The Importance of a Strategic Change Management Plan

Most people don’t like change. In fact, they dread it. Why? Because by nature we are creatures of habit, and change brings about something new, different, and uncertain. Change, especially in business, takes us away from what we’re used to, disrupts the normal rhythms of our days, and makes us uncomfortable. But managing change effectively is not difficult and can go a long way towards ensuring that change-ups such as a new system implementation, a recent merger, a process alteration, or a new CEO, are successful.

 

Acquis Consulting change management - Concur

 

The term “Change Management” essentially refers to shifting a person, a team, or an entire company from the as-is, or current state, to the to-be, or future state.A change management strategy is inclusive of the focused training and communication activities necessary to affect change across an organization.The strategy should be built taking into consideration a company’s culture, values, and political landscapes at a high level, and individual roles and responsibilities and the environments in which they operate at a more micro level.

 

With systems implementations such as Concur Travel & Expense, a change management strategy is key to help employees understand what to expect and what is required of them. It establishes a roadmap and reassures employees that the organization is committed to, and, more importantly, prepared for the change. The following are some key questions to consider and best practices to follow when developing a change management strategy.

 

  1. Who should be involved in developing a change management strategy?

    It’s important to have a change management lead who can own and drive the overall process. Sometimes that person is part of the internal corporate communications team, but if not, project communications should be carefully coordinated with the corporate team to ensure that all requisite processes and procedures are followed appropriately…..

 

  1. Who is the audience for change management activities?

    The target audience for change management activities around a system implementation is generally broken-down into two main segments: the internal project team (e.g., project sponsors, project managers, regional leads, technical leads), and the external organization (e.g., those impacted by the change).

 

  1. What type of materials/channels will I be available to leverage?

    Various channels can be utilized to distribute project messages and raise awareness including in-person meetings (town halls, brown bag sessions), email communications, intranet updates, and e-signs throughout company buildings.

 

  1. When does it make sense to customize?

    Whether to customize a change management plan can depend on a variety of factors, including:

    • Number of countries involved
    • Complexity of requirements (for systems implementations)
    • Major differences between business units
    • Corporate culture (i.e., what’s the norm)
    • Budget
    • Company size

 

  1. What are the benefits of a change management toolkit when preparing for a global implementation

    With global implementations it often makes sense to create a change management toolkit that includes project material such as:

    • Project overview: project drivers, timeline, and deployment schedule
    • Overview of project communication and training material
      • Release schedule
      • Customization guidelines
    • Embedded communication documents
    • FAQs

 

  1. What are some key change management success metrics?

    • Post launch survey satisfaction at X%
    • X% increase in calls to help desk
    • X% increase in calls to help desk
    • Percent of employee adoption
    • On time launches
    • Ease of use with new system
    • Time it takes to complete the travel and expense
    • Time it takes to process expense reports by back office staff
    • Number of expense reports processed over a standard time (day, week)

 

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Can you share a time when an internal process changed and you were really uncertain of how to move forward, but look back and say ‘I can’t believe we did it that way for so long?’” Pause and reflect for a moment before commenting below.

 

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