What Is Change Management

377

Many companies, schools, healthcare providers, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations struggle with what is change management. Change management is an ever-changing discipline, which refers to the ability to create and manage change effectively. It is crucial to know the different concepts and areas involved when determining what is change management. This includes what is change management really about, what the purpose of change management is, what is change management like, how do you apply change management concepts and what do you expect from change management in your organization. In this article, we will provide you with the answers to these questions so that you may better understand what is change management and how it affects you and your organization. We will also examine change management as a process that includes people, processes, technology, as well as organizations.

What is change management? Change management is an overall approach to how organizations go about change, what is change, who is involved in change, and what is the result of change. Change can be sudden or gradual, but can have some impact on organizational culture, operations, goals, values, and processes. An effective change management process begins by clearly defining the purpose of change, identifying those affected by change, forming a vision and mission for the changed organization, developing appropriate strategies, determining who is impacted by change, forming a plan and tactics to execute the vision and mission, monitoring and measuring the success of the plan, engaging affected parties, sharing results, and reviewing and considering future directions. As every business is different, the above mentioned steps are not always the same for every organization. For instance, when a company is growing very rapidly, rather than form a vision and mission for the organization, they may form a specific vision and mission for their executive team, share a specific plan, monitor the business, develop various systems, and develop and implement strategies as needed.

What is change management like? The people and groups included in an organizational change management team have an important role to play in helping to manage change. Some of these people are change agents, others are change managers, some are change advisers, some are change trainers, others are change advisors, and still others are change coordinators. In addition to the people listed above, an organizational change management team may also include consultants, administrators, leadership analysts, project coordinators, finance professionals, risk management experts, quality assurance experts, technical experts, or other members.

How is change managed? A key element of an effective organizational change management strategy is to understand the purpose of change, identify who is being affected by change, determine the potential impact to key stakeholders, develop a plan, ensure that the plans execute as intended, measure the impact of the plan against identified objectives, share results with affected parties, review and consider future directions, and train and develop internal change agents. Change management ensures that the organization is able to adjust as circumstances change without disrupting normal operations. Effective change management ensures that any identified or desired shortfalls or improvements are addressed, and that organizational leaders understand the value of change and how it impacts their careers, teams, and activities. Organizations that understand change can adapt more effectively to changes in their environment.

Organizations must be structured in their strategic planning processes in order to understand change, and this involves communicating and taking action on an ongoing basis. The use of change management principles involves a more structured approach than what is often used in the past. These principles involve planning, organizing, empowering, communicating, providing feedback, creating structures, improving processes and structures, and managing change. When an organization uses a structured approach to change management, the personnel in the leadership roles are aware that their actions affect the organization’s processes and structures.

There is now an increasing focus on the organizational structure, including what is called “system change management.” There is now more emphasis on using an “agile” or” scrum-driven” change management process. Agile, as defined by Wikipedia, is “A form of software development, in which a prototype is developed prior to full production. Scrum, on the other hand, defines continuous improvement, which involves making incremental improvements to a prototype over multiple iterations.” Agile and scrum-driven methods have been found to be highly effective at delivering quality solutions to organizational challenges.

Most of today’s strategic planning processes do not include any of the five strategic objectives: corporate, market, emotional, environmental, and value creation. Because no one single objective can be taken to be the complete answer to every question concerning what is change management, it is important for organizations to develop multiple strategic objectives. This is done through what is called an individual change management capability (ICM). This capability allows for the rapid development of new ideas and strategies, but also for the expansion of existing ones. In other words, an ICM ensures that the “big picture” happens.

As long as there is a need for change and the ability to manage change in an effective manner, the question of what is change management will continue to puzzle practitioners. However, with the implementation of a well-structured approach and a systematic approach, most companies will find that their successful change management process begins with the implementation of a well-structured plan by all parties involved, including leaders. Following this, a well-structured ICA strategy can ensure that all necessary elements of a successful change management process are in place.