Change management can seem like a vague and confusing concept at first, given the basic definition “the management of changes to a business process”. So, to get a better understanding of what goes into this, we’re going to break down the change management process into 3 easy steps.
We’ll examine what’s involved in each step and I’ll add a few little caveats for avoiding common mistakes. These change management process steps cover the basic concepts. I encourage you to use this article as a guide to do more in depth research into each step.
Phase 1 – Preparing for Change
We’ll skip the part about identifying the symptoms that call for change. Let’s assume change is necessary.
Your first step is preparation. You need to take your time and think carefully. Don’t be hasty; the first solution you come up with or the first ‘eureka idea’ that gets drawn up on a napkin, may not be the best solution. Collect all your ideas, sit down and think them through.
The next part of change management requires defining your strategy for change. In your strategy, plan the workflow. Where will work be redirected once the change is implemented? Who will be assigned to perform tasks?
Be careful that the redirected work doesn’t overstress those who are taking on extra temporary responsibilities! It’s also important that the change will not cause your company to slow down, especially when rendering the product or service. Daily business functions should continue.
After the plan has been drawn up, you need to inform and prepare your team – as well as all the other departments that will be effected by the change.
Phase 2 – Managing Change
Once you’re sure you’ve created a viable strategy, you need to put the plan into action. Scheduling events is extremely important. You must be able to implement your plan at a steady, reliable pace – within a given time frame.
Everyone must be made aware of their tasks and given the necessary resources required to complete them. This includes training and learning tools as well.
Phase 3 – Analyzing Change
In this phase, you analyze the results of your change. Was the change effective? Do you see increased productivity, increased ROI or improved stats in any area? Did the change hurt the company? It’s a good idea to get feedback from everyone affected by the changes, and combine this feedback for analysis.
Next, take your results and remedy the problem. If the changes did not do what they were intended to do figure out why this is so and come up with a solution. If staff members are unhappy with the changes or their effects, then you can take actions to please them. It’s important that you show you care about their well-being.
These are the change management process steps in a nutshell. I have outlined the three main concepts involved in the process: Preparing, managing and analyzing change. If you follow these steps you will be on your way to implementing a successful change management strategy.
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.