A Change Management (CM) team must have a clear plan for the change they are attempting to implement.
Change Management is a strategic, structured approach for ensuring that changes are smoothly implemented, and that the lasting benefits of change are achieved.
Fostering an environment that promotes not only acceptance, but support, is a necessary component for successfully managing nearly any change management within an enterprise. All people involved with the proposed change - stakeholders - must be on board and committed for change to be a success.
A dedicated Change Management team is crucial.
Once a change initiative has been approved and is set to be implemented, it is important to have a dedicated Change Management team to drive the various activities that will take place.
See Also: 4 Stages of Change Management Acceptance
Once the team has been identified, a change strategy must be developed. This change strategy identifies who will be affected, at what level each individual or group will be affected, change communications needed, training requirements and deployment approach (face-to-face classroom, internet classroom, computer-based interactive, computer-based read and acknowledgement), human support resources needed (CM team, Change Champions, Helpdesk, Community Stewards), and technical support resources needed (community website, FAQs, SharePoint, company intranet page).
Granted, it is impossible to know the answers to everything about your change strategy in the beginning.
It is crucial though, to have a strong base and roadmap to get the initiative started and drive towards the organization’s goals. Things will change - the key to organizational change management success is staying fluid and adapting to different circumstances.
Impossible without leadership
It is critical to establish dedicated organizational leaders, both at the top and throughout the organization, to keep the change management process stable. These chosen leaders should be committed, reliable and able to influence others to get on board through their example.
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During the planning phase, the leaders need to do several things. One is to collect data from front line soldiers in order to have the best possible data. During the planning phase, it is sometimes difficult to answer many questions, including, What should we stop doing? What should we keep doing? What should we start doing?
These will be answered as the initiative is implemented and feedback is gathered.
Keep in mind, when employees see that the leaders in their organization have taken the time to develop a change management plan that considers their wants and needs, they are bound to perform better and get more involved in the transition and gain buy-in. This, in turn, will help the overall organization achieve its desired goals.
What is in it for me?
By talking to troops, leaders gain the best possible degree of situational awareness. Talking to key stakeholders also gives the CM team a sense of ownership, leading ultimately to buy-in.
Once the data is collected and the plan put in place, organization leaders need to ask themselves one simple question: Are we all aligned on this plan and can we all articulate what the outcome will look like? It is very important to let the organization know that there is a projected outcome and that the outcome will benefit them.