Companies have policies and set ways of doing things, it's the natural order of the universe. In order for any new plan, strategy or even a technological approach to be brought into reality, companies need to create a process, that will make execution of the plan possible, easy and successful.
Why does an organization need this? Because people are naturally prone to resisting any changes and clinging to their comfort zones. The larger the organization, the more difficult it may be to make a big alteration. Thankfully, with a little work of a skilled and friendly change manager, it can be done and done well.
There are three distinct aspects of change management, as it can be split into three phases:
– Adapting to change: identifying change requirements, preparing a strategy and possibly thinking of a sponsorship model. A change sponsor would be the person responsible for bringing in the changes, by setting up change events, activities and a roadmap.
– Managing / controlling the change - once the detailed plans of implementing the change are in place, the obvious task is to take action and turn the plans to reality with appropriate control of the outcome.
– Once the changes are in, what remains to be done is reinforcing them by collecting and analysing the feedback data, recognizing any gaps and taking care of any resistance and implementing corrective procedures. It's also worth to celebrate success ;)
Some of the most important points of making changes happen and of ensuring a lasting commitment to them include:
– Putting an emphasis on the people involved, considering their individual situation and making a point of keeping the morale intact. This is best achieved by sustaining an effective, clear and honest communication at all stages of making the change happen.
– There is no need for the change sponsor to be going this alone. A crucial part of change management lies in appointing leaders and owners on all organizational levels, to facilitate the desired steps. Giving project ownership to people provides a much needed sense of responsibility and motivates the key players to realize their assigned goals.
– Once the sponsors and owners are set, it's worth remembering, that there is already some kind of corporate culture in place within the organization. It should be respected, as going over and beyond this will create an unnecessary havoc.
– As with most serious actions, it's advised for the change managers to be prepared for the unexpected. Foreseeing any issues can ensure a more effective change implementation and reduce the risks.
– It would be necessary for the implemented change to be fully supported and backed by senior management. Since the team, possibly distressed by the change will turn to them exactly, it is a given that the management has got to be in agreement with the coming change for as long as it's being introduced.
All in all, for as long as the change managers keep the team happy and save them as much stress as they can, any amount of change can be implemented with success. Just keep the people happy, after all it is them who make up the entire company.