Change is risky and can happen anytime throughout the operation or lifespan of a business. When you plan to effect change in the business (even in the smallest aspect of your industry) you need to thoroughly plan for it – Failing to perform change management planning ahead is an excellent way of setting yourself for future failures.
There is nothing constant in this world, except change; so the cliché goes…
The change management planning process provides you with a “road-map” that you can follow to affect the change.
A change management plan should include:
- The purpose and the goal of the change in your business
- Associated costs and resources required
- Timetable for change implementation
- Risks associated with implementing change
Key points to consider during your strategic change management planning.
These factors are interdependent and all related to one another; it is debatable which really is the most important of them all and will generally depend on your business (size, industry, etc.) and the change you are implementing.
Reason for Change
Reasons vary depending on your business needs. Some companies implement change management to improve distribution and marketing, while others execute change management to improve employee performance or reduce operational cost.
At the end of the day, the overall goal of change management is to increase efficiency and profitability.
Q1: Will your planned change improve business efficiency and profitability?
Costs and Resources for Change
Some businesses underestimate the costs and the resources required for the implementation of their change management. Ideally, these should be some of the first and foremost issues to consider.
All changes in a business, whether it be for the improvement of employee performance or other changes in the business processes, have costs attached. It’s important to know the reason for change management so that you can estimate how much cost will be involved allowing you to decide whether the change is warranted.
Q2. What will be the cost to implement your change and what will the return on investment (ROI) of your change be?
Timetable for Change Implementation
Some changes require a longer period of time to be implemented, while others require only months for the implementation. The timetable for change management is also one factor to consider along with its associated cost implications.
Generally, the longer the change management execution, the more costly it will likely be. But, as this is not always the case, analysing the reason for change management and its effect on your change timetable is important during planning.
Q3. How will the change timetable impact your business?
Departments & Personnel Affected by Changes to Business Processes
This is the most critical of all, but not necessarily the most important. Departments, or employees, in particular, are the heart of a business. Some personnel might be receptive to change while the others are resistant to it. When changing business processes, you need to consider the positive and negative effects it may have to certain staff members and also to your business.
However, if the business processes really have to be changed for say, the viability of the company, then the positive effects of change will be your sole priority and focus.
Q4. How will staff react to change? Will they be receptive or resist, and how will you deal with this?
Why Should You be Planning Change Management?
Change management planning helps to control the negative effects on your business. Answering these four key questions will provide you with some clarity on the viability of implementing change in your business.
Have a good reason:
– If you are making changes that don’t directly improve efficiency and profitability, you are wasting time and resources.
Make sure it’s worth the cost:
– If you are implementing a costly change, then make sure you are getting some return on this investment
Make sure the timetable fits your business:
– Make sure you have adequate time to implement your change and ensure it doesn’t have impacts on your business if it goes overtime
Understand how the change will affect your employees:
– Will staff resist? Will you need to let go of potentially troublesome staff members? What will it cost to replace these staff members?
These are a few of the reasons why change management planning is important and required for all changes in your business.
If you believe there is a need to make changes in your business, you must have a change management plan.