Change Management? 6 steps you need to know | gloo
What's Change Management
While there isn't a single standard definition to describe change management, the term typically covers the end to end process from planning through to executing a change where you need to support individuals, teams and an organisation from moving from the present to a desired future state. The types of "changes" are too many to mention. However, from a business/organisation perspective, they could, for example, be:
- Restructuring ( changing the way an organisation is structured)
- Re-engineering ( changing the way things get done)
- Merger or Acquisition ( bringing together new/different identities)
- Strategic Change ( shifting priorities, pursuing new directions)
- Cultural Change (making a change to values, attitudes and behaviours)
In all cases, if you want to give yourself the best possible chance of succeeding, you must make sure you apply a thoughtfully well laid out plan before initiating the change.
If you're leading or planning a change, perhaps not dissimilar to the US airline case, we will describe in the next section; this article offers a step by step guide - a set of questions you should seek to answer as you go through your change process.
Why Change Management Is Important
As a result of a global US Airline's rapid leadership response to the pandemic (responding to customers' need for a safe distance from other passengers on board), they decided to remove booking sales for the middle seat across their fleet. While the leadership decided to make the change quickly, implementing it wasn't. You see, the airline had several technology systems and therefore making this change taking into account the systems alone would result in a complex change program. The executive team met and prepared an initial list of 25 to 30 objectives and tasks they would need to complete to succeed. As they progressed deeper into the execution phase of this "relatively simple change", they found their to-do list grew into covering hundreds of action points and to-dos.
Based on the fact this airline NPS scores shot up significantly, and the change effort and decision from listening and responding to their customers paid off. The case underlines the importance of taking a diligent and planned approach before making the organisational change and demonstrates the importance of ensuring your organisation has the capacity and capability to execute to meet the required end state result.
While this guide is handy at the beginning of a change process, you can use it throughout to ensure critical stages are not missed in your approach to hit your desired change/end-state result.
The fundamental enabler from this checklist is the rational, thoughtful answers you have to each of the questions, which are critical to helping you achieve the desired result.
If you are in the middle of implementing a change and encounter a problem, use the guide to ensure these critical steps are covered.
The Change Management Checklist
- Why do we want to make this change? Do we have clear goals and objectives?
- What are the business benefits?
- What will happen if we do not change?
- What will things be like after the change? What is different? What is the same?
- What is expected of employees after the change is complete? Process? Behaviours?
- Why will the future state be better than today? For employees? For the Company?
- Where are we now relative to the desired Future State?
- What major issues must we address for the change to be successful, e.g. technology, all our transactional front and back-end systems, competency levels, facilities/equipment, employee relations, supplier and customer impacts, etc.
- Who is likely to see this change as a loss personally or for their workgroup? Why?
- How can we help everyone have a stronger sense of purpose and connection with the company and its current vision, values and strategy through this change?
- How can these issues/ barriers be eliminated, mitigated, or managed?
- Are people ready for the change? What will help get them ready?
- Can we energise the organisation faster through running a successful pilot - put some quick wins on the board and transfer best practices?
- To stay focused on this change, what will we have to (if anything) STOP doing?
- What are the steps involved in moving from the current state to the future state?
- What new tools and or training are needed to implement and sustain the change?
- Who is responsible for leading each step?
- Who will be impacted by the change process, and how will they be involved?
- What is the schedule (pace, milestones) for making the change?
- What is the key message(s) for these groups/individuals, e.g. case for action/Future State/" WIIFM - "What's in it for me?"
- What groups/individuals do we need to communicate concerning the change?
- Who will be responsible for communications to each group/individual?
- How will you personalise the messaging/communication to each individual or group (roles and responsibilities, etc.)?
- What is the best method for delivering the message and getting involvement from those affected?
- Who are the change sponsor and leaders, and how will they continuously provide direction, support and encouragement throughout the change?
- What mechanism will we use to periodically assess the progress of the change initiative, e.g. measurement of results, feedback from those involved in the implementation, the success of new processes and tools.
- How will we recognise and reward the achievement of milestones and the desired new behaviours and attitudes?
- What is the process for fine-tuning the change plan based upon assessment results?
Ready for Change
Delivering successful change in an organisation helps increase the power and capacity of an organisation to do more and be more. However, coordinating and collaborating the team effort required from everyone - top to bottom with a shared ambition requires complete alignment. Achieving that alongside a joined-up well-executed action plan takes a lot of discipline and leadership.
OKRs are a great way to enact and manage change in the workplace. The acronym stands for Objectives and Key Results, a goal-setting framework used at Google and many other top companies.
OKRs help business leaders coordinate change efforts and ensure that everyone works towards the same mission through effective goal setting. In addition, it's easier to measure progress when using OKRs. For example, you can track whether or not you've accomplished the goal you set out to do at the beginning of your new planning cycle or in real-time in sync with your cadence sessions, using various technology solutions such as GtmHub. Setting measurable goals combined with OKR software platforms makes it easier to see if people are making progress or getting stuck and need support.
Some of the questions and pointers in this article should help you with your change program. Building a faster and more robust organisation that can handle, plan and process change effectively - is one that will stay ahead of its competitors and grow above the markets they serve.
If you have any follow up questions or would like to learn more, feel free to get in touch.
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