One of the most controversial and difficult to implement management theories in modern corporate world today is change management. However, if done correctly, transition from theory to well implemented fact is not really difficult.
An important thing to understand about change management is that it is one of the few processes that will always have an unsatisfying outcome for several stakeholders of the organization. Any change in the set organizational culture is never easy. There is always a group of people who are hurt by the new set of rules. This is why there is no satisfying outcome of any corporate chance implementation process.
One thing that could minimize the impact of change management is to give the implementation process careful thought. Many organizations make the mistake of jumping headfirst into the process and then find out that several small mistakes in the change implementation process have snowballed into big blunders.
The most important characteristic of any change management process is its scope. Managers who understand this point base all their decisions on this one point. A change could be as small as introducing a new software or could be as huge as a corporate merger. The scope of the decision defines the implementation process and underlines all activities that the implementation process includes. Any implementation plan that ignores the scope of the change is bound to include errors that would cause the failure of the entire project.
People see change as a negative impact on their professional lives because of the simple fact that a majority of the change management projects do not include the sensitivity and subtly required. The result is a sudden and forceful introduction of new rules that trample on many toes.
What is Change Management Process?
Change management process is a loosely defined theoretical process that is used to tale care of all aspects of change introduction and implementation.
Change management requires expertise in corporate strategy implementation because in a way, change is also a corporate strategy. In fact, many experts use corporate change as one of the most important example of corporate strategies. This is why one of the reasons of the failure of change management is the lack of corporate strategy implementation experts in an organization.
The management of any organization is well versed in policy formulation. This skill set results in an excellent change management document that outlines both what the change would be and how it would be implemented. Things start to go wrong when this plan is implemented in reality. Lacking the skill to translate the plans into an effective change, many organizations suffer from the consequences of improperly implemented change.
Three steps in Change Management
Any change management process must have at the minimum three steps. The process should have additional steps to ease the impact of the process. However, these three are the most essential steps in the process and no implementation team could risk the risk of ignoring them.
Explain the need and background of the change
The very first thing that any change management process should do is to explain its rationale. It is important to inform all internal and external stakeholders about the need for the change and the process of its implementation.
For this to happen, clear and well established communication channels are a pre-requisite. If this step is overlooked, the exercise will fail in its initial moments.
Go in phases
Many implementation teams make the mistake of going all the way at once. The implementation project becomes a race to the end result. While the team is in a hurry, nobody bothers to check the outcome of the process.
The best implementation plans are divided into stages that implement one aspect at a time. The result is careful monitoring of the situation for better performance in later stages.
Change management could be changed as well
Like every other plan of action, change management could be adjusted according to the feedback of the last stage. The common misconception that a change management plan cannot be altered is the greatest pitfall of the process.
Change management is a perilous task and requires careful administration and monitoring in order to accomplish the goals of the project.