CIO UK Magazine (03/23/12) Schooley, Claire
Many organizations are seeking the key to successful change management, and while no single solution exists, a strong communications push that begins prior to the start of the change initiative, lasts beyond its completion, and spans the organization’s hierarchy may be the closest thing, according to Forrester analyst Claire Schooley. “Make sure you are consistent and trustworthy in your communications; help employees understand what support they will receive during the change and what resources they can call on for help,” she recommends. The overall vision should be shared with employees, but the expectation that the organization may make many course corrections during the course process also needs to be articulated. Schooley says the success of change management hinges on continuous planning and executive backing, and she suggests that “as you evaluate your change initiatives, be flexible to making mid-course corrections.” Human resources frequently assumes a leadership role in change management, as many modern HR executives are skilled in organizational development and have spearheaded large-scale efforts to sustain change. “Once you’ve identified a change leader with experience in organizational change management, they should start working with all of the business stakeholders and business process professionals,” Schooley advises. “In particular, this leader should start working in parallel with the project manager within the project management office.” Schooley also recommends performing a survey to assess the mood of employees in the areas where change will be deployed to help cultivate the change management process. The people and decision-makers who will shape the business process project must be identified, and strategies should be planned to obtain their buy-in for the project. Schooley says the change management plan also should recognize the distinct constituencies and change targets at each stage of the initiative, while the efficacy of the plan’s change management activities needs to be measured via employee interviews and surveys. “To drive adoption, some organizations include employees’ success in adopting process change as a component of their performance reviews,” Schooley notes.
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Successful change management processes must be instituted in organizations for survival.