“I cannot say whether things will get better if we change; what I can say is they must change if they are to get better.” – Georg C. Lichtenberg
The term “Change Management” is often defined as “the transitional phase/approach that drives an individual, team, or organization to a desired future state”. “Change Management” when implemented successfully, puts an organization in a better position to be ready for change, and improves desired results. Below are three tips to help you achieve this:
- Start early
Change management is most effective when it begins at the initiation of a project.
The advantages that come from starting change management at the beginning of a project are numerous, including:
- It can drive enthusiasm and engagement
- It can be integrated in the project plan so that resources and cost will be identified and budgeted
- It can surface underlying project issues early
- It is applied proactively
In addition, there are a number of consequences when change management starts late on a project. Unfortunately this happens too often, but learning from these experiences and benchmarking data can nurture improved application. Some of the consequences that can be avoided by starting early include:
- Decrease levels of resistance and increase engagement by employees
- Avoid rework created from people issues
- Customize your approach
A “one-size-fits-all” approach for change management is not effective. Each change effort is unique; and the people side of that change should be managed with a customized approach. Customizing the change management approach requires a solid “situational awareness” and understanding what drives people.
- Focus on the individual
Change management is a tool to accelerate the adoption of change by individuals in an organization. The logic below shows why the individual is so important in the successful implementation of this process:
- Organizational change is successful when it moves the organization from a current state to a new desired state, and it can only start with the individual
- The desired state for the organization is only achieved when individuals make changes to their processes, behaviors, and attitudes.
- When individuals make a successful transition from their own current state to their own desired state, the project is successful and the organization realizes the improvement that the project set out to create.
- Change management, then, is the process and tools for moving individuals successfully to their personal desired state so the project benefits from it.