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Why Do I Need Change Management?

In today’s world of technology and globalization, change is inevitable.  Your organization cannot function the same as it did 20 years, 10 years ago…and maybe not even 5 years ago anymore. What if Apple continued to stay in the computer business, and did not expand into smartphones?  What if Facebook did not realize the additional […]

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January 24, 2013

In today’s world of technology and globalization, change is inevitable.  Your organization cannot function the same as it did 20 years, 10 years ago…and maybe not even 5 years ago anymore.

What if Apple continued to stay in the computer business, and did not expand into smartphones?  What if Facebook did not realize the additional marketing power of a “Like” button?  And, what if grocery stores did not embrace organic food along with the new health conscious movement?

I imagine you’re getting the picture now.

Change is Good

Change is inevitable and it’s good for business. “Change” for the purpose of this blog entry is defined as transitioning/shifting an organization (as a whole and individually) from a current state to a future state.

No doubt as you are reading this post, you are thinking of three or four (or maybe 10?) changes that are taking place in your organization. Maybe you are rolling out a new HR system, maybe you are launching a mentoring program, or maybe you are relocating!

Whatever it is, you may be feeling excited (after all, this will move your business forward) and yet incredibly anxious (how on earth will you get it all done?). And you are probably wondering how you can pull it all off.

Change is Hard

Since an organization is made up of individual employees, it’s key to get each individual to be supportive of the change. Ultimately, if employees don’t accept the change, it will create more trouble for the organization and render the change to be less effective.

For example, let’s say Company A has a new system to improve travel bookings. This new system changes how employees do travel bookings. Each employee will need to know how to do the bookings through the system for business to continue and the change to be successful.

And an additional and more complicated component to address is human nature. Not all employees will change simply because the boss says, “Let’s change!” Each individual employee at Company A will go through his or her own transition through accepting, learning, and using the new booking system. If not, no matter how advanced the system is or even if it makes the employee’s job easier, the system will go unused (or not used well!) and the “change” will not create the benefits it was intended to create across the organization.

Change is Possible

Change management focuses on getting each and every individual to transition from a state of awareness about the change to accepting and sustaining the change. By employing the basic tactics of change management such as communications, resistance management, leadership sponsor and training, you can answer questions and challenges presented by employees (including the what, the why, when, where and how). And there’s a higher likelihood of the change being a success.

A well-executed change management approach (strategy, communications, resistance management, feedback mechanisms, project management, leadership sponsor, and training) would promote a seamless transition for Company A employees to be ready, willing, and able to use the new system.

Have you used change management on a project before?  Share how you did it and how it helped your project.

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