A change management process template can help you clarify your goals, stay focused, and get better results from your change program.
In this article, we’ll cover 10 simple steps you can follow to do just that.
In the following change management roadmap, you’ll learn how to:
- Create a vision for change
- Determine measurable objectives
- Mitigate resistance and other barriers to change
- And ensure that your changes stick
Let’s get started.
Creating Your 10-Step Change Management Process Template
Following this 10-step change management process template is easy.
Simply create a document – such as a Word document, a spreadsheet, or a project management template – then create labels for each of the steps below.
Each step in this article will tell you what to include under each section of your template.
Once you have your document ready, start taking notes…
The first step in your template is your vision for change.
The vision should be the “after state” of your organization, department, business process, or whatever it is you are changing.
It does not have to include quantitative goals – those come below.
Instead, your vision should be a paragraph that concisely paints a picture of your upcoming success.
When the vision is outlined, you can describe specific goals.
Your goals should include at least these elements:
- Specificity – A goal should be very specific, with numbers and quantities
- Deadlines – If your goal doesn’t have a timeline, there’s a good chance it will never be achieved
- Relevance – Make sure the goals are tied to your vision for change
Once you have defined your change program’s objectives, you need to be able to track progress.
Metrics and data will help you track your progress. They can also be used to demonstrate the value of your change program to business leaders.
Examples of change management metrics can include:
- Employee productivity and engagement rates
- Usage rates of a tool, software program, or new business process
- Customer complaint rates
These metrics can be collected through employee surveys, website analytics, digital adoption platforms, and app usage analytics.
The key, of course, is to make sure these metrics are directly related to the goals mentioned above.
4. Communication Strategy
A communication strategy is crucial for change initiatives.
This strategy should include a story for change, structured messages, and your communication medium.
It should be designed to support the goals mentioned above. Also, include metrics that will help you measure the success of your strategy.
5. Generate Awareness
Up till now, you have been designing your change initiative.
Now it’s time to get started.
The first step is generating awareness and interest in change.
In this section of your template, write down which part of your communications strategy will generate awareness.
Change management professional John Kotter recommends creating a sense of urgency.
However, when you do, make sure you stay positive.
Generate awareness of the need for change, but make sure you sell employees on the benefits of change.
6. Recruit Change Advocates
Once your communications strategy is underway, you can measure responses from employees.
In this section of your document, spreadsheet, or project template, you should target change advocates.
These advocates – or champions – are employees who will actively support your change program.
Ideally, you should find advocates in each business area you hope to affect.
As your program progresses, they will help drive your program forward and overcome obstacles.
7. Identify and Mitigate Risks
While you can plan for potential risks early on, it’s also true that no battle plan survives first contact with the enemy.
In this section of your roadmap, specifically identify risks, obstacles, and challenges that you are facing.
These can include:
- Employee resistance
- Technology constraints
Among other things.
Alongside each challenge, write down a solution.
8. Institute Change in Stages
While instituting your change, track progress as you go.
Project management tools are excellent ways to keep track of change program progress.
They can help you keep track of deadlines, milestones, and team communications.
For each stage, record your goal, the metrics used to measure that goal, who is involved, and other relevant descriptions.
9. Evaluate and Adjust
As you go, continuously:
- Measure progress against your KPIs (created in step 3)
- Keep tabs on new obstacles that crop up (step 7)
- Use feedback and data to update your communication strategy as necessary
- Update goals and other aspects of your template if needed
The template you create is an outline.
But it should be a dynamic document that changes with time.
If it stays static, then it is not responsive – and it is a sign that your change program is inflexible.
The final stage of a change program is reinforcement.
This is where many businesses fail.
Because they don’t reinforce a change, many employees can easily slip back into old habits.
In worst case scenarios, this can cause a business to completely revert to its old way of operating.
Avoid this potential problem by reinforcing change after the fact:
- Hold meetings and discussions with employees
- Request feedback
- Continue to measure progress, adoption rates, and employee productivity
The post-change reinforcement period should last as long as necessary to confirm that the program is truly complete.
A change management process template such as this can help your work flow more smoothly.
The 10 steps mentioned above follow the same underlying procedure covered by other popular change models.
However, the list is not 100% comprehensive.
You should definitely adapt it to your own needs, making adjustments to suit your own business case.
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.