Organizational Change Management is the approach an organization takes to attain a desired future state. The change could be as big as a company rebranding itself or as small as introducing a new HR platform.
Change management is unique to every organization, so there is no one-size-fits-all approach. But using the following change management tools and techniques in developing an approach that closely accounts for the needs of your organization will ensure a successful transition.
Why Change Management is Important
Before diving deeper into various aspects of change management, let’s pause and consider the weight change management carries regarding how well a company performs in general.
In December 2015, McKinsey published groundbreaking report about various management practices and how they impact organizational health. The article is titled Why Agility Pays, quickly turned agility into a buzzword.
Over 1,000 companies were surveyed, and the ones that fell the highest on the Organizational Health Index were the ones that best combine speed with stability in their management practices.
A critical part of what makes good companies agile is the ability to balance fast action and change with organizational clarity, stability and structure.
This brings to mind a vivid metaphor: agility is like a child that can easily be molded into becoming a well-adjusted adult given clear guidance and a safe environmental structure to grow.
However, not all organizations can be compared to an agile child, and some, especially large older organizations have the hardest time managing change.
To effectively utilize change management tools, it is very important to define change in your own situation and ensure that everyone within the organization understands and supports the effort, however this does not mean that everyone needs to agree on the changes being implemented, as trying to reach complete consensus is almost impossible and it will only slow down the process.
5 Change Management Tools and Techniques to Master Now
Making a flowchart of all organizational process serves as a visual sketch especially for those in the organization who don’t have a broader view of some of the key processes in the organization.
Flowcharting is a simple way to get people on board with where a company is at and where it would like to be.
One useful exercise is to have managers all draw what they consider the current organizational flowchart to look like, and you will probably be surprised to find a huge variety in how people perceive the key processes of the organization – some even have conflicting views, and this misunderstanding needs to be dealt with before moving on to another change management tool.
Once any change begins to be implemented, it can be added to the flowchart so that all members of the organization have the chance to keep up with the change – raising their feeling of contribution and commitment to the organizational goals.
2. Metrics and Data Collection
Many people squirm at the idea of number crunching, but collecting the right information and data is a critical step in change management. Focusing on facts – how the organization has done in the past and where it stands today in respect to competition, risks, and opportunities, will steer change management in a constructive direction and shorten the decision-making time.
It will also help avoid any unnecessary arguments that only lead to frustration and loss of momentum. Meaningful and correct data needs to be collected and displayed using a metric design that is easy to read.
Metrics and data collection must include the cycle time, which is the average time from start to end, the range of cycle time which includes the shortest and the longest cycle time, and the percentage with the longest and the shortest time, and the total number of units that flows through the process in a certain period of time and percentage of errors and units that need to be redone.
3. Force Field Analysis
This change management tool provides an initial view of change problems that need to be tackled. It highlights the driver for change and change inhibitors. Originally developed by a social psychologist, the idea behind Force Field Analysis is that for change to be successful, the driving forces need to be strengthened or the resisting forces weakened.
The strongest inhibitor to change is resistance from members of the organization.
For new change to be accepted by members of the organization, you need to focus on the benefits of the new change. You should also include discussions that is aimed in understanding and dealing with staff who are resistant to change.
4. Culture mapping
Another useful change management tool is culture mapping.
As a matter of fact, every organization has its own ways of doing things. This means that every organization has its own way of establishing values, concepts, norms and practices. Some typical paradigms that most organizations have include: respect for authority where decisions made by senior management are unquestioned or the reward system is based on good performance or seniority.
If you are responsible for managing change in the organization, you must be fully aware of the organizational culture so that your management practices are appropriate.
At times, the norm, and “this is how we have always done it” mentality is so deeply embedded in the organizational culture that it is the biggest hurdle to change.
Before you start working on organizational change management, you will need to first change the existing paradigms and that can only be possible if you understand this change management tool.
5. Project plan
Although this may sound obvious, having a clear project plan is critical for staying on track. It will serve as a framework from which to work in, to know where some flexibility is allowed and which boundaries should not be crossed.
Most of the time, a change management initiative will require many people working in various departments of the organization to implement new changes simultaneously. It is therefore very important to utilize this change management tool to help you come up with a clear plan on how the proposed change is going to be implemented.
Having a project plan will clarify roles and help manage deadlines – keeping your company agile during some of the biggest challenges of the change process.
WalkMe for Change Management
Digital transitions present unique challenges for organizations. The investment is first made in the new software, and then subsequent investments are made in extensive training programs to get employees on board.
If the new system is not adopted, or even not adopted well, the investment will not see a positive return. All the money and resources, including the time wasted on implementation is lost with poor adoption.
WalkMe’s Digital Adoption Platform is the number one way to ease digital transitions and ensure true digital adoption. WalkMe’s contextual guidance and engagement technology makes it one of the best change management tools to have in your strategy.