Despite organizational change being put forward to improve efficiency or other metrics, it may come as a shock and the change initiative may face resistance.
In addition to guiding the organization through the changes in processes, leaders must guide their teams through the changes so they can successfully transition to the new state. Change management focuses on the people side of change and addresses resistance, communication, and other important issues.
One way to ensure this is done properly is by preparing change management tasks and checklists to guide individuals through the change in a structured manner.
Developing a Change Management Plan
By developing a change management plan, change leaders can ensure the organization successfully moves from the current state to the future state. If change leaders know the desired end state, they can create change management plans and blueprints to specify aspects of the process. According to Hayes (2014), turning intentions into a concrete change management plan consisting of change management tasks and checklists includes the following tasks.
Selecting A Transition Manager
Leadership is integral during the transition period, making it critical to appoint the right transition manager. In addition to confirming the person is capable of leading individuals during this time, it’s important to ensure they prioritize communication with not only those involved in the process but also those impacted by the change. It’s also essential to avoid unnecessary fragmentation since this can lead to confusion and conflict.
Determining What Needs To Be Done
Once the objective is clear, change managers must determine what needs to be done to achieve the change. Change management tools such as the Awakishi diagram can be used for this purpose.
Making An Implementation Plan With Goals And Targets
This implementation plan must consider perceptions of the change initiative and whether or not the goals and targets to achieve the end state are clear.
Using Leverage Points For Change
Changing one component of the system will affect the other components and affect the status quo. Instead of letting one component realign the others, it’s important to use multiple leverage points so that the organization can be in equilibrium.
There’s a lot that needs to be done when managing change, making it important to schedule activities. This ensures that all necessary actions are taken care of in a timely manner. A critical path analysis can be extremely useful during this process.
Also Read: Change Management Methodologies & Tools
Making Sure Resources Are Adequately Allocated In A Balanced Manner
This includes making sure enough resources are allocated to the change while still ensuring that the organization can run as per usual during the transition period. This is easier when the change is anticipated but may be challenging when it’s unforeseen. Instead of simply relying on people to work longer hours, organizations must ensure adequate resources are available.
Implementing Reward Systems
Reward systems that focus on rewarding transition behaviors ensure that individuals are incentivized to change instead of resisting and continuing with the current system.
Developing Mechanisms for Feedback
Lastly, organizations must take advantage of two-way feedback for both monitoring progress and improving implementation. Additionally, this ensures people’s attention remains on the change.
Following Change Management Tasks and Checklists
Systems such as the Prosci Methodology encourage using change management tasks and checklists to guide change management approaches to enable them to succeed. Prosci’s change management checklist examines the different aspects of an organization’s change management strategy and consists of the following:
- Change management planning
- Change management readiness
- Resistance management
Change Management Planning
Using a structured approach to change management makes successful organizational change more likely, with research showing that there’s a direct correlation between using a structured methodology and the effectiveness of change management. Since effective change management results in successful projects, it’s important to ensure you’re using a structured approach, have the resources necessary for the change, and plan a change management strategy at the start of the project.
Change Management Readiness
It’s also critical to conduct change management readiness assessments since they provide valuable information on the state of an organization and the amount of change management required. Before conducting change management readiness assessments, it’s integral to make sure they will not only provide valuable information but also use this information to personalize the change management strategy.
Prosci has conducted eleven studies over twenty years, all of which have led to the same conclusion: effective sponsorship is the key to successful change management. If organizations want to ensure successful change, they must fill gaps in sponsor knowledge and ensure active participation with employees and leaders.
Communication is another critical factor when it comes to organizational success. To effectively communicate change, it’s essential to employ various methods of communication instead of relying on more efficient methods like written and electronic communication. While these methods are more efficient, research has shown that the most effective communication is face-to-face communication. Additionally, communication should include not only how the change will impact the organization, but delve into how it will impact and benefit individuals.
Coaching during change can be a game-changer. Immediate supervisors are critical during this time since they can identify and manage resistance. They can work alongside middle managers as coaches to reduce manager resistance and improve the likelihood of success. Encouraging this includes providing knowledge and support to managers and providing them with the information they need to ensure they’re communicating effectively.
Resistance is the primary obstacle that organizations face when trying to implement change. In order to reduce resistance, it’s essential to tackle misinformation, proactively identify the sources of resistance, and revise change management activities early in the process to minimize such issues.
Also Read: Why Managers Resist Change
Training and knowledge development facilitates change and equips individuals with the skills needed to step up to the challenges they face. To optimize this, training must be planned and accounted for beforehand and should be delivered at the right time (i.e., in the knowledge and ability stages of Prosci’s ADKAR® model).
Lastly, reinforcing change is essential to ensure people do not revert to their pre-transition behaviors. In addition to proactively developing mechanisms to reinforce change, organizations should ensure sponsors and coaches are also partaking in reinforcement and making it known that change must be maintained.
Change management tasks and checklists provide a structured framework for change implementation. By thoroughly understanding the change process and taking the time to use these important tools, organizations can ensure successful change adoption.
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