Making a plan is one of the most essential parts of executing any major endeavor, including change management processes for businesses and organizations today. It simply isn’t possible to enact thriving organizational change without a solid plan in place, and that can only be developed following a period of careful analysis, goal setting and, in most cases, strategic change management consulting. If your organization is preparing for a major change management overhaul, you’ll need to plan ahead in order to make sure it’s a success.
Getting Started in the Planning Process
The first steps to making a change management plan are establishing a group of leaders to oversee and direct the plan, with careful consideration of general workplace dynamics and the unique individual and organizational behavior of the company and its team members. Everyone on the leadership team should be on the same page regarding the change management strategy, internal goals, best practices and individual duties and tasks. Once everyone is on the same page and all the strategic analysis and goal setting has taken place, the team can get to work devising a plan that includes the following features:
- Well-established goals
- Guiding theoretical framework
- Thorough risk assessments
- Checkpoints for success
- Clearly defined milestones
- Motivation / opportunities for rewards
Creating an Integrated Change Management Plan
Many experts agree that a successful change management plan should actually integrate several different plans into one overarching strategy proposal. These may include a communication plan, an employee training program, a coaching plan, a roadmap for sponsor relations and even a plan for managing resistance. The problem is that creating, enacting and managing five different plans simultaneously can be incredibly difficult, especially when you consider all the additional preparation necessary to ensure sustainability that should be accomplished alongside the project planning. This is why many organizations opt to bring in outside help from a change management consulting firm, either at this point or even earlier, when the mission statement is being developed. In order to ensure a successful plan that can be seamlessly integrated into future activities and projects, organizations often find it necessary to bring in experts who have overseen triumphant change management projects in the past, and learned from numerous successes and failures.
Making Sure the Plan is a Success
No plan is worth the time and energy involved if there is no way to measure its success or make adjustments as needed. The planning stage cannot be considered complete until mechanisms have been put in place to gauge the success of the plan and make sure everyone has the training and resources they need to keep it going. The following features are the keys to a well-enforced and carefully executed change management plan:
- Mechanisms to reinforce goals and milestones
- Audit reports to ensure compliance
- Plan of action for corrective measures
- Methods for recognizing successful individuals and groups
- Plans for acknowledging reached milestones and successes
- A review to assess action during the lifecycle of the plan and upon completion
If you think the steps to a successful change management plan sound daunting and draining, you are not alone. Consultants provide many useful change management services to help organizations make a strategic plan, execute and manage it effectively and determine whether it has been successful and how to do better in the future, when it’s all said and done. They have been through this time and time again, have seen what works and what doesn’t and are able to help organizational leaders develop a smarter plan and direct resources where they need to go in order to be more efficient, productive and conscientious to the needs of the organization.
Interested in learning more about how Paragon Solutions can create and implement a change management strategy for our organization? Contact a Paragon change management expert today.