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10 Real Benefits of Change Management

written by: Ronda Bowen • edited by: Michele McDonough • updated: 4/11/2011

It can be easy to dismiss change management as unnecessary, especially when the changes being undertaken seem innocuous. However, there are many benefits of change management - especially if you consistently undertake the change management process each time your company is faced with change.

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    Change Management Basics

    What are the benefits of managing change? Businesses, no matter how large or how small, can benefit from undertaking change management strategies whether faced with implementing new software or changing the organization of the company's structure. Change management offers a way to structure these changes so that everyone is on the same page and so that confusion is minimized.

    The basics of change management include establishing a sense of urgency, creating a vision for change, and instilling the desire for implementing change into employees. Change management methodology should be implemented any time there is a change occurring within a project. There are various benefits of change management: Here's a list of the top ten benefits of change management implementation in your projects.

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    1. Change Management Lowers the Chances for Project Failure

    By carefully implementing change management strategies, you can lessen the likelihood that your project will fail when change is implemented. When not everyone is on board with the change, or when changes are made too quickly, then projects can fail. When you undertake change management methodologies, you have to carefully plan the change.

    By taking the time to carefully plan changes, then it makes it more difficult for problems to crop up within the change management project. This is mainly due to the fact that when the change management project is planned the potential for risks have been analyzed and strategies for overcoming those risks have been outlined.

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    2. Change Management Eliminates Confusion

    Change management helps you to eliminate confusion when change is underway. By taking the time to carefully outline the change that has to occur, how each stage of the change implementation will be managed, and who will be responsible for which change-related task. By outlining each stage of the change implementation, every action item associated with the change is made explicit. Because of this, confusion amongst team members about what the protocol to be used will be eliminated.

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    3. Make the Change Happen Faster Using Change Management

    When utilizing change management techniques, you can expedite the time it takes for the change to be implemented from the time it was initiated. Because you set a change management schedule and outline the milestones for the change management project, the time it takes to achieve full implementation of the change is shortened. Whether the change is only at the project level or it is at the company level, careful change management helps ensure that change is efficiently implemented.

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    4. Keep to a Budget Using Change Management

    Let's face it, change is expensive. Making mistakes while implementing change is very expensive. By implementing change management methodologies, it is much easier to manage your budget for the change being implemented. When you formulate the change management plan, part of the plan involves creating a project budget. By ensuring that each stage of the change management project is outlined, then a cost-estimate for each stage of the project can be made. This helps to not only estimate the total cost of the change management project, but it also helps to control the project costs.

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    5. Change Management Increases Communication Between Team Members

    When managing change carefully and properly, the communication between project team members is facilitated. This relates to how it is that change management decreases the level of confusion in a change project. After all, without good and clear means of communication, not everyone will be on the same page with the project. By taking the time to complete a stakeholder analysis and formulate a communication plan for the project, you will increase the communication that occurs during the change, and all team members will be aware of what needs to be communicated, when it needs to be communicated, and with whom the information should be discussed.

    For more benefits of change management, please continue reading to the second page.

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    There are real benefits to managing change carefully. What are the benefits of managing change in projects and why should you worry about creating change management plans for your company? Ronda Roberts Levine explains the importance of managing change here.
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    6. Another Benefit of Change Management is That It Increases Morale

    Have you ever come across a change that was undertaken in a haphazard method where not everyone agreed with the change or even understood why the change was even necessary? By using change management methods, you can make it so that the likelihood of this occurring is less.

    For instance, should you change the organizational structure of the company, many employees may not understand why this change might benefit them. On the other hand, if you use change management methodologies, and you ensure that you explain to all company stakeholders why the change is necessary and will benefit all impacted by the change, it is more likely that everyone will be on board.

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    7. Makes Analyzing the Change's Impacts Easier

    How will the change you are implementing affect other aspects? By carefully following change management methodologies, you will analyze how other aspects of your project and of your company will be impacted by the change. For example, if you change the software you use to manage projects, will it also change the structure of project teams? If you are changing some of the deliverables of the project, will it make other proposed deliverables obsolete?

    By doing your homework and researching the total impact of the change in your project on other aspects, you can not only anticipate potential problems, but you can anticipate changes that will need to be made. For instance, when it comes to scope change, you will need to analyze how it is that scope change impacts other aspects of the project and how you will need to alter the project to accommodate those impacts.

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    8. Change Management Planning Reduces Stress

    Let's face it, human beings are creatures of habit. That means that change, no matter how small or great creates a certain level of stress in those who are impacted by the change. By taking the time to carefully plan out the change that is to occur, you can reduce stress by reducing the factors that relate to the unknown.

    Stress isn't the only emotion involved with change. However, all emotions associated with change can be dealt with effectively through change management strategies. While it seems counter-intuitive, by creating a structure for the change to occur can release stress and free individuals up to complete the work involved with the change in an expedient fashion.

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    9. Effectively Managing Change Allows Better Customer and Client Service

    Not only does effective change management increase the level of communication with customers and clients, but it also increases the overall satisfaction reported by customers and clients. Imagine that you walk into a store and the usual level of service you have become accustomed to falls short of expectations.

    You are given the explanation "Sorry, we're in the midst of changing the way we do things, and that effort hasn't been all that organized." It's fairly unlikely you will want to continue to shop at that store. On the other hand, if your level of service does not change and the employee explains, "We're involved in a lot of changes at the moment, but don't worry, our first commitment is you," you would likely return. Change management allows companies to make radical changes while still maintaining commitment to delivering quality goods and services.

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    10. Don't Lose Momentum on Other Projects By Using Change Methodologies

    Finally, by employing change management methodologies, you can be sure that you won't lose momentum on your other projects. When change is undertaken in a haphazard manner, it often impacts the functioning of the whole business. Don't let your business fail or free fall when implementing a change. Instead, create a change management plan that allows you to monitor and control every stage of the change process.

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    References:

    Change Management Coach, http://www.change-management-coach.com/benefits-of-change-management.html

    Image courtesy of sxc.hu/gallery/ColinBroug

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