What is Change Management?

Change Management is the people side of any organisational change - whether you’re fixing problems, responding to market trends, or taking advantage of new opportunities. Change Management is the discipline that guides how we prepare, equip and support individuals to successfully adopt the change to drive organisational success and outcomes. It focuses on ensuring that your whole team embraces your new direction or adopts and learns to use your new systems and processes.

Change Management is complementary to Project management.

 

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While all changes are unique and all individuals are unique, decades of research demonstrate that specific actions can influence people's individual transitions. Change Management provides a structured approach for supporting the individuals and teams in your organisation to move from their own current states to their own future desired states by minimising the transition phase's negative impacts.

When an organisation introduces a change through a project or initiative, that change needs to be effectively managed on both the technical and people sides.

A technical side (Project Management) focus ensures that the change is developed, designed and delivered effectively. The discipline of project management provides the structure, processes and tools to make this happen.

A people side focus (Change Management) ensures that the change is embraced, adopted and utilised by the employees who have to do their jobs differently due to the project. Change Management's discipline provides the structure, processes and too­­ls to make this happen.

In simple terms we can say that Project Management prepares the Solution for the organisation while Change Management prepares the organisation for the Solution.

Project management and Change Management aim to increase the likelihood that projects or initiatives deliver the intended results and outcomes. Although each discipline can function independently, the most effective approach is to integrate Change Management and project management to create a unified system to implement change on both fronts.

 

Change happens at an individual level

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After years of studying how individuals experience change, Prosci developed the ADKAR® Model for personal change, which is the most relevant methodological tool available in the market to assist individuals throughout the transition process, and one of the most widely used change models in the world. The method's goal is that people pass through every step of ADKAR® at the individual level to make change "stick" in someone's work.

It can be sequenced into 5 parts :

Raising awareness (A) of the need to change and awakening the desire (D) of employees and managers to participate in the change – best achieved by promoting one-on-one assessments of "what's in there" for each of them – are the first two building blocks of the transition at the individual level. They roughly correspond to the first phase of the process.

Providing knowledge (K) on how to change and developing the abilities (A) of the staff to implement the change in their own eco-system of clients and collaborators ensures a smooth transition and on-time delivery (second and third stages).

Exiting the formal process, reinforcement (R) activities such as personal recognition, gathering feedback and implementing corrective actions help sustain the change in the long run.

Failure to assist each person throughout his/her individual transformation means that there will be no critical mass at the end of the journey.

 

Roles in Change Management

 

While change happens at the individual level, it is often impossible for a project team to manage change on a person-by-person basis. This is why it is important to create an ecosystem composed of different roles/stakeholders to allow all individuals to go through their ADKAR®.
 

 

Role

Responsibilities

How

Change Management resources/teams

Apply methodology on projects and initiatives. Enable others.

I develop the CM strategy and plan. I am an integral part of project success.

Executive and senior managers

Be Active and visible throughout the project, Build a coalition of sponsorship andCommunicate directly with employees

I launch [authorize and fund] changes. I sponsor change.

Middle managers and supervisors

Fulfill roles in support of direct reports.

I coach my direct reports through the changes that impact their day-to-day work. 

Project team

Integrate people side into technical side.

I manage the technical side of the change. I integrate CM into my project plans.

Project SME’s and support

Provide expertise, knowledge and tools.

I support different activities of the CM team and project team.

Impacted  employees

Thrive and take ownership of change.

I understand why the change is necessary / the risks of not adopting and using the solution.

Learn more about WHY Change Management is so important

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