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The Change Management Process: How to Effectively Implement Change

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Published:
July 6, 2021
Reading Time:
7 minutes
Gizela
Gizela has almost two decades of experience within the Digital sphere and eagerly awaits the day she can be cloned so she can finally get everything on her daily to-do list done

Simply put, change management is the process of preparing people at all different levels of a company’s hierarchy to not only be ready for the inevitable change that is coming, but to also deal with it constructively. Implementing change within a business is slow or ineffective due to the lack of enthusiasm from everyone in the team. The change management process is a battle between changes within the organization and changing an individual’s mindset. Even though change is essential for growth (whether on a personal or professional level), people are generally resistant to change.

When implementing organizational change within a company there are two main types: adaptive change and transformational change. Both types of change come with their own issues which is where the change management process comes in - hand-in-hand with change management consultants. Occasionally it is better to get an outside consultant who has no predispositions to the company or its employees.

Change Management Guide

Kotters Change Model

  1. Kotters Change Model consists of eight steps:
  2. Instil the need for change
  3. Build a team to implement the change
  4. Get on the same page regarding the needed change
  5. Get others in the company on board
  6. Identify any barriers to the change and remove them
  7. Generate short-term and long-term wins
  8. Make the processes sustainable
  9. Make the change

ADKAR Model

The ADKAR model is an acronym which stands for:

  1. Awareness: a company needs to be aware that a change is necessary
  2. Desire to change: a company needs to want to make that change
  3. Knowledge: a company needs to know how to make that change
  4. Ability: a company needs to make the changes to their processes, behaviours, or skills
  5. Reinforcement: a company must reinforce these changes so that they last

Awareness

For a change to take place successfully, people need to be in the know about when the change is going to be expected to be in place and about why the change is important for the company.

Desire

People need to buy into the change, they need to want the change to work, and they need to want to be a part of making the change work. People need to embrace the change rather than shy away from it.

Knowledge

This is where consultants and online consultants come in. People need to be given the training, knowledge, and skills to make and sustain the change.

Ability

People need to be able to take their newly learned skills and information and put them into practice. They need to be coached throughout this entire process, but the approach should very much be on a “teach a man to fish” basis.

Reinforcement

There is no point in making a change one day if the next day it doesn’t stick. A change needs to be continually ingrained and reinforced so that it becomes a force of habit.

“The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress” – Charles Kettering

Deming Cycle Model

The Deming Cycle is perhaps the simplest of all the change management models. This cycle consists of 4 parts: Plan, Do, Study, Act. One simply needs to Plan and identify any problem areas, then Do and test the changes needed, Study the results to check which changes worked the best, and then Act out the best solutions across the company.

The Change Management Process

The change management process is different from the change management methodology and models as it is the sequence of events to push the change from being just an idea to actually being implemented. Change management benefits are what saves everyone involved emotional turmoil and stress over the upcoming change, it saves time, it saves resources, and it saves the company money. Change management also builds individual agility and adaptability and aligns the organization for efficiency. There are nine steps to ensuring that your change management process goes off without a hitch:

the change management process, The Change Management Process: How to Effectively Implement Change
  1. Identify what needs to be changed
  2. Get buy-in across all hierarchical levels of the organization
  3. Begin planning what needs to happen for the change and what the result of the change will be
  4. Consider the resources, finances and change management support tools needed to make the change
  5. Communicate the change to everyone
  6. Make the change needed for improvement
  7. Monitor any change management resistance
  8. Celebrate small and big wins to raise morale
  9. Review the effects of the change, revise the strategy, and improve

Change Management Resistance

Of course, change comes with resistance. Change Management resistance comes predominantly from the human element of the process – including team members and consumers or clients alike. It takes time for people to come to terms with change. This is because they are so used to doing one thing, that the idea of doing another (and not knowing how it will turn out), scares them. This is understandable since change does come with risk. Therefore, the people that the change affects, need to be involved in the decision-making process early on so that they have sufficient time to not only to accept the inevitable, but also to get on board and support the change.

Change Management Support

You may be asking yourself what are the change management tools and how do they support the process? Change management support and the associated tools are implemented on an internal level by the consultants or leaders involved. These support tools are product roadmaps, assessments to gauge readiness, training sessions, feedback forums to assess how the change is going, reviews for everyone that initiated the change and for everyone affected by the change, data analytic tools to measure change in performance as well as resistance management and outside help.

If you believe your company could benefit from change management, you are almost 100% right, because when implemented correctly, it can have a huge benefit on almost all aspects of your business, including cutting costs and improving company culture. If you are hesitant on how you can organise this change management, why not hire an expert who has experience with effectively implementing change management. Change can be experienced as scary or uncertain, but if a business follows the right methodology and uses all the tools, resources and third party help at their disposal, change can be seamless and extremely beneficial.