A Comprehensive Guide to Change Management Processes: A Step-by-Step Guide

Change management is a process that helps organizations transition from one state to another. It involves preparing the organization for change, developing a vision and plan for change, implementing change, incorporating changes in company culture and policies, and reviewing progress and analyzing results. Change management processes date back to the early 1960s and there have been several change management models over the years. Three traditional models of change management that organizations still find effective today are: Lewin's Change Model, Kotter's 8-Step Change Model, and Prosci's ADKAR Model.

Lewin's Change Model is a three-step process that involves unfreezing the current state of the organization, changing it, and then refreezing it. Kotter's 8-Step Change Model is a more comprehensive approach that involves creating a sense of urgency, forming a powerful coalition, creating a vision for change, communicating the vision, empowering employees to act on the vision, creating short-term wins, consolidating gains and producing more change, and anchoring new approaches in the culture. Prosci's ADKAR Model is an individual-focused model that helps employees understand their role in the change process. A change management plan helps your team realize the value of the proposed change, making it as least disruptive as possible. For example, OpenTable configures workflows that automatically send internal customer requests to the IT agent with the most experience in that problem area, which can reduce the stress of the change process.

It allows us to better plan how to manage them during the change curve. This root-cause analysis will be the driving factor for your change management processes, as it will keep your team focused on making changes that have a significant and powerful effect on your operations. Just as customer experience teams consider how to improve the customer experience through personalized messages and self-service content, change leaders consider the employee journey and strive to provide them with the support and tools they need during a change. In the preparation phase, the manager focuses on helping employees recognize and understand the need for change. Regardless of the organizational change you are implementing or the change management methodology you use, the key to successful change management is to have a measured and methodical process.

Even the simplest improvements in change management measures can make a difference. Prosci data also indicate that when organizations improve their management of change from “bad” to “fair”, they are 30 percent more likely to meet their objectives. For example, if you run IT Service Management (ITSM) and rely on software that is maintained externally, vendors must approve changes in addition to service owners and business relationship managers. Prosci also found that teams with effective quality management processes are 5 times more likely to implement changes on time or ahead of schedule and twice as likely to keep initiatives within or under budget. Change management begins by informing teams about what needs to be changed or “unfrozen” from the current state of the company. Teams must send weekly reports on the status of projects in work management tools, with work managed exclusively in these tools.

During implementation processes, change managers should focus on empowering their employees to take necessary steps to achieve objectives of initiatives and celebrate any short-term achievements. To ensure successful implementation of changes within an organization, it is important for managers to understand all aspects of their organization's change management process. This includes understanding different models of change management such as Lewin's Change Model, Kotter's 8-Step Change Model, and Prosci's ADKAR Model; creating a comprehensive plan for managing changes; understanding root cause analysis; utilizing work management tools; and recognizing quality management processes.

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