Change is a mixed blessing for business. It provides agility and profits for companies yet causes significant challenges for staff. As a result, change is essential yet disliked. Today’s climate creates a gap between necessity and hesitation. Understanding change management principles helps managers present change to staff in a helpful way, allowing them to see transformation as positive and easy to integrate into a new routine.
But what are the best change management tools for a company in 2022? Why does staff struggle with new software solutions and digital adoption? What theoretical frameworks support staff to include new software implementation within their daily routines? We can resolve all the unknowns of change management tools when we look in detail at the change management tools and resources used in 2022.
What Are Change Management Resources?
Change is the biggest challenge faced by staff today. With the ever-changing shape of technology and the resulting call for technology adoption, change is an ever-present part of all business processes. Yet, companies cannot avoid change as it is an essential tool for the sustainability of any business.
But these changes are complicated for staff to process. Many staff even go into a digital adoption,, mourning the loss of their former routine of using outdated tools to complete demanding tasks. This need is what change management tools seek to address.
Effective change management involves a change management toolkit, the key features of which include everything needed to support staff with managing organizational change. Management processes are critical, as the team needs to feel supported and communicate with change managers to make their concerns about key processes known and address them quickly and visibly. In this way, change managers can manage change before staff resistance occurs.
Why Are Change Management Resources Vital For Digital Transformation?
Digital transformation strategies are a massive upheaval for staff. The change process involves systems, processes, and daily routines transforming dramatically during a call for transformational change. However, change management tools can reduce the sense of disruption when change leadership implements them.
Change management tools fill many functions:
Clearly define the need for change
Standardize a support approach. Team leaders give consistent support each time. Consistency provides security during uncertain times.
Teach staff to use new software solutions. Digital Adoption Platforms (DAP) allow staff to complete training easily
Help the team take responsibility by tracking their progress in integrating change. Shared data visualization reports can achieve this.
Contribute to a positive culture of change and a pro-change mindset
Supply managers with metrics of change progress. Measure readiness of staff before, during, and after changes. Internal communication such as surveys for staff feedback. Ensure companies hit change deliverables by the deadline. Monitor resources spent on change
Consistency and metrics are two of the most potent tools in change management. For these reasons, change management tools are essential in creating a consistent approach to tracking progress to ensure all staff meet deadlines and, more importantly, are supported to meet deadlines. Change management tools can also indicate why employees might be struggling to meet change criteria, which managers can use to focus support.
Staff surveys are a great way of using internal communication to gather ideas anonymously and securely. Surveys are not a way of monitoring staff but a measure of whether managers are doing their best to ensure everyone is on the same page, allowing for a smooth transition to a new culture.
Who Can Benefit From Change Management Resources?
Change should never be part of someone’s job; it should be an accepted and heartfelt philosophical approach to all business practices. Staff at every level will implement change when they feel incentivized to do so after seeing the benefits to themselves and their company. Similarly, managers supporting team members to integrate change must also be clear about their incentives.
Creating this incentive and making it personalized and clear to all staff is difficult. Many times, staff feel that change is taking something away from them. Taking away their life’s work, something they have invested much time to create. The senior staff shows the team that change is building on what they have created, augmenting and strengthening it, and attacking problem management with confidence.
Change management tools help senior staff in managing change. Managing change is achieved through reconceptualization by allowing a team to experience the benefits of transformation using the right change management tool.
When change is incentivized by change leaders right from the point of employee onboarding, staff see that it is helpful and easy to implement. Staff then integrate change into their existing beliefs and skills. When staff sees the benefits of change, a company can benefit from change management tools in many ways, such as:-
For these reasons, change management tools are essential for any for-profit corporation wanting to implement a change management strategy. Let’s look at ten examples to help you choose the best change management tools.
The 10 Best Change Management Tools In 2022:
The benefits of change management tools are evident. But the problems that a company is likely to face during a change management process determine which change management tools are the best for the project management staff and change leaders.
Do you need a softer, more psychological change management tool for a longer-term change strategy built on equal relationships with staff? Or is a more rigid, task-oriented approach required, focusing on short-term organizational change to boost employee productivity? Change leaders must answer these questions before choosing the right change management solution.
1. Force Field Analysis
Force field analysis is sadly not related to sci-movies. Change leaders use it to weigh the pros and cons of beginning a change strategy. Change leaders understand this concept as Forces For Change and Forces Resisting Change being on the outside exerting pressure on the Proposed Change in the middle. Force field analysis can be helpful for business leaders unsure if a change strategy is needed.
The Foundation Of The Tool
Kurt Lewin formulated the force field analysis tool in the 1940s and used it in the field of social psychology. In 2022, change leaders use force field analysis as a change management tool to decide whether to make or avoid decisions that could end up causing massive financial waste. The core idea of the tool is equilibrium.
The idea is that situations exist in harmony between those who resist change (Forces Resisting Change) and those who drive change (Forces For Change). Users of the tool break the equilibrium for change to happen, so the Forces For Change are more powerful, and change results. There are five steps to this tool.
How To Perform A Force Field Analysis
Step 1: Describe The Plan or Change Proposal
Set the vision or goals for change and write this in the center of a page.
Step 2: Specify The Forces For Change
Consider all the types of forces driving change. This type may be either internal or external.
Internal driver examples
- Obsolete equipment
- Lowering team morale
- Profitability boost needs
External driver examples
- An unpredictable operating environment
- Constantly changing technology
- Disruptive demographic patterns
For this step to be successful, it’s essential to include as many different roles as possible. A diversity of opinions gives a better and more honest overview of what impacts change in a company.
Questions to ask are: who will have a stake in maintaining the status quo, and who stands to gain from subverting this status quo to make way for a new culture? Crucially, the reasons for being for or against change need to be defined to assess whether change is necessary or possible.
Step 3: Specify Forces Against Change
Next, brainstorm all the forces likely to rebel against change or be hesitant.
Internal reasons for hesitation
- Anxiety about new experiences
- Established company architecture
- Attitudes of “That’s not part of our culture.”
External reasons for hesitation
- Relationships with partner companies
- Laws relating to business
- Duties toward customers
Next, add the forces against change on the right-side of your Force Field Analysis.
Step 4: Assign Scores
You now need to score each force with either a low score if it is weak or a high score if it is powerful. One to five is usually a good measure for this. The user of the force field analysis tool bases the number on the level of influence each exerts on the plan. Next, add up the for and against scores on each side. It is also beneficial to draw arrows around them, using more giant arrows for more significant influences and smaller arrows to depict weaker ones.
Step 5: Analyze and Apply
When the force field analysis is complete, users can utilize it in two different ways. Firstly, users can decide whether to go ahead with a change or decision. Secondly, users can consider which forces to alter to allow optimal change.
Some examples of changes that users could make to improve change processes
- Give training programs to promote positive attitudes towards new technology.
- Make it clear to staff that there would be incentives such as ease of process in using new technologies and more stimulation.
- A wage increase to showcase higher staff productivity
This tool can be handy for large enterprise companies with hundreds or thousands of staff with a complex matrix of different stakes for change to occur or prevent it from happening. In such enterprises, obtaining as many different perspectives as possible is essential to ensure the most accurate depiction of a potential change strategy.
2. Stakeholder Analysis
Stakeholder analysis is about looking at different parties (stakeholders) and what they stand to gain through change. Users do this by categorizing them using key features, like income group, legal requirements, and job role. This action helps define the stakeholders and why a project has value for them.
The Foundation Of The Tool
Companies can use stakeholder analysis in many contexts for any project, such as city planning or government bodies. But today, it is used in a business context to discern what stakeholders are involved in a potential change strategy and how to meet the needs of these stakeholders to ensure e takes place and is maintained.
How To Perform A Stakeholder Analysis
Stakeholder analysis has three steps. At the end of these steps, the project manager has detailed stakeholder profiles. The change leader can then use these within the complex matrix of interests involved in the change planning stage of the innovation process to consider all interests.
Step 1: Define stakeholders
Consider everyone likely to be affected by the project, including those outside the company. This list must be as comprehensive as possible; it forms the basis of the entire exercise. Without the most extensive, most diverse list, stakeholder analysis will be of limited value.
Step 2: Emphasize stakeholders
Levels of interest and indifference held by stakeholders about the project will vary. A power or interest grid can help emphasize stakeholders based on their level of stake in the project and the resulting level of engagement.
Step 3: Stakeholder matrix
Once the tool emphasizes the stakeholders, a stakeholder matrix can categorize them.
The stakeholder analysis tool can be helpful for businesses involved with many different types of organizations with a complex matrix of needs and priorities. This type of analysis often brings up many different values and priorities, so it can be a challenging process to use. Still, if used correctly, it can help make sense of stakeholders within one project.
3. Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, and Reinforcement (ADKAR) Analysis
The ADKAR model is a tool to coach staff members toward believing in and becoming engaged in the change process. This process can be a powerful change management tool in understanding employee motivations for change. ADKAR stands for:-
The Foundation Of The Tool
The ADKAR model gives a list of objectives for team leaders to accomplish. Being able to do this is essential to employee engagement as employees begin to respect team leaders’ attitudes toward change, increasing the likelihood of change strategies.
How To Perform An ADKAR Analysis
There are five steps to achieving an ADKAR analysis. The first of these is creating awareness for employees.
Step 1: Awareness
Show employees how the changes are necessary and why
Step 2: Desire
Create a desire to be supportive of the change to create an environment in which employee engagement increases so much that attitudes toward change become positive organically
Step 3: Knowledge
Ensure adequate support is available for employees. Training, coaching, and checklists provided by the business are some types of support.
Step 4: Ability
Make sure employees can give feedback about their change journey, and project leaders record and action this to provide the best opportunity for learning and development.
Step 5: Reinforcement
Use rewards and cash or holiday incentives to employees and other means such as championing staff who embody shared values. This action ensures that the new status quo is maintained.
Of all the change management tools in this list, the ADKAR model is the one most focused on human experience and supporting staff to naturally naturally engage with new ways of fulfilling their role. For this reason, the ADKAR model can be effective for long-term change strategies within large or small teams.
4. Lewin’s Change Model
Lewin’s change model is a simple and quick way of achieving change using three steps: unfreeze, change, and refreeze. This tool can be a great way of introducing less experienced change leaders to change management tools as it is simple, straightforward, easy-to-follow steps and depends very little on the complications of looking after staff needs.
The Foundation Of The Tool
Kurt Lewin created Lewin’s change model in the 1950s. This model focuses on processes and methods rather than human psychology to achieve change, and enterprises commonly use it to guide change management strategies.
How To Use Lewin’s Change Model
Lewin’s Change Management Model aims to achieve change through three stages:
Preparation stage. Look at how things operate to see the resources needed for the desired results. Communication is essential in this phase, as team members must be aware of what changes need to happen to prepare them for the subsequent steps.
Implementation stage. Project leaders set changes into motion, and communication is again of very high significance as change is a complex process to handle for team members. Support must be available via communication channels at this critical phase. Implement required skills of staff needed for change to take place.
Develop a strategy to ensure change sticks. Analyze the effect of the new changes and measure how close you are to achieving goals set at the unfreeze phase. This phase is part of an ongoing process to achieve success.
Change leaders should use this theory alongside a softer model for longer-term change management strategies, but for short-term wins, this model can be perfect for achieving change quickly. Leaders must bear in mind that without a softer model monitoring employee experience to some level, adverse effects on employee retention and performance may occur due to burnout as part of more emotionally draining change management initiatives using Lewin’s model.
5. Kotter’s 8 Step Change Model
Kotter’s 8 Step Change Management Model is a process designed to help leaders successfully implement organizational change.
The Foundation Of The Tool
John Kotter, a Harvard business school professor, produced Kotter’s theory which focuses on soft themes like team member psychology and support. Kotter’s change model theory is in eight stages.
How To Use Kotter’s 8-Step Model
Step 1. Motivate the team by creating an environment filled with a sense of urgency
Step 2. Build a guiding coalition, including all the right staff to plan, coordinate and carry out change
Step 3. Establish a clear vision and each accompanying change initiative
Step 4. Enlist a workforce of volunteers driven toward the same goal
Step 5. Identify any challenges or obstacles.
Step 6. Break goals into bite-size chunks and communicate successes little and often
Step 7. Maintain momentum, push harder after every successful implementation
Step 8. Ensure changes don’t dissolve over time by maintaining the new culture
Kotter’s change management theory aims for the completion of tasks, so it can be considered a hard model. There are some light elements of working with staff to achieve change, but these are only from the company’s perspective and make no effort to understand staff experience of the change process.
This model is intensive and could lead to high rates of staff burnout. Therefore, Kotter’s change management theory model is best for significant, drastic change within a change management strategy, where massive change needs to be accomplished by a company quickly.
Short-period change management strategies carried over a few months to offset the adverse effects on the business of Covid-19 are an example of this. Kotter’s change management framework is ideal for such situations.
6. Culture Mapping
Culture mapping is the act of visualizing a company’s culture, informed by normalized behaviors and culture. Culture maps are also helpful as project management tools, allowing the discovery of data essential to a change initiative, defining positive enablers, and signposting how to reduce risks.
The Foundations Of The Tool
Erin Mayer, an American business school professor, created the culture map in 2014 as a business tool. Project leaders widely use this tool to visually determine a company’s culture so employees can understand it better. Change leaders also use this tool to change company cultures as one of many change management tools.
How To Use Culture Mapping
Step 1: Define subcultures
Firstly, define groups within different subcultures of the company. The project leader then chooses five or six people to symbolize the sub-cultures. Examples of various subcultures are design, sales, or IT departments.
Step 2: Conduct interviews
Conduct interviews with members of each group to break down the cultural blockers and enablers established deliberately or not by the management team.
Step 3: Database the information
Place the data of behaviors, enablers, and blockers along with current and future outcomes in a cultural map.
This tool can effectively influence one of the most significant elements of organizational change; culture. When cultures are identified and broken down to be analyzed, it is easy to dissect them. How these cultures work can be learned, and slowly and methodically, the tool transforms subcultures by reinforcing shared values. This tool is appropriate for enterprise companies, where hundreds or thousands of individuals contribute to complex subcultures.
7. Strategic Planning
Strategic planning is a much more top-down approach than the previously mentioned tools. Within this tool, change leaders clearly define their vision on paper and then formulate a planned process for achieving this vision.
The Foundations Of The Tool
Strategic planning was created in the mid-1960s by Frederick Taylor and was used to give companies a competitive edge via methodical plans to solve business problems. Project managers use this tool less frequently today as many companies feel it is less relevant than its peak in the sixties. However, it still has a place in learning from existing strategies and experiences to plan an approach to a business situation.
How To Use Strategic Planning
First, a company must clearly define its practiced strategy. Stakeholders utilize the mission statement and long-term deliverables as part of the current strategic plan to analyze the company. Amongst these analyses is a needs assessment or Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) to set out the current company status and the route for the future.
The next step is for strategic planners to set goals and change initiatives aligning closely with the company’s long-term goals. Within the company mission statement, there may be several goals, meaning that planning needs to prioritize the most significant ones. Goals must be aware of resource limitations such as budget and physical tools used and clear a timeline including metrics or Key Performance Indicators (KPI) to record progress.
Developing is the instrumental factor of strategic planning, where stakeholders work together to create the necessary steps to achieve a clear strategic goal. This action can involve many smaller, more short-term goals within a larger strategy.
It is at this point that stakeholders use several different tools like strategy maps for visual reporting of successes and failures and allow easy adjustments. Project leaders make compromises at this stage due to business needs and limitations. Developers often decline to engage in some initiatives if they aren’t relevant to long-term strategic goals.
When the strategic plan is clear and detailed, the change leader sets it in motion. One of the critical features of a successful strategic plan is organizational communication to assign roles, invest in relevant areas, set and change policies, and set out the means for recording and presenting successes. Strategic management tools are often used here, alongside frequent strategic reviews.
Any strategic plan must be analyzed regularly and revised to reflect the changing business environment. Short and long-term reviews are needed to reflect changes and allow adjustments. Stakeholders often use balanced scorecards to review performance about the set goals.
8. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
In addition, CRM not only includes these aspects of customer interaction but ensures they are consistently reviewed, renewed, and improved via analytics and metrics. In this way, CRM maintains interactions and customer relationships as the business’s highest priority.
Customer relationship management tools track and adjust every aspect of a company’s customer, colleague, and supplier interactions. This tool covers the entire cycle, from customer onboarding, dealing with all queries and issues a customer may have with a service, ensuring the service is delivered by team members in a polite, helpful and informative way, and throughout this process, building and maintaining a solid relationship.
The Foundations Of The Tool
CRM as we know it today began in the 1980s with pioneering database marketers Robert and Kate Kestenbaum. Pat Sullivan and Mike Muhney, who created the ‘ACT!’ product, which went through many iterations and changes in name, and is still being used by companies today, also may have contributed to CRM becoming popular.
How To Use Customer Relationship Management
The CRM process is in five steps, and the first of these steps is reach. Project managers use these to ensure the successful process achieves effective, meaningful relationships between business and customer.
The first step is to create brand awareness. Customers must know about your brand to engage and why they need it. The marketing team usually specializes in this area, using a three-pronged attack to ensure as many customers are aware of a product or service as possible.
Learning target audience
- Who they are (age, income)
- How they communicate
Segmenting target audience
- Use audience demographic personas to reflect demographic to attract
Speaking to the target audience
- A/B tests
- Unique campaigns
Lead acquisition is an integral aspect of CRM, as it cements customers’ initial interest by allowing them to engage with the service or product.
Marketing teams can implement chat service management software to allow the public to learn about the brand and product. A sales team could initiate offers and promotions to generate excitement. CRM software has a lot of information and guidance to support these goals.
The next step is turning the interested leads into fully engaged customers. Sales representatives must know all details and benefits of products before interacting with customers.
Outstanding customer service is one of the foremost tenets of business, so a support team with excellent communication skills is required to retain those hard-won customers. Surveys often show that customers want to be seen quickly and have issues fully resolved by the end of an interaction. Making customers consistently happy with a positive culture is essential.
Customers are not always aware of their buying needs, so a way to promote loyalty is by upselling. Although this appears counter-intuitive, when a customer gets a higher-performing, more durable product from a brand they know and love, their loyalty increases as their expectation fits with the reality or is surpassed. Check-in calls and tailored emails can help make customers aware of new products and offers, reinforcing loyalty.
As part of change management tools, CRM is essential in making customers aware of new changes to a business, why they are necessary, and how they will benefit.
9. Personal Development Plans (PDP)
Personal development plans allow staff to take responsibility for their development, ensuring they hit their own and company goals through an ongoing process of staggered, manageable improvement. PDPs are also great for staff to show new employers and maintain a strong relationship with managers, reducing part of their workload in helping the team improve performance.
The Foundations Of The Tool
PDPs take their inspiration from the psychology of Jung and others and models such as Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. The hierarchy of needs places the most basic needs, such as food and shelter, at the bottom, with higher-level needs like artistic expression at the top. This concept evolved into PDPs supporting people to develop to succeed in a business role.
How To Use Personal Development Plans
Staff members use Strengths Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) tools as part of a PDP. SWOTs offer a structure within which staff member places their attributes. Staff then track how they are improving them.
- What are you good at doing?
- What would others describe as your strengths?
- What are you proud of achieving?
- What types of tasks do you struggle to complete?
- What is holding you back from your full potential?
- Are there specific tasks you avoid?
- Are you in a promising position in your current role?
- What can you learn from the mistakes of others?
- Can you join a project to learn new skills?
- What could halt your success?
- Do your weaknesses run the risk of becoming threats?
Once the SWOT is complete, there are four steps to utilize it. Setting goals is the first step, creating an action plan, writing down in detail the strategies and resources you will need to achieve the action plan, and finally, assessing your progress regularly.
Staff uses PDPs as a form of individual development, but PDPs also help staff members to reflect on their role within company culture and society. In these ways, PDPs help staff engage with change as they see how it helps them build on strengths and highlight weaknesses.
Benchmarking helps businesses to remain competitive, ensuring productivity and sales hit targets to stay viable and sustainable. Benchmarking achieves this by comparing statistical data of a company with competitors. Project managers can use this data to implement changes where needed to improve the competitive edge.
The Foundations Of The Tool
Xerox Corporation’s Robert C Camp developed benchmarking and popularized the subject by writing a book on it. Benchmarking is still relevant today as one of many change management tools.
How To Use Benchmarking
Project managers can use benchmarking in four different ways. These ways of using benchmarks rely on the need for available data resources.
1. Performance benchmarking
is all about quantitative data (numbers). This benchmark often marks the initial move to look at performance gaps.
Required: Measures, KPIs, and a way of obtaining, organizing, and analyzing the data.
Outcome: Change leaders can then use this data to make decisions.
2. Practice benchmarking
compares qualitative data (personal experiences) via people, processes, and technology between businesses.
Required: Process mapping is one method of acquiring the needed data
Outcome: Shows how and when inconsistencies in performance occur and how to improve the business in other areas
3. Internal benchmarking
uses metrics and processes within different units, products, and departments within the company
Required: A minimum of two departments within the company that have shared metrics
A way to begin to understand the current status of performance of the business
4. External benchmarking
is similar to internal benchmarking, but project leaders compare data from one company to one or several others instead of comparing departments within one company.
Required: A third party carries out data collection, and one or more organizations must agree to some level of participation. The value of the data collected in this form of benchmarking is high, but it is also costly in terms of time and effort.
Outcome: This gives an objective insight into your company’s current status, opening up opportunities for adjustments and improvements.
Benchmarking can be an essential change management tool as it allows data collection for comparing your company to others. Change leaders use this data to determine whether a change strategy is needed and how to focus resources on the most relevant areas,, and ensure the change strategy meets goals.
Getting The Most Out Of Change Management Software
Many tools are available today to assist project managers and change leaders in managing change. Some tools give a broad performance overview against competitors or peers, focusing on metrics and data collection types, like benchmarking. Some tools are more focused on the human experience of change management, such as the ADKAR model, oriented towards understanding the psychology of staff and using positive reinforcement to promote shared values. Change compass is an effective software suite providing an overview of many different programs in one place.
Other tools such as culture mapping try to create a clear understanding of cultures by zooming in on subcultures within specific departments. On a more individual level, PDPs support staff to become autonomous and take responsibility for their change management journey. But aside from choosing the right change management tool, with several tools combined or individually, the software brings all change management data together.
Many types of training management software sync different types of training across different platforms, simplifying access to training across departments and roles. Change management software can also include a software tutorial and compatibility with Microsoft teams for internal communications. The software available offers several other features as part of change management suites, such as a user onboarding tool and links with an information technology infrastructure library.
Change managers must also have access to incident management software,, and training programs must be given by senior staff before the change process begins. Change managers can then change control processes to benefit the company and avoid serious incidents, increasing operational efficiency.
Change management software is essential for collating all the data on a change strategy. When change management software collates metrics and change leaders use the data to prioritize staff who make customers their number one concern, success is almost guaranteed. These tools, alongside a focus on staff, whether for driving performance via a sense of urgency or ensuring a new culture is nurtured through positive reinforcement, are essential for a positive change strategy.
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