Change Management Part 2: The Process
Change Management Part 2: The Process
Change in business is constant, and skilled business owners recognise that whether you’re looking to upgrade your tech, restructure the hierarchy of responsibility within your team or completely overhaul your processes and procedures, change needs to be managed with a refined and targeted process.
Today, we’re taking a look at planning ahead for your change management timeline and setting you up for success for everything from your expected completion date to the resources (both financial and manpower) to get the job done.
Planning for change management empowers you to navigate through what is almost always a challenging process, even for the most established and experienced business. You’ll identify potential obstacles before they become issues, and importantly, you’ll stay on track and maintain realistic expectations.
Getting from A to B
First up, identify the scope (or scale) of the change you’re looking to implement – if it’s your first time executing change management, keep it simple. Outline specific goals and objectives, and get clear on the results you’re looking for – in other words, what would success look like to you in the first 1, 2 and 3 months?
Once you’re clear on what needs to be changed, work out what is achievable within your given time frames – you may have a deadline by which the process must be completed, so reverse engineer from this date just how quickly you’ll need to get going and how your process will look in each phase.
Remember: Rome wasn’t built in a day, and effective change management won’t be complete overnight, so faster doesn’t always equal better in this process.
Potential limitations & resources
Take a look at your goals and timeline and play “Devil’s Advocate” for yourself by mapping out where you might hit some roadblocks in the process. Does your change management plan require a dedicated external team to support you along the way, or will it require X amount of days or hours where your employees will need retraining (in this case, working out who will cover the day-to-day operations during this time)?
Get your tech, budget and peoplepower sorted and mapped out in a written change management plan that you can distribute to key stakeholders or senior staff so they are aware of what’s to come and what’s expected of them. If you know one or two team members, in particular, will be vital to completing your process, ensure they know what responsibilities fall on them and the timelines you expect items to be delivered by.
When it comes to change management, there’s no such thing as overcommunicating, so keep your internal comms team in the loop if they need to update certain teams or the wider staff on updates and timeline tracking. Communicate these updates to your stakeholders and other influential parties, and don’t be afraid to be transparent with your team. Most importantly, if your change management process is likely to result in staffing changes or offboarding, make this known well in advance and have the necessary conversations with staff that may be impacted.
Even though it can be uncomfortable, as a business leader in 2023 and beyond, it’s essential for the brand image of your business to remain transparent and honest about employment changes and avoid a group H.R. call to let go of staff en masse (a P.R. nightmare that we’ve seen several large companies fall into).
Change management is process and detail-oriented, so allow yourself the time, resources and headspace to do the job well. If, during your planning process, you realise that there are too many other demands on the business for a successful rollout, consider pushing back your change management start date – as they say, a job worth doing is worth doing well.