Module 6: Organizational Change Management

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Key Success Factors 1-3: Purpose, Preparation and Definition

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Organizational Change Management

Key Success Factors 1-3: Purpose, Preparation and Definition

Critical Factor for Success 1 - Define the Purpose of Change

Before you make a case for change, be sure that you know why you want to implement a change. It may sound easy to you but put time into making sure you can explain it clearly.


You need to be able to explain the purpose behind what you are trying to achieve. People have to understand the logic of something before they turn their minds to work on it.


To define the purpose it is sometimes useful to consider input factors, throughput or process factors and output and outcome factors. These factors will be discussed throughout this unit.

Make sure you clearly explain the purpose of the proposed change!

Define the Purpose of Change - Outcome Factors

Before you suggest implementing changes, make sure you know have taken time to consider what the outcome factors of the change would be.

Make sure that you can clearly and definitively answer the following questions:

• Where do you want to make changes?

• What do you want to change?

• Why do you want to change?

This will give you clear vision and improve the chances of successful change!

Define the Purpose of Change - Input Factors

Before you suggest implementing changes, you also need to have considered the actions that will need to be taken to implement such changes.

Make sure that you can clearly and definitively answer the following questions:

• What evidence is there that change needs to take place?

• What is it costing you at present?

• How will the change affect staff? What effect will it have on climate and morale?

• What other areas will be changed as a result?

• What obstacles and constraints are there?

• Will current technology cope with the change?

Define the Purpose of Change - Process and Output Factors

It is also of utmost importance to know the effect that change would have on the organization if implemented successfully.

Make sure that you can clearly and definitively answer the following questions:

• How are decisions made now? Will this change?

• What are the formal lines of communication now? Will this change?

• What are the informal lines of communication? How will they affect change?

• What would happen if you do nothing?

• What end result is desired?

• How will you know when you have got there?

Define the Purpose of Change - Key Principles

Overall, to define the purpose of change, follow these key principles:

Key Principle 1

Plan to consult and start talking and involving staff about proposed changes early. This does not just mean seeking their technical or professional support but rather allowing for consideration of what the change means for staff in their working life.

In striving to develop a culture of continuous improvement and collaboration you can optimize participation by staff and other stakeholders by establishing a formal consultative framework from the commencement of the change process.

Key Principle 2

Sell the problem. There is a low probability of success if you introduce a solution to something which people did not perceive as a problem. People need to understand the reason tor the change and how they can play a part.

Critical Factor for Success 2 – Prepare a Business Case and a Project Plan

The business case and project plan allows you to scope the change process.

Good planning in the beginning can save you a lot of time and trouble as the project progresses. This is because it requires you to think of your reasons for the change, how to make it happen and how to make it stick.

The terms business case and project plan are often used interchangeably. Generally a business case must be developed to initiate the project. The business case involves an analysis of costs and benefits associated with a proposed change process and addresses available options for achieving goals including recurrent costs.

Planning is perhaps the most important factor for successful change management!

Business Case or Project Plan – Similarities and Differences

Business cases and project plans are phrases that are commonly mixed up, click on the attached icon to read about their similarities and differences.

Business Case or Project Plan?

Business cases are required where sign-off by a sponsor or a group of sponsors is needed. This usually involves gaining commitment to the project and approval for funding. A thorough business case will allow informed decisions to be made and appropriate resourcing to be provided.

Project plans are developed for the implementation of an approved business case. However, in some cases you may be directed to implement a change process where the funding and the decision have already been considered.

Prepare a Business Case and a Project Plan - How?

When preparing a business case or project plan, you need to give thorough consideration to the following:

Factor 1

Negotiate the role to be played by the sponsor.

This is necessary in order to get the sponsor to sign off on the agreement and to support the project.

Factor 2

Identify systems/strategic linkages by assessing and articulating how the change process fits into the broader goals and direction of the department.

Refer to your local business or operational plan; the department's Corporate Plan and the Corporate Improvement Strategy in order to do so.

Factor 3

Review the strategic outcomes of the project and identify the project goals and targets.

Clearly identify what you want to achieve and when you want to achieve it by. This should include what you want to achieve in terms of staff such as commitment, morale and motivation. Agree this with the sponsor.

Factor 4

Clearly identify the critical core parts of the project, the things that need to be done to ensure project success.

This could include any of the following: milestones for the project; consultation processes, education programs; measurement of outcomes; getting staff commitment and support to the change process; industrial relations issues.

Factor 5

Identify the flow of the project plan, this refers to the overall running of the project plan.

Aspects that need to be considered include the following: how long each part will take, when they can be done and which ones are dependant on the successful completion of another.

Factor 6

Establish evidence indicators against each critical core part ie. what will demonstrate that this part has been addressed appropriately.

Decide when these milestones should be reached. A Gannt chart (a visual display of the timelines and milestones) is a good way to keep track of the project progress.

Factor 7

Identify achievable short term gains or wins for the project and how you will communicate project successes.

This will help to keep people motivated.

Prepare a Business Case and a Project Plan – Key Principles

To prepare a business case and a project plan, follow the key principle:

Key Principle

A well prepared business and or project plan is a critical planning tool.

Remember - "If you cry ''forward!" you must make clear the direction in which to go. Don't you see that if you fail to do that and simply call out the word to a monk and a revolutionary, they will go in precisely the opposite directions".

- Anton Chekhov, Russian dramatist.

Critical Factor for Success 3 – Define the Role of the Sponsors

To achieve maximum benefit from a change initiative requires adequate and on-going sponsor support.

The Sponsor Can:

Help smooth the way through difficulties

Provide valuable advice and support.

Ensure that funding is maintained

It is therefore important to negotiate the role the sponsor will play and come to some agreement on the level of support you can expect.

Define the Role of the Sponsors - How?

Negotiate with the sponsor/s at the outset of the change process.

Throughout the negotiation process, ensure that the sponsor/s take responsibility for the following:

Factor 1

Publicly supporting the project by articulating the benefits of the project at all forums, including meetings to all staff groups.

This will help gain the support of the staff for the proposed changes.

Factor 2

Legitimizing the role/presence of the change agent by talking about the role, the reporting relationships and accountability and the performance expectation from the project.

Factor 3

Taking a key role in issue and problem resolution by acting swiftly to eliminate blocks to the implementation of the project and by providing advice on managing critical blocks and issues.

Factor 4

Providing coaching and feedback through regular meetings with the change agent/s and by developing learning and project outcomes for discussion.

Factor 5

Playing a role in defining the project by participating in the initial scoping of the project including developing key indicators, timelines, reporting requirements and regular feedback sessions.

Factor 6

Monitoring the progress of the project by regularly visiting work areas to discuss the change process with staff.

This provides the staff with an opportunity to voice their concerns.

Factor 7

Ensuring that milestones of the project are celebrated by publicly acknowledging them, the work of the change agent and the people involved in all available forums including public meetings and electronic media.

Factor 8

Ensuring that the project is resourced appropriately by allocating or arranging for suitable funding, scoping the project costs adequately and (if necessary) reprioritising within their own budget areas to allocate or re-allocate funds to priority projects.

Define the Role of the Sponsors – Key Principles

To define the role of the sponsors, follow the key principle:

Key Principle

People learn to ignore strategic directives and the organization loses confidence in its leadership when senior officers can't successfully fulfil the promise of their strategic announcements.

Sponsor commitment and support are critical to successful change management.

END of Unit

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