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How To Write An Effective Change Management Plan For An Organization

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The one thing every business should expect is change. Change is inevitable! It comes whether you’re prepared for it or not. An effective organizational change plan helps you prepare beforehand. Most organizational change happens for one or two reasons: intentional strategy execution implemented to facilitate organizational growth and progress or unexpected circumstances. Whether the change is due to market influence, a reduction in budget, expansion, or resource constraints, it’s a safe bet that organizational change will affect your business on a fairly regular basis.

How can you set up an efficient change plan and reduce most unknown variables? While Kotter’s 8 Steps of Change model provides you all the tools necessary to structure and implement change from the bottom up, the UNITE Horizons of Growth framework goes into more detail and tells you exactly when and how to improve, transform or innovate your business.

Organizational change plan has evolved from simply something that happens in organizations to an entire discipline. This post provides information on how to create an effective organizational change management plan that can help your organization prepare and handle unforeseen or forecasted changes. We’ll also provide tips on writing effective organizational change management plans and show you organizational change plan examples.

Understanding the Change Management Process Organizational Change Plan

Numerous change management theories, organizational change management plan examples, frameworks, and models have been developed based on research and experience. One of such theories is Kotter’s 8-step Change Management Process. The world-renowned change expert John Kotter crafted this 8-step process for change: create urgency, create a vision for change, form a powerful coalition, communicate the vision, remove obstacles, create short-term wins, build on the change, and anchor the change into corporate culture.

These frameworks, theories, and models act as a guide to managing change both personally and within an organization. Most of these frameworks include a supporting process or sequence of steps to move a change from initiation to completion. Within the entire process, there is a ‘Planning’ stage where teams create an organizational change plan to help manage tasks and activities.

The one constant thing in life is change. This is especially true in the business world with ever-changing conditions. As the world becomes more complex, interdependent, and interconnected, seemingly trivial factors can have a severe impact on global markets. Research has shown that agile organizations- those that have built the capacity to adapt to change rapidly, are more likely to succeed.

Therefore, being exceptionally competent in organizational change can no longer be a one-time emotional solution but a vital element of organizational strategy. An organizational change management plan is a systematic approach to leading large-scale change from the process and org structure to culture and human capital.

What is an Organizational Change Management Plan, and Why Do You Need One?

An organizational change management plan helps manage the change process and also ensures control in budget, schedule, scope, communication, and resources. It helps to minimize the impact a change can have on the business, customers, employees, and other important stakeholders.

Effective organizations are able to handle varying degrees of complex change and quickly pivot and navigate the changing landscape. Deep emergent change can be extremely disruptive and unsettling, whereas intentional incremental change may feel like minor efficiency improvements and largely go unnoticed. All forms and degrees of organizational change need a visionary leader to lead and journey and continually communicate with employees. It is important to have a comprehensive and integrated change management plan to help clearly articulate organizational strategy, helping people understand why the change is critical and what the future looks like for the organization.

You need an organizational change plan because processes and strategy are always perfect in their conception, but as time goes on, these elements of business become living, breathing, and changing entities, Change management plans help you remain agile, adapt to challenges along the way, monitor success metrics, and track milestones.

How to Write an Effective Organizational Change Management Plan

Change is worth making for a business to reach greater heights; it’s equally worth investing your time to craft an effective change management plan. There are various steps required in crafting a suitable change management plan for your organization and preparing customers, employees, and stakeholders for the change process.

You can start by using an organizational change management plan example. Below we’ve outlined them here and shared some of the best practices and tips recommended by experts in the field.

Define the change

Before taking up any change management step for your organization, you need to first determine/define what change you need for your value creation. What would be the result of the change and its impact on customers, employees, and stakeholders? What are the important initiatives businesses need to consider to make the change happen? The answers to these questions will help you craft an effective and efficient organizational change management plan.

Demonstrate the reasons for the change

You must never assume that your team understands why change is needed. Even the blindingly obvious is never obvious to all. Make sure that the reasons for the change efforts are clearly defined. When your employees, customers, and other stakeholders have a clear understanding of why the change is needed and how it will improve business or the way they work, they are more likely to support rather than resist the change.

Determine the scope of the change

The next step in writing an effective change management plan is to determine the scope. That is, asking yourself, who is the change going to affect? Also, determine what the change will impact, including job roles, organizational structure, and processes.

Identify stakeholders and the change management team

One of the best practices in change management includes having a task force or team who understands the organizational change and can execute it. The composition of this team is important and should be led by a visionary leader. The change management team interacts with stakeholders, addresses concerns, and oversees a smooth change transition. Roles within the team require a clear definition. The people involved in change management roles should support the project goals; they act as change agents for the entire change management plan activities and authorize it.

Create a change management communication plan

The right strategic communications can help maintain employee focus and foster trust- even in uncertain times. Build trust among your employees by being visible and accessible. Create opportunities for employees to ask questions and let them know what information you can share and what information you can’t share for the time being.

How can you set up an efficient change plan and reduce most unknown variables? The UNITE Horizons of Growth framework tells you exactly when and how to improve, transform or innovate your business.

Organizational Change Management Plan Processes and Systems

Change management processes and systems pave the way for successful change management. It is important to be able to submit a change request, track, schedule, and manage that request through delivery. A change management system will allow a single storage location for all data associated with organizational changes, standardization of procedures, analysis of trends and activity, and easy access anywhere at any time.

Look for a system that offers the following functionality:

Ability to break work down into tasks:

  • Configurable change request forms
  • Budgeting and cost controls
  • Change log for historical tracking
  • Role assignment
  • Configurable change management processes
  • Schedule of changes (Forward Schedule of Change)
  • Ability to classify as a change and reclassify as a defect if necessary
  • Change the assignment to individuals, teams, and/or Change Advisory or Change Control Board
  • Updating change
  • Change monitoring
  • Change approvals

Must-know Organizational Change Plan Activities

Having a successful change management process within the organization is almost impossible without having a great team to work with. It is essential to involve all employees in the change process adoption to accomplish a change management plan. Some will embrace the change, and others will resist it. But you don’t have to be discouraged. Here are a few organizational change plan activities you need to focus on to keep track

  • Identification: At the initial stage, categorize all employees, customers, and stakeholders affected by the change process and design a different communication approach for each category.
  • Engage: Engaging the customers, employees, and stakeholders throughout the process is indeed much helpful in promoting the organizational change management process. Using apt games, simulations, and exercises to demonstrate change will help tackle any resistance and emotional barriers to the process.
  • Set Goals: To easily track the progress and manage change in a better way, split the entire transition process into various stages, phases and activities. This help to create milestone which can be celebrated by the team.

Conclusion

The change in the global market conditions and reduced economic growth leads to a complex organizational environment. To overcome such intricacies at the workplace, organizations must handle regular changes. Considering the overall growth perspective of the organization, it has to embrace the change.

An organizational change management plan helps you plan effectively for this change. An organizational change plan elaborates the roles and activities that require improved attention during project execution. It helps to minimize the negative impact of change on digital business strategy, stakeholders, and employees.


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