Change Management, The “Business” of Change
What is change management? Change management is bridging the gap between what is happening and what is possible. It is managing all of the elements of the change to create a smoother transition and a more comfortable feeling for any given situation. We are creatures of habit and change is not easy for most people. Think about your idea view of life. Do you crave stability or do you thrive on change? Either way, change is constant in our lives. Everyone has the ability to be a change master when you choose how you react to change. You must build your capacity and tolerance for accepting new ideas; learn to be more flexible and release the idea that everything is not cast in stone. This allows you the freedom to make conscious decisions about your own change capacity. By making learning habitual in organizations we can develop a culture of people committed to change and growth who can be a powerful force for business success. (Robbins, 2003; Harvard Business School Working Knowledge, 2003) The role of the change management person is very important. There are many different facets involved in managing change. In this paper we will discuss three of the most important elements: scope, training, and communication. Whether you are managing the implementation of new software, an upgrade, a massive project, or simple basic day to day operational changes, how the change is handled with employees is critical to its success. It’s all about the experience; helping people understand, helping people be informed, helping people be productive, helping create value and helping create the future. People have to understand the context, the reasons for the change, the plan and the organization’s clear expectations for their changed roles and responsibilities. (Heathfield; http://humanresources.about.com) see examples in APA Style Manual for citations from electronic sources Who, what, why, where, when and how; this is the first step in identifying the “scope.” Who will be affected? All of the stakeholders must be identified in the beginning. Leaving out even the smallest of roles can place an undue hardship on the rest of the stakeholders. Along with this comes responsibilities and expectations of those involved, roles and responsibilities of team members. Who do we look too for guidance? Who are the “champions” of the change? Who is involved in the overall project team along with their individual roles? What is changing? A complete and specific overview of the change. Clear and concise identified objectives; what the process is now and what it will be in the future; what the scope of the project entails, beginning to end. Where? Is this change happening in our own environment or is it happening behind the scenes somewhere in home office? Where will the project team be located? This ties to accessibility; where they are makes a clear difference on how accessible they are to the users. Why? Why are we making the change? Wouldn’t it just be easier to continue on the same path we are on? An explanation of why the change is necessary is crucial. People tend to believe managers implement changes just to make their life more difficult! They need to understand the benefits and reasons around the change, why it is necessary. When will the change happen? A complete timeline from kick off to implementation, project deliverables and key milestones; this gives people a sense of security that they will not simply come in one day and be forced into something new. It allows time for adjustment, acceptance and training. Finally....how? see APA Style Manual for use of bold text Not only how will we implement the change, but more importantly, how will it affect you individually. Let’s face it, whatever the change, basic human instinct makes us say “how will I be affected” by this change. Regardless of how many others are involved, we want to know the personal affect on us....
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