Changes in processes, systems and technology in organisations require that jobs be structured and performed differently. To enable and sustain lasting change, rigorous attention to a formal change management effort is integral to any significant project that a company undertakes.
Change management is the discipline and systematic approach towards dealing with the transition or transformation of an organisation's goals, processes or technologies. It is the process, tools and techniques to manage the people side of change at achieving the required business outcome.
Some of the key tasks related to change management include identifying change agents and other people, who need to be involved in specific change activities such as design, testing, and problem solving, and who can then act as ambassadors for change is necessary for any company.
Assessing all stakeholders and defining the nature of sponsorship, involvement and communication is also required besides planning the involvement and project activities of the change sponsor(s).Planning how and when the changes will be communicated; organising and/or delivering the communications messages; assessing the impact of the changes on people and the organisation's structure; planning activities needed to address the impacts of the change and ensuring that people involved and affected by the change are all necessary.
Some companies will also address change by assessing training needs driven by the change, and planning when and how these will be implemented. Also identifying and ensuring that success indicators are regularly measured and reported on are required.
Before changes are implemented in an organisation, a formalised strategic and financial planning needs to be in place. These have to be aligned with organisational and individual goals and metrics.
It's also important to consider the personal impact caused by the change, and their journey towards working and behaving in new ways to support the change. The Change Curve is a useful model that describes the personal and organisational process of change in more detail.
Change management is a very broad field, and approaches to managing change vary widely, from one organisation to the other and between different projects.
Many organisations and consultants subscribe to formal change management methodologies. These include toolkits, checklists and outline plans of what needs to be done to manage changes successfully.
Advisory areas to organisational change are, as follows:
(i) LEADERSHIP - Providing the leadership coaching model and structure necessary for the transformations require that the increasing and challenging demand of the organisation are met personally and professionally.
(ii) CULTURE - Introducing a team building model addressing the trust, conflict, accountability, commitment and focus on results necessary for team success is the key here. It is also important to facilitate the development of a strong company mission, vision, and set of values necessary to provide a basis for transforming organisational conduct and culture.
(iii) PLANNING - Leading a dynamic, strategic planning process of an organisation that assesses a company's competitive market forces, the organisation's uniqueness, competitive advantage, value proposition and relative strengths/weaknesses and formalising key initiatives/goals, metrics and detailed action plans necessary for organisational transformation is part of this factor. In addition, where necessary, corporate restructuring plans are prepared and implemented to guide necessary financial transformation.
Change management focuses on people, processes and culture. Change management activities are best integrated with the wider project plan. The project team needs to be involved and handle change as a separate stream of work. This can ensure alignment of change targets, tactics, messages and behaviours with wider project activities.
Change management has become the new standard. Insights and approaches related to change are established to increase employees' comfort with new ways of working and to address outstanding issues.
Taslim Ahammad is an Assistant Professor at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Science and Technology University, Gopalganj, Bangladesh.
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