Change management is a difficult process that is fraught with risks and challenges. However, change management can also be vital for companies and projects. When done right, effective change management can improve your company’s prospects and results.
Most likely, companies that don’t adapt to change will disappear in such a challenging environment. Companies that don’t change are all but certain to go the way of the dinosaur. Markets change. Technologies advance. The competition will evolve. Consumer tastes will change. Change is a constant, and for companies, change is a must.
Still, the change management process is far from easy. This is especially true if you’re not trained specifically in change management. Fortunately, by following the below tips, you can increase your chances of success.
Quantify and Identify Change
What are you really planning to do? What’s your goal? Setting clear, concise goals and objectives will help you understand what needs to be done in order to effectively create change. Make sure you’re specific and also that you communicate with others by creating easy to understand to do lists for every person involved. Also, you don’t have to identify every change on your own. Make sure you source ideas.
Weigh Risks and Rewards
You should ask yourself if you really need to be pursuing change, and more specifically your goals and aims. With change comes risks. Make sure you outline these risks, and to the best of your ability, quantify them. Then, compare the risks with the potential rewards. Do those rewards justify the risks? If not, you might want to put your change plans on hold.
Selecting Your “Change” Team
One way to reduce risks is to assemble a great team that will identify project risks and offer solutions to avoid them. You should put together an objective team that consists of at least three people. You will want to mix up skills, experiences, and views. Don’t build an echo chamber, either. Everyone should contribute, and they should feel confident in challenging your ideas and plans. The team should be large enough to source ideas, but not unwieldy. Strive for balance.
Make Sure The Team is Informed and Credible
Your team needs to know what’s going on. Explain the change process to them and also your goals. Further, make sure that this team is well presented to management and staff. Change requires buy-in. If management and other staff members do not believe in the change management team, they’ll be less likely to support its efforts so make sure you put the needed effort into managing your team correctly in order to obtain the desired results.
Mitigate Risks When and Where Possible
As you identify risks, you may discover ways to eliminate them. Good. When and where possible, you and your team should reduce or eliminate risks. Reducing risks can greatly increase your chances of success. When risks are discovered, bring them to the team and source solutions. Make sure you track and document risks as well as your efforts to mitigate them.
Identify Your “Approvers”
The change team is going to have to answer to someone. That might be the company board, CEO, owner, or whoever else. It’s important to know who the movers and shakers are, and who needs to approve what. Figure out who the approvers are early so you can avoid stepping on toes, and ensure that things are happening quickly.
Make Sure Documentation is Thorough
Once you identify approvers, you need to provide them with the documentation they’ll need to approve. Make sure everything is well documented and that the documents are flowing to the right people. Often, automated software and digital records work best, but do what you feel is best for your company. It’s a wise idea to get input from approvers so you can discover what works best.
Execute Your Mitigation and Change Plans
The time has come to execute your plans. Sometimes, change teams will draw up great plans and put a sound structure in place, but then they fail to execute. Huge mistake. Once everything is in place, you need to move forward. The moment can be scary, unnerving, and stressful. Doesn’t matter. If you did all that planning but fail to act, what was the point?
Make Sure Your Efforts Are Effective
It’s not enough to assume that your efforts are paying off. You need to verify that your efforts are effective and that you are producing results. If you don’t, you could create even more risks, and the “change” you instill might actually worsen things! Make sure you check your efforts, and also document them with data.
Make Sure You Follow Through
The change management process will require a large number of documents, processes, and goals. You might have to train staff or rewrite training manuals. You may need to acquire parts or machinery. So much to do and it’s important that you do all of it. If you don’t execute the change plan in its entirety, the risks of failure or the change not sticking will increase. This is the moment where some trustworthy business process management software will certainly become needed.
Close Change Only When Confirmed
The change process should only be wound down after the plan has been fully executed and the results/effectiveness verified. If something has not been accomplished, don’t assume that it was extraneous and unnecessary.
For example, companies often fail to order the supplies needed to continue their change efforts in the future. No big deal, right? You’ll but them later on. However, more often than not, this creates future problems.
Take a deep, long look. Will not checking that “complete” box lead to future problems? Most likely. As such, it’s best to finish your implementation to a “T”.
Often, a company will go through the change management process. They will implement change, get initial buy-in, and things will be humming along. The change will produce results, and everyone will seem happy. Then, slowly, the company goes astray. People start taking shortcuts or revert to old habits. Next thing you know, results are declining.
That’s why it’s necessary to audit compliance. Make sure that the change process itself is being implemented. If it’s not, you have a problem. Don’t let your efforts go to waste. By keeping a close eye on the company going forward, you can ensure compliance and thus optimize the results.
Nuvro is a robust online project management tool that helps you to carry our the change management process for your company. With Nuvro you can gain control and peace of mind over all of your projects, tasks, team members, workload and everything else important to your company. In addition to the project, task and collaboration features found in most PM tools, Nuvro also provides a company dashboard, a team dashboard, team member performance reviews, secure document management, an internal alternative to email and more. Nuvro is perfect for busy teams looking to accomplish more. Learn More…