Change Readiness Assessment

The only problem we’re going to have in talking about change readiness assessment is that it’s a really simple thing, and there’s not a lot to say. It’s a legitimate thing, and it’s incredibly important, but there’s not a lot to it.

This actually precedes implementation of change, but it’s part of the overall change management process. This is after the initial creation and discovery of a need for change, and the finalization of the strategy and the actual implementation of new ideas, training and making permanent of the changes.

Why Change Readiness Assessment is Important:

Well, there are many hurdles to change that involve the human element of it all, and that means a lot of effort into overcoming those. A solid two thirds of them are in getting people ready for the changes and training that comes with them.

These are things like overcoming freezing. People are creatures of habit, and they tend to get used to how to do something. Becoming set in their ways, as it were. Overcoming this resistance is very difficult.

There’s also the making sure that various resources and logistical plans are calibrated so that change can get done at the proper rate, and the system doesn’t stall while the changes are applied.

Finally, there is the formulation of an agenda and clear set of goals which everyone must be on the same page about from the beginning.

This is a lot of stuff to measure and to compare. There’s no set process for this, mostly, so you can measure these in any order or from any aspect that you really want.

The Basic Keys:

I’ve more or less summarized them above, but I’ll go over them with more definition below.

Acceptance 

Unfreezing is more than just stopping active resistance to change. It’s also about motivating people to desire the changes. Desiring them, rather than just grudgingly accepting them, will promote a sense of urgency, dedication and actual interest in getting it done.

Understanding 

Everyone will need to understand exactly what problems have been found, the root cause of the problems, and the type of change that will be put into effect in order to remedy that.

Along with this, everyone also needs to know why the change solves the problem, and what benefits everyone will gain from the problem being done away with. This will further reinforce the previous acceptance as well.

Agenda 

A schedule has been laid out for introduction of new ideas, training, dry runs with the changes in place, and finalization. The schedule will not, spontaneously, be disrupted by the introduction of it. Barring disasters and other unforeseen problems, you know when it will be done, and you know what parts of what days will be lost to it, versus real work hours being performed.

Thanks to this, the system will not stall, and plans around changes being initiated and completed can be made right away, rather than uncertainly down the road.

With these things checking out solidly, you’ve got change readiness assessment pretty much figured out. Some would see this be more complicated and convoluted than this, but I don’t really think all of that is necessary. Change is best implemented with a down to earth approach.
 

Christopher Smith
Chris is the Lead Author & Editor of Change Blog. Chris established the Change blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Change Management.
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