Last month’s edition of Insight included An Introduction to Change Management outlining how more and more organisations are adopting a change management approach when undertaking improvement initiatives and for managing key risks and opportunities. As highlighted, the primary focus of the change management approach is to identify and guide individuals within the organisation through the change process to the new way of working. Key to the success of this process is good planning and processes around implementation.
When the need for change is identified, organisations must make decisions on how best to go about introducing the new process, new strategy, new technology or new way of working (i.e. the new state). Typically, these decisions are made by adopting a project management approach that focuses on the technical delivery and implementation of the new state. That is, planning what the new process or solution is, and how it is to be implemented and managed via an allocated budget to achieve the desired outcome.
Change management complements project management by providing a structured approach:
- Consider how individuals will respond to the new state.
- Identify early adopters in the organisation, and those who will resist the change. Besides being a natural response, there can be many reasons why people resist change. Plan strategies for identifying and understanding people’s resistance to the new process or solution. It could be that they simply don’t understand the need for the change.
- Communicate the benefits of the new state.
- This should start from the moment the project is approved and be reinforced frequently. There may be financial savings or efficiencies to be made, or improvements to worker safety that come from reducing risks. Communicate the benefits and communicate them often.
- Identify what individuals need to assist them through the transition from the current state to the new state.
- What’s it in for them? Will they need new skills to adopt or additional knowledge and training to successfully embed the change? Most people are more responsive to change when they understand how the change impacts them personally and what the organisation is doing to support them.
- Once implemented, reinforce why the change was made.
- For any new process or solution to be embedded successfully, organisations must ensure their people don’t fall back into the old way of doing things. Continue to reinforce why the new process or solution was introduced by reiterating why the change was made and the benefits that will be derived from the new state.
QRMC can work with you to incorporate a change management approach to managing the key risks and opportunities unique to your business. Contact one of our consultants for further information.