How do I Make a Change Management Plan?

H. Bliss
H. Bliss
Businessman with a briefcase
Businessman with a briefcase

Change management plans need to be catered to each company, and must address the needs of the business and its employees during the time of change. Parts of a change management plan include financial planning, logistical planning, workforce planning, and psychological planning. Each part of a change management plan is essential to its success, and you will often find yourself conducting all four types of planning at once in order to best coordinate the change. One essential step in any effective change management plan is creating slack for error, which can include financial slack or extra time to deal with unexpected problems in the change.

Simple first steps when devising a change management plan include setting goals and milestones for measuring success. Goals can include budget, projected dates for change completion, and estimated benefits the company should receive by making the change. Setting financial goals and time line milestones can help direct and measure the progress of change. Ensure that you put aside time in your plan for processes that take time to complete, like production of materials or products necessary for the change, or physical changes like moving or remodeling.

Another important part of a change management plan is making physical resources for the change available at the stage of change in which they are needed. For instance, if you are training some associates on a new computer program, and the computer delivery does not arrive in time for your network administrators to get the system online for training, this can create delays that affect the overall success of the change management plan. Planning for resources can also include planning for manpower needed for physical work related to the change, such as moving furniture or setting up cubicles within an office building.

Do not implement a change before you plot out the financial details of the change. Use your company's accounting records to get a clear picture of company finances going into the change. This will not only help you plan for expenses during the change, but it will also help you determine whether the change implementation was successful. Heading into a change can be catastrophic for a company if it does not have enough money to fully fund the change. By budgeting and planning financial details for a change, you can help protect against money mistakes during change that can impact production and interrupt the course of your business.

Though it involves more emotional aspects than business sense, making time for the human and psychological impacts of change is essential to making an effective plan. When people are introduced to change, they need to be trained to use the new system. They may often become stressed, and may resist the change directly or by refusing to use the new system. Preventing human problems with change starts with effective communication. Effective communication includes regular meetings that occur at least once weekly, effective training with feedback, and an open door to personally communication with employees having problems with the change.

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      Businessman with a briefcase