Management of change procedure can be defined as the whole process that involves a series of steps including the planning, coordination, implementation and evaluation or control of the changes that were implemented.
What’s the Purpose of Change Management?
The purpose of change management is to minimize any inconvenience that may arise in all parts of the organization including its employees and its customers. It is also aimed at making the change more efficient and effective as well as making sure that the changes being made are consistent with the company’s values and strategies.
Guide to Management of Change Procedure
Phases of the Change Management Process
- Phase 1 – Preparation and Coordination
The Management of change procedure has three stages. The first stage is the preparation for change stage. In this phase, management has to define the goal of the change they want to implement as well as the strategy and the tactics, or the steps to make it happen, as a whole that will help the company achieve it in the swiftest possible manner. A change management process isn’t a one-action unidirectional plan, rather, it is a complete plan that has to take into account the company as a whole, including its general strategy and values as well as most or all the company’s departments that will be either involved and/or affected by the change.
An important part of the preparation is to evaluate the current situation of the company, including the management team, possible obstacles and strengths, the impact of the change itself in the company and other stakeholders. In short, this assessment will help the team conclude how prepared the company is for implementing this change and how will the company be affected by it before taking any action.
A common problem regarding change in an organization is the lack of proper communication between members in the organization. Management has to make a communication plan to ensure that messages are being understood correctly by all parties as they are meant to be in order to avoid pitfalls that could undermine the change effectiveness. This communication plan should have as one of its main purpose persuading employees that it is the right thing to do so they can cooperate in the desired manner. One important factor in the success of the management of change procedure relies on sponsorship from key people and the company’s executives throughout the whole process.
This sponsorship almost always takes the form of activities and events to demonstrate that the top management of the company actively supports it. This way, from a psychological stand point, it is going to be easier for the employees to adopt the change as well. It is also necessary to coach and train direct employee supervisors so they too can embrace the change since they are the most influential members of the organization from the employees perspectives. Resistance to change is always expected. For this reason, management has to come up with ways on how to deliver the message in a manner than can be willingly accepted by employees such as the sponsorship, coaching, and training methods discussed above.
- Phase 2- Change Management Implementation
Before the actual implementation of the change, management should have ready the following plans: action, resistance to change, communication, business system, and training plan, which are the plans that will be implemented through the process. In the action plan, each activity of the plan or step should have a deadline and the person or department responsible for it. This provides accountability to each section of the process. In the resistance to change plan, management has to first assess areas in which the process can cause resistance. The direct supervisor is the best person that can give detailed information on how, where, and when could this happen. Coaching should be provided so this resistance is dissipated and the supervisor feels backed up by top management.
Training for new procedures should be given to the employees. A specific time and budget should be destined for this purpose which should be carefully monitored afterwards. The business system plan is done to see what technology (software, hardware, etc.) is needed for the plan, and getting it ready at or before the time it is needed. Finally, when implementing the communication plan, the message should be delivered exactly to the target audience and not to people who won’t benefit from it. Also, management has to perform the communication in the exact dates and through the channels that it was planned beforehand.
- Phase 3- Reinforcement and Change Monitoring
The more the guidelines are followed and the plans were implemented to the foot of the letter, the more successful the plan will be and the less need to reinforce the plan will be needed. In fact, if employees easily get to the new habit that the change demanded, it can be pretty much self-sustainable. Nevertheless, any change requires periodic and religious monitoring to ensure that things are going as intended.
In case employees are still uncomfortable with the plan and have resistance towards it, corrective measures should be taken. Sometimes this happens because of cultural barriers or simply because of normal view against the change as a whole on behalf of the employees. In this case, the company should do audit reports to check the compliance to it and see how necessary farther action is required. Corrective plans include going through each stage of the plan and looking where did the pitfall happen and take actions to correct that step.
Awards and recognitions along with success celebration is one of the most powerful way to engage participants into change its view towards the change and reinforce the attitude of the current supporters even more.
Finally, feedback must be received from both employees and management to see how could have things gone better or what lessons were learnt which will ensure that future change implementation will have greater changes of success.
Change management is a complete plan that requires the active involvement of the top management and the planning of strategies and actions that will be implemented. Each stage of the management of change procedure has to be carefully assessed, studied, and implemented in order to be applied successfully with few disturbances and meant to bring the expected results.
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.