Change Management is about supporting, preparing, and helping teams and individuals adopt change successfully. It should focus on people by addressing their communication, training, and guidance needs. Training shouldn’t be an afterthought. From the get-go, it must be an integral part of the Change Management planning process. Bright Affect said it perfectly in a recent article. “If Change Management is the star of the show, training is its lead supporting actor. Together, they make a blockbuster that breaks box-office records.”
A Change Management strategy is important to provide direction and purpose for all related activities and define the approach needed to manage change given the project's unique situation.
I work with one of Ardent’s retail clients and am an Instructional Designer on the Change Management team. Here is a statement that we share with stakeholders of the business. A Change Management strategy guides the organization through implementing and monitoring changes, focused on the people side of change. By minimizing risks and enabling individuals to adopt changes, desired outcomes and return on investment (ROI) can be achieved.
This strategy focuses on four areas:
Some high-level objectives when planning for change and training include structuring the training by module and function for the most relatable content. Drive knowledge through hands-on training (labs and office hours) and provide learner participant materials. It is ideal to introduce foundational training before go-live and focus on upskilling the subject matter expert (SME) groups to support the process and system. In addition, deliver proficiency surveys to ensure completion and measure adoption and preparedness. Provide facilitator preparation meetings and facilitator guides for all training sessions.
Below I have provided a sample plan that includes how each project phase relates to the focus areas described in the section above, specifically communication, learning, and measurement.
It’s important to define the roles and responsibilities of SMEs, which can be broken down into three main areas: communication, solution development, and implementation.
Let’s start with communication. Here are some essential tasks:
Next up is the solution development plan and tasks:
And finally, implementation tasks:
In addition to SMEs, we also want to leverage the use of Change Champions —a network of individuals who bring thought leadership and influence to drive change adoption across the impacted organization.
Advocates for Change
Listens and Communicates
This approach involves individuals at varying levels across functional areas that the change will impact. We must maintain active involvement in advising and executing change plans (i.e., messengers of change). And we want to coach individuals through a push and pull engagement model. Their desired outcomes include:
Change is HARD! But it’s a bit easier coming from someone people trust. Those internal Change Champions you desperately need on your side to break down the barriers of resistance and create a team culture of adoption and advocacy might never see the actual value without training.
Remember, training shouldn’t be an afterthought. From the get-go, it must be an integral part of the Change Management planning process. Because without training, gaining that all-important stakeholder buy-in essential to making your Change Management program successful will probably be a long, bumpy, and winding road. Maybe even impassable.
If you want to connect with an Ardent expert on your Change Management needs, reach out today.