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In today’s fast paced world, every organization is expected to grow constantly and with growth comes change. Your company’s future depends on how well the changes are being implemented and managed on a regular basis. This is why there is a need for change management.

Change management is basically what it seems to be, managing change effectively in such a way that the changes implemented are actually for the betterment of your organization. “Changes” could be transitions or transformations of an organization’s goals, processes or technologies, or the variations in the roles of employees.

The very essence of change management lies in being able to implement strategies for effecting change, controlling change and helping people to adapt to change.

It is very important to make sure that your employees are receptive to change and are comfortable with it, because how well on organization works directly depends on how well its employees understand their roles in the organization. If these individuals are unsuccessful in their personal transitions, if they don’t embrace and learn a new way of working, the initiative will fail. If employees embrace and adopt changes required by the initiative, it will deliver the expected results.

There needs to be a proper procedure to implement changes, which includes requesting a change, as well as mechanisms for responding to requests and following them up.

A predefined set of steps should be followed whenever there is a possibility of change, in order to make sure that it gets implemented effectively. They are-

  1. Planning and testing the change
  2. Communicating the change throughout the length and breadth of the organization or whomever it may directly or indirectly affect
  3. Scheduling and implementing change
  4. Documenting change
  5. Evaluating its effects

Documentation is a critical component of change management, not only to maintain an audit trail should a rollback become necessary but also to ensure compliance with internal and external controls, including regulatory compliance

To understand why we need change management, let us take an example of a simple scenario, where the Principal of a school needs to be changed. First, the board members or trustees of the school will sit down and decide whether the change is required or not, and if required, how they plan to go about it. Interviews will be taken and candidates will be shortlisted. Next, the faculty members and students should be informed about this change as they are the ones who will get affected by this change. Then, a date of joining for the new Principal will set. All of this will be documented- this will include the credentials of the successor and predecessor, tenure, job description, etc. The new Principal will be evaluated discreetly by the board of members by seeing how the school performs over a certain period of time. Thus, the change implementation process would be completed.

As we saw in the above scenario, it would be important for the staff as well as the students to adapt to the new change, i.e., they should be comfortable around the new Principal as well as respect him or her. If this fails to happen, then the decision of the management ultimately fails and the school will face a roadblock and might even take a hit to its reputation.

Therefore, we see how the employees are the most important players when it come to change management.

Change management can essentially be divided into three levels-

  • Individual Change Management: Involves understanding how people experience change and what they need to change successfully. It also requires knowing what will help people make a successful transition.
  • Organizational Change Management: It is all about identifying the groups and people who will need to change as the result of the project, and in what ways they will need to change. Organizational change management then involves creating a customized plan for ensuring impacted employees receive the awareness, leadership, coaching, and training they need in order to change successfully.
  • Enterprise Change Management: It can be defined as nn organizational core competency that provides competitive differentiation and the ability to effectively adapt to the ever-changing world. An enterprise change management capability means effective change management is embedded into your organization’s roles, structures, processes, projects and leadership competencies.

Changes on all levels can be successfully carried out by employing the management methods for each of the levels.

Software tools like VComply can help in carrying out change management by keeping a constant track on each and every employee’s performance and therefore may suggest the need for a change as well as show proof as to how well or how poorly and individual or a department is adapting to a newly implemented change.

Change is undoubtedly frightening- it is basic human nature to avoid change. However, to remain a big player in the competitive market, it is essential to constantly inculcate constructive changes in your organization and change management lets you do that effectively.

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