Handling the change management process

Handling the change management process

In my previous discussions I indicated that change can be initiated from a number of factors.
Change in a business set-up can emanate from a company embarking on a new strategy, implementing a new project, appointment of a new CEO, technology improvements, an initiative to stay ahead of the competition, implementing a turnaround strategy, or after a merger or an acquisition.

Some of the change might appear small and therefore management might dismiss change management or managing the change as unnecessary.
As I mentioned earlier on change is the only constant, every organisation is bound to face change. The best way to deal with change is to manage it.
Change management offers a way to minimise confusion as change unfolds. It also ensures that everyone in the organisation is on the same page as regards the change.
The change management process establishes a sense of urgency in management and employees, it creates a vision for change, and instils the desire for implementing change into employees.

There are benefits that an organisation will get from embarking on a change management process.
Change management can be defined as a systematic approach to dealing with change both from the perspective of an organization and the individual.
Change management has three different aspects, namely: adapting to change, controlling change, and effecting change.
Dealing with change should be a proactive approach. Successful adaptation to change is very crucial to the success of any organization.
Sometimes organisations encounter changing conditions that they are powerless to control so the only way to survive would be to adapt by establishing structured methodologies for responding to change.

Careful implementation of change management strategies will inevitably lessen the chances of a strategy failing. Every change management process should be properly planned and everyone should be on the same page in terms of what is expected of them.
All potential risks are analysed during the planning stage and therefore when such problems do crop up management would have already thought through on the way to deal with the issues.
The process of planning the change management process will also reduce confusion as to who should do what and when. Confusion is eliminated because the process forces team members to communicate what has to be done, by who and when.

A properly planned change management process would require that an organisation carries out a proper stakeholder analysis to establish the stakeholders that will be impacted by the change process. You have then to ensure that there is communication between the teams and the stakeholders who should be kept abreast of the changes.
If the change management is carefully planned and you adopt appropriate change management techniques then this will help ensure that whatever change you are implementing, be it a new project or a new strategy then you will be able to expedite it in a shorter time.

Change management can be a costly exercise, more so if there was no planning or if no change management techniques are adopted. A proper change management process requires that a budget be prepared so that the process is implemented within certain cost constraints.

An organisation will benefit a lot by having a budget for the change management process because the costs related to the exercise can be monitored and controlled.
Change management increases morale among participants or those affected by the process. This is because everyone knows what he is supposed to do, they understand why the change is necessary.

When everyone has been consulted when preparing for the change and every issue explained, they will know why the change is necessary and how it will benefit all impacted by the change, then everyone will be in support of the new changes.

A properly planned and implemented change management process will highlight the benefits expected from the project or strategy.
By following change management methodologies it will be easier to analyse how the changes benefit other aspects of the organisation and stakeholders.

Implementation of a change management is very crucial because it reduces unknowns in the project or strategy implementation and therefore reduces stress.
Change, no matter how small or great brings about a certain level of stress in those who are impacted by the change. So careful planning of the change management process will inevitably reduce stress and negative emotions by reducing the factors that are unknown.

As discussed above the process of managing change will require that stakeholders be updated of the changes that will impact them. This will require that customers are updated as well. Communication with customers and clients will improve relationship with the customers and will also increase the overall satisfaction reported by customers and clients.

Change management will ensure that as companies make radical changes impacting all stakeholders the relationship between these stakeholders is maintained and therefore remain committed to the company because of regular communication.

It is therefore advisable that whenever there is a project or some initiative that will bring about change it’s important a change management plan is prepared that will allow the organisation to monitor and control every stage of the change process and also allows a review of the benefits accruing from the project.

Stewart Jakarasi is a business & financial strategist and a lecturer in business strategy and performance management. ing organisations.
l You can contact him on the following contacts: sjakarasi@gmail.com or +266 58881062 or on +266 62110062

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