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Change Management Methodology for Beginners

written by: Ronda Bowen • edited by: Michele McDonough • updated: 8/14/2009

This is a beginner's article on implementing change management in a project.

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    What is Change Management?

    Change management is the process of monitoring changes in the organizational structure of a company. Change management involves individuals, human resources, technology, or the structure of the company itself. Because change is stressful, it is important to complete changes in the workplace in an orderly and efficient manner.

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    What is the Framework for Change Management?

    Picture courtesy of Stock.xchng Change Management Methodology has eight success factors.

    1. A sense of urgency must be established. If the affected parties see the change as required, they are more likely to accept the change.

    2. The Vision for Change must be communicated in a clear and focused manner. All those involved should understand the vision for change and be able to act upon it.

    3. Increase the Company’s Capability for change. Companies should be flexible enough to embrace change, rather than so rigid that change creates a revolution, uprooting the entire workforce.

    4. Communication is vital. Information regarding the change must be communicated from those evoking change to those who are affected by it – in a reliable, credible and timely manner.

    5. Stakeholders should be involved. When stakeholders are involved, change is effected in a swifter and smoother manner, with less resistance.

    6. All Levels of Leadership ought to be Engaged in the change. If the leaders are embracing the change, then they can oversee and manage the team members reactions to the change. By having strong and educated leadership, the changes will move much more smoothly.

    7. Integrate project management strategies with the change. By implementing projects, your company will have greater success with change management and with meeting strategic company objectives in general.

    8. Enhance the performance of the company and reinforce behaviors that are desired in the company. By doing this, there will be less resistance to change.

    Once these eight factors for success in change management methodology are acknowledged, change management can be executed.

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    The ADKAR Framework

    Another framework for change management, developed by Prosci in 1998 is the ADKAR Model. ADKAR is an acronym standing for:

    • Awareness – Employees need awareness that change is needed.
    • Desire – Employees require desire to create and support change
    • Knowledge – Employees know what needs to change, and how to go about doing it
    • Ability – the change must be actionable
    • Reinforcement – in order to keep change, it must be reinforced.

    This allternative assists you to determine whether changes are working and why changes are not working. By using both frameworks, the success of the change you are trying to manage is ensured.

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    What are the Phases of Change Management?

    Prosci gave three phases to change management. Phase One prepares for change by determining how much and what change is needed. The second phase of change management is managing the change. Change management is looked at and scheduled like any project. Deliverables involved in this phase include:

    • A communication plan
    • A roadmap for stakeholders/sponsors
    • A plan for training
    • A plan for coaching
    • A plan for managing change resistance

    The final phase is reinforcement of the change. Here, the change is carried out and corrective measures are taken in order to ensure the change is successful.

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