Managing change well adds value to both the project being delivered and to the culture of an organisation.
Change management is about understanding and supporting people through change, and being able to do this successfully allows organisations to more easily deliver new initiatives, embrace evolving technology and adapt to new environments. The Change Management Toolkit provides guidance and resources to assist organisations manage people through a process of change – complementing the use of robust project management to deliver the core elements of the project.
1. What do people need to know?
Most people exhibit some level of anxiety during periods of change. Managing this well will have a positive impact on the project being delivered. Consider the information and context people require to understand and make sense of the change.
- What is happening?
- Why is it happening?
- How is this happening?
- Who is doing this?
- When is it happening?
2. Identifying stakeholders
Knowing who is involved and affected by the change – the stakeholders – and understanding their needs throughout the life of a project and its implementation is crucial to managing the change successfully. Initial stakeholder identification will provide a sound starting point to understanding the current environment. Understanding the operating environment and the organisation’s experience with change will assist in determining the level of engagement and leadership support required.
Bringing it all together
Planning your stakeholder engagement
Consider all the people who have a stake in the project and the level of engagement they require. This will help to prepare the ground for the change. Be honest about the influence stakeholders could have within the change process; understanding stakeholder experience with change and assessing their readiness for change are important factors to consider. Depending on the size of your project, developing a
Stakeholder Engagement Plan will make sure adequate preparation has been done to successfully make initial contact and maintain effective engagement with a variety of stakeholders.
Planning your communications
Thinking about what needs to be said, to who, when and how will help manage the change. Providing people with consistent and relevant information will limit rumours and suspicion within the population experiencing the change.
Getting people ready for the change
Consider what people may need in order to be prepared for the implementation of the change. Does the current mindset or culture need to change? Is training required to address a skills gap? For example, an IT project is likely to require some form of staff skill development or training; a change in HR process may require a cultural adjustment; whilst a change in leadership may require a mindset change.
A Change Management Plan
Depending of the size of your project, it may be helpful to bring the activities from the Stakeholder Engagement Plan and the Communications Plan into a consolidated Change Management Plan. This plan should dovetail with the Project Management Plan that would be overseeing project deliverables.
Implementing and embedding the change
Implementation of a change project is not the end of the process. Ensuring the project is implemented successfully requires the change to be embedded, evaluated and monitored. To deliver lasting change reinforcement of the change after it is delivered is essential. In order to understand the change and how it is being experienced a range of feedback loops to gather details about the roll out of the change is also important. Maintaining a focus on continuous improvement will help ensure that the change matures with the organisation and the benefits of the change are realised.
Successfully managing change is a key part of innovation within an organisation.
The Public Sector Innovation Lab program aims to improve the lives of South Australians by using innovation to make government more efficient and effective for citizens and business.