IT change is necessary for all organizations, but it can be difficult to implement, often causing confusion and disruption without clear improvements. However, organizations have to progress with their industries, embracing both minor and transformative changes to stay relevant. Successful change management depends on an effective process to reduce risk and disruptions to key services.
In this post, we explore five requirements of any robust change management plan and offer advice on how to make the process easier.
Planning Is the Key to Effective Change Management
Successful change management is all about creating the right plan and sticking to it. Here are five steps you should follow to introduce a good change management process in your organization:
1. Follow a Structured Process
Your change management plan will work as a road map setting out the steps the organization must take to implement the change management process. You may not require a plan if the business change is relatively minor and simply involves training relevant staff to adopt a new step in a workflow.
However, if it is a complex transition that affects a significant number of staff, you will need to define strategic steps as part of a larger project management process to ensure the change is sustainable over time. You need to be sure that the plan you adopt accommodates the roles of all affected team members–from management to individual staff. A structured process will help to ensure the change is implemented smoothly.
2. Clearly Define Success
Before you embark on your change management plan, make sure to set out clear objectives. Your team cannot drive the plan forward to a successful conclusion without a clear understanding of what success will look like.
Once the team knows the metrics to focus on and how their efforts will help achieve the desired goals, they will have a greater incentive to work toward them. When you are sure that everybody involved knows what the objectives are and how they are going to achieve them, you need to check in regularly to inform them of how they are progressing toward those objectives.
3. Consider the Effects of Change on the Whole Organization
Making significant changes in any organization can have far-reaching consequences. Before you introduce change, ensure that you have considered how it will affect everyone in the organization. You need to look at how new policies and procedures will make a difference for everyone from management and team members to partners and customers. Look at the change from each stakeholder’s perspective so that you understand the consequences for every relevant viewpoint. This will allow you to engage more effectively with each affected audience and provide clarity around the outcomes they can expect.
4. Communicate Progress Across the Organization on a Continual Basis
Implementing change is hard. As your team’s work starts to bear fruit, and you can see real progress, communicate that early success to your team members. Positive reports of even the smallest early wins will help motivate your team to redouble their efforts to make the plan a success. Team members will know that what they are doing is working and that they are on the right track. Other teams will see the success and be inspired to make similar efforts.
5. Take Quick, Decisive Action
Especially in an era of digital transformation, change needs to happen quickly to be relevant. This is not the time for a long, drawn-out approach. Managers need to be decisive and make small, fast, incremental changes. As each change adds to the one before, momentum grows and the organization becomes more adept at dealing with disruption on its own terms.
Change can be tricky, but it is vital if you want your organization to expand and become a market leader. If you are an IT leader responsible for digital transformation in your organization, you can keep your company current by creating a clearly defined change management plan and following through with effective communication and quick, incremental changes.
If your organization is struggling with change, you can avail your team of a range of tools to help you accelerate the process without assuming unacceptable risk. These change management tools will give you the capacity to implement change quickly while monitoring and measuring everything as you go.
Need Help with Change?
Device42 makes the process of planning and implementing change smoother and more efficient for IT organizations. Using Device42 solutions, you gain immediate insights into:
- The users who will be affected by taking down specific networks/servers/storage components
- The services that will be affected by the changes
- The likelihood of a rollback or possible downtime
- The optimum maintenance window to limit disruption for end users
- The resources required to effect change successfully
Contact Device42 and one of our experts will explain exactly how we can help make the process of change management smooth and successful for your organization.