What is the change management process and procedure that’s best for your business?
The answer depends on the nature of the change you’re implementing.
Is it ongoing organizational change?
An IT process change?
Or are you changing the structure of your organization?
Below, we’ll look at what types of business changes exist, how they impact companies, and how to choose the right change management process.
Types of Business Changes
Not all business changes are created equal.
Changes aren’t as unique as snowflakes, however…
You can categorize business changes into “types” or “classes”…
Let’s look at a few of the major types of changes that businesses undergo:
- Organizational Development
- Digital Transformation
- IT Process Changes
Now, it’s worth noting that there are more types of business changes out there.
Different ones can be categorized differently, depending on which overarching model you use.
These changes, though, give a good cross-section you can expect to see in the real world.
From personnel changes to systems changes to process changes – to combinations of these – you should understand your change carefully before exploring a model or a process for change.
Types of Change Management Processes and Procedures
There are a few major types of business change processes and procedures used to manage change.
Before we begin, though, let’s find out what change management is.
Change management refers to the documentation, administration, and direction of business changes, in order to enable change, reduce errors, and minimize business impacts.
Therefore, it makes sense that you would choose a change management model that fits the type of change you’re undergoing.
Let’s look at two of the biggest change management approaches out there:
1. People-Focused Change
People-focused change is centered around organizational changes. These changes impact the organization itself.
These types of changes are worker-driven, so the focus is entirely on the human element.
In other words, employees can either push the change … or hold it back.
People-focused changes focus on a few core issues:
- Motivating employees
- Effective training and education
- Reducing employee resistance
- Overcoming cultural barriers to change
- Understanding group psychology and the psychology around change
Change management, organizational development, and human resources are often involved in this area.
2. Process-Focused Change
On the other hand, there are systems that focus on processes and procedures.
The focus isn’t on the human side of change, but on implementation.
Through documentation, established protocols, and systematic procedures, it becomes easier to create changes that do a few things:
- Reduce confusion or chaos
- Create efficient procedures that reduce waste
- Ensure that all requests, change orders, and changes are documented
- Implements traceability and “track-ability,” so issues can be traced to their source … and so changes can be followed throughout their life cycle
- Make it easy to request changes, create change orders, and implement new processes
This type of procedural emphasis can be found in change processes such as the ITIL change management process.
The ITIL change management process is a set of guidelines – or best practices – with an emphasis on procedure. It helps IT departments approach change systematically, track changes throughout their implementation cycle, reduce errors, and increase efficiency.
Changes that fall under process-focused change often include product-related changes, IT systems changes, or other process-oriented changes.
Choosing the Right Process
By now, you may see the difference between these two major approaches to change management.
One type focuses on changes made within – or to – an organization itself.
The other focuses on processes, procedures, or products.
They are both helpful to any business that wants to make changes.
And, it’s often easy to identify which type of change management process to implement.
For instance, if you were examining potential changes, which type of change procedure would you use for the following?
- A new company is acquired by your organization, requiring adoption of a new work culture, new workflows, new software, and new business practices
- A company receives a request from a customer, who wants a new product feature
- An internal IT system needs updating
- A company is undergoing digital transformation, and needs to adopt new software systems and train employees on new software tools
In some cases, such as this last example, there is a bit of overlap.
On the one hand, IT processes will need to change.
And on the other, employees will need to change.
Dealing with both changes, then, could require implementing two change procedures – one for the IT department and one from the organizational development team.
Conclusion: What Is the Change Management Process and Procedure that You Should Use?
Hopefully this article has shed some light on what change management processes are available, and what procedures are appropriate for which circumstances.
However, choosing your process is only the first step.
Once you have decided on the type of process, you must choose the change model.
There are change models geared towards people, and change guidelines for processes, as mentioned.
Examine those carefully, and then you can begin implementing change in your organization.
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.