Change management is a critical process for organizations to navigate the complexities of implementing new strategies, technologies, or initiatives. It involves understanding, planning for, and managing the impact of change on individuals and teams within an organization. Effective change management can help minimize resistance, increase acceptance, and ensure the successful adoption and implementation of change.
Change Management Plan
Projects Are ALWAYS About Change
However, bringing in change without accounting for all the implications in the organization and without understanding the organization's readiness and capacity for that change can lead to disaster. A structured set of processes and tools are required to enable individuals or groups to transition from the current state to the future state, such that the project desired outcomes are achieved. Projects need effective change management.
It is great if your project can deliver the most extraordinary product, service, or process ever seen in the organization, but what if no one knows it is coming or how the staff will be impacted in their day-to-day job? Even worse, what if the change is not embraced and adopted? Yes, project management as a discipline is suited to address change from a technical perspective, but what about the people side? Make no mistake: projects are done by people, with people, and for people. Let us, therefore, not neglect their role in making or breaking change resulting from projects.
The Change Management Plan
Change Management Roles and Responsibilities
Hopefully, by now, we are all in agreement that change deriving from projects needs proper management and that this activity is so important for success that it can even be a project on its own. So how to do it? Start by assembling a specialist team who will put together the project’s Change Management Plan.
The purpose of the Change Management Plan is to ensure that the appropriate mechanisms, processes, and tools are in place regarding the design, development, execution, and embeddedness of change management, in this way preparing the different stakeholders in the organization for the business, technical and/or cultural changes that will result from the project. It is a high-level document that outlines the approach to managing change throughout the project life cycle for a smooth, no-surprises transition from the as-is to the organization's to-be.
A Change Management Plan Will Typically Contain:
Overview of the project:
this section sets the context and the case for change, describing the project's need and the benefits that the project aims to realize following successful delivery.
Change Management Team:
identifies the team who will be accountable and responsible for managing change in/from the project. In small projects, the team can be limited to the project manager, sponsor, and change manager. Larger projects might benefit from a dedicated team with additional roles such as a training coordinator, a change analyst, and a communication specialist.
Change Management Roles and Responsibilities:
defines the roles involved in change management as well as their responsibilities. The change management team lists other important roles concerning the communication and embeddedness of change, such as change champions and change agents.
Change Management Approach:
explains the what, how, and when of the approach that is going to be used in the project to manage change, namely it answers the following questions:
- Organizational readiness for change: how ready for change is the organization and individuals?
- Change impact assessment: what will change and to what extent regarding processes, structures, services, culture, and ways of working?
- Communication and stakeholder engagement: how will the change be communicated and stakeholders engaged?
- Download stakeholder management template.
- Training and knowledge transfer: what training will be required to support change, and how will knowledge be transferred?
- Implementation support and transition: what operational support is required following implementation, and how can change be facilitated as part of the transition from project to business as usual?
- Change management effectiveness: how will we know if we have been successful in our change management efforts?
- Download Change management process templates.
Also important to note is that change management should be addressed as early as possible in the project. After all, no one destroys what one helps to build; hence the sooner staff impacted by the change is involved, the higher the chances of success in adoption.