Research & Public Policy
Customer Service Topic Sheets
Change management entails meticulous and thoughtful planning followed by sensitive implementation. Most importantly, the people directly impacted by the change must be involved and consulted. There are many examples of changes going wrong because they have been forced upon people.
The plan for any change must be realistic and achievable. The anticipated results should be documented and a process of measuring actual against anticipated results agreed.
In planning a change, here are some questions to ask:
- What do we want to achieve with this change?
- Why are we making the change?
- How will we know that the change has been successfully implemented?
- Who is affected by the change?
- What possible reactions will they have to the change?
- How much of this change can we carry out using the organisation's own resources?
- What support do we need from external organisations?
- Does the project plan contain all activities, details of inter-dependencies between activities and required resources?
- Are roles and responsibilities for each activity in the project clearly defined and do those individuals understand?
- Who is responsible for overall communication of the change plan to all parties before and during the change?
- Is the change timetable agreed by all parties?
- What could go wrong?Have appropriate mitigating actions and time been included in the plan?
- Does the project plan allow for an appropriate contingency for unforeseen situations?
Overall, change needs to be understood and managed in a way that people can cope effectively with it. Change can be unsettling, so management needs to be senstitive to the needs of staff.