Change management is the process of planning and implementing changes within an organisation, in a highly structured manner. The goal of change management is to minimise disruption, and in turn to maximise the benefits of the change.
The change management process often consists of these steps.
- Identify where change is necessary: This step is crucial, yet often quite complex; it involves identifying a problem or opportunity that requires a change in the organisation. This necessity could be due to internal or external factors, such as new technology, changes in the market, or shifts in the goals of the organisation.
- Assess the impact of change: Next, it’s necessary to evaluate the potential impact of the change on various different stakeholders within the organisation. This might include assessing the impact on employees, customers, and any other parties that are likely to be affected by the changes.
- Develop a plan of action: Now, it’s appropriate to start creating a plan for how the desired changes will be implemented. Often, this means identifying specific goals and objectives, outlining any steps that must be taken, and determining the resources necessary to enact the changes
- Communicate the plan: In order to set the process up for success, it’s incredibly important to communicate the plans you’ve made to all stakeholders, and ensure that they understand the rationale behind the alterations and any implications it might have for them. Communicating the plan might include holding meetings and creating specific informational materials.
- Implementing the plan: This next step involves implementing the plan to achieve the desired changes. This consists of taking steps to put the plan into action, such as making changes to processes, and organisational structures, among other things.
- Ongoing monitoring and evaluation: Finally, it’s essential that you monitor the progress of the change and evaluate its effectiveness on an ongoing basis. This includes tracking key performance metrics, including productivity or customer satisfaction, and making any alterations to the plan as required.
Change management is quite a general term, and it can also include further steps, such as preparing employees for change, assessing employee readiness, and even providing them with the necessary support and training to ensure that they’re ready for a new work environment.
Effective change management requires a combination of strong, adaptive leadership and communication, in addition to a clear understanding of the potential ramifications of the change on different parties. It also requires the ability to anticipate and address potential problems or resistance in a non-combative manner.
Change management strategies
There are several change management methodologies that organisations can use such as Lewin’s Change Management Model, Kotter’s 8-Step Model of Change, and the McKinsey 7S Framework. Each of these methodologies takes a nuanced approach to change management, and can be used to varying levels of success depending on the specific needs and goals of the organisation undergoing change. A change management service such as Move Plan Group will be able to provide you with detailed advice on which method is most suitable given your exact circumstances.