A Beginner’s Guide to Craft an Effective Change Management Plan

March 13, 2019

Increasing globalisation is bringing about unforeseen competitiveness across every marketplace. Businesses are constantly challenged with advancing technologies and new dynamics that can reduce operable costs and boost sales. To stay relevant, businesses need to transition to better working models, agile decision-making and rethink their strategy. Invariably, business methodologies need to be revamped. These are not overnight changes but a transition that needs effective change management.  In order to make effective organizational changes, you need to adopt change management. However, you also need get familiar with how a change management plan can help.

Change Management Plan Basics

At its core, change management is an all-inclusive, collective approach. It includes methods that redefine the scope for utilisation, skill enrichment and optimization of resources like individuals and teams. To minimize the disruptive impact of any transformation on employees, stakeholders or customers, businesses need an effective change management plan.

A change management plan involves three basic stages which include:

  • Planning the change
  • Managing the change
  • Reinforcing the change

Let us look at these stages in detail …

1. Planning the Change

A good change management plan must answer the questions like what and how much change is needed in a particular project, what impact it will make on the business and its resources, and the sponsors needed to implement the change. This stage should also include the following:

  • Estimating the amount of risk that involved to optimize, improve, overhaul, or rectify
  • Creating a timeline to keep track of the project
  • Creating a dedicated team for managing all departments along with the sponsors affected by the change

2. Managing the Change – Manoeuvring Across Challenges

This is the stage when the planned changes are executed and brought into action, affecting employees, the workflows, and decision-makers. New plans are incorporated into different aspects of an organization’s everyday functioning. This might include:

  • Training Plan: Estimating scope of training that would be needed by employees to develop usable skills. This might means imparting new skills or helping people acquire new skills
  • Communication Plan: Ensuring alerts, reminders, instructions & feedbacks are systematically collated and shared with various stakeholders
  • Coaching Plan: Project leaders/managers carry out changes within their dedicated teams, acting as the mentors to provide guidance
  • Sponsorship Plan: When senior leaders demonstrate their and the organisation’s commitment to a change, employees take notice. The sponsorship paln provides this structure. A comprehensive sponsorship roadmap lays out what the sponsor needs to be doing with the project team, peers and other senior managers as well as frontline staff.
  • Resistance Management Plan: This plan sits equal with all the plans above. With change comes resistance, so acknowledging it and planning for it up front can help you take preventative action to ensure you mitigate risks that would have impacted project later down the track.

3. Reinforcing the Change

This stage involves creating plans for sustaining the changes that have been implemented. To do this, you must analyse the overall sentiments and data collected so far. This helps to identify any shortcoming in the changes underway and define corrective measures for them. Reinforcing a change may include the following steps:

  • Analyse Behaviour: employees often need a change in their perception to adopt new workflows. They should be mentally capable of navigating a period of change in work management. These behavioural changes can be very productive or they might go awry—underlining the fact that behavioural changes need to be analysed regularly
  • Identify Gaps: after implementing change, there is a chance that some transitions hit a roadblock. This needs systematically taking corrective measures to eliminate the issues
  • Follow-up Training: initial training might not suffice. Follow-ups with more sessions to ensure employees don’t return to their legacy working methods is important.
  • Boost Morale: a team in transition might have to work a lot harder than their expectations. While some might embrace the change, others might feel overwhelmed. Being appreciated boosts morale. Celebrations to highlight those adapting quickly to change is a great idea!
  • Timely Reviews: successful execution of a change plan is not always perfect because of the human element. While some efforts might seem exemplary and worthy of being replicated, others might need a review to find out why they couldn’t make the desired impact

Are you ready to plan your next big change?

Through this guide, you will feel more confident to plan and execute the next big change that is critical for your business. Initially, any form of transformation, anything that seeks to alter established business processes can be irritating, engaging conflict and even pessimism. However, with a well-managed change management plan keeping people and systems in check, accomplishing seemingly impossible milestones is possible. Equip yourself with the right information and make the right decision!

Talk to us

Get in touch with the team at Change Enablement and we will get back to you shortly.