Enterprise change management is your organization’s ability to change.
But why does that matter?
In part, it matters because every organization needs to change.
Organizations that can’t change can’t keep up with today’s fast-paced marketplace.
Building the capacity for change – enterprise change management – is crucial for companies that want to survive the digital era.
In this article, we’ll define enterprise change management, learn why it matters, and show you how to get started.
Enterprise Change Management: The Essentials
Enterprise change management, as mentioned, is an organization’s capacity to change.
That is, it represents an organizations formal ability to create and manage change programs.
Types of organizational change can include:
- Cultural changes
- Structural changes
- Digital adoption
- Mergers and acquisitions
- Changes to products and services
Among many others.
Regardless of the type of change, however, an organization needs a formal capacity for change.
That is where enterprise change management comes in.
It allows an organization to approach changes – such as those just mentioned – in a formal, structured way.
Like any business function, enterprise change management can be measured on a scale.
Digital maturity, for instance, measures the digital capabilities of an organization.
Change maturity defines the maturity level of the change capacity.
Enterprise Change Maturity
Enterprise change maturity models vary depending on who you ask.
But they measure the same thing – enterprise change capability.
At the bottom end of the scale there is no formal ability for change. At the top end, organizations possess advanced, sophisticated change capacities.
In between there are different degrees.
A change maturity model with 4 steps could look like this:
- None – This would represent an organization with no formal capacity for change, relying instead on mandates and top-down orders
- Basic – An organization with basic change capability would use existing personnel to manage change, while applying change management principles in a few areas
- Intermediate – As maturity advances, companies begin to apply change management best practices more consistently, and they approach change more systematically
- Advanced – Finally, this level includes organizations that have dedicated change personnel, make full use of technology to optimize programs, and make use of change frameworks and change management theory
This model is just one example.
Prosci has a 5-stage change maturity model, which follows very similar principles.
Others, such as the one created by the Change Management Institute or Changefirst also follow a similar structure.
Understanding an organization’s maturity level is essential to further developing change capacity.
Only then can a company start improving its change initiatives, taking on more projects, and increasing the ROI of its change programs.
Where to Go From Here
Developing a formalized capacity for change is, as mentioned, essential to successfully execute sophisticated, structured change programs.
Here are steps you can take to improve change capacity in your organization.
1. Understand Enterprise Change Management
The very first step is understanding what enterprise change management means.
Reading this article is a good step in that direction.
There are other useful resources online, such as blog articles, websites, and enterprise change assessment tools.
Such tools can be used in the next step…
2. Know Your Maturity Level
Once you understand enterprise change management, it’s time to assess your organization’s maturity level.
Online tools can be helpful.
However, you may consider hiring consultants or in-house change managers to assist.
Diagnosing a maturity level – and the steps that follow – should be handled by experienced professionals.
3. Set Achievable, Relevant Goals
Not every organization is equipped to develop advanced change capacity.
Smaller businesses may not even need advanced enterprise change management.
Define goals that are realistic, relevant, and achievable.
For instance, you should start by aiming for the next step on a change maturity scale.
And you should define a timeline that is reasonable.
4. Define an Action Plan
Next, you will need to define a set of actions – an enterprise change roadmap – to get you to the next level.
These can include things such as:
- Hiring an in-house change professional
- Deploying a change management software platform
- Developing change management protocols and procedures for the organization as a whole
- Defining a formal change management review process
For each stage of maturity, the needs increase.
Goals and action plans, therefore, should evolve correspondingly
Evolving towards enterprise change management is itself an organizational change.
It should therefore be approached as such.
It should have:
- A set agenda
- Measurable goals
- A roadmap
- Strategies for overcoming obstacles
The further development of change capacity is no easy task.
As with any change program, it will require time and resources. And there will be obstacles.
However, the reward will be worth it – improved ability to change, which will enhance an organization’s competitiveness.
Enterprise change management should be a top concern for modern organizations … especially for organizations that are growing and scaling.
Today’s economy is in a state of flux. It is constantly changing.
It is a marketplace defined by innovation and speed, those that adapt the fastest will stay ahead of the pack.
To keep up – and get out in front – organizations should put serious effort into developing enterprise change capacity.
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.