Change can impact any business function at pretty much any time however, there are some functions that are more exposed or susceptible to change due to the nature of the work they conduct.
The functions that are most likely to experience change regularly are generally IT, e-commerce and marketing teams. Because technology moves so quickly changes in the market place are common and can have a big impact on websites in the form of security updates and data protection as well as marketing platforms with algorithm changes and new digital marketing channels.
Managing change within a business usually falls to managers. Common examples of change may include a business take over, a new management team coming in and new processes or technology being implemented into the business.
Resistance to Change
It’s not uncommon for employees to be resistant to change, even if it’s likely to benefit them in the long run. People who have grown accustomed to existing processes or technology will resist until the last minute by not installing updates or switching to new systems. Some ways to manage change
• Forming a leadership team
• Creating a feedback loop
• Being clear when communicating changes and emphasizing the benefits to the employee
Creating a Change Management Plan
There are a number of frameworks you can use to create a change management plan as well as software solutions, including the Inpulse change management plan.
Regardless of the framework or software, there are some key principles of change management that you need to include in any change management plan. These include;
• Setting objectives
Being clear about the objectives and the outcomes of the plan is important because it will help you to analyze the areas in which you were successful. SMART objectives are often used to create realistic and measurable goals.
• Steps to help make the change
Change doesn’t happen all at once, so setting out bite-sized steps that will help you achieve your objectives is a much better way of creating a clear and manageable process so it doesn’t feel too overwhelming. It will also make it easier to get buy-in.
• Implementation and timeline
Defining who will be doing what and by when helps to keep all stakeholders accountable and is an important metric to track. Some changes, like moving a website to a new server or upgrading security software, may be critical to achieve by a certain time or may need to be completed at a time that causes least disruption to the business.
• Communicating the change
Whether it is just to your team that you need to communicate with or the project is part of a wider organizational change, communication is a vital component. No change management plan will work without it and it’s usually the responsibility of managers to open and maintain clear communication channels which should be defined before the change takes place.
• Measurement of the plan’s success
As with any plan, you must have appropriate metrics in place to measure success. Gathering and analyzing data before and after a change will be key in assessing the success or failure of change and the change management plan.