Change Management is a planned approach to transitioning the people of an organization through a business transformation.
A unique problem with the implementation of a new system, program or strategy, is the natural resistance of certain individuals to change of any kind. Frequently, this resistance results from personnel not understanding the issues involved. It is important to reach out to users early in this process so that they will feel a sense of ownership in the project and feel that their issues are heard and addressed.
A thorough change management plan should emphasize the impact that a new program, strategy, such as CRM (Constituent Relationship Management) will have on people, processes, and technology.
Remember: Frame a new program/strategy as an organizational improvement initiative, not a technology solution.
I recently worked with the City of Cleveland and Montgomery County, MD supporting their enterprise-wide CRM (Constituent Relationship Management) deployment in conjunction with launching a 311 call center. In both instances, these municipalities developed and deployed a thorough change management plan which helped meet
the following objectives:
• On-time launch of the call center
• Project completed within the allocated budget
• Deploying call center best practices
There are multiple Change Management models and approaches available. The key is finding the one that works best for you.
Sample models include:
- ADKAR (Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, and Reinforcement) – http://www.managing-change.net/adkar.html
- 5 Ps Model – http://www.12manage.com/description_pryor_5_ps_model.html
- McKinsey 7-S Model – http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newSTR_91.htm
Regardless of the model chosen, there are key steps which every
plan should encompass:
1. Planning for change
• Define the strategy
• Identify executive sponsorship
• Size and scope the change
• Build-out the team
2. Managing the change
• Craft the team and individual plans
• Implement the plan
• Pursue a sound risk mitigation strategy
• Ensure enterprise-wide collaboration
3. Sustaining the Change
• Evaluate results
• Develop feedback loops
• Conduct gap analysis
• Implement remedial actions
• Collect new advocates
The bottom line is that the more effectively your organization deals with change, the more likely you are to flourish. A client of mine in Cleveland once told me that his definition of change management is “Either you get on the train, or get hit by it.” Perhaps a bit extreme, but the point is well taken. If you have difficulty adapting to change it could be overwhelming and it could have adverse affect on the organization as a whole.
Also in this series:
Spencer Stern specializes in assessing the business and process impact of new technology-based solutions, ranging from enterprise-wide software systems to wireless communications networks. In 2008 he launched Stern Consulting and where he continues to focus on assessing the financial impact of large-scale strategic implementations.
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