Change management (sometimes abbreviated as CM) is a collective term for all approaches to prepare and support individuals, teams, and organizations in making organizational change. The most common change drivers include: technological evolution, process reviews, crisis, and consumer habit changes; pressure from new business entrants, acquisitions, mergers, and organizational restructuring. It includes methods that redirect or redefine the use of resources, business process, budget allocations, or other modes of operation that significantly change a company or organization. Organizational change management (OCM) considers the full organization and what needs to change, while change management may be used solely to refer to how people and teams are affected by such organizational transition.
Managing the change process
Although there are many types of organizational changes, the critical aspect is a company's ability to win the buy-in of their organization's employees on the change. Effectively managing organizational change is a four-step process:
- Recognizing the changes in the broader business environment
- Developing the necessary adjustments for their company's needs
- Training their employees on the appropriate changes
- Winning the support of the employees with the persuasiveness of the appropriate adjustments
As a multi-disciplinary practice that has evolved as a result of scholarly research, organizational change management should begin with a systematic diagnosis of the current situation in order to determine both the need for change and the capability to change. The objectives, content, and process of change should all be specified as part of a change management plan.
Change management processes should include creative marketing to enable communication between changing audiences, as well as deep social understanding about leadership styles and group dynamics. As a visible track on transformation projects, organizational change management aligns groups' expectations, integrates teams, and manages employee-training. It makes use of performance metrics, such as financial results, operational efficiency, leadership commitment, communication effectiveness, and the perceived need for change in order to design appropriate strategies, resolve troubled change projects, and avoid change failures.
Factors of successful change management
Successful change management is more likely to occur if the following are included:
- Define measurable stakeholder aims and create a business case for their achievement (which should be continuously updated)
- Monitor assumptions, risks, dependencies, costs, return on investment, dis-benefits and cultural issues
- Effective communication that informs various stakeholders of the reasons for the change (why?), the benefits of successful implementation (what is in it for us, and you) as well as the details of the change (when? where? who is involved? how much will it cost? etc.)
- Devise an effective education, training and/or skills upgrading scheme for the organization
- Counter resistance from the employees of companies and align them to overall strategic direction of the organization
- Provide personal counseling (if required) to alleviate any change-related fears
- Monitoring implementation and fine-tuning as and when required