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Change Management - Implementation

Author: Jim Riley  Last updated: Sunday 23 September, 2012

Given the likelihood that change will be resisted, what can management do to plan and implement a change programme more effectively?
The key stages in a successful change project are likely to be to:

  • Identify the changes required (a role here for SWOT and PEST analysis)
  • Determine the major issues
  • Identify and assess the key stakeholders
  • Win the support of key individuals
  • Identify the obstacles
  • Determine the degree of risk and the cost of change
  • Understand why change will be resisted and how it can be managed

People are the key factor in overcoming resistance to change. The successful implementation of new working methods and practices or integrating new businesses into a group is dependent upon the willing and effective co-operation of employees and management. Many change initiatives and programmes fail because they are derailed by the “people factor”!

A key part of successful change is, therefore, building and communicating the reasons & the vision for change. 

Employees need to be clear about what a change involves and how they are involved in it:

  • What is involved?
  • What are the proposed changes?
  • What is the timescale?
  • Why should we do it?
  • What will the major effects be?

Various techniques can be adopted which help ease a change process, including:

  • Cross-functional teams
  • Stronger internal communication
  • Negotiation
  • Action planning
  • Appointing “change agents” or “champions of change”
  • And a certain amount of compulsion manipulation and coercion

The trick is to help employees and managers accept change more easily: top management need to:

  • Act decisively – demonstrate momentum
  • Consider how they will be affected
  • Involve them in the change
  • Consult and inform frequently
  • Be firm but flexible
  • Monitor the change

To reinforce the points above, consider the results of a survey of HR professionals by the CIPD.  The CIPD asked HR professionals what capabilities organisations need to be changeable? The results of the survey are shown in the chart below:

Change management factors

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