Change is a process whereby things become different, thus change management is the identification and implementation of procedures that ensure a firm adapts to the changes in its business environment therefore enabling it to profit from the new opportunities. According to Hayes (2014), factors such as advancement in technology, dilution of culture, and entry of new firms into the market make change an inevitable process. Thus it is paramount for companies to invest in their change management process.
In ensuring that the change management process is effective organizations have to follow these steps, one, identifying what they intend to improve on. Since in most cases changes are implemented with the aim of improving the process, product or outcome of a firm, the identification of what is to be improved on would allow the organization to know what will be required in the process thus creating a clear path for successful implementation of the firm's ideas (Jeston & Nelis, 2014). It would also enable the firm to easily determine the most suitable action plan they may employ in ensuring they adapt to the change. Two, the presentation of the idea to its stakeholders, the presentation would enable the change management team to get the support they require by convincing the stakeholders of the importance of the change (Vora, 2013). This is because different stakeholders are tasked to manage resources such as labor and finances which may be required by the change management team in implementing the change. It is important for the enterprise representatives presenting the suggestion to the stakeholders to clearly understand the importance of the change before they approach the stakeholders since their opinions would determine whether or not the project would be initiated.
Three, plan for the anticipated change. This would allow the identification of the channel that is to be used in ensuring the firm attains its objective. According to Kondalkar (2013), this stage is also crucial since it aids in determining how the available resources would be utilized, the duty of all the people involved in the process and the analysis measures to be utilized. For an organization to ensure they have selected the most suitable change management plan they have to first, re-analyze the reasons for the change. This would involve describing the current state of the business in relation to its mission and vision, the listing of the reasons as to why the organization should change and highlighting of the factors that forced the firm to change (Goetsch & Davis, 2014).
Second, determination of the type and scope of the change, in this section the company should define the nature of the project. Issues such as how the project would possibly affect the structure and day to day functions of the firm are often highlighted. Third, the definition of the stakeholders' support, this would aid in accessing how the individuals who depend on the business such as its managers, directors, employees, customers, and sponsors are going to contribute in ensuring the change is successful. Fourth, the creation of a change management team, the team formed would be responsible for listening, and evaluation of the concerns presented, communicating the projects progress to stakeholders, and in executing and monitoring the change program (Ashkenas, 2013). Fifth, the development of the most suitable approach of the change implementation, in this stage the different possible approaches identified, analyzed and finally the most suitable method is selected.
Sixth, drawing of a plan for each stakeholder, the firm determines how each stakeholder would do in relation to the approach chosen. McCalman et. al (2016) argued that the risks and the concerns of the stakeholders should also be presented at this stage before the change management team is assigned to address them. Seventh, creation of a communication plan, the channels to be used in communication are stipulated to ensure effective flow of information and to avoid the occurrence of confusion of for instance how individuals are supposed to carry out their duties (Becker et. al, 2013). Finally, the evaluation and implementation of the plan, in this stage the selected change management strategy is put into action after it is evaluated by the change management team to determine whether there were any errors made.
Four, providing the resources and the utilization of data for evaluation, resources such as the infrastructure, software systems, and equipment are vital in the execution of the planned process. According to Rosemann & Vom (2013), it is also essential for companies to ensure they have tools required for retraining, re-education, and rethinking of practices after gathering and analysis of data. Reporting of the progress of the executed plan promotes communication thus ensuring timely distribution of required resources. Five, communication, through this process the organization's change management team provides that all its stakeholders are aware of what is expected of them in relation to their contribution to ensuring the change is successful. It also allows stakeholders to understand why the change is necessary thus enabling them to commit their efforts to ensure the change is successful (Kondalkar, 2013).
Six, resistance monitoring and management, experiencing resistance in the change management process is very normal since the process of change often causes a state of discomfort created by fear of the unknown. Management of resistance is paramount since it may threaten the success of the project (Bromiley et. al, 2015). Seven, celebration of the success, the recognition of the milestone achieved will enable the organization to have a clear view of the positive impact that change has created. This may also encourage the organization's stakeholders to be receptive to future changes since they would have a positive view in relation to change. Eight, review and continuous improvement of the process, this would allow the organization to amend any errors that may be found in the change strategy implemented, thus ensuring the process enables the firm to obtain the intended results. Edmonstone (2014) claimed that the continuous improvement of the process, on the other hand, would lead to the incorporation of new beneficial practices to the implemented change strategy.
In conclusion, there are numerous changes that firms may get to face. These changes may be caused by factors such as; an increase in competition, technological advancement, the need of the business to improve its processes or grow its market, a transformation of its customers' tastes and preferences, and the introduction of new regulations by the government. For the process of change to be effective an enterprise should not conform itself to a specific change management plan. It has to determine the change they are experiencing then decide on the most suitable strategy which will enable it to implement the change effectively.
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