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What is Change Management?
Change management takes care of the people side of change. It's counterproductive to design new work processes or implement new technologies if you leave the people behind. The success of these changes will be more dependent on how individuals in the organization embrace the change than how well you draw organization charts or process diagrams.
Why is it important?
In short, it saves time and money!
In today’s environment, organizational changes are constantly happening and have become a critical component to adapting to the constantly changing dynamics of the marketplace. Organizations that can properly execute organizational and process changes gain a competitive advantage. Helping employees understand and embrace change is an imperative in such an environment.
Addressing change early within a project and maintaining consistency will reduce stress and anxiety, creating a more adaptable and engaged workplace. Not embracing change will lead to increased project timelines and budget, and ultimately will adversely impact employee morale.
Key steps to develop a change management program:
- Have a clear vision that communicates changes and organizational benefits of the project.
- Communication should start at the top to drive organizational alignment.
- Identify who’s impacted - for key stakeholders, meet directly to gauge level of support. Develop a plan to address concerns for those with high organizational influence.
- Identify change agents within the affected departments - Change agents are not necessarily someone that is on the project, but should be someone that has positive influence within a team or group.
- Communicate early and often with consistency.
- Request continuous feedback allowing the team to course correct.
- Lastly, don’t forget to celebrate success along the way!
For our own CEO’s perspective, check out Frank Calderoni’s article in Entrepreneur magazine, 10 Truths to Change Management.