Planning For Change
Planning for change involves high-level thinking and management skills. Keep in mind that people experiencing change will be more likely to embrace the change when they understand the reason for it, see the benefits and understand that their leadership is committed to seeing that the changes occur. Remember that one of the key elements is to focus on the transition more than the actual change itself.
To ensure that you make the changes as easy for people to realise as possible, you can take advantage of project management approaches to help you organise tasks, establish priorities, and monitor your progress.
Before you start scheduling your project, you need to make sure that you are aware of the things that could negatively affect your success by determining risks and constraints.
Preparing a Schedule
Once you have assessed the risk, you can start scheduling your tasks. Before you start, make sure you have gathered all the information you need, including people’s’ schedules and things you will need: upcoming holiday time, employees availability and what other projects are underway at the same time that may conflict with yours.
Tip: When working through these types of exercises, remember that people are your biggest variable. If you maintain flexibility and show some give and take, you will be able to adjust your schedule to respond to unforeseen events.
Sometimes people get upset about what they do not know; they can be afraid of losing something that is important to them, like their job, status, or friends. Your ability to listen to and support your team as they transition through change is an attribute of a great leader.
You may not really need to give advice, sometimes people just want someone to listen. If someone approaches you and they ask permission to blow off some steam, make sure you ask them what it is they would like; do they want some advice or just a kind ear?
When people are asked what satisfies them about their work, the two most common replies are that they can make choices about what they do and how they do it and that they have the authority to do the things they need to do.
When you provide your people authority that reflects the scope of their job and allows them to make the choices that reflect the authority that they have, they are empowered. Staff who are empowered tend to make the right decisions for the organisation, which will help you to move ahead during major change as well as in the day-to-day operation of the business.
Change can be made easier by utilising some of the principles of project management. A systematic approach can provide the needed structure while allowing room for flexibility and modifications as the implementation gets underway.
Success with communication is another aspect of the plan that will make the process easier; sharing what you know about a transition honestly with staff builds trust and reinforces the integrity that the plan has been created with.