Change management has become one of the most important factors for success in the organizational paradigm of the modern world.
Why is that? Well, it is because the project development process and all the other factors related to the project are not that stable and they have to be changed ever so often because of the changing requirement of the market.
That’s why project managers have to incorporate a process of change management in their development strategy to make sure that any changes that come in the way of their development process being a success, can be dealt with, with ease.
Let’s discuss the definition of change management in detail.
What is Change Management?
The systematic approach which deals with the transition or transformation of different organizational goals, processes, core values, or technologies is called the Change Management process.
The main reason why companies incorporate a change management process in their overall workflow is that they want to successfully implement different methods and strategies of change in their development processes which ultimately helps the people to adapt to the change.
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What are the Three Types of Organizational Change?
The following are the three most important types of Organizational change that are a part of the organizational paradigm. They are:
- Transitional Change: These are the changes performed by the project managers or the high-level officials to steer the company away from one direction into another to make sure that the problem that the company is facing, is solved. These included mergers, automation, and acquisitions.
- Developmental Change: Any changes that are made in the company’s policies or in the project development processes to make sure that the already established processes be optimized and improved.
- Transformational Change: These changes are the most impactful as they change the fundamental concepts on which the company is based, and also the operations and the core values that the company holds dear.
What are the 7 R’s of Change Management?
The famous 7 R’s of change management are the most important points that are to be considered in the whole change management process. These points are invoked in the conversation whenever anyone wants to make a change request regarding anything in the organization.
These points are important because they help in normalizing the change management process for those people associated with the project or the organization that is skeptical and wants everything to remain the same.
These 7 R’s of change management checklist consists of 7 simple questions. These questions are as follows.
- The REASON behind the change?
- RISKS involved in the requested change?
- RESOURCES required to deliver the change?
- Who RAISED the change request?
- RETURN required from the change?
- Who is RESPONSIBLE for creating, testing, and implementing the change?
- RELATIONSHIP between suggested change and other changes?
Let’s discuss all of these questions in detail.
1. The REASON behind the change?
Why was the change requested by the upper management or the project managers related to the project? What was the reason behind this change request?
There can be many reasons regarding the processes of the company or the project development process, but the most common reasons for a change request are as follows:
- Capacity increase of a project element or some other element associated with the company
- Availability increase is also a viable reason for a change request
- Minimizing a security risk can also be one of the reasons to invoke a change request
No matter what the reason for the change request is, the entity that is filing for change has to present a credible evidence trail or a persuasive argument to support their push for change.
This evidence has to submit to the board so that they can investigate and approve the change request.
One thing that you have to make sure of is to align all of the changes that are being proposed with the IT strategy and business objectives associated with the organization. This will help you avoid the expenditure of valuable resources on unnecessary changes.
2. RISKS involved in the requested change?
What are the risks associated with the changes that have been proposed in the change management process?
You have to understand that there is risk associated with literally everything included in the project development process and every entity associated with the organization.
The risks can be major like the company shutting down or something less fatal like losing a chunk of data during a system upgrade.
The question is how much risk are you going to allow to make sure that the changes can be administered with that risk present and there isn’t any fatal damage to the whole shebang.
3. RESOURCES required to deliver the change?
What are the resources required to administer the change the company is proposing or the project manager is rooting for?
If the company doesn’t have the money to back the project development process or if they don’t have the required or recommended personnel to finish the job, they are never going to complete the project in time or even after the deadline.
That’s why even when you are rooting or proposing a change request, you need to make sure that you have the right amount of resources to complete the change management process, otherwise, you’re just shouting in the wind with no outcome.
To measure your resource pool, you first need to make sure that you know about all of the resources that are needed for your change management process. When you narrow that down, then you can check the resource pool for those resources, and if they are available, you will be victorious.
4. Who RAISED the change request?
One thing you need to make sure in the very start of the change management process is to get to know the person that raised the change request in front of the board in the first place.
You need to do this because in the future it gets very hard to pinpoint the person who initiated the request because of the mayhem everywhere.
This person is extremely valuable for you because they are the ones with the evidence to support the change request process which they have to submit to the board as quickly as possible so that the change request can be accepted as soon as possible and the work can begin.
5. RETURN required from the change?
What is going to be the outcome of the change that you are trying to get implemented in the whole scenario?
Let’s say that you are working on a software development process and you are trying to add a new feature to the software.
You need to make sure that the return that you are going to get from that feature being introduced in the project is sufficient enough to perform the change in the first place, otherwise, there is no point in making a change request.
This is why you must make a pros and cons list of every change that you are trying to enforce so that you can check the returns you can get from every change being incorporated.
6. Who is RESPONSIBLE for creating, testing, and implementing the change?
One thing you need to make sure of is to find the right person that is going to be in charge of the creation, testing, and implementation of the change that you are trying to propose.
This is where upper-level management or project management comes into play because they have the authority and the mindset to appoint a suitable candidate for the job so that the change management process can go smoothly without any hiccups.
7. RELATIONSHIP between suggested change and other changes?
You need to find out about the relationship between the change that you are proposing and all of the other changes that are swirling around your change management process.
This process is done because most of the time we see in the organizational paradigm, that the changes not unlike tasks and processes are dependent on each other. One can’t happen without the other happening first.
This is why it’s your job to find out the relationship between all of the different tasks so that you can complete all of those dependencies and get your change incorporated.
Successful Change Management Examples
Change management is a rewarding process if done right, for the employees as well as the organization itself. Each step of the process paves the way to success and ultimately reaps beneficial results.
Following are some of the most successful change management examples in the business world:
Launched in 1997, Netflix has now become one of the giants in the video-on-demand streaming site with subscription based paying plans. Previously however, Netflix offered a monthly subscription plan with DVDs mailed to subscribers doorstep.
The rapidly changing technological arena, however, forced the organization to make a change in order to cater to the changing digital needs. To do so, they launched a streaming service in 2007. The change in their business plan was a successful move since they saw a rapid growth in their number of subscribers, from 23 million in 2011 to 167 million in 2019.
Nokia led the mobile market in early 2000s but all that changed with the launch and popularity of smartphones. Before smartphones became popular, Nokia had the largest market share in terms of mobile phones.
However, it lost the opportunity to evolve by skipping the smartphone revolution. As a result, Nokia became outdated and almost went bankrupt. To get back on its feet, Nokia sold its mobile phone division to Microsoft.
To further curtail the damages, they went from nine to four and eventually three business untis. As of 2018, Nokia is still a major patent licensor for many large mobile phone vendors and is the world’s third-largest network equipment manufacturer.
We know lego as a toy, but as an organization, Lego has a history of one of the successul change management example. The brand completely change its course by adopting digital transformation and stepping into the digital realm.
It powered through and emerged from the ashes of over $800 million debt and has completely turned the situation around in its favor. As of now, the company has a market value of around $9.1 billion dollars.
What are the different types of change management?
Change management has different connotations for different individuals working in the organziation as well as the company itself. Here are different types of change management:
Organizaion-wide Change Management: As the name suggests, Organization wide changes are the changes that effect the entirety of the organization, from the top to the bottom. From the executives down to the employees, organization-wide changes affect every individual working in the organization. As such, organization-wide change management helps accommodate such changes in the organization.
Personnel Change Management: Personnel change is related to the changes in the staff or personnel of the organization. This can mean restructuring of the entire workforce, addition or removal of employees, etc. This type of change management manages staffing changes.
Project Change Management: This type of change management is related to the changes within a project. Considering the pros and cons of certain aspects of a project, changes can be made to reap the best possible results Such type of changes come under project change management.
1. Which change management approach works best?
The type of change management approach that will work best will be the one that suits your requirements best. For example, consider the type of change you wish to implement and the approach that seems most suitable to implement that change. Once you have figured that out, you can choose any change management approach from the following or others:
1. Lewin’s change management model
2. ADKAR change management model
3. Kübler-Ross change management framework
4. The McKinsey 7-S model
5. Kotter’s change management theory
6. Bridges transition model
7. Nudge theory
2. How important is the management of change for small businesses?
Change management has a massive impact on how a business progresses from this point onwards. If any gaps are left or any think overlooked, it can bring down the whole organization like a house of cards blown by the wind. In order to make sure that the changes are not only implemented but also efficiently adapted into the system, small businesses must employ change management processes in their organization.
Successful management of change will produce beneficial results for the small business and will eb rewarding in the longrun.
This was our take on the 7 R’s of change management, but if you think that we missed something or there is something wrong in the content, feel free to contact us and we’ll get back to you.