Change Management

Topics: Change management, Management, Process management Pages: 17 (5965 words) Published: November 29, 2007




Executive Summary

Change management is not a stand-alone process for designing a business solution. Change management is the processes, tools and techniques for managing the people-side of change. Change management is not a process improvement method. Change management is a method for reducing and managing resistance to change when implementing process, technology or organizational change. Change management is not a stand-alone technique for improving organizational performance. It is important to note what change management is and what change management is not, as defined by the majority of research participants.

Change management is a necessary component for any organizational performance improvement process to succeed, including programs like: Six Sigma, Business Process Reengineering, Total Quality Management, Organizational Development, Restructuring and continuous process improvement. Change management is about managing change to realize business results.

Recognize that both the engineering and psychological aspects must be considered for successful business change. While many techniques can be employed to design the solution to a business problem or opportunity (i.e., the business change), change management is the process, tools and techniques to manage the people-side of that business change to achieve the most successful business outcome, and to realize that change effectively within the social infrastructure of the workplace.

Change management is a required competency in business today. The shift in the core values of employees to empowerment, ownership, and accountability has created a work force that will embrace change as long as they are part of the process. With the introduction of today's new business values, employee resistance should be expected. In the absence of change management, this resistance can cripple a business change.

Today, the term "change management" takes on a variety of meanings. The most practical and useful definition is: Change management is the process, tools and techniques to manage the people-side of business change to achieve the required business outcome and to realize that business change effectively within the social infrastructure of the workplace. This definition allows practitioners to separate change management as a practice area from business improvement techniques. So whether you are doing Six Sigma, BPR, TQM or some other technique to improve business performance, change management can be viewed as an essential competency to overlay and integrate with these methods. Why change management?

For many change practitioners, there is no doubt that change management must be used on projects that impact how people do their jobs. A great solution and a well managed project are not enough to ensure success. Written another way:

Myth: A great solution + Effective project management = Project success

The missing piece of the equation above is change management. Managing the human side of change is key to meeting objectives. Although the answer may be obvious, but still a manager might be tasked with answering "why change management?" for some people in your organization.

What can happen if change is NOT managed?What can happen if change is EFFECTIVELY managed? •Productivity declines as people become more consumed with the change being introduced. •Passive resistance festers.

•Active resistance emerges and sabotages the change.
•Valued employees leave the organization, a very costly proposition in terms of the lost contribution and the cost to replace them. •Employees become disinterested in the current state and the future state. •Employees begin arguing about change and the direction of the company. •People are left to wonder why the change is happening.

•More people begin taking sick days or not showing up for work....

Citations: Robert Slater, 1999
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