38+ SAMPLE Change Management Action Plan

What Is a Change Management Action Plan?

A change management action plan is a systematic approach that deals with various processes and procedures to implement change in an organization. These shifts are in the form of new systems or the improvement of current techniques and technologies in the company. A change management action plan is a valuable guide to prepare, equip, and help the people in the organization to adjust to significant changes. A clear explanation of these shifts in management, the need for change, and the accompanying processes consist of the change management action plan. Its principal goal is to drive success in the organization and execute critical results. Whatever changes the business goes through, it is highly unique. Similar to the individuals that will experience them. A change management action plan typically applies to extensive project management procedures to execute an organizational transformation. If a business change is small, the change management process can involve offering training programs to covered employees. However, larger and more complex transitions require a more strategic, thoughtful, and well-prepared strategy as it can cause significant disruptions and unsettlement issues to affected members. In this case, an organization must prepare a comprehensive change management action plan.

According to a Gartner article entitled Managing Organizational Change with the focus on delivering complex organizational change management by HR, present organizations, on average, have experienced five significant company-wide changes in the past three years. About 75 percent of them expect an increase in these types of transition initiatives for the next three years. Despite the numbers, half of these changes fail, and only 34 percent ever succeed.

The 7R’s of Change Management

The seven R’s of change management serve as vital points in the entire process of change management. These must be a case point for many individuals when writing a change request regarding any changes in the organization. These topics are essential when writing a change management action plan because it helps normalize the processes for skeptics about adjustments.

The reason behind the change: There are plenty of reasons associated with changes in business and project development processes, including capacity increases for particular resources, availability of materials, and minimizing risk securities. In cases of change, the primary individual overseeing the project must submit the change request. It must contain credible evidence or persuasive argument to support the proposition.The risks in change requests: For every change implementation, there is an understanding that certain risks arise with project development processes and different entities affected by it. These hazards can include something as big as a business or program closure, or small like losing some data during system changes. The person requesting for change must ask about the amount of risk they are willing to take to implement the changes with a particular risk present without any fatal damages.The resources to deliver change: Whenever there are changes in processes, there is a realignment of budget plans and reconstruction of material lists. If a company does not have the resources to implement the changes, project completion cannot hit the target deadline according to the project timeline. When planning to create a change proposition, guarantee there are sufficient resources to complete the process by checking the resource pools of the company. The person who raised the request: At the start of the change management process, get to know the individual who raised the change request. It is essential to pinpoint the person as they are valuable to the entire change process because they have the evidence and information to support the claim for necessary improvements or adjustments. They must submit and apply these documents as soon as possible to the board for the work to begin.The return required from the change: When it comes to working on software development processes with a new feature added to the software, there must be results. The person who initiated the change must make sure that there are returns from the project feature that provides sufficient evidence to perform the modification in the first place. The individual must create a pros and cons list of all the planned changes before its enforcement to align with possible returns.The responsibility of creating the change: Another to ensure before applying enforceable changes is to find the right person with the responsibility of creating, testing, and implementing a change proposal. The upper-level management or project management teams perform their duties because of the authority and skillset to appoint the most suitable candidate for the job with lesser problems along the way.The relationship between the changes: It is critical to highlight possible differences in the change a person proposes and how it relates to the other changes in the management process. This method highlights the organizational paradigm if there are any. It is the responsibility of the individual who proposes change to identify any significant relationship between changes to complete any dependencies to incorporate the change.

How To Create a Change Management Action Plan

Change management action plans are within the organizational framework of a more extensive project schedule. The document relies heavily on a project manager and their responsibilities to develop and implement the change management action plan while applying project integration procedures to make the program whole. A large project requires different sub-categories, and each one demands different outcomes and deliverables while utilizing a variety of techniques. The guide below helps you create a change management plan for your organization.

  • 1. Create Change Management Goals

    The first step to any change management action plan is to establish SMART goals. In change management, defining goals can be challenging. To accomplish the goal-setting process, you must first comprehend the changes and possible implications. Understand how changing software can affect existing organizational workflows. The individual requesting for change must also incorporate a sense of awareness and goal adoption. There must be a clear definition of key performance indicators (KPI) to measure the success of the plan. There are various metrics applicable to change management, depending on the context. KPIs that you can use include the usage of new software systems, surveys on staff feedback, and employee performance statistics to gauge the effectiveness in productivity rates.

  • 2. Establish the Change Management Team

    Similar to other projects, a change management action plan requires sufficient people and resources for execution. To build a change management team and achieve backing for processes and resources, you must gain stakeholder approval and support. Every business change involves stakeholders, including the CEO, the executive team, and different people in the organization directly affected by the change. Stakeholder support increases the likelihood of success. There must also be a task force to spearhead the change management process. The members of the team must include people with leadership roles, including department heads and subject matter experts (SMEs) that can impart knowledge to team members, provide support, and answer related questions. In this step, you must also determine essential resources to avoid any delays during its implementation. The budget criteria must also have an outline.

  • 3. Plan for Development Stages

    For planning purposes, use project planning platforms as a documentation roadmap for the change management process. Having a roadmap also helps avoid scope creep. Create a task list to identify steps to accomplishing the goals. It also helps to have feedback from stakeholders and other teams when creating the task list. There must also be communication components with the task list. Develop a timeline to accommodate the project due date. Assign different time components for every task you have. If there are unaccomplished activities, the option is to adjust the due date or identify the tasks that are priorities for the change to take place and prioritize accordingly. It is advantageous to utilize project management tools. Project planning platforms allow you to accomplish task lists, make the necessary adjustment to project timelines, assign team members accordingly, and record milestones to report to stakeholders.

  • 4. Execute the Change Management Plan

    After creating a comprehensive document, it is time for plan implementation. To properly execute the change management action plan, you should construct decision-making processes. Predicting all possible implications of change is challenging, and some of them still arise. It is necessary to plan an outline to resolve issues efficiently. It is also essential to address any kind of resistance to change. To effectively find solutions for employees who resist, get employees to participate in the planning process and be as transparent and communicative as possible. As the project progresses, you can pinpoint the root cause of resistance through the KPI metrics. Build confidence in the progress of implementing the plan and create a positive working environment by celebrating successes. Building momentum harnesses the emotional energies of employees and members to develop a culture that is open to change, growth, and development.

  • 5. Build Reinforcements

    The final phase of the change management action plan occurs once changes are visible. To encourage individuals to continue transitions in terms of initial behavior, attitudes, and workflows to the new systems, build reinforcements. When it comes to creating positive reinforcement models, an organization must provide positive incentives. An example is to modify time-consuming techniques to make it easier for teams to be productive. You can also opt to use SMEs when employees still have questions that will give them the confidence and support they need to welcome current and future changes. At the implementation of changes, the organization must continually review team progress in adapting while preparing for possible adjustments if initial plans cannot produce expected results.


What should be in a change management plan?

When creating a change management plan, there must be a clear definition of change aligned with organizational goals, an outline of possible impacts and affected individuals, an effective communication strategy and training program, a support structure, and a measurement process for change.

What are the essential elements of successful change management?

A successful change has five fundamental elements. There must be a clear vision, positive benefits, sponsorship entities, sufficient resources, and a comprehensive methodology.

What are the different types of change?

There are distinct types of changes in organizations when implementing change management. There are mission changes that focus on corporate cultures and mission statements. Strategic changes aim to solve problems or issues in a company. Meanwhile, operational changes refer to the structural modification of an organization. Lastly, technological changes focus on the improvement of technology to keep up with advancements.

Change is inevitable, especially in the world of business that provides innovations and opportunities to many individuals, sectors, and industries. For many companies to achieve their goals, they must be open to experiencing the necessary changes. As changes can be scary and can harm an organization, there must be a way to reassure working employees. Certain risks come with the decision of implementing organizational changes. In the words of Winston Churchill, “To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” Get your change management action plan from the samples available above and plan your way to success.