Change Management: Definition, Implementation
Change Management is one of the systematic approaches to deal with the transformation and transition of the goal of an organization, technologies, and its processes. Change Management is the process of designing, implementing, controlling, and assisting while implementing strategies to effect change and to help individuals to adapt to the change. These strategies include structured procedure as per the request to change, mechanism of the change, and following up with it.
For the effective process, the change management shall consider several factors like how an adjustment or a replacement shall impact the process, system, and the employees within the organization. Before testing the change, there shall be proper planning, communication regarding the change, also scheduling looking for implementing the change.
The change should be documented and evaluated based on its effect. Documentation is one of the critical components of change management. In addition to ensuring compliance with internal and external controls, including regulatory compliance, it also serves to maintain an audit trail in case a rollback becomes necessary.
What is Project Change Management?
Project Change Management is an effective method for leading a people-side change, which is a structured process and set of tools for supporting the desired outcome. While there may be notable changes as all the individuals are unique. There were decades of research that show certain actions can have an influence on people and the individual transition. Change Management provides a structured approach for supporting the people and by helping them to move from their present state and to own their future state as well.
Change Management can occur on three-level:
- Individual Change Management- It is nothing but understanding change in people’s experience
- Organizational or Initiative based Change Management- It involves creating a customized plan in creating awareness to bring success to the organization
- Enterprise Change Management Capability- Enterprise Change Management provides a competitive ability to adapt to the ever-changing world.
Project Management and Change Management
Project management and Change management are two separate disciplines that apply to the change of the organization, which also improves the Return of Investment and improves success. They are closely intertwined disciplines that bring necessary change into life.
Implementation of Project Change Management
Three steps primarily handle the management using the form of change-request. The request part for the change shall include the explanation of why the change is required ( acts like a justification section), while the analysis that is made on the impact of the change that occurs on the project will be the second part of the process ( impact-analysis section), and the third and final section involves approval for the process of change that happened within the project.
- For the justification section, it shall be completed by the person who is requesting for the change to happen. It could be a customer, sponsor, another stakeholder, or sometimes the project team.
- The project leader will complete the justification section, signed, and approved by the person requesting the change. The request is sent via email or through a phone call from the project leader
- The project team shall complete the second section, i.e impact analysis.
- The third approval section shall be completed by people who required approval for the change to be implemented in the plan.
The implementation involves three steps:
Step 1: Requesting for a change
A person from inside or outside the management shall request the change. In the justification section, the request form should be completed. The project team shall analyze the change, if the change makes sense then they proceed further. If the requested change does not make sense, then it shall be discussed further with the sponsor and the person who requested the change.
The justification section shall include the following questions:
- What are the changes the requestor wants to be made?
- Why does the requester want the change made?
- What problem is the requestor trying to solve?
- How can the request be implemented into the plan? Is this a priority request?
Step 2: Impact of the change
The team shall analyze the change that was requested and proceed to assess its impact on the project. The impact of the change shall be reviewed with the project team that will analyze the change requested and propose a plan that will be reviewed by the originator, sponsor, and customer. The team shall go through the steps to assess the impact of change. The team must be aware of the effect of the change of plans like its scope, resources, and risk.
For eg: The requested change can affect many areas like resource allocation, budget, development of additional tech support for handling the schedule. It is very important to consider the risk factor that would incur and changes in the risk assessment. The information captured shall have an impact on the change form.
Step 3: Approval/ Denial of the change requested
If the change requested is approved the proposed originator and the team gets notified. If the change request does not get approved the proposed originator shall be notified regarding the denial. Change management can be broken into three processes. Firstly the request process, secondly the analysis of the impact of the requested change, third is the process of approval.
In the final process, the impact shall be analyzed, if the project plan is amended the request will be approved. Ultimately, the originator, the team leader of the project, the sponsor, and the customer must approve the plan. If other approvals are required, it shall be listed in the form. The change request form must include the instruction to complete it.
Tools that can be used for change management:
There are many tools in the market to help project managers to implement change systematically and keep a track of it. To name a few,
- BMC Remedy Change Management 9
- StarTeam by MicroFocus
- Rocket Aldon
- ChangeGear Change Manager
- Give eChangeManager
- ServiceNow Change and Release Management Application
- The Change Compass
It is very important to recognize the need for the change and implement the requested change at the right time will have vital growth for the development of the business and sustaining in the industry. Adapting to the failures could be far better than undoing to lose the competition. While the changes may be challenging, the change management within the project shall make it accessible.