What does process change management in business mean? Change is inevitable in the modern world and any individual or enterprise that fails to adapt to change, survival is blurry.
Throughout history, we encounter brands that were once global icons only to fade away like mist.
Undoubtedly, the success of organizations is greatly affected by their flexibility to change and effectiveness in making informed decisions.
Some of the examples that will leave you in awe are Kodak, Blockbuster Video, and BlackBerry.
Kodak, a global camera manufacturer experienced a setback when it failed to seize an opportunity of embracing modern technology.
The same story goes on for Blockbuster Video, Toshiba, and BlackBerry, defining how crucial it is to adapt to change, especially in a modern world driven by technology.
Precisely, harnessing the power of technology brings about innovation that allows brands and businesses to evolve.
As a matter of fact, it allows companies to stay relevant in the changing business realm.
In this piece, we’ll explore process change management and why it is a necessity today more than ever. So, let’s dive into it!
What is Process Change Management?
Also known as change management, process change management refers to the systematic and detailed course of action involved in introducing and managing change in an organization.
Change and its management are necessary if a business is to grow or enter new markets.
Change today is characterized by the use of better technologies, streamlining of tasks, and product innovation among others.
Organizations that fail to plan to evolve are commonly left adrift.
On the other hand, it isn’t all about adopting change, but it’s proper management also matters.
In fact, half of the change initiatives are unsuccessful due to implementation inefficiencies.
Change must be handled in a way that business operations are unhampered and that it facilitates business sustainability.
Also, it must be in a way that business stakeholders such as employees and suppliers aren’t extendedly affected in the long run.
Generally, good change must;
- Improve workflow and employee experience
- Cater to business scalability
- Adhere to organizational ethics, and a positive work environment including safety
- Adhere to company goals, mission, and vision
- Cater to further developments
- Cultivate customer experience
Precisely, good change in an organization should primarily target long-term goals.
Types of Change Management
It should be noted that change occurs at different levels and the fundamental change management categories include;
Individual Change: This is a type of change that occurs within an individual. People can change over a lifetime.
Within an organization, it is important for a process change manager to understand the type of people he or she is dealing with.
Individual change management deals with directing and supporting an individual during a transition.
Organizational Change Management: It refers to the process of guiding an organization during change implementation.
Organizational change management is a strategic and methodological process of bringing adjustment to the major facets or components of an organization successfully.
The different types of organizational change include adaptive change and transformational change.
Adaptive change is small in nature and comprises slight changes that allow an organization to evolve.
On the other hand, transformational change involves organizational changes that occur on a large scale.
This type of change management may involve altering the company structure, mission, processes, and strategies among others.
Precisely, organizational change has a larger scope than individual change.
The Phases of a Change Management Process
In this case, we shall focus on organizational change management.
This type of process change management generally has three phases;
Preparation Phase: There can be different effects of change and certainly a detrimental impact in case poorly managed.
For an organization to stay relevant, efficient, and cost-effective in this tech-driven business world, it must introduce the necessary change.
With that, it’s important to develop a change management strategy.
During the preparation phase, change managers define goals, assess the impact of change and define the approach toward the desired changes.
Unprepared change can cause process disruptions that may cost a company heavily.
Also, it can hamper employee productivity.
Therefore, change managers must perform a SWOT Analysis to diagnose the impact of change implementation both in the short and long run.
The possible approaches to change must be clearly known plus how activities are to be executed.
Change Implementation & Management Phase: As per the Prosci 3-Phase Process, this phase involves strategy implementation, adaptation, and performance tracking.
In this phase, actions are taken to equip and support the involved parties through the change process.
Once plans are put into action, effective communication and empowerment are very crucial in bringing about the desired goal.
Change managers must ensure that every person performs their role excellently.
Proper implementation and management of change processes reduce downtime and incidences of production woes.
Review & Assessment Phase: This phase requires the change managers to review and assess the change attained, what went wrong, and what worked out.
It helps facilitate future change implementation, assessment, and management.
It also paves way for change sustainability.
When change is sustainable, it allows an organization to adopt better technologies and strategies at a later time.
Process Change Management Template
The way an organization manages change can make a huge difference.
That’s because implementing change is difficult and improper management can affect the entire organization.
At this juncture, we would like to look at a process change management plan template and its facets.
A process change management plan template can help an organization establish a well-detailed and effective procedure for the implementation, coordination, and evaluation of a change management process.
A process change management template refers to a customizable plan that streamlines the implementation of change activities, modification, and assessment.
It must clearly detail why change is necessary, how it will be implemented, how it will be communicated, and managed.
Creating a change management plan requires one to set smart goals to guide its implementation.
Therefore, a change management plan must clearly detail the following;
- The reason for change
- Project budget
- The scope of the plan
- Change management roadmap
- Goals, etc.
It should be noted that change normally requires training and support and that must be planned for before implementing it.
If you want to properly train your team to embrace and deal with change, here are the things your change management training plan template should cover.
Target Audience: In this case, you must define the type of people that require training and support during a change process.
If you’re a large organization, you must find a way of segmenting your workforce as per their training needs and experience, among others.
This will not only lead to effective training but will also eliminate complexities.
Change Management Models: These are the models involved in change implementation and management.
Change management models are concepts and methodologies that provide an in-depth pathway to change in a company.
These include McKinsey’s 7-S Model, Lewin’s Change Management Model, Bridges’ Transition Model, etc.
Nature of Training: It is the extent and type of training that an audience requires to operate in a new environment. That includes the skills, knowledge, and flexibility that leads to efficiency.
Tools & Resources: This area will detail the equipment and tools that a group requires during training. These may be outsourced or already available.
Training Managers: These are in charge of training the workforce. They must be well-versed in the new technologies or tools that an organization is trying to introduce.
Goals: These are the end results that the management requires to see. The goals must be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.
The management must also ensure that the intended goals are sustainable and will not interfere with future business needs.
Having clear goals helps the management to train teams effectively and reduce resource wastage.
Training Duration: It must be known how long the training will take, the number of sessions per day, and what would be done on each day.
The end goal is to ensure that all players receive the required level of training before handling new roles.
Training Cost: With the fact that change implementation and management must be conducted on a budget, training costs must be considered.
Issue Management: There must be a plan on how to handle training problems and difficulties.
A Look at Other Facets of Change Management
Change Management in Agile
There is nothing difficult as guiding an organization through change.
Leveraged change methodologies, approaches, and concepts always affect different aspects of a business.
More so, poorly planned change processes can affect organizational processes, productivity, and customer experiences.
So, an organization must adopt strategies that can cater to a smooth transition without hindering business operations.
In this case, an agile methodology is key to helping an organization through change.
Additionally, it should be noted that change processes differ from one organization to another.
Also, the nature of change determines the complexities an organization might face.
However, here are a few things to keep in mind when ushering your organization through change;
- Prioritize Changes
There are different types of changes with differing complexities.
Handling agile changes may offer a smooth and short transition for an organization.
However, non-agile change processes may require more time and technicalities.
In this case, an organization must prioritize change.
Review change processes and their intricacy.
Analyze the technical team’s efficiency in accomplishing changes within a given period of time.
Also, assess the impact of the downtime on service or product delivery to customers.
Agile change processes are fast and may not hamper service delivery if well planned.
However, intricate change processes that require technical teams, and equipment installation may require more time.
For that matter, identify crucial areas that require immediate alteration and start with those.
Then schedule change in other areas at a later time.
- Make Adjustments
Due to technological advancements, the business world is continuously being impacted. Organizations that fail to embrace change only deny themselves a competitive advantage.
Currently, there are many automation and transformation trends that businesses can leverage to stay agile and competitive in this technological era.
Adopting innovative technologies and methodologies not only allows an organization to operate efficiently but additionally to stay relevant.
Embracing new technologies and better ways of doing things is one way to stay ahead of the competition.
Therefore, an organization must look for ways of enhancing processes and operations. It can be through mechanization, automation, or software deployment.
Precisely, a process change manager must evaluate company processes and identify those that require improvement and make the necessary adjustments.
- Ensure Smooth Collaboration with Concerned Teams
As earlier said, change is an intricate process and therefore, requires tethering the different parts of an organization together.
Depending on the process change management style, ensure a seamless flow of information between the technical team and other departments.
Communicate changes at the earliest for teams to plan and execute duties on time.
Create and follow a process change control template to ensure that change processes are aligned with the end goal.
Additionally, make sure to strategize ways how to handle change management in agile.
Share design changes and related resources to the right people timely.
This will eliminate confusion, delay, and resource wastage during change implementation.
- Focus on Creating Customer Expectations
Ensure that customer experiences aren’t hampered during change management.
Failure to continue providing customer expectations can affect customer experience.
Unfortunately, many organizations fail to realize the possible disruptions transitions can bring to logistics and service delivery.
Improperly planned change processes can also reduce company ROI and customer satisfaction.
Therefore, plan on how to create customer expectations during the transition period.
For example, you can partner with other production units or logistic companies.
Additionally, you can inform your customers about possible disruptions during service modification.
However, ensure to be clear on how long the issues would last.
This can help cultivate patience in customers.
- Manage Customer Expectations
Yes! Understanding the change management process can help you manage customer expectations during the change process.
Commonly, customer frustrations during change processes are cultivated by miscalculations.
This is why many companies lose millions during upgrading or technology improvements.
Therefore, create a team to handle customer complaints during the change process.
- Handle Changes Efficiently
This may require you to streamline activities, break a goal into smaller bites, track progress, and redefine methodologies, and so on.
Or to develop the skills to manage change and besides that, avoid procrastination.
Handling change in agile will require you to implement changes as soon as possible.
You must ensure optimal efficiency in all departments.
However, intricate change processes may require you to plan change in phases in order to bring about efficiency.
Managing Risks During Change Processes
Errors and operational issues are possible during a change process. However, there are possible methods of handling it and they include;
Itil (ITIL) process for change management
The ITIL change management process is highly popular within the IT industry.
ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library offers a range of practices for change management.
The process was designed to reduce the risk that comes with upgrading solutions.
The itil process change management focuses on minimizing the negative impact of change implementation.
It was created to support IT service providers to stay afloat while introducing change in their solutions.
The procedure of ITIL change management involves change planning, approval, implementation, and closure.
This change management process caters to different forms of changes i.e standard changes, normal and emergency changes.
The process of change management generally calls for IT professionals to standardize their mediums of service planning, delivery, and support.
Change Management Process iso 9001
Changes are intended to be advantageous to organizations and all the internal and external parties such as the customers.
The iso 9001 offers a formidable management system platform that supports the strategic direction of the organization.
Its primary goal is to enhance the requirements for addressing changes to the systems and processes of Quality management.
The iso 9001 change management process also puts into consideration the introduced risks and opportunities.
Companies today can benefit from the iso 9001 change management process in the case of;
- A need for innovation
- Assessment and product development for a target audience
- Customer service issues like complaints
- Determined risks
- Internal or external assessment insights
- Realized opportunities
- Customer feedback
- New processes
Implementation of change, in this case, will require the management to define goals, develop a plan, prioritize changes, engage the involved teams, train people and assess the effect of change.
The process change manager must review and control changes for products or services.
This is essential to ensure continuing conformity with requirements and intended goals.
Change Management Process Audit Checklist
A change management audit checklist is a tool or an approach leveraged to assess change processes.
With the fact that every organization is different, a customized change management checklist can work as a perfect tool to assess change.
Depending on the organization, an organization’s change management audit checklist may comprise several facets like processes, organizational culture, communication mediums, training, and intended goals.
The change management process team must create questions best suited to showcase that the change implementation process is moving in the right direction or was successfully implemented.
This can help in evaluating change management processes to ascertain the degree of risk involved, profit, and efficiency.
Conducting a change management audit will also require a team to identify gaps, assess change implementation, and monitor progress over a given period of time.
In the case of flaws and downsides, the change manager must make recommendations for improvement.
Why Change is Important in an Organization?
Change is inevitable in every area of life.
When it comes to organizations, change is key to embracing modern markets and staying agile.
Change is also important because it allows an organization to stay innovative.
Embracing technology and innovative systems allow organizations to develop.
Organizational development is key to retaining customers and markets, especially for global brands.
That also applies to a business that wants to operate on a large scale.
Change also leads to the realization of opportunities. With the fact that change commonly requires the adoption of better methodologies and systems, it cultivates opportunities.
In this way, businesses are fashioned to withstand competition, enter new markets, and increase efficiency.
It also enables an organization to offer quality products or services to a target audience.
Internal organizational change can also improve workplace environments. It can help an organization create a positive brand image or garner trust.
When is Change Management Necessary?
Some of the many organizational cases that may require change management are;
- Introduction of new technology
- During amalgamations
- Altering the work culture
- Production inefficiencies or
- When the current processes aren’t working as desired
Essential Considerations Before Implementing Change
Besides approval from the management, there are other things that an organization must look into before implementing change.
Precisely, all stakeholders must be informed about the upcoming organizational change.
This can help them to prepare for it, digest it and understand its impact on them.
As much as change may be good for an entire organization, it may not be good for some employees, suppliers, or business partners.
Therefore every involved party must be informed about the change and why it’s necessary. In some cases, you may have to help some stakeholders understand why change is necessary.
That can be psychological, mental, and physical. With that, you will have to solicit the necessary help i.e from medical institutions, counselors, and other industry experts.
This will help to bring them on board and eliminate future legal impediments.
The organization’s management must also evaluate the possible external implications of introducing change.
For example, a manufacturing plant must consider the drainage systems, local authorities, and community.
Change is unavoidable and if you fail to change, change will certainly change you! If you run an organization, you must plan for change.
That is whether you’re in the manufacturing industry, retail, or pharmaceutical.
Embracing change brings about organizational agility and it also makes the workspace attractive.
For example, automation and digital transformation are two major tech areas that are helping organizations stay relevant.
However, mere planning for change isn’t enough.
You must assess areas that require it, plan for it, set a budget for it, and manage it.
Failure to manage change effectively can cause disaster in an organization.
That’s why we have created this ultimate guide for process change management in business.
It can dimensionally help you understand more about change and its implementation at all levels of the organization.
Jessica Robinson loves to write interesting and knowledgeable blogs regarding business management, education, and life to satiate the curiosity of her lovely readers. Currently, she is serving as a content manager at the ‘Speaking Polymath’. Every piece of content that she writes demonstrates her immense love and passion for her profession.
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