What is change management or change enablement?
Change management is a process to help us understand, prepare, implement, enable, measure, and adjust changes in our business.
All change begins and ends with adoption by the humans working in our businesses. Therefore much of the focus of these initiatives is on the people.
And we know that most of us have a natural resistance to change, making it all the more important to bring together leadership, managers, and employees throughout the change process to implement the change and ensure the business can sustain the change.
Common Change Management Processes
Everyone has an opinion on organizational change and believes they know how to lead the transformation. While many will have initial success, many challenges arise during the transition that must be carefully managed.
It is essential to use a standard framework for these programs. Let’s explore a few of the most common approaches for successful change management.
Managing change, whether with ADKAR or other formal method, is necessary for the project to succeed.
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Note: We created the above with Lucidchart and we are happy to share the project with you directly, just reach out to us and we will share the project with you if that is of value.
Prosci’s ADKAR model is one of the most popular approaches to implementing change.
Is ADKAR an acronym?
Yes, ADKAR is short for:
Your employees need to understand WHY your organization needs to change.
From the executives through the front-line employees, motivate employees to want to change.
In the knowledge step of the ADKAR change management process, we educate the organization about HOW to change.
In this stage of the framework, we go deeper and provide the tools and skills required for each human to make the necessary changes and achieve results.
Organizational change is hard, and without support, organizations often make short-term adjustments and never fully realize the desired outcomes. This stage reinforces all of the above steps, keeping the team motivated, trained, and executing the initiative.
In ADKAR, you manage the process in order, from Awareness through Reinforcement, for all change projects.
Kotter’s Eight-Step Change Model
John Kotter’s change model, like ADKAR, leads organizations to implement change using a straightforward framework. It is less rigid than ADKAR as employees can choose to run the change management process out of order and skip steps if not needed to implement or sustain the change.
Establish a sense of urgency
As is often the case in any change initiative or project, the first step is to align the team on WHY the organizational change is necessary.
In this first step, we must ensure that the organization understands and agrees that change needs to happen.
Create the guiding coalition
Resources from multiple teams with varying perspectives bring these views into the process and represent their teams.
Develop a vision and strategy
As the name implies, this group of change leaders, the coalition, agree on a strategy and set goals for the change management efforts.
Communicate the vision
In this change management step, project plans and milestones come together to guide the implementation of various steps required for this initiative to succeed.
Project Management is critical for the success of the organization in this stage.
Give people the authority to decide the appropriate approach to achieving the desired targets. This transformation will only happen if all parts of the business make it their own.
Plan and execute change
You begin this change process to achieve a specific set of results. Do you see the desired outcomes, or are you at least trending in the right direction?
Organizational change management requires constant review and adjustments. Adjust approaches as needed, from managing resistance through execution.
Any transformation requires changes to people, teams, and the entire culture and will take time.
McKinsey’s Seven-S Model
The McKinsey seven-s model looks at how changes to one part of a company can impact all others.
The model has seven components:
- Shared values
Note: Each component is evaluated from weak to strong, and the model helps us see which areas need attention when making changes.
Lean Change Management
Lean Change Management was born out of the principles of agile development.
This methodology is based on three principles:
- Decisions are based on data
- Iterative and incremental change
- Frequent feedback loops
Lean change management principles can be incorporated easily into other methodologies.
Six sigma change management
Six Sigma is a quality management approach that seeks to find and eliminate defects in any process.
This Six Sigma DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) framework can be used for change management.
- Define – Set goals and success metrics
- Measure – Create a baseline.
- Analyze – Identify core problem
- Improve – Find solutions to the core problem and implement those changes.
- Control – Lock it down to ensure change is adopted
Lean six sigma change management
A combination of Lean and Six Sigma, both discussed above.
Best Practices for Change Enablement and Management
We like to point back to Revenue Enablement Execution Model which is based upon his standard approach for project work which always involves leading change.
Analyze business needs
What problems do you need to solve?
Collaborate and communicate to build alignment
Collaboration is vital, as we already noted. Pull groups together to align on the challenges you need to solve and find solutions that all can embrace. The goal, as always, is to improve life for your end customer and employees while driving increased revenue and business growth.
Prioritize based upon business impact
Focus and execute on the work that will have the most significant impact.
Execute to meet strategic and tactical needs
While focused on the critical strategic projects, you must still make time for your Enablement group to deal with one-off requests.
Facilitate cross-team efforts
As work progresses, continue to bring groups together.
Any change not fully adopted will have a reduced impact. Drive adoption of changes across sales, marketing, customer success, and other organizations.
Measure Business Impact
Are your changes creating the desired outcomes?
Refine approaches based upon data and user feedback
Learn from the data the end-user feedback, and adjust your strategy and tactics as required.
Change management RACI
RACI is a great tool for managing change and is an acronym for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed.
When using the RACI change management model, you first break down the project into discrete tasks. Each task is then assigned:
- Responsible – The person, or people, responsible for completing the task.
- Accountable – The ONE person who OWNS getting this task done. They may not do the work themselves, choosing to delegate it to the Responsible person/team.
- Consulted – Key people who are included in the decisions around the specific task.
- Informed – The stakeholders who must be updated on how this task is progressing.
RACI is an excellent tool for managing change of any size.
What is RASCI?
RASCI is a variation of RACI which adds in the role of “Support”. This person, or team, provides the resources needed to get the task completed.
Note: We created this with Lucidchart and we are happy to share the project with you directly, just reach out to us and we will share the project with you if that is of value.
Final Thoughts on Change Management
Any business transformation will take time.
Leaders need to educate on why, a process or framework must be leveraged, and employees need to execute on the company’s vision.
Challenges will arise through the transition process, from resistance to change, the need for training, and even the willingness of the culture to adapt to the ongoing work to adjust strategies and tools to create the desired organizational change.
Change management is complex, but successful change is required to be part of a successful business.