Defining Change Management

Before defining change management, what is change management? This is a question which will first arise in your mind. Change management is a very wide field, and proceed towards managing change vary widely, from one organization to the other organization and from one project to the other project. Change management is defined as the process of minimizing resistance to organizational change through continuous involvement of stakeholders. Many organizations and consultants will stick on to readymade change management methodologies which had been told by many people. These will help you to provide checklists, toolkits and outline plans of what needs to be done while implementing change management.

Strategies for designing Change management:
Ask for input: Everyone’s participation is generally considered as a key success factor during organizational change management. Inputs have to be collected across various stake holders through a variety of processes including listening sessions, multi-stakeholder dialogue, and the planning teams.

Use informal networks and knowledge of key stakeholders: Involvement of key stakeholders in the change management process is very much important because they have rights to access important information from your networks which will be useful in determining how good the process is working and what are all the challenges and difficulties exist. Stakeholders can also influence the change management process process by spreading information widely through your network and will act as opinion leaders.

Disseminate information: It is difficult to inform about the change management process to all stakeholders. When spreading the information widely, it is important to use multiple ways for communicating the message and also keep on repeating the message consistently throughout the change management initiative. A variety of media should be used such as team email, meetings, public presentations, posters, newsletters, and Websites.

Manage the style and content of communication: Change management messages needed to be reliable, clear, simple and motivational. To encourage and support the desired behavioural changes formal and informal organizational rewards should be structured.

Create and communicate vision: Visions should be clearly defined; it should not be ambiguous in nature. It should be personally relevant and simple.

Change Management Activities:
Once you have decided to go on to implement change management you have to consider what all the things to be changed. It is up to you to decide how you are going to implement it but we have some factors to be considered which are as follows:

  • Ensure whether there is detailed explanation of the reasons for change which helps us to communicate with the sponsors.
  • Identify change agents and other people who can be involved in specific change management activities, such as change management design people, testing, and problem solving.
  • Assess all the stakeholders and define their contribution in involvement, sponsorship, and communication that will be required from them.
  • Plan the involvement and required project activities of the change management.
  • Plan how and when these changes to be communicated and when these messages to be delivered.
  • Assess the impact of the changes on people who are all involved and the organization's structure before itself.
  • Plan activities, How to address the impacts of the change?
  • People involved and affected by the change management had to ensured that they understood the change process.
  • People involved and affected by the change management needed some help during uncertainty, ensure whether it is provided.
  • Continuously evaluate the training needs and decide when and how this should be implemented.
  • Identify and monitor the success indicators for change management, and ensure they are continuously measured and reported.

Remember, these are some few important change management activities. Others may be required depends up on your specific situation. All the above mentioned factors may not be required for you, so plan accordingly, and coordinate with the people involved.

Key elements of Change Management: There are few key elements to be considered for developing change management initiatives and implement them. These can serve many functions during change management initiatives.

Information sharing: It is important to announce about the nature, timing, and significant organizational changes to the respective stakeholders with necessary information.

Participation: Change agents should develop communication processes that actively integrate lower-level management people in the planning and implementation of change management initiatives or may build communication processes which satisfy the role of upper-level management people and limit lower-level management people.

Vision and Motivation: It is necessary to convey the vision, mission, set the goals, and highlight the important factors for changing from existing organizational practices, attitudes, and beliefs.

Social Support: Change management efforts will produce high levels of anxiety so there should be communication needed to explore employee responses to change management. You should reduce potential fears, and encourage in building social support systems among employees.

Evaluation/Feedback: Change management requires a proper communication structure for communication processes that should provide employees feedback about their current performance during change management initiatives and should provide feedback about the implementers regarding his strengths and weaknesses in these change management initiatives.

Reasons for Failure of change management:

  • The organization may not be clear about the reasons for the change management and the overall objectives.
  • If you fail to move quickly from planning to implementation, it leads chaos and gives resistance.
  • Top management are not prepared for the change management which is more required to manage a changed business.
  • Now we are going to change and then we will get back to normal, mentality causes failure.
  • If any organisation decided to implement many methods like Six Sigma or balanced scorecard at the same time it will fail due to lack of control.