What Is Change Management?

Change management is a systematic process of methods and manners that a company implements and describes as change within the internal and external environment and procedures. Change management deals with the various approaches an organization uses during a change process, a transition, or a transformation, relating to its goals, strategies, or technologies. The change management process includes preparing and supporting employees, setting up clear avenues for change, and monitoring pre-change and post-change actions for a successful implementation. When organizations apply a change to their organization, it comes with many challenges that require multiple levels of coordination and communication involving different entities within a company. Companies must ensure a clear and refined approach when insisting on change to guarantee a beneficial outcome and transformation while minimizing and mitigating disturbances. Different strategies must be in place when opting for organizational change as it impacts processes, systems, and employees. A process of planning, communicating, scheduling, implementing, documenting, and evaluating change must be present to guarantee strict compliance with internal and external regulations.

According to the statistics from the Statista Research Department regarding an organization’s approach to change management in 2019, about 49.7 percent of organizations worldwide state that their approach to organizational change is open-minded, engaged, and flexible. It means that more than half the participants claim they are open to possible transitions or transformations within the company.

Components of Change Management

Change management is an essential part of any organization, as changes happen within an entity continuously and repeatedly, transitioning and transforming to fit various sectors. There are minute or invisible shifts that happen on the sidelines when a company takes on a change, and these occur organically, and companies must actively drive and own these changes for the project team to be able to control the changes efficiently to affect the project outcome positively. Several components must be present when handling change management in internal and external environments. The section below covers these various elements and their impact on change management.

Leadership Alignment: Leadership alignment identifies the leaders and sponsors for a project, critical to its success. The project sponsor provides the project brief, explaining the benefits of having the project push through, a step closer to its selling point. Keeping them engaged and supportive throughout the change management process requires an effort from the pressures and shifting priorities in a dynamic environment. It is also necessary to pique leaders’ interests, aligning them with the project sponsor’s wants, needs, and objectives. Get the support of both leaders and sponsors to influence other stakeholders involved in the project.Stakeholder Engagement: Identifies key stakeholders, understands their influence and support for the project and devises engagement strategies and plans relating to change. It is a must to complete stakeholder analysis exercises at the beginning of the project initiation phase. It allows the organization to identify and understand various stakeholders, classify them into groups, and devise engagement plans for them. Stakeholder engagement enables change and must be available throughout the change management process to support the possible changes at later stages. The groupings for stakeholders and the engagement strategies are stills subject to minor transitions, with the company adapting and updating them during various phases throughout the process. Communication: Communication shapes the vision for change. It builds awareness for change and defines the strategies for understanding and engagement with stakeholders. Identify all possible communication channels and utilize the methods required to use them. The company must initiate and actively build awareness about the project. If any challenges or problems teams encounter along the way, it is best to communicate clearly to maintain momentum in the process. There must be a sense of transparency without over-promising to promote healthy relationships with stakeholders and encourage respect. Communication is more than just communicating with stakeholders; there must be a way for intended audiences to respond using feedback forms or questionnaires to signify collaboration and significance. Change Impact and Readiness: Understand how stakeholders are ready for change. It assesses the scale of the impact of the change according to each stakeholder classification, defining an approach for their readiness. Change impact and readiness tell about how much the change impacts investors and stakeholders and their willingness to perform and accept the necessary transformations. Readiness activity involves a readiness checklist or readiness status tracker to look at the ability to change and minimize risk delivery. If planned readiness does not align with the planned readiness levels, mitigation plans must be in place to limit the impact of these changes on a specific project. Training: Assesses the learning needs to build the required capabilities and behaviors to support changes. Identify all the knowledge gaps and the training to adopt and embed these changes. The nature of the change, including the population size, determines the most appropriate training methods to implement during change management. There are various training methods available in different organizations, including one-on-one, group sessions, training manuals, and remote learning in controlled settings.Organization Design: Defines new organizational structures, including processes and role changes to apply and support the changes. Organizations must develop and format new administrative designs in impacted business environments, departments, and teams to sustain changes. Change analysis must have completion, including associated procedures the company designs and supporting produced role descriptions. Organization design is not necessarily under the project; instead, it is a dependency, requiring individuals and teams to work together to complete project activities and the implemented changes before or during the project’s timeline.

How To Perform the Change Management Process Effectively

The change management process in organizations varies from one organization to another, depending on the changes the organization needs to implement. Change is present and constant in different businesses through new technology implementations, reorganizations, procedure updates, compliance initiatives, and customer service improvements. In the business sector, many changes equate to growth and profitability, and the consistency of change management aids in minimizing the adverse effects of these changes on the organization and its employees. Below are the necessary steps when implementing of performing change management in a company.

1. Prepare the Organization for the Upcoming Changes

For a company or business to become successful in implementing and making changes, there must be thorough preparation logistically and culturally, considering cultural appropriateness first and foremost. During the preparation phase of the change management process, managers have the responsibility and focus on helping employees understand and recognize the need for transitions and transformations. In doing so, it raises the necessary awareness that individuals need to face various problems and challenges that the organization currently encounters, acting as forces for generating dissatisfaction with the status quo. Generating buy-in from employees helps the organization to implement change with little to no resistance and friction within the specific timeline.

2. Devise a Plan or Vision for the Change

After an organization accepts and embraces changes across the organization, managers must work and develop a realistic and thorough change management plan. The change management plan must include strategic goals naming the goals that can help improve the organization, key performance indicators or KPIs that measure success, the required metrics, and the baseline of the current operations. The plan must also be able to list teams, its members, and stakeholders, indicating the person responsible for overseeing tasks for implementing change, signing off critical stages or milestones, and implementing the plan. Project scope must also be in the change management plan, writing discrete steps and actions for the duration of change and what falls outside the scope of the change. The strategy must also account for the possible roadblocks during its execution, requiring flexibility and agility from concerned individuals.

3. Implement the Necessary Changes

Upon the completion of the plan, the next step is to follow the processes highlighted in the procedure to execute the change management process. These include transitions or modifications in the organizational structure, systems, methods, strategies, and employee behaviors depending on the goals of the change process. During the implementation process, change managers take the initiative to empower employees in taking the necessary steps to achieve the objectives of the procedure. They must already have the mindset to anticipate possible challenges and problems along the way, preventing, removing, or mitigating them. Change managers must also communicate the change’s goals and objectives through the implementation procedure to remind employees and team members of the reason behind pursuing necessary change.

4. Solidify Change within Company Practices and Culture

After completing the change initiative, change managers must prevent any reversion to the status quo. This step is very critical to the organizational change process, structural workflows, company culture, and other strategies. Without having an adequate plan, employees can spiral back to the previous work setting, especially during the transition period. Through embedding the changes in company practices and culture, new organizational structures, controls, and reward systems can further influence the change to stick.

5. Review Change Progress and Analyze the Results

Once the initiative for change is complete, it doesn’t necessarily equate to success. Conducting a thorough analysis and review of the project helps businesses to understand if the change initiative is successful, a failure, or a mix of both. During the overall assessment and analysis, the process also provides valuable insights and lessons that the organization can take advantage of for future change efforts.


What are the seven Rs of change management?

The seven Rs of change management is a business checklist that contains vital points to consider when raising or opting for a change request in the organization. The sever Rs minimize the chances of rejection during change logging. The seven Rs include who Raises the request, the Reason for change, the Return required for change, the involved Risks to facilitate change, the Responsibility for creating, testing, and implementing change, the required Resources, and the Relationship between the changes.

What are the four things that are key to change management?

There are four principles for successful change management in companies and organizations, including understanding change, planning change, implementing change, and communicating change.

What is the importance of change management?

Change management is a business process that involves planning, implementing, and monitoring changes across a company. The process is necessary for any organization to guarantee that the organization implements changes without problems or issues and smoothly implements the steps toward change.

Change management is a vital organizational procedure for many industries and companies worldwide without encountering issues. Organizations must follow a procedure during change management, starting with planning, preparation, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation. By following these steps, organizations can specify whether their plans for change are a success, a failure, or a mixture of both. As much as possible, change leaders must prepare their employees to understand why change is happening and what it means for them. As change is a necessary and critical process for organizations to grow and develop, it is of utmost importance that everyone in the company understands what it means. Create a change management document to support and implement organizational changes using the available sample templates in the article above.