Identify change requirements and opportunities: By the end of this chapter you should be able to understand:- 1. Identify strategic change needs through an analysis of organisational objectives 2. Review existing policies and practices against strategic objectives to identify where changes are required 3. Monitor the external environment to identify events or trends that impact on the achievement of organisational objectives 4. Identify major operational change requirements due to performance gaps, business opportunities or threats, or management decisions 5. Review and prioritise change requirements or opportunities with relevant managers 6. Consult stakeholders, specialists and experts to assist in the identification of major change requirements and opportunities

1. Identify change requirements and opportunities: By the end of this chapter you should be able to understand:- 1. Identify strategic change needs through an analysis of organisational objectives 2. Review existing policies and practices against strategic objectives to identify where changes are required 3. Monitor the external environment to identify events or trends that impact on the achievement of organisational objectives 4. Identify major operational change requirements due to performance gaps, business opportunities or threats, or management decisions 5. Review and prioritise change requirements or opportunities with relevant managers 6. Consult stakeholders, specialists and experts to assist in the identification of major change requirements and opportunities 1.1 Identify strategic change needs through an analysis of organisational objectives: Strategic change Change is a constant feature of every organisation’s landscape. Those organisations which fail to adapt and change are at risk of being overtaken by their competitors. There are many examples of organisations which have failed to keep their products and services up-to-date and competitive. Years ago, it would have been unheard of to go into a shop with a camera film and get the photographs printed on the same day. Nowadays, it’s the norm and organisations which do not offer the same service standards as their competitors are at risk of losing custom. Change management process Managing change is a complex process involving many different factors, not least of all: people. When change is well-managed:  There is a clear vision of the change – the nature of it, the driving forces behind it, its objectives and expected impact  There is good planning and communication with everyone who is affected by the change  Support is provided for people throughout the change process via encouragement, reassurance, training and other practical support  Implementation of the change is planned and well-controlled  There is good monitoring and evaluation to ensure that the change achieves its objectives.
A useful overarching model to follow when managing change is D.E. Hussey’s EASIER Model, which he described in his 1995 book ‘How to Manage Organisational Change’. Hussey’s EASIER model Hussey’s EASIER model encourages the change manager to: • Envision have a coherent view of the future and what it looks like • Activate ensure that others understand and commit to the change • Support inspire others to produce the necessary effort to implement the change • Implement use plans and schedules to control the activity needed to make the change a reality • Ensure monitor and control the implementation to ensure that the change is on track • Recognition reinforce the desired behaviour and recognise people’s efforts. Types of change There are two main types of change: • Incremental change • Fundamental change. Incremental change Incremental change is also referred to as ‘step change’. This is where change takes place gradually, one step at time. How we communicate gives us a good example of incremental change. Hundreds of years ago, written communication was typically performed using a quill and paper. Nowadays, we use mobile telephones, the internet and computers to exchange messages and information. It wouldn’t have been possible to go straight from the quill to a hand held device in one step – there were many steps in between such as the printing press, typewriters, computers, the internet and mobile technology. Incremental change represents progress by evolution rather than revolution – that is to say that there is a gradual development over a period of time. Another good example of incremental change is the Rolls Royce motor car. If you look at a picture of a 1930s Rolls Royce compared with a current model, they look like they are completely different cars. If you look at a 1930s model, then a 1940s one and every decade until the present day, you can actually see the evolution of the car and how some key features have been maintained, but yet each decade has brought with it new models which reflect modern tastes and technological advances. As a business,
Rolls-Royce recognised that standing still with their successful 1930/40s model was no guarantee of long-term success. They have continually evolved and developed the technology, the styling, the performance of the vehicle to keep up to date with the rest of the market. Incremental change is less painful for organisations to undertake, generally speaking. It often involves continuous improvement, refining and developing processes and procedures, products and services. It builds on what is already in place and develops it further. There is clear continuity between what was done in the past and the new way of doing things. Fundamental change Fundamental change makes a more noticeable impact on the organisation. It can be considered more of a revolution than an evolution – a ‘big bang’ or reactive change. Examples might include restructuring the organisation to reduce staff costs, relocating, merging with or acquiring another organisation or introducing new technology throughout the organisation. When fundamental change has taken place, it’s visible within the organisation; this is not always the case with incremental change. Drivers for change There are many factors which drive the need for change which will be explored in the sections to follow. One of the key drivers is a change in the organisation’s objectives. For example, if the organisation’s business plan is to break into a new territory with new products, using new equipment, in a new location, then there is clearly a need for change on a number of different levels. This will impact on many aspects of the business, such as staff, skills, resources and procedures. The organisational objectives are the first place to look when identifying opportunities for, and the requirements of, change. The objectives set out what the organisation is aiming to achieve over the next period, usually 3-5 years (but increasingly, organisations are setting objectives for 10-20 years or even longer). A comparison between the organisation’s current position and its future aims will identify the change that needs to take place. This might involve: • Reducing/increasing staffing • Developing staff skills and knowledge • Changing the staffing structure • Developing or providing new products or services • Operating in a new territory • Implementing new technology • Developing new ways of working.
All of these changes will require careful planning and management for them to be successful, so having a good understanding of the organisation’s aims is crucial to managing change successfully. All change programs should follow the same direction as the organisation’s objectives otherwise they will conflict and compete with each other. Strategic change needs It is important to analyse organisational objectives as part of the process of identifying strategic change needs. The objectives drive the future direction of the organisation and it is important that any change programs support that direction. Change needs may involve: • People • Processes • Technology • Structure. All of these factors can play an enormous role in the success of the organisation and it’s important that any changes in these areas are in the right direction and at the right time. 1.2 Review existing policies and practices against strategic objectives to identify where changes are required: Reviewing policies and practices When change is introduced within an organisation, there is often a requirement to alter the ways of working. Whether a change involves new or fewer employees, new products and processes or new technology, there will always be an impact on the existing policies and practices. If an organisation decides to extend its product range and to improve the quality standards of the existing products, there might be an impact on the existing policies and practices. For example, the decision could affect: • Staff training • Manufacturing processes and standards • Audit processes • Quality management • Occupational health and safety.
When planning a change initiative in an organisation, it is important to scrutinise the strategic objectives for indications that changes may be required to existing policies and procedures. This is an activity that is best undertaken with the input from other people in the organisation as each person will be able to offer their own insights in terms of how existing policies and practices may be affected. For example, the manufacturing manager may not appreciate the implications of the strategic objectives for staff training and development, but the HR manager is likely to have a very good idea of this. When strategic objectives are set, it offers a natural point in time to reflect on current practices and processes and to identify where they need to be updated or replaced. Key questions to ask when reviewing policies and practices include: • Is this still fit for purpose (i.e. does it do what we need it to do)? • Does this need to be updated? • Does it need to be replaced? • Is it now obsolete? • Are new policies and practices required? • If so, what is their scope (i.e. what should they cover)? • Who should be involved in developing and testing them?
1.3 Monitor the external environment to identify events or trends that impact on the achievement of organisational objectives: The external environment The external environment has a major part to play in any organisation’s life. Organisations do not exist in a vacuum. They are affected by many things, including: • Competitors • Government policy • Legislation • Technological developments • Trends in ‘people management’ • Environmental developments • Social trends. An example was given earlier of the photo-processing company which fails to match or better their competitors’ one-hour photograph processing services. In this instance, there has been a lack of observing the trends in the market which could lead to a significant loss of business as customers become used to being able to have their photos printed almost instantly. In another example, an organisation which fails to adopt environmentally-friendly practices might find itself at a disadvantage when tendering for contracts if such practices are a requirement of the contract. One training organisation failed to progress in the tendering process with a retail company when its representative only wrote on one side of the paper in their notepad; the retailer noted this and felt that it demonstrated a lack of awareness of environmental issues. Environmental awareness was high on the retailer’s agenda. The lack of up-to-date awareness cost the training organisation the contract. PESTLE analysis The PESTLE analysis is a widely-used tool for ensuring that trends in the external environment are monitored. PESTLE stands for: • Political • Economic • Sociological
• Technological • Legal • Environmental. Political This is concerned with what is happening politically in the environment in which you operate. It includes areas such as: • Tax policy • Employment laws • Environmental regulations • Trade restrictions and reform • Tariffs • Political stability. Economic This is concerned with what is happening within the economy. It includes things like: • Economic growth/ decline • Interest rates • Exchange rates and inflation rate • Wage rates • Working hours • Unemployment (local and national) • Credit availability • Cost of living. Sociological This is concerned with what is occurring socially in the markets in which you operate or expect to operate. This includes: • Cultural norms and expectations • Health consciousness • Population growth rate • Age distribution
• Career attitudes • Emphasis on safety. Technological This is concerned with what is happening in the area of technology and how this impacts on your organisation. It includes areas such as: • Mobile phone technology • Internet • Social media. Legal This is concerned with what is happening with changes to legislation. This may impact: • Employment • Access to materials • Quotas • Resources • Imports/exports • Taxation. Environmental This is concerned with what is happening with respect to ecological and environmental issues. Many of these factors will be economic or social in nature. They may include areas such as: • Waste management • Recycling • Corporate social responsibility • Global warming • Society attitudes to environmental matters. By monitoring each of these areas on a regular basis, it is possible to identify any trends or events that may impact the achievement of the organisation’s objectives. This need not be an onerous task and it can be achieved by: • Regularly reading publications and websites which are concerned with your industry and others associated with it
• Signing up to relevant special-interest groups and associations, either in person or online • Maintaining a network of contacts who can notify you about emerging trends and events affecting your industry • Encouraging specialists within the organisation to keep up-to-date with trends and developments in their particular areas of interest (e.g. human resources, the environment, finance) • Follow the national and local press to identify any developments or events that are useful to know about. Depending on the size and complexity of your organisation, it may be useful to conduct a group session where the relevant people pool their information regarding emerging trends and developments that they are aware of. Alternatively, this information may be collated by a named individual on a regular basis so that your organisation is continually reviewing information about the external environment. The rest of completing a PESTLE analysis should be a database of information which affects, or could potentially affect, your organisation. The next step is to sift through that information and decide: • What can be discarded as irrelevant or unimportant? • What requires further investigation? • What should be acted upon? Armed with good quality information about the organisation’s external operating environment, the people involved in managing change are well-placed to identify what changes may be required and then link these back to the overall strategic objectives. PESTLE is a useful tool which categorises the main factors which may impact on an organisation’s future. Other external environmental factors (some of which are incorporated in PESTLE) which are important to consider may include: • Consumer-driven • Ecological • Economic • Ethical • Global • Legal • Political • Social • Technological
• The drive to corporate sustainability • The move to a knowledge economy • Workforce-driven. 1.4 Identify major operational change requirements due to performance gaps, business opportunities or threats, or management decisions: Operational change requirements Operational change may be required for a variety of different reasons including: • Performance gaps • gaps between actual and desired performance • Business opportunities • opportunities that present themselves which may be useful for the organisation to pursue – this may be due to internal or external factors • Business threats • threats to organisational success, which may be due to internal or external factors • Management decisions • senior managers may decide to develop, improve, reduce, redesign and limit a range of the organisation’s products, services and processes. We’ll now look at each of these in turn. Performance gaps Performance gaps may exist for a wide variety of reasons. A performance gap is a difference between expected or desired performance and the actual performance of the organisation. Performance gaps can be positive or negative. A positive performance gap might include: • Better customer feedback than expected • Higher volumes of sales • Better quality standards being achieved. A negative performance gap might typically include things like: • Turnover and profitability being lower than target
• Shortfalls in quality • Problems with product/service delivery. A performance gap implies that there is already an understanding of actual and desired performance – without that information, it is impossible to accurately quantify the gap. Some examples of clearly-defined performance gaps include: • A manufacturing organisation finding that 95% of its products meet quality standards, as opposed to a target of 97% • A media organisation fulfilling 90% of its customers’ requirements for photographs and written copy within eight hours, as opposed to a target of 95% • A catering organisation achieving sales targets of $10,000 per week against a target of $12,000. In each of these examples, there is a clear shortfall, or gap, between actual and desired performance. Knowing that the gap exists, and being able to quantify it, enables the organisation to identify areas where change is necessary. Taking the examples one step further: • The manufacturer would scrutinise which aspects of quality were falling short and identify the source of the problem (e.g. processes, machinery, raw materials, human error) • The media organisation would analyse which aspects of customers’ requirements were not being fulfilled within the stated timescales and identify the source of that problem (e.g. communication problems, lack of clarity, lack of access to equipment and training) • The caterer would analyse its sales data to identify what is and is not selling and to which customers and locations; it would also analyse customer feedback and complaints. In all of the above examples, the key action is analysis of the situation to be able to pinpoint what specifically is causing a problem. It should be noted that such analysis is not only necessary when there are problems. If the caterer is enjoying unprecedented sales of a particular product to one customer, for example, it would be useful to analyse the reasons for this so that this positive performance can be repeated in other areas of the business. This analysis permits the identification of key areas requiring development or improvement, hence the change opportunity. However, it is likely that no single reason will be identified and it is more likely that there are a range of factors impacting on the organisation’s performance. In this case, it would be important to rank the relevant factors in order of importance and/or impact and to single out those that are to be tackled. There is a danger at this stage of trying to solve all the problems at once. This can lead to a wide range of ‘change initiatives’ all taking place at the same time, which
can result in confusion and lack of control. This may be counter-productive to what the organisation is trying to achieve. 1.5 Review and prioritise change requirements or opportunities with relevant managers,Consult stakeholders, specialists and experts to assist in the identification of major change requirements and opportunities: Change requirements and opportunities From a thorough analysis of change requirements arising from the organisation’s objectives, its policies and practices, the external environment and its internal environment, many potential change opportunities emerge. These opportunities may complement each other or they may conflict. They may be low-cost and relatively easy to implement, or they may be expensive and disruptive to implement. They may elicit staff support or they may result in staff resistance. It is important to sift through the possibilities to arrive at the key changes that are required. It is challenging for one person to do this alone; it is unlikely that any one individual will have sufficient knowledge of the business, its policies and practices and its internal and external environments to be able to confidently assess the nature and extent of the changes needed. This should very much be a team affair involving the most relevant people in and around the organisation. Internally, there may be relevant managers who can offer an insight into the opportunities for change and their relative priorities. They may be managers who are: • Affected by the change • Holding a leadership position in the organisation • Participating in the change project. Let’s look at each of these types of manager in turn. Managers affected by change Some managers will be affected by the proposed change; they will be able to see what might and might not work in practice. They may have views about how staff and customers are likely to respond to the proposed change and they have a pivotal role in making the change successful; without their support it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to achieve the desired results from the proposed changes.
When consulting with these managers, it is essential to gain their input to proposals at the earliest opportunity. If managers feel that change is being imposed on them without the chance to influence what’s happening, it can result in half-hearted compliance, downright resistance or even sabotage. A useful approach would be to bring managers together to consult them about their views and ideas for dealing with the challenges that face the organisation. In a large organisation, this can be achieved by having a working party comprised of a representative sample of managers from a range of functions across the business. This consultation may be crucial in the eventual success (or otherwise) of the change program. The earlier that management commitment and support can be gained, the better. Managers in a leadership position Some managers hold a leadership position and may be instrumental in determining the proposed changes. They will hold their views for a reason; whether they’re based on relevant research and data, or an intuitive ‘gut feel’ about the direction the organisation should be taking. They will have their views about what changes are required and the priority of these. They may need less persuading than managers who are affected by the change as they are more likely to have been involved in identifying the need for change. However, there may still be some managers in senior leadership roles who do not agree with the proposed changes. This is a challenging situation as these senior leaders have the power and ability to either support the change program or to ignore it. Again, at worst, they may fail to support the change by not releasing the required budget or personnel to support the change effort. In this case, efforts should be made to ensure that all senior leaders share the same level of commitment and enthusiasm for the change program. This can be very challenging as it can be relatively easy for anyone to claim that they are supportive of an idea and yet carry on as normal, as if the change doesn’t involve them. What’s needed here is a whole-team approach from the senior management team to ensure that everyone supports the proposed changes and that there is a clear expectation that individuals will be held to account for delivering the results that they have agreed to. Managers that are participating in the change project Another potential group of managers include the people who are active participants in the change project. The types of manager in this category include: • The enthusiasts • The press-ganged. The enthusiasts These are managers who have energy and enthusiasm for making the change successful. They have perhaps been waiting for some time for a positive change to
happen and they see this as a great opportunity. They will commit to their roles and will need little motivation as they are sufficiently self-motivated to complete the project. The press-ganged These are managers who have been asked or told to participate in the change project against their will. They are likely to lack enthusiasm and may see the project as extra work, unnecessary and a waste of time and resources. Their commitment to their role in the project team may be flimsy and this may be demonstrated by failure to attend meetings, failure to complete tasks and a general failure to engage in the project. Of course, these represent opposite ends of the spectrum and there will be many different types of participants with varying levels of engagement with the change program. Whatever the level of commitment to change, it is important to ensure that these managers are given the opportunity to review and prioritise the change requirements so that they can have a positive influence on the outcome of it. This can again be done via consultation meetings with relevant managers to elicit their views. Stakeholders, specialists and experts Depending on the nature of the changes being considered, it may be necessary to consult with any appropriate stakeholders, specialists and experts who can advise on change opportunities. These individuals may be existing employees, external contractors, consultants or agencies. Whether they are internal or external, the same principles apply to consulting with them. The first step is to identify the need for specialist input. Let’s imagine that a graphic design company is seeking to streamline its work flow and update the technology used by staff. There may be an internal expert who has worked in a variety of contexts and has excellent, up-to-date knowledge of technology and how it can be best deployed. Alternatively, all the staff may have worked in the organisation for a long time and have little or no understanding of external developments. In the latter case, it would be advisable to bring in the services of an external contractor or agency to benefit from their expertise and industry knowledge. In either event, the process of consulting with a specialist should broadly follow a pattern. The person in charge of the change process will be required to: • Define what he/she is hoping to achieve from a specialist’s input • Identify the area in which specific input and expertise is required • Define the credentials required in the specialist/expert (e.g. qualifications, sector experience) • Recruit a specialist to meet the required credentials • Brief the specialist on the exact requirements and be specific about what they do and do not need to look at • Agree key activities, timescales, budget and reporting
• Review the specialist’s progress at different times during their work, if appropriate • Review the specialist’s findings and recommendations with them, asking for their rationale where appropriate. By managing the specialist’s input, it is possible to avoid wasted time and resources on activities that are outside the scope of the proposed changes. For example, there is no point in the specialist recommending investment of $100,000 in equipment when the organisation’s budget simply will not sustain such an investment.
2. Develop change management strategy: By the end of this chapter you should be able to understand:- 1. Undertake cost-benefit analysis for high priority change requirements and opportunities 2. Undertake risk analysis and apply problem solving and innovation skills to identify barriers to change and agree and record mitigation strategies 3. Develop change management project plan 4. Obtain approvals from relevant authorities to confirm the change management process 5. Assign resources to the project and agree reporting protocols with relevant managers 2.1 Undertake cost-benefit analysis for high priority change requirements and opportunities: Cost-benefit analysis When developing the change management strategy, it is essential to know that the effort applied in making and sustaining the change will be worthwhile in the long term. For example, in 2010 ABC supermarket chain conducted a rebranding exercise in an effort to build a new identity in an increasingly competitive market. After 18 months and at a cost of $6 million, the newly-branded XYZ supermarket chain had record losses of $15 million with 30,000 job losses. This was hardly a beneficial change for the organisation, its employees or its customers, as customers also saw price increases during this time. While it was necessary to modernise the organisation, the decision to conduct a high-profile rebranding exercise led to an embarrassing and expensive failure. A cost-benefit analysis is a simple tool which enables decision-makers to assess the scope of the change opportunity and decide whether it is worth the investment required. To complete a cost/benefit analysis, you have to: • List costs and benefits • Assign a monetary value to the costs • Assign a monetary value to the benefits
• Compare costs and benefits. Listing costs and benefits First, list all of the costs associated with the proposed change and then do the same for all of the potential benefits. You should try to anticipate any unexpected costs and any benefits that you may not initially have expected. You should also consider the costs and benefits over the lifetime of the change, not just the initial start-up costs. Assigning a monetary value to the costs Costs include the costs of any physical resources needed, as well as the cost of the human effort involved in all phases of implementing and sustaining the change. Costs are often relatively easy to estimate and may include things like the cost of: • New equipment and materials • New or altered premises • Recruitment and/or training • Rebranding. It’s also important to consider any associated intangible costs. For example, there may be a temporary decrease in productivity while new equipment is installed and the workforce learns how to use it. Ongoing costs should also be factored in to the calculations; this might include things like ongoing training and recruitment or other increased overheads such as energy use. Assigning a monetary value to the benefits This step is more challenging than the previous step. It’s often very difficult to predict revenues accurately, especially for new products. Also, alongside the anticipated financial benefits, there are often intangible benefits that are important outcomes of the change project. An example of an intangible benefit might be ‘greater customer goodwill’ or ‘better brand awareness’. These are valuable benefits but difficult to quantify. Similarly, a change program may impact on employee satisfaction or health and safety. Comparing costs and benefits The final step is to compare the total value of your costs to the total value of your benefits and use this to identify whether or not the benefits outweigh the costs. This analysis will help you to decide your course of action. It is important at this stage to consider the ‘payback time’. That is, how long it will take to reach the point at which the benefits have repaid the costs. Decisions can sometimes be made on the basis of ‘gut feel’. In other words, a decision feels right intuitively. This can sometimes work but a more robust and systematic approach is to conduct a cost/benefit analysis. This shows that you have been thorough in your thinking and that you have objectively analysed the data. Senior leaders who will be required to support the change management strategy by
committing a budget to it are going to want to see the proposed benefits of your plan weighed against the costs of it. The cost/benefit analysis is a simple and effective way of making this case to senior leaders. 2.2 Undertake risk analysis and apply problem solving and innovation skills to identify barriers to change and agree and record mitigation strategies: Risk analysis When planning a change management strategy, it is important to consider the potential risks as well as the anticipated benefits. All change carries with it a risk and it is important to predict what those might be so that action can be taken to either avoid or minimise their effects. The following example shows how an inadequate risk analysis may have been responsible for affecting biodiversity in some parts of Australia. In 1935, cane toads were deliberately introduced to Australia from Hawaii. Cane toads feed on insects and larvae which affect sugar cane production and their introduction was designed to limit damage to crops. However, cane toads are not selective in their diet and they are suspected of being responsible for the demise of several species. They are now considered a pest and have no natural predators. This is probably not what the authorities intended when the initiative to introduce them was first agreed. Risk analysis is the process of assessing the likelihood of risk against its potential severity. The diagram below shows how it works in practice.
High risk
Low risk
For each risk identified, assess the likelihood of it happening and its potential severity. A judgement then needs to be made as to whether or not to proceed with a change management program based on the risk analysis. In the 1930s, the authorities might have considered the risk of the cane toad invading its habitat and eating everything in its patch as being extremely likely and the attendant severity of that being very high; this would place this risk in the ‘high’ category. However, it seems that the likelihood/severity was not estimated as high as it would be nowadays. Barriers to change Any change management program has its drivers for change and potential barriers. The drivers are the forces in favour for change; the need to improve quality, increase profitability and reduce waste. These are all positive reasons for making a change. However, the other side of the coin is that there will also be potential barriers; things which get in the way of change or impede it altogether. Barriers to change may include:  Challenges to group norms or established roles
 Existing organisational culture  Existing reward systems  Fear of loss of status, security, power or friends  Interdepartmental rivalry or conflict  Lack of involvement in the change  Low morale  Vested interests. 2. Challenges to group norms or established roles People are often comfortable in the roles that they know and are familiar with. Any changes which threaten that stability can be unsettling and demotivating. 3. Existing organisational culture People are used to the existing culture in an organisation. They may not like that culture, but it is familiar to them, they understand how it works and they understand how to behave within it. Any changes to the culture can be very threatening to people as they learn a new way of behaving. 4. Existing reward systems Any changes to reward systems are typically met with suspicion as staff wish to hold on to what is acceptable rather than accept the unknown. 5. Fear of loss of status, security, power or friends A sense of loss is a very real side-effect of change. In a simple office move, moving an individual away from their prized desk by a window can create a serious loss of territory, relationships and security. This can have a significant impact on that person’s motivation and the degree to which they engage in new ways of working. 6. Interdepartmental rivalry or conflict If departments are not fully co-operative, there is a risk that they might try to out-shine each other to achieve better results and achieve a sense of kudos within the organisation. Such rivalry is counterproductive to achieving the overall goal but it can be a source of distraction while attempting to achieve change which involves everyone. 7. Lack of involvement in the change People dislike change which is imposed on them. They respond much more positively if they are involved in the change program in some way. They will engage more readily if they feel that their views are important and are listened to. 8. Low morale If morale is generally low, there is a danger that any change program will be met with an attitude of ‘here we go again, another change initiative’. Low morale can
impede the successful implementation of a change program so taking steps to improve morale would be important. 9. Vested interests It is possible for individuals with a vested interest in the outcome having a disproportionate influence on the change program which is not necessarily in the interests of the organisation overall. Mitigation strategies Having analysed the risks and identified the specific barriers to the change program, the next step is to plan the strategies to mitigate the risks. In other words, it is important to identify what action should be taken to prevent the risk/barrier having a negative impact on the change program and to plan for ‘what if?’ scenarios. Using the scenario of a graphic design company investing in new equipment and streamlined work processes to improve quality and productivity, the possible risks are:  Technology isn’t fit for purpose  Technology quickly becomes outdated  Lack of internal expertise to maximise the use of the technology  Processes don’t work in practice.The possible barriers may include:  Staff resistance to learn new technology and adopt new working practices  Rivalry between IT department and graphic designers – disagreements about priorities  Staff lacking an understanding of the need to improve quality and productivity. Having identified the possible risks and barriers, it is now possible for the decision-makers to decide what action, if any, they are going to take to mitigate the risks. For example, they may decide to:  Run a pilot with the new technology to test its application in their own context  Lease the technology so that the costs of updating are managed over time  Recruit or develop an internal expert  Ensure staff understand the need for the change and the consequences of not changing  Involve staff in the design of the new system and working practices  Train the staff in the new technology  Reward staff efforts.
Any mitigation strategies arising from the review of the risks and barriers should be captured in a project plan for managing the change program, as detailed in the next section. 2.3 Develop change management project plan: Change management project plan A change management project plan is essential for the successful implementation of any project, no matter how simple or complex it is. Having conducted all the research and consultation in the previous steps, it would be a shame to risk its successful implementation by failing to have key actions formally documented. People generally have unreliable memories when it comes to specific details and so these are best recorded in the form of a project plan. Project plans are beneficial because they: • Avoid any doubt or confusion as to what should be happening and when • Enable the planning and scheduling of key tasks so that they take place in a logical order • Ensure that key tasks are not missed • Enable accurate budgeting for the activities involved • Act as a communication tool to update interested parties about what is planned and what progress is being made • Enable the systematic review of progress against the plan so that adjustments can be made if necessary. The format of the project plan should be fit for purpose. For a relatively straightforward change such as implementing a new procedure, the plan may be a single page simply listing the key actions, dates and who is responsible for each action. More complex plans may involve spreadsheets which are interlinked with each other to provide both a summary and detailed information by project activity. Whatever format is used, there are some core details that should be included either in the document itself or in the arrangements for managing the plan. These include: • The project title • Key people involved (e.g. project team leader, project sponsor, project team members, other stakeholders and interested parties) • Project objectives, ideally linked to organisational objectives
• What is/is not in the scope of the project (i.e. a specific statement of what the project is not looking at) • Timescales • Budget • Monitoring and review arrangements • Reporting arrangements. Gantt charts There are many electronic project planning tools which are widely available. A particularly useful tool is a Gantt chart which is a useful and simple way of scheduling tasks. It enables tasks to be scheduled in a clear visual way. It can be made more useful by showing responsibilities, but has the disadvantage of not easily showing where activities are dependent on others. 2.4 Obtain approvals from relevant authorities to confirm the change management process: Confirming the change management process Support for the change process is vital. Without the right support from the right people, managing change can be an uphill struggle. Many change programs falter or come to a halt altogether due to a lack of support from the right people. Depending on the nature of the change program, the relevant authorities may include: • Senior managers • External agencies and partners (e.g. auditors and inspection agencies) • Other stakeholders (e.g. internal/external specialists and funding providers). The support of the relevant authorities can make a significant impact on the change management process. It can be an ‘enabler’; enabling things to happen, ensuring that actions are taken when appropriate and that budgets are provided. But a lack of support can be a major ‘blocker’; blocking progress or delaying progress by failure to engage or provide the support that is needed. Before progressing to the implementation stage of the change, it is essential to obtain the necessary approval from the relevant authorities to avoid problems emerging later.
Imagine a scenario where a food manufacturer invests considerable funds in new equipment to improve quality and production, only to find out later that the food standards inspectors have identified major flaws in the new machinery and processes. The time, energy and money invested would have been wasted and so it is essential to get the necessary approval at the start of the process. This can be done by briefing the relevant authorities about the proposed changes as part of the research and planning stage. This involves finding out what they think about your proposals and listening to any concerns or questions that they have. Also, sharing the change management project plan with relevant authorities highlights what you are hoping to achieve and how you propose to do this. Again, this gives them the opportunity to ask questions where necessary. Whichever method you use to obtain approval, it is essential to gain that approval in writing for the avoidance of doubt at a later stage. It is possible that approval may be given subject to certain conditions being met. For example, the food standards inspectors may approve the plan for new equipment on the condition that the equipment manufacturer works on site for a minimum of two months to oversee training and implantation. Any conditions should be clearly stated and if there are conditions which need to be adhered to, any actions arising from this should be included in the project plan. By doing this, the relevant authorities know exactly what it is that they are approving, and they can see how you are proposing to tackle any conditions that they have imposed. 2.5 Assign resources to the project and agree reporting protocols with relevant managers: Assigning resources As part of the project planning process, it is important to assign resources to the plan so that it is clear which resources are required, where and when. Planning at the outset ensures that the resources are available when needed, they do not conflict and can be deployed at the right time/place in the project. Resources can include people as well as tangibles such as finance and equipment/materials, including: • Contractors • Employees and managers
• External and internal consultants • Financial and budget allocation • Hardware and software • Physical assets. Imagine a scenario where a key contractor is required for two weeks on site to complete a key part of the project plan (say, installation of equipment). If their time is not booked or allocated at the start of the project, there is a danger that they are unavailable at the time they are needed and then the whole project is delayed until either the contractor does become available or an alternative is found. This can be likened to installing a kitchen at home – the project should take ten days, but if the electrician is not available on the days required, then this will hold up the plasterer, the decorator, the plumber, the floor layers and the kitchen fitters. If the installation cannot go ahead as planned, there may be a long delay waiting for the electrician to become available. Meanwhile, work has stopped on your kitchen and the tradespeople have all gone off to work on other jobs; getting them all back at the right time could prove a nightmare and then the kitchen replacement project lasts three months instead of ten days. Part of developing the change management strategy is forecasting which resources will be needed and when. This may require specialist input which can be obtained from the specialists and experts who contributed to identifying the change opportunity at the outset. It can also be obtained by seeking quotes and forecasts from internal departments and external providers. As part of the cost-benefit analysis, you will already have identified a headline budget for the project. At this stage, you are seeking to allocate that budget across various items of expenditure. It would be commonplace to use a spreadsheet to manage the numbers on a change management project. This gives the flexibility to adjust the figures and forecast the impact of these changes over a period of time. When dealing with physical assets, hardware and software the concern is about having the correct items in place when needed. Imagine that hardware is being ordered for delivery at the end of November so that staff training can take place throughout December, ready for a launch in January. If the hardware isn’t delivered until mid-December, this will put the training part of the plan under pressure to be completed on time and may affect the ultimate launch date. It is important to have clarity about what needs to happen and when. This is why Gantt charts are useful. They show what steps need to be taken and in what order so that the project can be delivered. For example, if the hardware supplier understands their deadline, the consequences of failing to meet that deadline, and is tied into an agreement with penalty clauses for late or non-delivery, then there is a greater chance that the hardware will turn up on time than if it rested on a verbal agreement as a result of a quick phone call.
Reporting protocols The final part of developing the change management strategy is to consider how progress will be reported, when and to whom. You will have already identified your key stakeholders; those people/parties who have an interest in the project. Stakeholders may include: • Senior managers • Project sponsor (the person who requested the project to be done) • Project team members • Managers in teams affected by the work of the project team • Clients • User groups • External agencies (e.g. funding providers). Before the project is implemented, it is important to consider who the stakeholders are and how and when they should be communicated with. In some instances, it will be clear how and when to update certain people as to the project’s progress. Senior managers, for instance, may require a monthly update at a senior team meeting, whereas external funding partners may request a quarterly update via a written summary report.
3. Implement change management strategy: By the end of this chapter you should be able to understand:- 1. Develop communication or education plan, in consultation with relevant groups and individuals, to promote the benefits of the change to the organisation and to minimise loss 2. Arrange and manage activities to deliver the communication or education plans to relevant groups and individuals 3. Consult with relevant groups and individuals for input into the change process 4. Identify and respond to barriers to the change according to risk management plans 5. Action interventions and activities set out in project plan according to project timetable 6. Activate strategies for embedding the change 7. Conduct regular evaluation and review and modify project plan where appropriate to achieve change program objectives 3.1 Develop communication or education plan, in consultation with relevant groups and individuals, to promote the benefits of the change to the organisation and to minimise loss: Developing a communication or education plan Communicating the change is perhaps the most important aspect of implementing the change management strategy. Gaining the support and commitment of everyone involved and/or affected by the change is also important. Very often, the focus is on ensuring that the correct people, equipment and materials are in the right place at the right time, without paying too much attention to ensuring that the people involved are actually going to comply with the change. Take a look at the following true examples. Example 1 An aircraft manufacturer decided to invest in new equipment and machinery with a view to improving production times. The largest investment was in one machine which would fill a huge warehouse. The machine was investigated, researched, purchased and delivered to the site. On delivery, however, they discovered that the building it was to be housed in was too small; the machine would physically fit in the building, but there was no room for staff movement or storage of materials and so it was totally impractical. Had managers consulted the staff that were due to be working on the
machine prior to its purchase and installation, they would have pointed this out and potentially avoided a hugely expensive mistake. A new building had to be built to house the machinery, escalating the initial investment by hundreds of thousands of dollars. Example 2 A social housing organisation relaunched its corporate values and set out new standards of behaviour for all employees to follow. There was a large, highly publicised launch event at which all employees were encouraged to contribute their views to the corporate values. While a great deal of promotional material was on display around the organisation, behaviours didn’t change, most notably from the senior managers who were insisting that behavioural change must happen. The values that had been agreed and publicised were not being demonstrated by the senior managers and the staff lost enthusiasm. It felt like the senior team had paid lip service to the change; they wanted everyone else to change their behaviours but weren’t willing to adapt their own. The corporate values were never embedded and the whole initiative quietly disappeared from view. In both these examples, the people involved in driving the change program failed to take account of the ‘people factor’. In example 1, there was a failure to engage the people who had a valuable input to make regarding the practicalities of the shiny new investment. In example 2, the failure was in the senior managers not practising what they preached. This was quickly identified as hypocrisy and viewed with cynicism by the workforce. During change, people feel a sense of loss of: • Relationships • Territory • Competence • Status • Security. The effects of this sense of loss cannot be underestimated. A simple change in the office layout can have a dramatic effect on an individual. Let’s assume that someone has had a desk by the window for the last four years. The ‘window desk’ is a highly-prized location and with it goes a sense of informal seniority and status amongst the team. The person who works at that desk has a few indoor plants, photos and other personal items, as many people do when they work at a desk. Imagine that the office manager decides to streamline the office layout to make the workflow more logical – they probably have very good reasons for making the change. But if Brenda, who has the ‘window desk,’ comes in to work on Monday morning to find that her desk has been moved to next to the toilet, her sense of loss is understandable. She has previously enjoyed the status, the view and the perk of having a special place to work.
If that is suddenly removed without warning, it’s not surprising that she may react with shock. It is very easy to dismiss someone’s reaction in this type of situation. ‘What’s the fuss about? I only moved her desk from there to there’ is what an unthinking manager might say. However, they haven’t taken any account of the sense of loss that the person may feel. Whether or not the manager feels that this sense of loss is justified is irrelevant; nobody can judge how another person reacts to a situation, the important thing is that the manager should anticipate what the reaction might be and consider how to avoid a negative and disruptive reaction. This is what the communication part of the change process is all about; considering the points of view of those who are involved in or affected by the change and taking that into account when planning what to communicate, when and how. Good practice suggests that relevant people should be involved in designing the communication strategy. This might include: • People who have been involved in identifying the need for change (e.g. senior managers, specialists, experts, key personnel) • People who will be affected by the change (e.g. staff representatives) • People who will be involved in implementing the change. Different groups of people will have different needs for communication. Senior managers are presumably already committed to the change by the time you are thinking about the communication strategy, so there is less emphasis on explaining the benefits of the change as they will already have heard these messages. However, for other groups, this will be the first time they hear about what’s happening and so their needs for information will be different. A communication plan or strategy needs to consider: • Who needs to be communicated with? • What information do they need? • What resistance can we anticipate? • What benefits can we emphasise? • How can we deal with their questions and concerns? • How can we gain their support and commitment? By considering these questions in consultation with relevant people, the communication plan will be an integral part of the change process rather than an after-thought. Good communication gives the change process a much greater chance of success than if it is left as something to be squeezed in at the end of routine team meetings.
Promoting the benefits of the change is an essential element of the communication strategy. People generally want to know: • What’s happening? • Why are we doing it? • How will it affect me? The question of ‘why are we doing it’ is often summarised as a quick sound-bite or headline message. However, it really is the root of gaining support from people. If people understand and accept the reasons behind a change, they are far more likely to comply with it than if they are simply told what’s happening. Not all change is welcomed by staff and it is particularly important to position the less-welcome changes in such a way as to make a compelling argument in favour of them. This can be done by simply identifying the benefits of the proposed change. Will it make the work: • Easier? • Faster? • More enjoyable? • Better? • More cost effective? • More secure? The cost-benefit analysis gives good strong data to support any communication strategy, and except for commercially-sensitive data, there really is no reason to keep this secret from the workforce. If the proposed change is going to make the company more profitable and more secure, then tell them. If the changes are going to reduce waste by X% and avoid the need for staff cuts, then tell them. Communication plans may include a wide range of activities such as: • Consultation meetings • Briefings and presentations • Promotional displays • Intranet-based information • Text messaging • Emails • Training sessions • Surgeries (informal drop-in events with key personnel).
It is important to match the right communication method to the audience and the message. It may be appropriate to announce business growth with banners and balloons and a staff conference, but this approach would not suit all circumstances. 3.2 Arrange and manage activities to deliver the communication or education plans to relevant groups and individuals: Delivering the communication plans Planning the implementation of the communication is every bit as important as the planning for the overall change program. The communication strategy should have identified who needs to be communicated with, how and when. The implementation step involves practicalities such as ensuring that: • Invitations to events are appropriate and set the right tone • People receive invitations to events in good time • The venue is appropriate in terms of size, location, accessibility and level of formality • The timing of the event is appropriate and considers people’s working hours • The duration of the event is appropriate – not too long or too short • The wording of written communications is clear, unambiguous and concise • People involved in delivering communication events know their role and purpose • Steps are taken to record attendance at events Communication and training activities are often the first point of contact for the majority of people who will be affected by or involved in the change and so it is important to get it right. Do not underestimate the damage that can be caused if the communication process is bungled. Take the following true scenario: After a year-long project to completely redesign an organisation’s manufacturing procedures, there was a launch event for 300 staff and managers to announce the new procedures and explain how they would be implemented. The Managing Director opened the event. He stood centre-stage looking down and shuffling his feet. In the most disinterested tone of voice, he said ‘Good morning, I’m Nigel De Souza and I’m really delighted to be here’. His body language conveyed the exact opposite to his words. The audience believed the body language and left the briefing deflated and unconvinced that the new procedures would work. The MD’s lack of commitment and
enthusiasm was evident. Why would anyone else get excited if the guy at the top couldn’t care less? This illustrates the importance of ensuring that all those involved in delivering the communication strategy are consistent in their message and that they convey it in a manner that supports the overall change program. To do this, it might be necessary to bring together anyone involved in the communication to agree roles and responsibilities, to avoid unhelpful duplication and to agree core messages and how they are to be delivered. Take a look at the following scenario which shows an organisation getting it right: A utilities company was redesigning its contract management procedures to ensure that contracts were managed consistently, with a clear audit trail, minimising inconsistencies and waste. Recognising that the new system would be met with resistance from the majority of contract managers, the project leader: • Appointed a project team of representatives from the various contract management positions throughout the business to be involved in developing and implementing the new procedures • Tested, piloted and modified procedures where necessary • Had the project team work together to design a training program to roll out the new procedures • Made it so that over 30% of the half-day training program focused on only one question: why are we doing this? • Used two short ‘talking head’ video clips in the session: one from the chief executive and one from a senior director, both talking about the need for change from different points of view • Dedicated 20% of the session to considering the benefits of the new approach • Devoted less than 10% of the training session to actually looking at the procedures • Ensured that everyone in the department attended the session, from senior managers to junior contract managers. The result was that people understood the need for the change. Even if they were reluctant to change their ways of working, they appreciated why it was necessary. Some cynics were even converted to enthusiastic supporters. This may not have been the result had people been led into a training room to be shown a PowerPoint presentation just giving the detail of the procedures. The point from this example is that the project leader really considered the communication/training piece as an integral part of the change management process. Taking this viewpoint, he shaped the communication and training activities to meet
the people’s needs. In other words, he thought about how they might resist and set out to deliver a compelling argument for change. He wasn’t the most gifted public speaker, but he arranged a series of events which engaged people, gave them key messages from key people and excited them about the future. Planning and organising a series of briefing events is easy. Making them effective is much more difficult to achieve. When planning your events, ask yourself: • What are the key messages? • What’s your ‘takeaway’ message – what do you want people to do as a result of attending? • What benefits do you want to emphasise? • How can you pre-empt questions and concerns? • Who should be involved in delivering that message? • What is the best way of getting the message across? • What innovative methods can you use to get the message to stick? 3.3 Consult with relevant groups and individuals for input into the change process: Consulting with others As previously explained, communication is a vital component of the change management process. One important strand of the communication strategy is the timing and level of consultation with others. Consultation is concerned with seeking others’ views and input to the process with a view to ensuring their commitment while gaining useful information. Consultation need not take place at the end of the process, just before the change implementation takes place. Indeed, there is a very good argument for having consultations at various steps throughout the change process, right from the first stages of researching the change opportunities. The timing of the consultation is important. Too soon, and there are too many unanswered questions and a sense of frustration that nothing will be happening for a long time. Too late, and people feel that it is too late to actually have any useful input to the process and there is a sense of frustration that they have missed out on something important. There are no hard and fast rules. Each change management program has its own challenges and is unique. The message here is to give careful consideration to the timing of any consultation activity.
Another consideration is who should be consulted? Except in small organisations, it’s neither feasible nor desirable to consult with everyone. This would become unmanageable and it raises the expectation that everyone’s views will be acted upon. Consultation tends to involve a representative sample of different people from across the organisation, including: • Staff • Managers • Workers’ representatives • Different departments/job roles • Different lengths of service • Different specialisms. There are different ways of selecting people to be a part of the consultation process, including: • Random selection – picking names randomly from lists of different job roles • Inviting volunteers • Inviting specific people on the basis of their expertise. In practice, it is best to have an element of ‘fair play’ so that the rest of the organisation doesn’t feel that the consultation group was handpicked as the most engaged, most positive individuals. Consultation events can take many different formats: • Questionnaires and surveys • On-line forums/discussions • Face-to-face consultation sessions • Virtual consultation sessions • Telephone consultation. Whichever method used will depend on the nature of the consultation, the numbers and locations of the people involved. When planning and conducting a consultation exercise, the following aspects are important to consider: • Questions • Format • Rules of engagement • Recording contributions • Analysing contributions
• Reporting on the outcome of consultations. Questions Careful consideration should be given to the questions being asked so as to avoid bias. ‘Do you agree it would be better to do X?’ is a leading question which suggests the answer that is being sought. A better question might be: ‘What do you think about proposal X?’ Format In a consultation, the aim is to encourage everyone to contribute their views and so the format and tone of the event should be set up in such a way as to encourage that. For example, if shop floor workers are invited to the boardroom for a consultation event, they might find that intimidating and prefer the staff canteen. On the other hand, using the boardroom might raise the importance of the event in the attendees’ eyes. There’s no right/wrong answer; the point is simply that thought should be given to this. Rules of engagement There should be clear rules of engagement so that everyone has a fair chance to contribute to discussions and so that the more dominant personalities do not have an unfair share of the airtime. Recording contributions There needs to be a mechanism for recording the points that are made at the consultation event. Writing notes, taking minutes and audio-recording the discussion are all valid methods for doing this. Analysing contributions How will the information arising from the consultation events be summarised and how will it be used? Who will have access to this information? Reporting on the outcome of consultations After consultations have taken place, the next step is to consider how the information gained will inform the change management plan. If the outcome from the consultation exercise is ignored, this may be for very good reasons. However, it would be important to communicate this to the consultation group; otherwise they will feel their contributions have been ignored and this will affect their approach to taking part in similar activities in the future, whether in your organisation or elsewhere. A great outcome from a consultation exercise is where the project leader identifies something that nobody else has thought of and the project plan needs to be amended. This shows the true benefit of consultation. Not only do people feel that their views are important, they have been listened to and acted upon. How might things have turned out differently for the aircraft manufacturer if, right at the start of the process, the project leader had consulted with the people who would be using and managing the new machinery?
3.4 Identify and respond to barriers to the change according to risk management plans: Responding to barriers to the change During the development of the change management strategies, potential and actual barriers should have been identified and action taken to minimise them within the risk management plans. However, despite this, barriers may emerge that were not anticipated, or they may be stronger than imagined. There are some key steps that managers can take to identify and respond to barriers during the implementation of a change program, some of which have already been discussed in this unit. These include: • Informing people – communicating with them, telling them what’s happening and why • Involving people – asking for their input and views, recognising that they may have some valid input • Supporting people – listening to their concerns and fears and taking steps to provide guidance and support where necessary • Negotiating with people – listening to their points of view and looking for ways of reaching a compromise or areas where you can both agree. When it comes to responding to barriers, managers should: • Expect some resistance • look at the situation from others people’s points of view and consider how they might be feeling about it • Empathise • show understanding and recognise how the change is impacting people, even if you think they should be more accepting of it • recognise that individuals are different and we all feel threatened by different things • Give advance warning • the sooner you can let people know that change is coming, the longer they have to get used to the idea • Beat the grapevine • rumours can cause a great deal of upset and confusion • they are a distraction and they can take considerable effort to unravel • avoid the ‘rumour mill’ by being open and transparent in all communication
• Present a positive picture • show enthusiasm for the change, even if you personally don’t agree with it • people will look to you for guidance on how to behave so a positive image is crucial • Allow people to vent their feelings • if people are feeling frustrated by having no outlet for their feelings, it can result in deeply entrenched resistance • give people the opportunity to say what’s on their minds and then deal with their fears/objections one by one • Emphasise the benefits of the change • if people understand the need for the change and the consequences of not making it, they are more likely to accept it • emphasise what’s good about the change while pointing out how any pitfalls are going to be minimised or avoided • Reassure people • be honest with people • if the change doesn’t involve job losses, or pay cuts or shortened hours, then say so up front to alleviate any unnecessary angst • Recognise people’s efforts • let people know that you appreciate their contributions, recognise their input and thank them for their co-operation. Other barriers may present themselves during the change implementation process. This might include practical things like non-delivery of equipment, lack of availability of technical personnel and costs increasing unexpectedly. Again, these should have been considered as part of the risk analysis and so plans should already be in place for responding to any such occurrences. Through regular monitoring of progress, it should be clear when any problems or barriers emerge. If it is a problem that has been anticipated, then action should be taken according to the mitigation strategies drawn up during the development of the change strategy. However, if unexpected problems occur, the project team should: • Review the nature and scope of the problem • Anticipate its impact • Consider possible solutions • Decide on the best course of action • Revise the project plans accordingly • Implement the remedial action, seeking authorisation where necessary
• Ensure that the revisions are reported to relevant people through the regular reporting mechanisms. 3.5 Action interventions and activities set out in project plan according to project timetable: Action interventions and activities During the implementation stage of the change project, as project lead, you are responsible for ensuring that the interventions and activities in the project plan are actually carried out at the right time, by the right people and within budget. Interventions and activities may include: • Action research • Career planning • Job redesign • Sensitivity training • Succession planning • Surveys (with feedback) • Team building • Termination or redeployment • Training • Transition analysis. Each of these interventions or activities in themselves can represent a significant project and would require careful planning and implementation. For example, imagine a social care organisation which is broadening its client base to include sections of the population which are new to the organisation, such as people from minority ethnic groups or people with particular disabilities. In order to effectively and professionally deliver services to these client groups, it may be important to undertake a period of sensitivity training with staff to ensure their understanding of the new clients’ needs, protocols around working with these clients, cultural norms and standards. This is not simply a case of running some training sessions. It would be important to: • Identify the specific need for the training – what specifically do you want the staff to be able to do differently as a result of the training?
• Source a training provider who is suitably qualified and experienced (either internally or externally) • Work with managers to identify the people who require the training and brief them accordingly • Make practical arrangements for the training events • Ensure the training events take place as arranged • Obtain feedback on the quality and effectiveness of the training from the attendees • Seek feedback from attendees’ line managers • Follow up at regular intervals after training to ensure that the learning is being applied in practice. The range of interventions and activities that may take place during the implementation of the change strategy is potentially large and complex. Many of the types of interventions listed above have significant implications for human resources and employment legislation. For example, if termination or redeployment is an activity arising from the change strategy, then expert guidance will be needed to ensure that the correct procedures are followed and that legislation is not breached. Timing is of particular importance when implementing actions relating to employment legislation and it is important to adhere to the timetable set out in the original project plan. For instance, if redundancies are to take place, there is a minimum timescale from announcing the intention to make certain job roles redundant to people actually leaving the organisation. If the minimum timescale is not observed, then this can leave the organisation open to a challenge from an affected employee, which could be an expensive process. Where actions linked to the project plan have implications on human resources matters, it is essential that specialist HR guidance is sought. However, such guidance should have been put in place during the research and planning phase of the change management program and it should not be something that is ignored until the actual implementation.
3.6 Activate strategies for embedding the change: Activating strategies for embedding change Managing change isn’t just about planning and implementation. It’s also about embedding the change so that the new way of doing things replaces the old. In other words, change can be considered successful when people have forgotten how they used to do things before. Only then can you say that the change has truly become embedded in the way that they operate. However, achieving this does not happen by accident and deliberate strategies are necessary to ensure that the change is embedded and not left to chance. This can be achieved by: • Modelling the new way of doing things in your own behaviour • Monitoring how teams and individuals are working • Publicising the results of any formal monitoring activity (e.g. audit reports) • Seeking feedback from teams and individuals about how they are finding the changes • Challenging examples of behaviour which do not match the new ways of working • Modifying procedures if necessary as a result of monitoring/audit/feedback • Giving feedback to people on how they are implementing the changes • Recognising successes and publicising them • Taking corrective action where there is a failure to follow new ways of working (e.g. setting objectives and managing individual performance). As with any part of the change management process, the strategies for embedding the change should not be an afterthought. They should be considered at the outset in terms of how the change is going to be sustained so that sufficient time and effort can be applied to this important part of change management. For example, if you decide to discuss the team’s views about the changes at every team meeting for the first three months, then this will need to be planned on the meeting agendas and time will have to be allocated for constructive discussion. One of the most important ways of embedding change is to model the new ways of doing things yourself. In one organisation, the senior managers issued an instruction that all office workers were to adopt a ‘clear desk policy’ to reduce clutter and untidiness in the offices and therefore improve productivity. Very quickly it became apparent that the senior managers were not adopting this policy in their own behaviour. In addition, employees were found to be hoarding their paperwork on the floor under their desks; they
complied with the ‘clear desk policy’ but no-one had told them that the floor was included. The result was that due to the lack of role modelling from the senior team and the lack of clarity about the new rules, they very quickly went back to the old way of doing things. 3.7 Conduct regular evaluation and review and modify project plan where appropriate to achieve change program objectives: Evaluation and review It is important to regularly evaluate and review the progress of the change management program to ensure that it stays on track and is achieving the desired results. It can be very tempting to put all the energy and focus into planning and implementing the change program, but give very little thought to ensuring that the desired results are being achieved. Evaluation and review should take place on a regular basis. The exact timing will depend on the nature of the change program. In some small-scale change programs, it may be appropriate to review on a daily basis, whereas in other cases, monthly reviews would be appropriate. For example, if a small catering company introduced new food handling procedures, it would be inappropriate to monitor progress a month later. The manager/owner would want to see an immediate impact and so this may involve daily monitoring and reporting until they are satisfied that the new procedures have been fully embedded. However, in a large scale, complex change program, this would be unwieldy and expensive to administer and it would not yield enough useful information to demonstrate progress. In this case, it would be more appropriate to monitor on a monthly basis. For example, if a large retail organisation implemented a new customer service strategy, there would need to be a longer term review of progress taking in sales figures, customer complaints and observations of staff conduct. In such an example, the results would not be immediate but would be seen gradually over a period of time. Methods used for reviewing and evaluating progress towards achieving the change program objectives may include: • Reviewing and analysing relevant data (e.g. sales data, waste figures, productivity and efficiency data)
• Audit processes to formally monitor compliance with new ways of working • Seeking feedback from relevant people – asking for their feedback and opinions about the progress being made • Reviewing the change management project plan. The outcome of reviewing and evaluating progress is an understanding of what’s going according to plan and what is not. Where there are deviations from the plan, further actions can be agreed and implemented to get things back on course. Depending on the amount of deviation from the plan, it may be necessary to: • Implement contingency plans • Reprioritise the existing actions • Reschedule activities • Reallocate responsibilities • Revise the original change program objectives • Learn from previous successes/mistakes. Whatever action, if any, is taken as a result of a review, it should take the organisation a step closer to fully implementing the change program. The project team should now be in a position to reflect on what was successful and what was not so successful in the implementation of the change. This is valuable learning for all involved in managing change and it should inform future change initiatives.
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