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Correct Processes for Change Management

written by: Misty Faucheux • edited by: Jean Scheid • updated: 7/6/2011

Change is a process. In fact, it is a very detailed process. In order to successfully navigate through all change management methodology, there are three process phases that must always be followed. Learn more about the change management process in the following article.

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    Phases of Change

    Change management process is a step-by-step course that both change managers and teams will use to successfully institute a change in their organization. The process of change management allows an organization to deal with both the human and technical side of change.

    Whenever approaching any change, both managers and teams need to institute their plan in three phases: preparation, management and reinforcement.

    Before any plan is instituted, a plan needs to be put in place. The whole change management process will be built upon this plan. The company needs to be assessed to figure out why the change is necessary and how it will affect the organization. Then a strategy needs to be developed to prepare for the intended change.

    Next, the implementation phase begins. This involves plenty of communication with staff, stakeholders and clients. For a more detailed explanation of change management communication, go to Communication in Change Management.

    Communicating the need for change may be the hardest step in the process. There will be resistance from employees, stakeholders and possibly clients. Dealing with this resistance could decide whether or not a planned change can be successful.

    The final phase of the change management process is reinforcement. Once the change has been instituted, and all involved have embraced the change, the plan needs to be reinforced via rewards and continual assessment.

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    Reinforcing Change

    Wins need to be recognized and employees who have faithfully taken up the cause need to be singled out. If the employees, stakeholders and clients remain involved in the process, they will continue to accept the plan and not fall back into their old ways of doing things.

    The easiest way to enforce any change is to implement certain sections at a time. This way, the change manager can quickly assess whether or not that particular phase was a success and then move to the next section.

    Learn about the risks of change by reading Using Change Management Methodology to Deal with the Risks of Change.

    Once the change has been completed, a record should be made of the change, how the strategy was implemented and how successful the change was. This way, if a similar change is ever made in the future, the notes from this scheme can be looked up to see how it was implemented. It can become a blueprint for future change management processes

    For an example of a change request form/record, go to the Change Request Form in the Media Gallery.