Change Management Elements

The 3 Elements of Change Management

About Change Management
I’ve read books and articles over the years to try and help me improve my management techniques around all aspects of project work, especially Change Management. There are some very good articles on Change Management around from some very experienced Project Managers. There are also some very good industry standard methodologies which will attempt to guide you through the ins and outs of Change Management, amongst other things, and they are also very good.

Will any of these articles, books or training courses remove the challenges of Change Management – I don’t think so. Remember this always “Projects are about People” and then you’ll always be sure to blame the right aspect of project management on it’s core failing – it’s always the people that catch you out.

Lets briefly look at the three core elements of Change management then, that make this a special sort of headache for all project managers. In doing so lets first distinguish between change brought on by the nature of the project and change within the project. We’re interested here in Change within the Project – which is Project Change Management. More about the reasons we make change and use project management to deliver that change in another article.

The 3 Elements of Change Management:

1. Causes and Drivers of Change
2. Impact of change and getting agreement
3. Implementing change in the project (or program)

Well that wasn’t too painful was it? If only life was this simple. If you take these basic elements and build a simple process around them you’ll get a reasonably workable process flow which identifies basic causes of change, such as;

Change Management of Planned Changes – for example;

agreed upgrade in a solution as part of a strategic program who’s conclusion was announced after the project started.
value engineering where the project has an opportunity to embrace a new approach to the advantage of the whole project, to reduce costs etc..
unplanned business growth requiring an expansion (or contraction) of the final solution.

Change Management of Unsolicited or Unplanned Changes;

Client decides part way through delivering a project that they don’t have enough meeting rooms and require a re-design of floor space to accommodate more.

Increase in scope of the conference facilities after they have been built, to include new/additional technologies.

change in senior management who decides he wants the floor plan changed to meet his “new needs”

– my favorite – a complete re-stack (re-shuffle of trading teams) of a trading floor because the wall of screens from one team block the main view out of the building, a week before go-live.

Change Management of Emergency Changes;

Fixes to critical components as a result of damage caused through some uncontrolled event – accidental flooding or collapse of some critical infrastructure.

Changes to critical components brought on by poor planning and failure to predict accurate requirements. You got caught out! – yes it happens.

Impact of dwindling resources (budget) forcing the need to adjust the solution quality or schedule etc.

There are other elements to Change Management – at a higher level it’s the communications before, during and after projects. Within the project it’s about managing expectations and being able to predict or foresee the impact of a required outcome, and “coax” your customer along the right path to retain their support and the momentum in delivery.

Change Management is an essential Control component of any project. You will need the following ingredients in place to make change work;

1. An agreed and signed-off scope of work clearly defining the deliverables and constraints
2. An agreed (and proven) change process which will take a change input (request) and provide:

Complete description of the change
What’s driving the change
Impact on schedule, cost and quality (final deliverables)
Who raised the change request
Who approved it
When it will happen
Who will action it
If change is denied, then a sign-off to that intent.

3. A communications forum where Changes are regularly reviewed and all impacted parties are present for comment.

4. An appointed Project Board or Steering Committee where there is the authority to approve changes that impact the project beyond the authority of the project manager or project team to decide on.

Remember – Change Management is all about people. You need to identify the change and it’s impact and then get the right people to agree to approve or decline the change request based on facts and credible experience (sometimes).

This sounds easy but on small projects people can get very protective of their “perceived control” or authority and the project manager may become hamstrung to make basic decisions or to manage the sometimes unreasonable requests for changes from customers staff. On large projects Change Management can and often does become a full time job with a dedicated team doing nothing else but review Change Requests and facilitate the right communications forums and approval meetings.

Basic Change Management Process flow
Process ->
Recognize Change request ->
Document it ->
Review it ->
Analyze Impact ->
Present to Change board->

If approved, re-plan program to include.

If denied, close it and get on with life.

Of course, this is just one view of Change Management based on 30 years of delivery experience. Each Project Manager will have there own view but I doubt that any experienced Project Manager will argue with the above but would embellish it with there own invaluable experience to put more “meat on the bone”.

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Implementation of Change Management

hange indeed is fundamental in life. The reality of the complexity and vagrancy in the environment (external or internal) is that organisations and individuals are constantly being pressurised to change in one form or the other. Change could be rapid or slow, perceptible and imperceptible, minor or substantive.

Vecchio (2006) in a tone of finality submitted that all organisations (whether profit or nonprofit, military or mutinational corporations) have no choice but to change so as to keep up with the pressure from the environment (internal and external). It is a compelling case of “change or die” (Vecchio, 2006:365).

Pressures to change can be obvious or implicit. Managers are expected to anticipate and direct change process so that organizations can benefit from it. Infact Pantea (n.d) of the University of Aard,Romania suggested that underlying the Lewin’s Change Process model is that the change process eventually involves a learning experience as well as the expediency to abandon the “current attitudes, behaviours, or organizational practices”.

The forces of change can sometimes be intimidating and might include forecast of changing economic conditions, changing consumer preference, technological and scientific factors, globalisation and competition, and last but not the least, changes in legal landscape.

Response to the forces of change may require strategic change or operational change. Strategic change is organizational wide and has to do with organizational transformation. While strategic change has a long term focus, operational change has immediate effect on working arrangement within a part of the organization. Operational change focuses on elements like new systems, procedures, structures or technology. Organizational change can be static (Lewin’s model) or dynamic (Continuous Change Process Model).

Change management requires strategic thinking and planning, good implementation and stakeholders consultation. The change desired must be realistic, attainable and realistic.

Lewin’s view of the change process provides us with a tool or model of ascertaining the need for change, its implementation and monitoring. (Lewin, 1951). Armstrong (2006) identifies a plethora of change models including those of Bechard (1969), Thurley (1979), Quinn (1980), and Bandura (1986).

Lewin’s process model of planned change has the following underlying assumption:

1. Change process involves new learning as well as a paradigm shift from current attitudes, behaviours and organizational practices.

2. Occurrence of change is predicated on the existence of motivation to change. This is critical in change process.

3. People are central to organizational changes. Whatever the type of change desired at the end of the day it is the individuals that is the target of change.
4. Deisirability of the goals of change however intensive does not preclude the existence of resistance to change.

5. If change must be effective, new behaviours, attitudes and organizational practices must be reinforced.

Lewin’s planned model of change comprises of three steps described as unfreezing, change and re freezing. At the unfreezing stage, there is need to create awareness to change. The equilibrium that supports the existing practices, behaviours and attitudes must be altered.

Data collection may be necessary at this stage for further analysis so that the need for change may be apparent to all. At the changing stage the goal is to transform people, structure, task and technology as indicated in Vecchio (2006: 373). The refreezing stage requires that assessment of result be carried out with a view to making necessary modifications.

New responses could be developed based on the new information received. Reecho (2006:374) has identified forces of resistance to change to include: employee desires for security, contentment with the status quo, narrow force of change, group inertia, threatened expertise, threatened power, and changes in resource allocation.

CHANGE MANAGEMENT AT ADESHINA ADELEKE AND COMPANY

Adeshina Adeleke and company comprises of a group of professionals specialising in property services it is a single line firm with headquarters in Lagos Nigeria. Adeshina Adeleke and company has branches in Abuja and Porthacourt, Nigeria and has developed competencies in Agency, Valuation and Facility Management.

It has a diversified and yet a cohesive workforce. Its workforce diversity is in terms of gender and ethnic groupings. The company has flat and yet optimally centralised structure. At the apex of the structure is the Principal Consultant who is the Chief Executive Officer.

Subordinated to it are the units/ branch heads. It has a strong and strategy ally culture. In terms of strategic grouping, the firm falls within the SME group and operate within the services segment of the property industry.

Adeshina Adeleke and company is affected by forces of change both in a systematic and unsystematic sense. The present economic downturn has a great effect on the Nigerian economy resulting in lack of liquidity in the property market. The effect of illiquidity is high property inventory for sale and to let within Adeshina Adeleke’s property bulletin.

Sales and letting are down and consistently for a quarter.Sales teams could not meet their targets. The result of the performance variance analysis triggered a need for strategic and operational change on the part of the firm. As a firm, we were caught off guard as the scenario we found ourselves in was never anticipated.

Management felt a need to increase sales and profitability and also to reposition the firm through necessary transformation. Although at the time, we were neither guided nor constrained by any model in managing the desired change, it would be useful to adopt Lewin’s planned change process to analyse Adeshina Adeleke and company’s change management process.
To kickstart the freezing stage the leadership of the firm created an awareness of the need to change, first among the management staff and later among the sales teams. Performance results for three months were discussed and analysed at management meeting.

Management as a whole was made to understand the emerging pattern and be sensitised on the need for a turn around. Subsequently a management staff was mandated to meet the sales teams and middle level managers to educate them on the firm’s predicament and the need to develop a sense of urgency for change.

Once a consensus was built on the urgency of the need for change, a management and staff committee was constituted to look in depth at the firm’s predicament with a view to proffering solutions. The committee’s recommendation include the following:

• Wider consultations with the rank and file so as to sell the change to the majority of staff especially the influential ones who are capable of building a coalition to resist the change. It is important that such groups be made to collaborate in the change process.

• Sales team members be sent on training to acquire further skills in marketing especially on selling during economic down turn.

• Abuja branch manager be replaced with Porthacourt branch manager who has been making waves in Porthacourt.

• A third of the sales team members be made to work on commission basis to reduce the overhead especially during transition period.

• That networking and cold calls should take a paramount place ahead of media campaign

• That our media campaign should be sustained.

• That an interventionist or a change agent should be allowed to lead the change.

Report of the committee was adopted and an HR practitioner was appointed to lead the change. Suffice it to say that we are still in the changing stage of the project. Sales staff are in and out of training both out and in-plant. Consultation is on going concerning those to be converted into commission based staffs.

A committee is looking into our business process and value chain activities with a view to eliminating non productive activities. Contributions of strategic business units are also being looked into so that decisions could be taken on their relevances.

Performances of members of our strategic group are being studied with curiosity. Our IT department is looking into the possibility of massive deployment of Ecommerce solutions for increased performance.

CONCLUSION

The firm is yet to get into the refreezing stage, rather it is still in transition. Time will tell whether those measures are worth the hassles and whether new knowledge will result.

I am of the opinion that the change project gives opportunity to mine data from all aspects and elements of the firm further analysis and decision making. It does appear the change project is slanted toward financials than the human element that ultimately make the change happen.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

1. Armstrong, M., (2006) A Handbook Of Human Resource Management Practice, 10th Ed, Kogan Page. London.

2. Bandura, A, (1986) Social Boundaries of Thought And Action, Prentice- Hall, Eaglewood Cliff, NJ. In Armstrong, M., (2006) A Handbook Of Human Resource Management Practice, 10th Ed, Kogan Page. London.

3. Beckhard, R,. (1969) Organization Development: Strategy and Models, Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA.

4. Lewin, K (1951) Field Theory in Social Science, Harper & Row, New York. In Armstrong, M., (2006) A Handbook Of Human Resource Management Practice, 10th Ed, Kogan Page. London

5. Pantea, M.I.I.V.V (n.d) “Managing Change In Organizations. Aard University, Arad, Romania.

6. Quinn, J.B, (1980) “Managing Strategic Change”, Sloane Management Review, 11(4/5), pp 3-30. In Armstrong, M., (2006) A Handbook Of Human Resource Management Practice, 10th Ed, Kogan Page. London

7. Thurley, K (1979) Supervision: A reappraisal, Heinemann, London. In Armstrong, M., (2006) A Handbook Of Human Resource Management Practice, 10th Ed, Kogan Page. London.

8. Vecchio, R.P (2006). Organizational Behaviour: Core Concepts. 6th Ed, Thomson South- Western

Emmanuel Ibukun Efuntayo – is an accomplished real estate professional, and Principal Consultant of Ibukun Efuntayo & Co., a highly reputable firm of Estate Surveyors and Valuers specialised in providing expert – personalised – Estate Consultancy, Facility Management, Project Management, Property Development and Valuation services to clients.

Change Management Will Change Your Life

All of us have been part of an effort that, for some reason, did not turn out as we intended. It could have been something as simple as that new omelet recipe you wanted to try. Why didn’t your omelet look the same as that pretty picture on recipes.com? Or it could have been the 2013 rollout of healthcare.gov, the beleaguered web portal of the Obamacare initiative.

Somewhere along the way, something went wrong with that omelet and with Obamacare’s website. Identifying what went wrong (and quickly) is a big part of what change management is all about.

What is Change Management?

Whether the goal is to make an omelet or to roll out healthcare.gov, it is important to realize that these products came into existence only after the completion of many individual steps. In the case of the omelet, you beat the eggs, warmed the butter, diced the fillings and so forth. Your future omelet will eventually come from this soup of ingredients.

This soup of ingredients undergoes major and minor changes as you progress through the recipe. The current state of your omelet can be called your “as-is state.” From this as-is state, you make a series of observations and form the “baseline” mental image of your omelet. As you move ahead to the next step in your recipe, you remember this baseline and monitor what the next change does to your effort. You can likely identify a problem faster if you pay attention to what things looked like before.

A lot of change management is simply empirical observation. With a good record of changes and whether the result was positive or negative, the bad outcomes can often be minimized and the good outcomes made more frequent.

Advantages of Change Management

In practice, change management has great practical value to the enterprise. Many organizations are subject to regulatory agencies or laws. For example, U.S. hospitals and healthcare providers are subject to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

One technical provision of HIPAA is that healthcare providers must safeguard against unauthorized changes to a health record. In this scenario, change management is not simply a benefit but a requirement. For example, if a patient has a documented history of an allergy to penicillin and his record is erroneously updated to report no allergies present, monitoring may help catch an otherwise deadly mistake.

For undertakings that involve many steps or many changes, change management can offer a clear reversion path. The record of change is the “trail of bread crumbs” that gets your product back to a functional state. Let’s say that you are working on an Excel spreadsheet with many embedded formulas, each of which references a specific location in the spreadsheet.

If you start introducing a lot of changes all at once – moving around columns and updating formulas in the spreadsheet – you may find that some of your formulas no longer work. But which change broke your spreadsheet? If you can’t identify the change(s) that did, you may have to redo all of that work.

Another advantage is that it helps preserve institutional knowledge. In large programming projects, for example, the product manager can review the state of the application over time. Each code change or revision is typically checked in to a repository as a sort of archive. The entire evolution of the application project can be observed by looking at these snapshots in time of the code. As a result one can begin to understand the way the product has changed over time – even if the original programmers have long since left the company.

Challenges of Change Management

Change management is often unpopular due to the increased overhead it brings. In fact, if done poorly, it can bog down the output of the entire organization.

There is a cost associated with change management. That cost can come from the time it takes to train staff to use the new process. There can also be capital expenditures if the company decides to purchase a CM software application.

Perhaps the most serious challenge to consider for change management is the overhead it may bring. If the process of change management is more onerous than making the change itself, the CM process may need improvement. If change management is not handled in an efficient manner, the new process may not gain acceptance and consistent use. Worse, the rank-and-file staff may quietly lower their output to the business as a way to avoid using the change management process.

Recommendations for Change Management

Before rolling out a new process or buying new software, the business should identify key stakeholders for the effort of rolling out change management. A project sponsor should be identified that will act as the owner of the project. Together, the stakeholders and project sponsor should identify what needs the project must fulfill to be considered successful. Desirable features can also be included alongside project requirements.

Once the project team is identified and the goals listed, the team should examine what resources should be involved in determining the necessary steps to accomplish those goals. Many goals in the project will likely reveal an interdependency between two groups within the business: for example, the rank-and-file’s acceptance of the change management systems, and the executives’ ability to provide an efficient and functionally relevant system.

Failure to meet such an interdependency can risk project failure. Therefore, it is important that the project team hold conversations with staff outside the project team to determine what an efficient and functionally relevant change management system might look like. This can mean lots of conversations and interactions with entities across the business.