Module 6: Organizational Change Management

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Key Success Factors 7-9: Risk Management and Evaluation

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Organizational Change Management

Key Success Factors 7-9:
Risk Management and Evaluation

Factor for Success 7 – Acquire and Develop Change Agent Skills

Effective leadership and team skills are critical to successful change.

Change agents play a key role in gaining commitment and support among staff for business improvement activities. If the change agent and/or change team do not have the necessary skills to undertake the project then the likelihood of success is diminished and the likelihood for cynicism and discontent is increased.

Appointing people with the appropriate skills to manage change processes and providing adequate support sets the project up for success and is consistent with the department's values.

Acquire and Develop Change Agent Skills - How?

Consider the skills required for the change agent and the change team and assess proposed staff against these skills:


High level problem solving skills

Ability to manage upwards

Knowledge of process

Developer skills and the ability to model department values

Project management and the ability to inspire others

Acquire and Develop Change Agent Skills – Key Principles

To acquire and develop change agent skills , follow the key principle:

Key Principle

"It's a terrible thing to look over your shoulder when you are trying to lead - and find no one there" - Franklin Roosevelt.

Factor for Success 8 – Develop Plans for Managing Risks

In the management of any project, risks or issues related to the level of political, managerial, staff and union support or resistance; time and the capacity to deliver need to be considered.

Should any of the above issues be overlooked throughout the changes process, chances of success are greatly diminished.

Develop Plans for Managing Risks - How?

Identify the potential risks factors. These may include but are not limited to:

Factor 1

A shift in priorities, the public profile of the project and the possibility of media attention, time; perception of the projects validity in terms of the end product of health service delivery; 'scope creep' - the potential for the project to get bigger and industrial action.

Factor 2

Internal risks such as the potential loss of the sponsor, loss of resources including loss of staff, potential to see the project in isolation, loss of focus on the inter-relationships with other projects and issues, lack of sponsor focus or commitment and low level private and public support and a drop in staff morale.

Factor 3

Level of expertise of the change agent/s or in the work group and the potential for sabotage (barriers created by different values, attitudes and beliefs of a stakeholder and/or work group).

Factor 4

The integrity and reliability of information for decision making and lack of system support.

Develop Plans for Managing Risks - How? (Continued)

A key question might be: "what sort of support or resistance can you expect given the nature of the project and the history of it among certain key groups?"

For example, if a particular work group has always been opposed to changing its work procedures in the past, they are likely to continue with this view if not persuaded of the benefits of such a move.

To minimize the criticism that your call for change may be met with, ensure that you have taken the following factors into account:

Choose the key risk issues from those identified and develop contingency plans.

Consult with your sponsor/s on potential risks and their management.

Develop Plans for Managing Risks – Key Principle

To develop plans for managing risks, follow the key principle:

Key Principle

The best way to prepare for the unexpected is to build into your plans a contingency clause that specifies what you will do if the unexpected happens. In this way you will have alternative routes to follow if the worst case scenario occurs.

“Almost anything is easier to get into than out of”
- Agnes Allen, American epigrammatist

Factor for Success 9 – Develop Evaluation Strategies

If change is to be achieved within an organization, you must be prepared to continually evaluate the system that you are trying to change in the organization.

Because of this, it is of utmost importance to build an evaluation strategy into the your change strategy. This will allow you to assess if the desired outcomes have been achieved.

Through employing this critical factor for success, you can develop a learning environment where process review and a focus on outcomes is standard.

How will you know if you have achieved change if you have no way to evaluate your organization?

Develop Evaluation Strategies - How?

To develop an evaluation strategy, follow these steps:

Factor evaluation processes into your business case and/or project plan. This will include timelines, and performance or evidence indicators.

Do a baseline measurement before and after introducing a change. For example, conduct a client satisfaction surveys prior to introducing new services and then again afterwards.

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