Guide for an Effective Change Management Process
Change management (CM) is the discipline that guides how to prepare, equip and support individuals to successfully adopt change in order to drive organizational success and outcomes.
Change management in project management usually refers to a change control process when working on a project. The process of changes in scope of a project are formally introduced and approved as a change management system.
Change Management has evolved over the years with various Change Management Models, Processes, and Plans developed to help ease the impact the changes can have on projects and orgranizations.
Change Management Models
- Lewin’s change management model.
- The McKinsey 7-S model.
- Kotter’s theory.
- Nudge theory.
- Bridges’ transition model.
- Kübler-Ross’ change curve.
- The Satir change management model.
Lewin’s Change Management Model
Kurt Lewin theorized a three-stage model of change that is known as the unfreezing-change-refreeze model that requires prior learning to be rejected and replaced. Lewin’s theory states behavior as “a dynamic balance of forces working in opposing directions.
By splitting the change process into three stages you can break a large, unwieldy shift into bitesize chunks which account for both the processes and people in your company.
The McKinsey 7-S Model
The McKinsey 7S Framework is a management model developed by well-known business consultants Robert H. Waterman, Jr. and Tom Peters in the 1980s.
McKinsey 7s model is a tool that analyzes firm’s organizational design by looking at 7 key internal elements: strategy, structure, systems, shared values, style, staff and skills, in order to identify if they are effectively aligned and allow organization to achieve its objectives.
Kotter’s Theory of Change Management
John Kotter (1996), a Harvard Business School Professor and a renowned change expert, in his book “Leading Change”, introduced 8 Step Model of Change which he developed on the basis of research of 100 organizations which were going through a process of change.
The 8 steps in the process of change include: creating a sense of urgency, forming powerful guiding coalitions, developing a vision and a strategy, communicating the vision, removing obstacles and empowering employees for action, creating short-term wins, consolidating gains and strengthening change by anchoring change in the culture. Kotter’s 8 step model can be explained with the help of the illustration given below:
Nudge Theory of Change Management
Nudge theory is a flexible and modern change-management concept for:
- understanding of how people think, make decisions, and behave,
- helping people improve their thinking and decisions,
- managing change of all sorts, and
- identifying and modifying existing unhelpful influences on people.
The basic principles you need to follow when nudging changes are:
- Clearly define your changes
- Consider changes from your employees’ point of view
- Use evidence to show the best option
- Present the change as a choice
- Listen to feedback
- Limit obstacles
- Keep momentum up with short-term wins
The ADKAR model
The Prosci ADKAR Model is a goal-oriented change management model to guide individual and organizational change.
Created by Prosci founder Jeff Hiatt, ADKAR is an acronym that represents the five outcomes an individual must achieve for change to be successful: awareness, desire, knowledge, ability, reinforcement®.
It talks about
1. Awareness of the need for change
2. Desire to support and participate in change
3. Knowledge of How to change
4. Ability to implement the change
5. Reinforcement to sustain the change
Bridges’ transition model.
The main strength of the model is that it focuses on transition, not change. The difference between these is subtle but important. Change is something that happens to people, even if they don’t agree with it. Transition, on the other hand, is internal: it’s what happens in people’s minds as they go through change. Change can happen very quickly, while transition usually occurs more slowly.
The model highlights three stages of transition that people go through when they experience change. These are:
- Ending, Losing, and Letting Go.
- The Neutral Zone.
- The New Beginning.
Kübler-Ross’ change curve
The Kubler-Ross Change Curve which is also known as the 5 stages of grief is a model consisting of the various levels or stages of emotions which are experienced by a person who is soon going to approach death or is a survivor of an intimate death.
The 5 stages, according to Kübler-Ross are transferable to different ways and degrees and may vary from person to person. Besides those who are faced by intimate death, this model also holds true in the case of others who may be faced by less serious physical conditions or trauma.
The Satir Change Model
An element of the Satir System is a five-stage change model that describes the effects each stage has on feelings, thinking, performance, and physiology. Using the principles embodied in this model, you can improve how you process change and how you help others process change.
Virginia Satir’s Change Model describes the change patterns she saw during therapy with families.
You can use any of these change management models for your project.
Change Management process
The change management process is the sequence of steps or activities that a change management team or project leader follow to apply change management to a change in order to drive individual transitions and ensure the project meets its intended outcomes.
A consistent change management process will aid in minimizing the impact it has on your organization and staff.
The change management can be done in 3 phases.
Phase 1 – Preparing for change
Define your change Management Strategy
Prepare your Change Management Team
Develop your Model
Phase 2 – Managing Change
Develop Change Management Plans
Take Action and Implement Plans
Phase 3 – Reinforcing Change
Collect and Analyze Feedback
Diagnose gaps and Manage resistance
Implement Corrective Actions and Celebrate Success
Guide for Effective Change Management
1. Identify what will be Improved:
When there is a change, it is critical to identify the focus and goals of the change.
How big is this change?
How many people are affected?
Is it a gradual or radical change?
Understanding these questions will help you build a better change management plan.
Identifying, planning and executing a good change management plan is dependent on good communication.
The people involved in the change have established skill sets, knowledge, and experiences but providing clear and open lines of communication throughout the process is a critical element in all change modalities.
3. Change Management Training
Training is the cornerstone for building knowledge about the change and the required skills to succeed in the future state. Ensuring impacted people receive the training they need at the right time is a primary role of change management.
This means training should only be delivered after steps have been taken to ensure impacted employees have the awareness of the need for change and desire to support the change. Change management and project team members will develop training requirements based on the skills, knowledge and behaviours necessary to implement the change.
4. Resistance Management
Resistance is a very normal part of change management, but it can threaten the success of a project. Most resistance occurs due to a fear of the unknown.
It also occurs because there is a fair amount of risk associated with change – the risk of impacting dependencies, return on investment risks, and risks associated with allocating budget to something new. Anticipating and preparing for resistance by arming leadership with tools to manage it will aid in a smooth change lifecycle.
5. Employee Feedback
Managing change is not a one way change; employee involvement is a important and main part of managing change. Feedback from employees as a change is being implemented is a key element of the change management process. Change managers can analyze feedback and implement corrective action based on this feedback to ensure full adoption of the changes.
6. Continual Improvement
The final step in the change management process is the after-action review and the continual improvement. It is at this point that you can stand back and evaluate successes and failures of the whole process, and identify process changes for the next project. This is part of the ongoing, continuous improvement of change management for your organization and ultimately leads to change competency.
Supporting Tools and Components for Implementing Change Management Processes
There are various tools you can use to implement the change management in a more efficient way. Some of these tools are
Product or Business Roadmaps
Gap Assessment and CM Audits
Change Management Training Program
Stakeholder Feedback Forms
Post Change Review
Measurements and Analytics
Continuous Improvement Plan
Change Request Form
Change Control Log
There are various Change Management softwares that you can use to simplify your Change management process. Here’s some of the popular ones