Managing a Dynamic change management process
A change management process involves a sequence of steps or activities that the team follow to ensure the project meets its required outcomes. The below elements are key for a successful change according to the research. Defining these elements is essential to ensure a common understanding of what is required.
The elements of a successful dynamic change management process:
1. Readiness (Urgency) Assessments
Readiness assessment are used by the team or project leader to assess the organisation’s readiness to change. They can include culture or history assessments, employee assessments, sponsor assessments or urgency assessments. Each tool helps the project team gain insights into the challenges and opportunities they may face during the change process. It is essential to also assess the strengths of your change management team and change sponsors.
- How big is this change?
- How many people are affected?
- Is it a gradual or radical change?
- What are the value-systems and background of the impacted groups?
- How much change is already going on?
- What type of resistance can be expected?
2. Communication planning
Many leaders assume that if they communicate clearly a few times with their employees that their job is done. However, there are many reasons why we may not hear or understand the message the first time we hear it. In fact research shows that your messages may need to be repeated more than seven times before it is effectively retained. Carefully consider following four components:
- Who is your audience?
- What do they need to know?
- When do they need to know it?
- What is the best way to reach them?
Communication planning begins with a careful analysis of your audiences, the key messages and the timing/frequency of those messages. Your communication plan must take into account the needs of frontline employees, supervisors and executives. Each audience may have particular needs for information based on their role in the implementation of the change.
3. Sponsor activities and roadmaps
Leaders play a critical sponsor role in times of change. Your team must develop activities for sponsors and help these key business leaders deliver on these plans. Research shows that sponsorship is one of the most important success factors in dynamic change programmes. Avoid confusing the notion of sponsorship with support. Senior leadership within the organisation may support your project, but it is not the same as active sponsorship. Sponsorship involves visible participation by senior leaders throughout the process, building a support amongst other leaders and communicating directly with employees.
4. Change management training for managers
Managers and supervisors play a key role in managing change. Ultimately, they have more influence over an employee’s motivation to change & engagement than anyone else. However, managers can be one of the most difficult groups to convince about the need for change, and can often be a major source of resistance. Gaining the support of managers and supervisors is vital for the change management team as is giving them an understanding of the urgency they can share with their teams. Once managers and supervisors are on board, your team must be able to equip them to successfully coach their employees through the change. They will require training and guidance, including how to use individual change management tools with their employees.
5. Training development and delivery
Training is the key to building knowledge about the change and the required skills to succeed. Ensuring that the people who are impacted receive the training they need at the right time is a fundamental requirement. However, training should only be delivered after impacted employees have an understanding of the need for change and have developed a desire to support the change.
6. Resistance management
Resistance from stakeholders is normal and can be proactive when effectively addressed. Resistance can be an opportunity to refine your approach and engage stakeholders. Vocal resistance is better than silence. Do not confuse silence with buy-in! Listen to those who are prepared to speak up, they will give you much needed information. Your team needs to identify, understand and help leaders manage resistance throughout the organisation. Resistance management tools helps leaders to manage employee resistance.
7. Employee feedback and corrective action
Managing change is a two-way street. The involvement of employees is an essential and integral part of managing change. Employee feedback as the change is being implemented helps us correct and update the process to ensure effectiveness.
8. Recognising success and reinforcing change
Short-term successes and long-term wins must be recognised and celebrated from the inception of the project. Individual and group recognition is an essential component of any successful change to reinforce the change in the organisation. Adoption rates need to be continually monitored to ensure employees do not slip back into their default ways of working.
9. After-project review
The final step is the after-action review. Step back from the project, evaluate successes and failures, and identify lessons and success factors for the next project. Continuous improvement of your change management process is essential for your competency as a change manger.
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