Are you familiar with managing the change process? Change is inevitable and particularly in an organizational setting, change is necessary. In order for a business to stay successful in a competitive environment, it must change, adapt.
Insider Tips to Managing the Change Process
1. Preparing for change
There is no way you can manage the change process without preparing for it. You need to set rules and guidelines in place and you also need to put the right people to implement the changes within your organization. That way, the actual process will go much smoother.
- You need to identify the changes that you need to make. Where are you at now? Where do you need to be? What kind of change do you need to make?
- After you identify the changes, you need to assess your readiness and the situation as a whole. What are the scenarios and risks that you are likely to encounter? Who are the people you need to implement the changes within your organization? Do you have all the relevant change stakeholders in place? Are they familiar with the roles that they need to play? Are there any other opportunities that you may be missing out to make better changes?
- After you identify what needs to be done, you need to come up with a change strategy. How are you going to implement each change process? Who is going to be responsible for each aspect of change? How much time will be required to implement the changes in the organization? How should each party tackle the opportunities, risks, and scenario that come up?
- You need to create a sense of urgency regarding the changes that you need to implement. Also, take time to assemble the right team of people, who have the right skill sets to get the job done. Let them participate in revising your initial change strategies.
- Create roadmaps for everyone who is going to help to implement or deal with the changes in the organizations. Give them milestones to work towards. Take time to communicate with them about what is expected of each of them individually and as a team. You want everyone to aspire to make changes. Otherwise, you are going to have plenty of problems.
- Establish the lines of communication very early on in the change process. Who should people consult and when? Which channels of communication should they use and why?
- Take time to identify the possible obstacles that exist to change. These may affect how people work, communicate and whether you will even achieve the change process. Managing the change process can be hellish, if everyone will be dealing with multiple obstacles at any given time.
- Train your staff on the changes that they will be facing. This will ensure that they know what to do if something new comes up. Involve the rest of the stakeholders within your organization too. The important thing is to ensure that everyone knows what is going to be happening during the change process.
2. Implementing the change
Implementing the changes in an organization will depend on how much effort you put in during the preparation stage. If you did your homework well, the implementation of the changes will be smoother than if you were unprepared.
Implementation of the changes should be based on the strategies that you set in place during the first stage. They should also be gradual to prevent shocking the system excessively. It is imperative that everyone stays on track to ensure that changes are implemented across all areas of the organization. That way, there will be no section falling behind, something that can stall the change management process entirely.
Ensure that those lines of communication that you set within the organization stay open. That way, every stakeholder will be able to stay updated on what is happening to tackle any eventualities that occur. Training can be ongoing during this time to ensure that everyone is familiar with his or her new roles and responsibilities.
3. Reinforcing Change
If you do not take steps to reinforce changes with the organization, it is likely that many people will go back to the old way of doing things.
- You need to collect and analyze feedback on the changes that have taken place within the organization. This is important to ensure that you get a feel for how each affected party is dealing with the changes. You will be able to determine whether some of the changes you made were good or bad when you do this.
- Based on the feedback and analysis that you have access to, you can identify the gaps within the changes that were implemented. Feedback also enables you to deal with any resistance that you experience within the organization. Stakeholders are likely to stay more open minded and give the new changes a chance, if they feel that someone cares about their feedback.
- You can apply corrective measures based on the gaps you have identified as well as the reactions of the relevant stakeholders. These measures can be done a while after the changes have been made and experienced by all the other parties. Waiting to see whether people like the changes made is far better than fixing issues as soon as people complain about them.
Managing changes within the organization is no small task. If you do not plan, you will not know how to deal with the complications that you encounter. In addition, if you do not take time to involve all of your employees, the changes you are hoping to make are likely to fail. Your best chance of making things work is to get everyone on board; get people fired up so that they can be part of the change process. When people feel that the changes being made are a win-win situation for everyone concerned, then you are likely to experience success on all fronts. That is why you should learn about managing the change process from start to finish.
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.