Change Management

Turned upside down. The worldwide best practices in management systems tells us to have change management procedure in order to implement actions in two areas (as per the rules of psychology, we start with positive factors!):

  • increase the positive impact of changes. For example, we have a production of disposable sheets, which we can quickly reorient to the production of disposable masks and provide the population with masks in conditions of increased demand, having a positive effect from the absence of production downtime and from the company’s participation in a project of national importance (as far as this situation can be called positive, of course)
  • reduce the negative effects of changes. For example, we received a letter of resignation from the commercial Director. Here we can have the risks of sales drop, leaving customers, and the subsequent dismissal of other employees from commercial department, to which the organization should react in the organized way but not chaotically

In my opinion, the change management procedure is necessary and always relevant. Not because everyone is now facing unforeseen changes but as all processes are moving faster in the 21st century. Business community is constantly facing many changed in their processes, and so that it does not look like a constant “fire fighting” or “force majeure”, it is proposed to have a clear structural approach.

Excluding a lot of theory, here are the main statements and practical steps for implementation:

  1. You can manage the changes that you initiated by yourself. For example, a company decides to switch to electronic document management system, and accordingly, specific actions are planned with responsible persons and deadlines in order to avoid mistakes during the transformation period.
  2. It is impossible to manage changes that have already occurred in the external environment or that the company has already faced. You can and actually need to adapt to changes and “catch a fair wind” but not to “swim against the current”. All activities here will be aimed to reduce the negative consequences. An example of such external changes can be the changes in legislation.
  3. The development of actions must be based on team work approach. The team should include finance specialists, sellers, buyers, technologists, and HR specialists. Consider all participants as equal and necessary. Very often, the change affects many aspects of the company. For example, the above-mentioned electronic document flow may not meet the requirements of legislation in terms of personnel records management or immediately take up all available server space, which will require additional capacity for storing and processing the information by IT.
  4. It is not necessary to consider the implementation of changes only as introduction of changes to the documentation. Other areas of change may be: infrastructure (remember our new server for electronic document management?), communication with staff and their training, the changes of processes, and so on.
  5. And finally, change management is always associated with risks. Ideally, the risk management procedure, describing the way of permanent external and internal environment information receiving, should be implemented in such a way that we are ready for all upcoming changes. And if the risk of change was underestimated or not detected at all, the algorithm for assigning actions should help to develop the correct response to changes.

Finally not so difficult, isn’t it?


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