Change management is a broad field that involves a variety of strategies that are implemented in order to execute a modification or transformation inside an organization. The method of change management is defined as a systematic process that involves implementing changes that can redefine a whole organization. Namely, change management is as important for the teams as for the processes of an organization.
Is change management necessary?
As Charles Darwin had said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change”.
We live in a dynamic world where every day we are introduced to brand new cutting-edge innovations. The fact that every business industry is constantly evolving can’t be ignored. Undoubtedly, this raises the major need for revolutionizing the business environment and at the same time adapting to this revolution. You are going to ask yourself why?
In this article, we are going to talk about the change management in terms of technology. As a business owner, you should be well aware of the fact that the rapid evolution of new technology shapes our business environment.
As a matter of fact, the constant development and advancement of technological innovations are the reason that urges us to adapt more quickly to the environment. If you, as a business owner, and your employees don’t adapt to these changes you risk your business to fail.
How afraid are you of change?
Everyone is afraid of change, regardless of its nature. Changing your daily routines, be that personal or business, is scary. Especially in a business setting, changes can affect other people, besides yourself. In this case, your employees that on a daily basis help your business to go forward.
As a business owner, you are responsible for the success of your business, as well as for the performance of your employees. Partially, if not fully. This means that if you are thinking whether you should implement a change in management because of the growth in technology, you should be aware that it would affect your whole organization. But in a good way.
Namely, change management demands a process of implementation and adaptation, but without a doubt could result in success. However, firstly, there should be a phase of planning, testing and analyzing the changes. Secondly, there should be a phase of documenting and evaluating the impacts. And in between is the ongoing phase of helping employees to adapt to the changes. These phases might create ‘employee issues’ but in the end will determine whether the change in management is leading your business forward.
There is no reason to assume that the attempt to adapt to the exponential evolution in technology can lead to a complete disaster. A worst-case scenario is the following: The implementation of the particular technological innovation in your business environment proves itself not to quite meet your expectations.
This worst-case scenario, simple as it sounds, will definitely be a result of a poor preparation for the change management. That is to say, an inadequate execution of the previously mentioned key-phases can be the cause for failed change management.
Therefore, before you decide to implement a change in your business, you need to develop a comprehensive and accurate plan that will include all the details. After creating the plan you should start with the execution
Overcoming the challenges
Change management can encounter many challenges. One is the timeframe in which changes are applied. This method of change management has been around for decades, yet many examples of change management haven’t proven themselves to be very successful. Just as the world is changing fast, the change in an organization needs to be implemented fast. I’m not talking about months and years, but days and weeks – a period that requests fast shift from one activity to another.
Another challenge is the changes’ acceptance by the employees of the particular organization. With other words, employees can widely influence the process of changes applied in a business environment.
Change in management is mainly provoked by external factors, however, as mentioned above, it affects the internal structure of an organization including the employees. The focus in change management is usually put on bigger aspects such as company’s culture, objectives, or working methodologies, but these transfer their impact directly on people.
The phase of helping people to adapt to change is significant. It is common knowledge that if the employees don’t adjust to the internal modifications in the organization, you will put in a situation that could potentially jeopardize your business.
A real example of change management
I will give an example of a personal experience with a change management so that you get a better understanding of the individual phases of implementation. Recently I successfully adopted a change in management that involved the implementation of a companion software tool to Primavera P6. To be more precise, I initiated a process of change in my business environment that was inevitable for completing a project on time and on budget.
In the beginning, I was skeptical that the implementation of a new tool in my organization could have compromised my whole project. But, in the end, I was sure that no change at all would definitely wreck my entire project. Therefore, I decided that this change is worth a try. Let’s take a look at the case in details.
The secret in success
The change in question was put to use a project management software as a companion tool to Primavera P6. The wish for better communication and collaboration between project members, alongside the necessity for cutting on costs for Primavera P6 licenses, imposed the need for the implementation of the standalone software application ScheduleReader.
Buying Primavera P6 full or partial licenses for all project participants required a big budget. On the other hand, not having licenses influenced the teams’ communication and collaboration. We had to act quickly and find a solution that could help us to complete the project with success.
One thing business owners get wrong about change management is they are too afraid that it will bring them nothing but failure. Without even thinking about the potential success in implementing new methods, approaches, or tools, they are convinced that a specific modification in their working environment would hurt their organization and employees.
In order to achieve success in implementing change management in your organization, you should use a systematic approach, which is preferable to last days or weeks. It is important to understand that the more effective and efficient your approach, the bigger the chance for a quick adaptation and positive impact on your employees’ morale and performance.
In my case, the implementation of the software in question, ScheduleReader, was indeed challenging and my team working on the project, as well as myself, was uncertain about the outcome. However, as a manager and leader, I encouraged them to accept the change and engage in the process of change management. They needed to get out of their comfort zone, stop feeling overwhelmed and prepare for the transition.
After a week of implementing ScheduleReader, I begin with a few simple strategies, which helped me facilitate the process. I took my time to communicate with them constantly throughout the transition; I demonstrated my confidence in them, coached them and invited them to give me their feedback about the change.
And after a short period of time, we together begin to notice the positive changes in our working environment. Adopting ScheduleReader has helped us to secure unlimited access to all important project information across all project teams, to guarantee a reduction of mistakes and miscommunication, as well as to motivate knowledge and experience sharing.
In the end, this cost-efficient tool was the key player for increasing project participants’ performance, which allowed us to complete our project by the estimated deadline and budget.
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this article are minealone. All the information shared in the article reflects my personal point of view. I did not receive any financial compensation in writing this article, nor do I own any shares in the mentioned companies.