Friday, September 26, 2014

Change Management

Change is a fact of life. Many of our professional roles involve managing change through out our teams or organizations. Change can be difficult and everyone handles it differently. Creating a solid change management strategy will ease the transition and drive acceptance.

The Plan
Once a change need is defined, create a structured plan.  Map out all the areas that will be impacted. Think of the who and the what. Pull in appropriate employees for their insights and suggestions.  This helps secure buy-in because they were part of the process to mold the changes. Create a time-line of what is happening when and share the details with all impacted. 

Find the Wins
There is a reason behind the change.  Possibly this change will improve efficiency, drive more sales, or reduce costs. Continually highlighting the positive impacts of this change provides the “why” and helps impacted parties work through the change process to obtain those wins.

Add pre-testing, mock trials, and run-throughs to your time-line. You and the team have tried to think of all contingencies but likely there will be bumps along the way.  Ask for feedback and suggestions. Open dialogue and a positive attitude can help move things forward. A good sense of humor and knowing this too shall pass can go a long way.

Review Results
Evaluate as the process moves forward.  Frequent check-ins at the beginning of the change will make your team feel supported. Then move to weekly or monthly evaluations. This may capture unforeseen snags or new issues that might have bubbled up from the change. 

Change can be challenging but moves us forward. Continual and relevant communication before, during, and after the process is vital to implementing successful change. 

Have other change management tips?  Please share your comments below!

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