Change Management

By Sarah Ellen Horsfall | Jun 24, 2024 9:00:00 AM

Change is inevitable. Even when personally averse to change, people are not isolated from the change in our environment. An interdependent world means that the slightest movement can send vibrations across the globe. Whether an active agent or a passive bystander, change drives a cognitive reaction that signals one to fight, to take flight, or to freeze. Our response is a key factor in 'surviving' that change. 

From an organization's perspective, conscientious change can be adaptive or transformational. Adaptive typically involves small, iterative changes that an organization undertakes over time to evolve its products, processes, workflows, and strategies. Transformational Change are larger endeavours that are often characterized by a dramatic shift from the status quo (Miller 2023). A survey conducted by PMI showed that over 64% respondents experienced digital transformation or a change to their business strategy in the past twelve months compared to the previous twelve months. One key driver seems to be a desire for delivering better customer value. As a successful implementation is dependent on the project team and end user adoption, leaders are facing even greater challenges with 54% of employees exhibiting signs of change fatigue (Farid 2022). 

Change Management is the process of preparing and managing organizational change. Having a systematic framework is necessary to establish an appropriate organizing structure and control mechanisms. According to Harvard Business School, there five essential steps for a successful change management process (Miller 2023).

1) Prepare the Organization for Change
2) Craft a Vision and Develop a Plan
3) Implement the Changes
4) Embed Changes within Company Culture and Practices
5) Review Progress and Analyze Results

Preparing for the transition starts with organizations identifying their values as there is a strong correlation between organizational culture and perceived value. In the face of change, stakeholders undergo a process of 'problematizing'. People need to rationalize the promised outcomes and translate them into personal context before building support (Farid 2022). Therefore organizations should assess the impact on team members as this will enable leaders to raise recognition for the need for change with employees.

Once the organization is ready for change, leaders need to determine their strategic goal, key performance indicators, project stakeholders, and the project scope. The plan should also include a risk management matrix to account for known unknowns and unknown knowns. 

At this point, organizations should develop strategies that set up their employees for success. This includes the sharing of information as it reinforces the message and helps employees to feel empowered in the process. Another strategy is assigning roles like subject matter experts or testers. Being an extension of the project team will help the team learn more about the project's requirements and how the change will positively impact their work. The feedback will also help to encourage a sense of ownership, which subsequently builds support for change.

Whenever a new process or workflow is implemented, there is always a risk of reverting back to old habits. To ensure success, organizations have to embed the change within the company's culture and practice. This can be achieved by conducting training sessions, publishing FAQ documentation, and capturing any feedback. Once project leaders have captured metrics and employee feedback, the project team can distill lessons learned for any future change initiatives.

With effective change management, organizations can increase their rate of success and reduce risk. By improving the management of change, organizations can remain agile in today's business landscape and maintain competitive advantage. Once your vision has been defined, our specialized teams at BAASS Business Solutions align the right solution with your business strategy. Our diverse team has the experience, credentials, skills, and industry knowledge to position you for success. We empower our customers by being the catalyst for growth. Contact us today to initiate your transformative journey!

References:

Farid, P. & Waldorff, S. B. (2022). Navigating Tensions to Create Value: An Institutional Logics Perspective on the Change Program and its Organizational Context. Project Management Journal, 53, 547–566. doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/87569728221111321

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