Effectively managing organisational change involves following a sequence of well-defined steps. The process involves assessing the changes in the broader business environment, preparing and planning for the necessary adjustment, implementing the changes and their sustainability within the business.
Key steps in change management process
Managing change involves a number of fundamental activities:
- Step 1: Identify potential change - take time to understand the problem and what is required to remedy it
- Step 2: Analyse change - determine its feasibility, how long it would take to achieve and at what cost
- Step 3: Evaluate change - weigh up the benefits and costs and decide if the change is worth it
- Step 4: Plan change - analyse the impact of change, communicate the benefits and develop an implementation plan
- Step 5: Implement change - establish a schedule, train staff, assign tasks and deploy and communicate changes
- Step 6: Sustain change - validate, measure progress, close the process and set up a follow-up review to evaluate success and failures
See also what is change management.
Implementing change management process in business
Implementation is in the heart of the change management process and often includes:
- communicating the benefits of the change to your employees
- training staff on the appropriate changes
- removing resistance or obstacles to change
- securing organisation-wide buy-in for the change
- coordinating transformative activities to move the business into a new way of working
As every change is different, you may find that you need to organise tasks and responsibilities in the process differently. You may also need to carry out other activities specific to your situation or apply different change management models to manage the process successfully.
Managing change in projects
Change management process is complementary to project management. There are several established change control systems to help you manage changes within a project, focusing on:
- scope - eg where a project customer asks for changes or additions to the project scope
- cost - eg where the price for the items in the scope may increase or decrease
- schedule - eg when timescales are affected or project milestones delayed
- contract - eg when the relationship between the project customer and the supplier changes
Project managers will often use integrated change control as a way of managing proposed changes within the project. See more on integrated change management.