Getting Comfortable With Change; The Value of Strategic Change Management
Updated: Jun 14
By now, we know to expect change. The question isn’t “What’s changing?” but rather what isn’t. Changes are showing up at a fast pace, on multiple fronts, and we collectively can’t seem to catch a break. Whether it’s a system update, new regulations or AI taking over [No, ChatGPT did not write this text ;)], we might as well make the most of it.
Like it or not, there is a heightened expectation to deliver value as quickly and effectively as the need to change arises. How we manage that change will determine how much value we’re going to be able to deliver.
In order to deliver value and ensure long term benefits, we must understand what Change Management represents.
What Does Change Management Mean to You?
Do you associate Change Management to a department in your organization or a form you fill out when a project’s scope is modified? Do you see change management as an additional step that slows you down during project delivery? If so, think again:
Organizations with excellent change management practices are 6 times more likely to achieve project objectives.
(Source: Prosci 2020 Benchmarking data)
What Is Change Management?
Change Management can be defined as how an organization deals with the transformation of its goals, processes, or technologies. In a people-centric approach, it could also be viewed as how we “mobilize our people to deliver expected results and outcomes in times of change” - Jeff Hiatt, Prosci.
The practice of actively managing change in your organization can take many forms. For one, Change Management is about asking the right questions and supporting adequate communication through proper channels, ensuring that everyone is able to answer the following questions in return:
What’s in it for me?
Why should I embrace the change?
How is this going to impact my work?
What am I supposed to do in the meantime?
The answers to these questions make great examples that underline the general awareness of the need to change, something that Change Management attempts to create early on in a project.
So, how do we mobilize our people to deliver value? As a team, we craft and execute strategies tailored to the specific change that is being implemented.
The way we manage change will make a difference to our people and the impacted projects.
The Value of Change Management
To deliver value, change management policies on their own are not enough, people are also needed to drive the change. Effective change management enables us to achieve the desired and defined project objectives with engaged individuals. This means establishing quantifiable goals around the nature of the change, whether that be an increase in user adoption or an improved process, with measurable efficiencies in place. One cannot effectively assess the success of a change if the measurable goals have not been defined and communicated to the respective stakeholders.
The earlier that change management is integrated in a project, the more likely we are to:
1. Understand Who Is Impacted and Address Those Impacts With Them
Projects or initiatives are often complex, interdependent, and cross functional. Too often, future impacts or dependencies will go unnoticed until later in the project, when they
have more chance of causing delays, cost variance, and overall noise in the project
There are different aspects of a person’s job that can be impacted such as processes, systems, tools, and critical behavior. Good change management practices will ensure they are accounted for in the design of a solution.
2. Increase Odds of Meeting Project Objectives
Alongside Project Management, Change Management helps ensure that a project is successful. On top of the technical aspects, human elements will be included in the project design to meet the needs of the stakeholders. Change management will help ensure that the impacted people are prepared, and that the project’s value is achieved.
Ever heard of a failed go live because, although the system was ready, “we”, as an organization were not? A structured approach to change management ensures tools, like the Change management readiness assessment, are meaningfully used to evaluate and actively adapt the plan and its strategies to reach the respective change goals.
3. Sustain the Change and Its Benefits
Change management helps ensure that the organization realizes the value of the change. The intended outcomes of the project should be reached and be sustained through adoption and usage of the delivered solution. Change management practices will have helped prepare individuals for the new state of their day-to-day work, address resistance, and consider the risk of change saturation that may occur, both during and after the project.
Remember the time when the project team came, deployed, and ran? Although the project objective of “deploying” had been met, it would have been beneficial to have a reinforcement period for the new and improved changes to set, and be imprinted in the internal organizational culture.
That’s one of many examples of value brought forward through proactive Change Management, from project definition through to its completion.
How InnovX Delivers Value in Change Management
We are proud to support and cultivate better experiences to support current and future clients with their organizational transformations, facilitate the integration of change management, and to ensure value is delivered and maintained.
We are constantly involved in various stages of organizational change and witness the benefits that its effective management can bring a project, no matter how big or small. The following are a few examples of what this can look like:
Address the change impact on IT processes, following a retroactive validation of an ERP system required to penetrate a new regulated market. Understanding the impact to the daily activities of impacted team members and highlighting the necessity and value of the change.
Integrate key change management activities into the project plan of a strategic review of the data architecture of an organization in the Medical Device industry, with the aim of increasing the odds of meeting project objectives within a realistically established timeline.
Understand and drive the impact of a procedural overhaul project so that updated standard operating procedures (SOPs) not only reflect what is needed from a control or regulatory perspective, but that they have been written in a manner that allows collective adoption and adherence to by the organization in question.
Integrating change management into your operations or transformation projects is about ensuring that the maximum value possible is delivered. Let's discuss the best solution for you.
Something you can try
Curious? No matter what phase of project you are, try this for a start. Write down your answers to these questions:
What is the change that is coming? (the project)
What is the purpose of that change? (the intended outcomes: the project objectives and desired organizational benefits)
What exactly are we changing? (impacted aspects)
Who will be impacted? (impacted groups)
Now, connecting it all together:
Do you see a connection between the impacted groups and the intended outcomes of the project?
b) No, but there should be!
c) No. (that’s okay, it happens.)
How much of the intended outcomes depend on adoption and usage of the change by the impacted teams? The higher the number you have in mind, the more likely you need/will benefit from effective Change Management.
Download Our Exercice⬇️
Invite your peers to try this exercise and compare results, introducing the concept of change management to your organization. Let them understand and subsequently connect Change Management to project success.
Senior Business Analyst at InnovX Solutions &
Prosci Certified Change Practitioner
Myriam Filion has experience in IT software implementation and process reengineering spanning multiple industry segments, including the regulated food and beverage space. She's passionate about operations and process improvement, she facilitates change and empower teams through knowledge.