What are the Key Steps of Change Management?

Prashant Rajput

Innovations are a trend now and evolution is no more a rare word but something that is always just around the corner. While organizations often resort to methods such as project management, productivity tools or resource optimization to meet their goals, these methods can not contribute directly and considerably to the organization’s growth and evolution.

Businesses often have to undergo remarkable changes in different areas, to grow, upgrade, expand or sometimes even to survive. No matter the domain or size of an organization, changes are bound to happen. This change can either be in the organization’s structure, budget, workforce, business processes, mergers, technological stack or resources.

What is Change Management

Because there is no definite area where a change can happen, there is no definite explanation for change management. The closest one is that Change management (CM) is a process that involves the prepartion and support for an individual or an organization in terms of implementing a change of any kind including business solutions, architectural change or behavioral change. Classification of change management is Organizational change management (OCM) that considers a change at the organizational level whereas the term change management can be used to represent how an individual or a team is affected by OCM.

However, accepting that you or your organization needs change management is not the complete solution. You still have to make sure that the change management process you carry out is highly efficient and productive. You may turn to any popular models like John Kotter’s 8-Step Process, The Plan-Do-Check-Act Cycle, Lewin’s Change Management Model or the ADKAR Model.

You can research and find the most suitable model as per your need but a change management model is only going to work if you adhere to certain rules. After all, if you want to travel you buy a vehicle, but you have to make sure that the vehicle works properly by following some steps. So here are a few steps to keep in mind if you want your change management to give the best possible outcome.

7 steps you should follow to excel at Change Management

  1. Definitive goals

It doesn’t seem important as one might think that they want a change only because they have a goal in mind. But when you are in the process, more than often, new information comes to light. Other potential improvements may act as distractions and people often start considering better options which leads to unsuccessful or inefficient results. This is why it is imperative that you set a clear goal and stick to it. It further ensures continuous motivation, faith, leadership, and a smooth process.

  • Identification

Identifying all aspects of a change is crucial. This does not restrict to only identifying the goals and possible outcomes but also includes the identification of the resources needed for the change, development of skills, the structure of leadership for the process, budget requirements for the change and the time needed.

  • Communication

Communication is the only way to make sure that everyone is on board with the plan. After all, an organization is made up of its employees and leaders. They should all be in sync to carry out a successful change.

Communication also brings transparency and trust to the table. Better communication leads to more transparency as to why the change is being considered, what methods are to be followed and what improvements are expected. It increases the trust among the teammates and hence improves productivity. By allowing the teammates to participate in the discussions, it will also bring diversity in ideas and improvements.

  • Milestones

Change is a hefty process. It involves the management of budgets, a lot of resources, and time. It is not possible to complete a change in one go without experiencing setbacks. Hence, it is better to segregate the process and make sure that achievable milestones are developed. Breaking down the process will also ensure that each sub-part is completed efficiently which will result in overall profitability.

  • Risk management

Risks, when undergoing a change no matter big or small, are inevitable. The successful identification and management of risks in your way will make sure that you get to the other side or else you will be stuck facing setback after setback.

Risks involved in a change management process generally include the resistance of the organization’s leadership to change, budget allocation, risk to the other ongoing processes, dependencies, and return on investment.

  • Monitoring

Even if you assign proper leadership to the process, you should monitor each milestone or appoint someone to do so. By doing so, you can also keep the stakeholders in the loop to maintain their trust. Monitoring the milestones will ensure that things are on track and will have a fringe benefit of the formation of reports. These reports will reflect on the overall process followed and its impact on the company’s success which will further help in decisions regarding future change management.

  • Effective training

Change requires the use of numerous skills, techniques, and tools to make sure that the process is carried out properly. These skills and tools are not what employees generally have in their stack.

Effective training of the involved employees with these skills and tools will play a crucial role in how easily a change is carried in your organization. Even for an individual, training in these skills and tools will help in a convenient approach to a rather cumbersome process.

By adhering to these 7 points with the addition of a change management model, you can experience the successful transformation of your business. Change is an inescapable process for today’s constantly evolving world. Globalization and the advancement of the technology sector have resulted in a constant need of evolution for all businesses.

Undergoing a change is not a matter of if or why but a matter of when. It is better to prepare yourself and your organization by building up the technical expertise and spreading awareness among the employees that eventually they need to play a vital role in the transformation of the organization. This will further ensure lesser resistance and a smooth road towards the future.

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