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Creating and Implementing a Change Management Plan

written by: Misty Faucheux • edited by: Marlene Gundlach • updated: 3/10/2013

Want to implement Six Sigma, but don't know how to begin? Well, you need a plan. Lucky for you, we have put together the best way to create and implement a Six Sigma plan into your organization. It's a guaranteed way to increase productivity and eliminate product defects.

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    What Is Change Management?

    Change management is a process that allows companies to implement a change within the organization effectively and efficiently. But, before you begin trying to implement the intended change, you need to create a change management plan.

    There are many advantages and disadvantages of change management. You need to decide for yourself if you are willing to accept the disadvantages before you move forward with your plan. It helps to read an overview of change management before you start.

    Having a process in place to manage change is necessary because most businesses nowadays are very decentralized. Multiple employees or users may be the ones who are making a change to a system.This could lead to trouble if those making the changes do not understand how those changes could affect the organization as a whole.That is why you should always have a change management plan in place before a change is made.

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    Plan Objectives

    The objectives of your plan should be pretty obvious, but you should have them written down somewhere.

    • Train and educate employees, stakeholders, management, and clients about why the change is necessary and what the change will involve.
    • Come up with back-out procedures in case the change is not having the desired effect.
    • Implement the planned change.
    • Monitor and evaluate the change before, during and after its implementation.
    • Change management strategies can help you deal with problems in the long run.
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    Plan Guidelines

    Your change management strategy should involve plenty of documentation.Every change needs to be documented so that you have a written record of what was done. Also, communication before, during, and after the process is a must. You need to show why the change is necessary, what is being done, and what risks are involved in the change.

    A change management strategy can be broken down into several steps. If you follow these steps, it will help you successfully implement your plan.

    1. Create your plan and define your change management process.

    You need to come up with procedures for your change management process. Who is responsible for what? Who will be your change management coordinator? How will you measure the change and its effectiveness? What tools will be used? What types of changes are being implemented? What has priority?

    2. Submission of change requests.

    You need to obtain in writing all of the changes that are being proposed. Change requests need to be given to the change management coordinator. You should have an established change request form on hand, which contains both the date, time and what is being requested. You can see an example of a change management request/record form by clicking on the link.

    3. Start implementing your change management strategy, and monitor it before, during, and after the change.You should have back-out strategies in place in case the change is not effective.

    4. Evaluation.

    The change coordinator needs to see where change was effective, where it created problems, and whether or not it was effective as a whole.

    5. Update the change management plan if the initial plan is not effective.

    You may need to modify the plan for a variety of reasons, including ineffectiveness, too many back-outs, only a certain amount of changes being handled, etc.

    Once your change management plan has been implemented, you need to constantly evaluate its success and its impact for years to come. A plan that was effectively implemented, for example, could fall apart way after its adoption because employees have slipped back into their old ways of doing things.