Change Management Continued..
CHANGE Management: CONTINUED
In our previous article Change Management: where do we start, we discussed some high-level first steps to creating a change management system that works.
Identify: Knowing what you want, when you want it, who is a part of it, and why anybody cares and will stick through the change.
Research: Gathering information about the current situation of your organization and anticipating challenges to change and ways to proactively set change up for success.
We round out this topic, with continuing steps to create a successful change whether it is a new software program, additional testing & measuring or implementation of new processes.
Presentation and on-boarding
After gathering research, you have an opportunity not just to do things better but to alter thinking about the change. For instance, how will different personalities within your group react during phases of the project? By understanding the objections and the benefits to change you can also predict the consequences for everyone in not changing. Reinforcing key information, being open to policy adjustment and creating clear lines for feedback from all angles helps your case.
Identify phases to your project and gain agreement from key players and their ability to communicate status and goals. It’s impossible to understand whether your implementation is successful or not if you have no expectations for what success looks like! Create a plan, milestones to achieve it, and build testing and measuring into your phases.
Reiterate motivations – the why – from both the organization’s standing and for everyone involved. Be clear about the challenges that may be faced, and the gains expected with commitment.
Invite everyone to be a part of the conversation and establish a firm engagement level.
Set your team members up for success with documentation, processes, and tools to make transitions easier. Be careful, not to overdo this step! I still have nightmares of a Salesforce implementation involving 25 hours of BORING videos. Allow for learning in multiple formats; video, audio, teaching others, focus groups, testing & measuring.
Roll out new phases of education as the processes are refined. Consider how internal changes will affect external factors such as vendor and client relations. Create new systems for addressing these.
Create a couple of easy wins for success early on. Keep expectations onboard with reality but be careful not to create impossible goals. Check-in with your team members regularly and gauge frustrations, understandings, wins, and losses.
Above all create a commitment to making it work and giving it all for testing but be flexible in the rules and assumptions you move forward with. It is important to take feedback into consideration and create a genuine understanding that it is welcome. This helps some folks find the buy-in needed to adopt.
As with any plan, at pre-determined points evaluate your progress. Are you on track with expectations and milestones? Should you double down and work harder to get to the goals or cut your losses and return to old ways? Commitment on all levels must exist to reach a point in the project. But if goals and costs exceed the value of the projects expected benefits, knowing that ahead of time will save a lot of time, energy, and frustrations.
As change occurs your plan may need to be adjusted. Reinforce the principles of change and approach different phases in a similar manner. You may need to evaluate your goals, collect more data, adjust phases as projects move forward.
Just as you provide documentation and training to your team members you may need to support the key stakeholders and champions of change in how to communicate effectively and motivate users to adopt.
Capture information throughout the process and share it at the right time. How is the change impacting the way that business is done and goals are achieved? Make sure that the information gathered is used to create movement in a positive direction.
Create a report to disburse, celebrate success along the way, and ensure that adjustments are made as information supports the need.
We have a need for change in many situations. Yet, we choose to make them lightly.
People generally dislike change. Especially if learning the original process was challenging or if it is replacing a practice that has been in place for many years.
It’s easy to keep things the same. Even if doing things, the old way is not effective going through the effort of evaluating and determining a better method takes time away from getting it done the old way. That’s not easy.
But yet, we have a need for change in many situations. They make us better. They give us the upper hand. They make us more money. They keep our teams more engaged and happier. They allow us to achieve our missions faster and utilize our funds better. They allow us to make easier decisions about the priorities we choose to invest our time in and make it easier to decide that we can go home for dinner, take a vacation, or celebrate a little freedom because we are working in the most effective way possible.
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