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Steps for Change Management Process

July 21, 2021

By Simpliaxis

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Almost all organizations of today are in a constant state of responding to the global & local economies, quick-progressing external business environment, and increased technological advancements. What this means is that – workplace systems, processes, and strategies must always change as well as evolve to ensure that the business stays competitive & relevant.

There’s no denying that change is inevitable in any line of business. If a business fails to move with time and it doesn’t always strive for growth & improvement, the business will start to stagnate, and sometimes even perish. However, it should also be known that it’s human nature to resist changes in an organization, and the idea of making people perform new tasks can be possible in wreaking havoc within the business. And that’s where the Change Management process comes in, which will help in implementing the changes you want in your business successfully & seamlessly.
 

What is Change Management?
 

Change Management is a type of process that can be defined as the manners & methods through which a company implements & describes the change in both of its external as well as internal procedures. Such procedures include supporting & preparing employees for the change, keeping an eye on pre and post-change actions to ensure its successful implementation while also establishing the essential steps for the change.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to know that significant changes in an enterprise can truly be challenging to deal with. Such changes require proper cooperation and it may also include independent entities inside organizations. However, when you develop a structured approach to implement change, that’s when a seamless transition can take place without any major disruptions.

Generally, most changes fail because of human errors or reasons. Such is the reason why effective communication is one of the key factors for implementing a proper Change Management technique. All the individuals involved in the process should understand the different steps and oversee the results after the change.
 

Why is Change management necessary?
 

By creating a proper Change Management plan, one can ensure to observe a smooth transition for the organizational change. But, there’s no point in mandating organizational changes if there are no solid plans on the monitoring, implementation & success reporting process of the change. As a result, failure is bound to happen.

Thus, regardless of the type of change that you’re planning to obtain, the Change Management process will provide you with greater control over the whole journey – from start to finish.
 

Levels of Change Management
 

  • Individual Change Management
     

It helps in managing the change of an individual so that he or she can grow in his or her life, while also achieving the defined goals.
 

  • Project Change Management
     

The plans & strategies that are required to ensure that a certain project achieves the intended outcome.
 

  • Organizational Change Management
     

The process through which enterprises carry out transformations such as the introduction of new organizational methods, shuffling the organizational hierarchy, or even when integrating a new system software.

In today’s topic, we’re going to discuss organizational Change Management procedures.
 

What are the steps in the Change Management process?
 

The following are the decisive steps in the Change Management procedure:
 

1. Identify the areas for improvement
 

As most changes take place with the primary aim of enhancing a certain product, process, or outcome, it’s critical to first focus and set the target or goal. Such a process also involves identifying the individuals & resources which are necessary to facilitate the whole process.

When you know your objective, it will help in creating a steady foundation for ease, clarity, and successful execution of the process.
 

2. Offer a proper business change plan or report to the stakeholders
 

In an organization, there are multiple layers of stakeholders. These include the upper management who help in financing & directing the whole process. Since every stakeholder tends to have different experiences & expectations, the overall consensus should be in favor of the change. This is because, if the stakeholders are not convinced about the change, then it proves to be difficult to implement the whole process. Thus, this step is essential.
 

3. Planning stage
 

In this step, you have to create the entire roadmap that will help in identifying the starting point, the pathway that is to be followed, and the final destination. Moreover, estimation for costs and resources should also be included in the same.

One of the crucial aspects of the planning stage involves the creation of a multi-step procedure instead of relying on unplanned & sudden changes. Thus, it’s necessary to outline the incentives, the targets (which are measurable), the measurements that will be utilized, and the analysis.
 

4. Offer resources and utilize data for correct evaluation
 

When it comes to the planning stage, funding and resource identification are some of the critical aspects to take note of. Such aspects can include obtaining equipment, creating proper infrastructure, and also regulating the software systems. Furthermore, additional tools will also be required for retraining, re-education, and re-thinking the practices & priorities.

If the clarity of process reporting is transparent, then it helps in fostering timely & proper distribution of incentives, enhanced communication, and assisting in measuring milestones & achievements.
 

5. Proper communication
 

Communication is the keyword that tends to run through the entirety of the Change Management practice. Planning, identifying, executing and onboarding – all are dependent on good communication. By offering open & clean lines for communication throughout the entire journey, the Change Management process can be successfully implemented.

‘Communication’ in this curriculum is defined by two-way communication along with the promotion of transparency. Ultimately, such avenues for communication will help in applauding the things that work and venting frustration regarding the aspects that don’t work as expected. Thus, changes could be made to the elements that don’t work seamlessly.
 

6. Manage & monitor obstacles
 

One of the outcomes of Change Management is resistance to change, which can easily threaten the success of the entire project. Fear of the unknown is what creates resistance. Resistance is also created due to the various risks associated with the change, such as investment risks, financial risks, and so on.

However, anticipating risks and mitigating the same with proper tools & leadership will help in creating a smooth change process. You shouldn’t avoid dealing with such obstacles, assuming that they will take care of themselves. Instead, you have to be proactive in your methodology. Listen to the feedback you receive and then make the informed decisions for the organization’s welfare. Always try to opt for novel solutions and do whatever you can to remove the barriers.
 

7. Celebrating achievements
 

One of the essential aspects of any project is to successfully recognize organizational changes. When a Change Management process is carried out, it’s crucial to learn how much success the individuals and the team achieved with the same. Such recognition will help in adopting a different approach if the previous one doesn’t work as intended.

For any company or business, data is power. The more data you have, the better decisions you’ll be able to undertake. Don’t just track the achievements but also look for interesting trends taking place between the achievements. Such a procedure will help in pushing everyone in the correct direction.
 

8. Continuous improvement
 

Change can be challenging to implement, but it should also be known that it’s an ongoing procedure. Strategies must be adjusted throughout the whole project to suit the outcome. And that’s why proper reviewing and revision of the Change Management procedure might be required if certain aspects of the change aren’t working as seamlessly as they should. Furthermore, proper analysis of the problems will help in improving the current pathway for a much better one. Always keep in mind that there’s no one-size-fits-all plan and there’s no issue in accepting that your previous Change Management plan needs some tweaking. After all, such tweaking can assist you in successful execution.

Thus, the principles of continuous improvement must be followed. Some enhancements can be easy & small to implement, but on the other hand, other enhancements can have a greater impact on the company. Regardless of the outcome, the basic principles should always apply.
 

What are the benefits of Change Management?
 

Using Change Management, you’ll be able to achieve the following set of objectives:
 

  • Combat the resistance to change properly
     
  • Set ideal targets for changes and thereby monitor the progress
     
  • Create techniques to implement organizational change efficiently
     
  • Balance as well as address various elements of change such as processes, people, technology, and so on.
     

Conclusion
 

Over the last couple of decades, the overall pace of new technology & change has increased dramatically, which can be showcased by Moore’s Law. As of writing this guide, all of the trillion-dollar market capitalization companies in the world are less than 60 years old. Thus, it can be seen that the trend of valuable companies spanning multiple generations or centuries is over. Thus, companies nowadays face much more pressure than ever before to adapt continuously to change.

Therefore, if you’re a business owner, you have to manage your expectations accordingly. A good Change Management process will not only help your company to transition to performing something different but also enhance your organization’s lifeblood.

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