategy. Sponsoring employee training, improving work conditions, improved remuneration, and a change in recruitment policy can stem the tide of incessant labor turnover.

 

“How should change be managed?”

The best way change can be managed by an organization is to adhere to this mantra: “hope for the best, expect the worse.” However, this mantra should not be adopted in isolation but by reviewing current circumstances before deciding whether the change is necessary in the first place. Due to the sensitivity of modern organizations and how change can negatively affect a company, managers should not engage in change management if:

  • The change is not really necessary
  • The results or impact of the change cannot be measured qualitatively
  • The cost of the change will outweigh the benefits
  • The current situation is volatile (unpredictable)
  • The manager is unclear about the current processes

 

Steps to executing a change management process

If you decide to go on with your change management plan, make sure your plan follows this sequence.

  • Identify the impact that the change will have on the firm or on the successful implementation of the project
  • Assess the effect the change will have on these key factors at play, which is – Project completion time, Final cost of the project after changes are made, the change in project scope, and the potential risks involved.
  • Approve the Change Plan after considering the factors listed above and reaching a conclusion based on data that the change will be worth it.
  • Formalize the plan by making final adjustments and communicating the plan to the rank and file
  • Execute the plan and constantly review for plan adherence

 

The final goal of change management is a capacity improvement. If change is initiated in a measurable manner, staff will embrace it and give their best to see the firm succeed. Some managers even put a reward system in place to stimulate and inspire desired behavior in subordinates, and this has proven to work. However, change agents should initiate change with an open mind. They should not expect a seamless process but some resistance along the way. Putting modalities in place to address resistance is one of the essential elements of a successful change strategy.

Click here to read more about the Change management process.

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