Approach to Change Management


Change Management is not a step at the END of your project. Change Management is all about HOW you approach your project.

If you wait until the end of your project to think about managing change, you're setting yourself up for failure. That's why we start addressing change at the beginning.

In this lesson, we'll review the basics of change management.

Introduction to Change Management:

The purpose of Change Management is to ensure successful adoption of a change within a team or an organization. It's addressing the people side of change, as opposed to the technical aspects of a change.

We need change management any time we change:

  • how process is performed 
  • roles & responsibilities within a team or a department
  • strategy, objectives or goals

Organizations, process improvers and project leaders typically underestimate the level of effort needed to prepare for change. Most project teams wait until they are ready to implement an improvement, then decide they need a "Change Management Plan". This is a setting them up for failure.

Change Management is not a step at the END of your project. Change Management is all about HOW you approach your project. It's a part of every step in the problem-solving process. When you're solving the right problem, and actively engaging your customers and your stakeholders throughout the project, adoption of the change will much easier!

Change Management Approach:

The keys to successful change management:

1. Utilizing a structured problem-solving approach --> ensures we're addressing the problem at the root case and fully analyzing alternative 

2. Building engagement from the ground up --> the people who perform the work are the best equipped to solve the problem so we're going to engagement throughout the project

3. Communication throughout the life of the project --> clear, consistent communications before the project, during the project and at implementation 

4. Strong, diverse project team --> our project team must represent those who are impacted by the project and who have influence. Employees can support a change if they trust those who are creating solutions.

5. Embrace transparency --> openness and honesty will help eliminate the fear of change. The employees are your company will fear the worst if they are not aware of upcoming changes.

6. Attack the process, not the people --> your approach must demonstrate that you are trying to improve the process so the people can better serve customers. This is not about blaming people for the challenges you face. It's about truly making our work better.

Three common change management terms:

Change Management:

- Preparing for successful adoption of change within an organization
- Related to continuous and process improvement; Focused on the people side of change

Change Control:

- Related to the technology side of change.
- Ensuring changes to a software or system have been properly reviewed, tested, documented and approved before implementation
- Related to quality management, software or IT
- Sometimes considered as a step within Change Management

Management of Change (MOC):

- Ensuring a change does not impact health, safety or the environment
- Related to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Process Safety Management

Here at CII, we're focused on Change Management. If your project results in a change within a software system, you may also need a Change Control plan. 

Lessons in this Course:

downloads for this course