Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Three Aspects of Change Management

Change Management is not a one-time project, but an ongoing business capability.

Change is everywhere and it happens every moment in the workplace, but unfortunately people rarely recognize that; people go in and out; sales rise and drop, new technology continues emerging and out of date, competition becomes fierce, and opportunities are arising and fading away rapidly, Change Management has become an important discipline often going hand-in-hand with strategy management and project management, what’s it all about, and how to practice it effectively?

Change Management has a very wide scope and is a relatively new area of expertise: There seem to be areas of expertise around personal change, organizational change, project change, IT/technical change and some others. Good practice of organization/people change should be a full lifecycle approach, not a tag on at the end. In the past a change manager was often an "axeman," it was his job to force through changes decided autocratically against the wishes of the people employed to actually do the job. The job entails talent management, negotiating with unions and rewriting job descriptions. The term 'Change Management" also is often being overworked and wasted. Lots of people think of change as being only suitable during the rollout whereas. Change experts know it concerns the entire project from gap analysis through monitoring the change. It is not surprising that there are conflicting definitions as the change management is different in every organization. The way change is done is also rapidly changing.

The change management focuses on coordination and facilitation, not bullying and forcing: Change Management is usually involved in negotiating a way around all the roadblocks which people erect against the change. That includes managers fighting for dominance and who judge their status by the number of people in their department. It includes people frightened of change who brought in safety, etc. There are two types of changes that organizations have to brace with, those driven by technological upgrade needs, and those necessitated by internal or external performance audits. Change management is about planning and then managing a journey from present to a future destination for achieving improved organizational efficiency and increased market share or competitive cutting edge etc. It could be in the domain of organizational restructuring, process re-engineering, and behavioral reorientation or technology upgrades.

Change Management is a cross-functional management practice following the logical steps: It takes organizational scope collaboration including HR and every other issue they could think of. And it includes liaising with IT, facilities HR to make the change possible, each with their own empire building and change agenda. Change Management follows the logical steps: (1) Process is the first building block. Process cut across the silos and the empire building to focus on the customer journey, expose the bottlenecks, the wasted resource, and the latency. It also makes people realize the effects of their performance on the overall task. (2) Collaboration is the second. IMPOSE=OPPOSE. By involving people from the beginning, you have many heads designing a better system. They work out manpower, roles etc., in a non-combative manner. And, once they agree it is correct, they make it happen, without roadblocks. (3) The software is the third. Meetings are combative, time-consuming; by collaborating using a social tool which allows 2nd thoughts to overwhelm knee-jerk, prevents power groups and allows peer-to-peer, not just feedback, a real consensus emerges.

In summary: Business Change Management is managing everything that is necessary to get people to adopt new ways of working such as Stakeholder Management, Communications, Process or organizational change, training, business Readiness etc, and then there is Technical Change Management which includes changes to an environments, configuration management, software releases, etc. And Change Management is not a one-time project, but an ongoing business capability.


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