Change management is a term often used but seldom understood. It refers to the strategic process by which large scale change is planned for and implemented with people. Successful change management requires frequent and clear communication between an organization and its people. An essential part of this practice is not only managing all the moving parts associated with a project but also understanding how people process change. At Precise Process Consulting, one of the main services we provide is consulting for organizations going through change. This can include anything from training on how to use a new system to communications related to a merger/acquisition. Here is our customized four-phased approach to tackling change management:
- Map: Evaluate, outline, and define the current state of the organization. We conduct a critical review of an organization’s objectives and performance goals to ensure that the change will be strategic, beneficial, and valuable. We create a baseline for establishing and understanding the need for impending change.
- Prepare: Prepare the organization for the upcoming change. We help stakeholders understand what is being changed, why it needs to be changed, and how the change can be implemented successfully. We determine the impact of this process within every organizational level.
- Accomplish: Manage the deployment of change. Our team utilizes tools such as training, communications, and engagement activities to increase the success rate of a project. During this phase, communication and feedback offer valuable insight.
- Sustain: Measure changes and shifts in behavior. Once the change has been implemented, we help reinforce the new process, evaluate feedback, and monitor how employees react to the change.
This month, we want to highlight some of the most common misconceptions we see within major corporations when it comes to addressing change. Check out our interview with Founder and President, Valerie Hoskins, as she shares her experience with implementing major change management projects:
What is the most common problem or issue you encounter with organizations attempting to implement change management?
Change Management seems to be an afterthought for most organizations when implementing major projects. The system/technology portion is always at the forefront followed by overhauling processes. However, the people aspect of change is often completely overlooked. By the time companies figure out the importance of change management within their organization, it’s often too late and there are critical issues in communication breakdowns or lack of training and understanding of the new process.
Describe a challenging change management project you went through.
Precise Process Consulting was engaged in providing expansive training and communications support for a large scale Workday ERP implementation at a prominent university with a hospital component. While the leadership and organization were supportive of change management, it was a very new concept for the employees who had little to no technical knowledge and were accustomed to antiquated, manual processes. There was a huge amount of effort in preparing the employees for change and educating them on the change management process. Training was a pivotal component that most employees had to undertake to leverage the latest system and operate within the new streamlined process.
How do you measure/evaluate the results of a change?
Measuring tangible change can be one of the most difficult components of change management. However, it is critical to show companies and leadership the value of these efforts. At Precise Process Consulting, we have developed detailed processes and tools to assist in this endeavor. This includes pulse checks throughout the project where employee feedback and engagement is measured and training metrics to quantify our results. When possible, we also attempt to provide discrete time measurements to show the actual value of how training, communications, or processes have positively impacted employee time management.
What future change management trends do you foresee, and how have those been impacted by the current health crisis?
I believe the biggest trend we are seeing with change management is the cultural shift to remote work and process automation, which has only been highlighted by the recent pandemic. The employee culture is shifting with millennials and gen Z’s demanding more options and input to their working style. Companies must adapt to an increasingly remote workforce and invest preemptively in sophisticated processes and systems that enable them to function seamlessly. The way companies communicate with, engage, and train their employees is pivotal to their success. Change Management has long been thought of as a luxury, but now companies are quickly figuring out that their employees are critical to the overall success of the organization. Now more than ever, proactive change management is a MUST!
For more information on this and other topics related to implementing change management within your organization, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org