iSixSigma

Change Management

Definition of Change Management:

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When change happens, you need to be able to move swiftly and with purpose. Time is of the essence, so figuring out a plan once a change has already occurred can push valuable resources to their limit. Having a structural process of how to handle change ahead of it happening is smart and just good business

Overview: What is Change Management?

Change management can be defined as the methodological approach a company takes in the implemental change of its internal and external processes.

9 benefits of Change Management

There are several benefits to utilizing change management that are worth exploring:

Response time – Change management allows an organization to respond more quickly to customer demands.

Alignment – It helps to align current resources within an organization.

Assessing impact – With change management, an assessment can be made by the organization in regard to the overall impact of a change.

Minimal impact on operational flow – By correctly utilizing change management, change can be implemented without disruption of normal business operations of the organization.

Less time waste – The time necessary for the implementation of change is reduced.

Better employee performance – You receive better performance from your employees when they feel supported and when they have a clear understanding of the change process.

Forecasting – With the use of change management, you are better equipped to see upcoming challenges and can respond to them more effectively.

Cost management – Managing change properly allows for greater control of costs associated with the change.

Competitive advantage – Sometimes, changes happen industry-wide. When this occurs, if you have a solid change management strategy in place, it gives your organization a competitive advantage.

Why is Change Management important to understand?

Change management is important to understand for the following reasons:

Ease of transition – By understanding change management, you help to ensure that when implementing change, it can occur without issue.

Cost – If you have a grasp of how to properly manage change, it will likely be less expensive than if you are just flying blind.

Avoiding confusion – By understanding change management, you have the ability to make changes without causing confusion and fatigue amongst your staff.

An industry example of Change Management

A manufacturing plant has gotten the news that it has been sold and will be acquired by a larger manufacturer in six months. Thankfully, all the current employees will still be kept on, but there will be a slew of changes made in the way that the organization operates. The head of the manufacturing plant decides to begin a slow, incremental roll-out over the next six months of the changes that will occur once the plant is officially switched over. The head of the plant does this to make sure that the changes are not too sudden for their employees and that there is not a significant slowdown in operations when the switchover happens. This is a smart example of change management.

3 best practices when thinking about Change Management

There are some key practices to keep in mind about change management:

Plan carefully – Careful planning is paramount to making sure that the change process is started and implemented by the right people in order to maximize its effectiveness.

Monitor all stages of the change process – Planning is necessary and should be conducted thoroughly, but during implementation, it is just as important to monitor the changes along each step of the process.

Consensus – Make sure that all customers, stakeholders, and employees understand the change and are in support of it. If the change is necessary, but there is lack of support among some parties, managing this lack of support will be necessary in order to keep morale high.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Change Management

What are the 5 steps in Change Management?

  • Make sure the organization is prepared for the change.
  • Craft a vision and parameters for the change.
  • Implement changes.
  • Weave changes into the fabric of the company culture.
  • Analyze results after they are reviewed

What are the 7 Rs of Change Management? When assessing the risk-to-benefit ratio of changes being implemented, the 7 Rs need to be considered:

  • Who in the company RAISED the change?
  • What RETURN is required from the implementation of the change?
  • What RISKS are there?
  • What are the RESOURCES required for the implementation of the change?
  • Who is RESPONSIBLE for carrying out the change?
  • What RELATIONSHIP is there between this change and any other changes that have been or are being made?
  • What reason is there for this change being implemented?

Without an answer to each of these 7 Rs, the risk-to-benefit analysis of the change being introduced cannot fully be understood.

What are the three Cs in Change Management?

There can be confusion amongst staff, shareholders, and customers when a change is proposed. In order to avoid this, managers need to make sure to practice the 3-C Principle. This means making sure that changes that are being proposed are communicated in a manner that makes them clear, compelling, and credible.

Protecting your business with Change Management

Change management is absolutely vital in making sure your business is up to the task of handling change. Being adaptable and having the ability to thrive through the changes that occur as part of doing business is necessary for an organization to remain healthy and competitive over time.

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