Business Presentation

Change Management

M.A. Business Coaching and Change Management

PROSCI certified

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is Change Management?

 

Change management is a comprehensive process that starts with the definition of the change and the objective, but also includes the target groups and success factors as well as the topics of leadership, corporate culture, communication, and project management.

Typical examples are

  • Organizational changes

  • Introduction of new products, production methods, hardware and software, which are accompanied by major changes in process flows

  • Personnel changes in growth situations or staff reductions

  • Mergers and acquisitions

  • New or modified corporate strategies

  • ...

 

Change management always considers the project, the goals pursued, and the employees affected by the change. Change management thus helps to relate the individual actors and topics of change to one another and to achieve the best possible solution overall.

Change Management Certification

 

As a M.A. in Business Coaching & Change Management as well as a Prosci Change Practitioner, I am convinced to be able to support you in your change project in the best possible way and I think that my change management certification shows that I have the necessary theoretical experience to implement change management projects. In my professional career (31 years, 25 of them in various management positions) I have come into contact with a large number of change projects and have successfully completed the majority of the projects. I am very happy to bring my acquired qualifications to your company in order to support you in the implementation of your change management projects..

 

Why is change management important for your company?

 

Change management is thus a constant companion of corporate activities. Continuous development contributes to the fact that companies must be able to survive in the rapidly changing world that surrounds and directly influences them, and thus continue to exist successfully in the market. Not only continuous, small-scale changes are explained and implemented in Change Management, but also major crises and necessary, drastic changes are carried out according to the principles and success factors of Change Management.

Changes can have a serious impact on the existing structure of an organization and, in the process, affect, for example, its organization/structures and operations/processes. New departments are created and existing departments are merged. Existing workflows are made more efficient or automated, or new processes are introduced. New tasks are added, and and the emphasis on old tasks is changed. Additional expectations are placed on employees, or existing expectations are modified.

 

Changes not only affect structures and processes, they also influence the levels of the social fabric or the work behavior of employees. Here, changed framework conditions such as flexible working hours and performance-based compensation models play an important role. New management tools - such as the implementation of 360° feedback or a different style of leadership- also require managers to deal with their employees differently.
Despite all the differences in change processes, there are also fundamental similarities. For example, changes can always be assigned to at least one of the following three levels:

  • Changes in the organizational structure

  • Changes in the process organization

  • Changes in the social fabric and in personal work behavior

 

General questions of change management

  • Why or for what purpose is the change necessary?

  • What is the objective and what exactly should have been changed once the goal has been reached?

  • Who is affected by the change? How exactly is the goal defined?

  • What is the status quo and what is your strategy to get things done?

  • Have you created a change plan and who is responsible for project management?

  • What does your stakeholder management look like?

  • How do you measure and monitor the project progress?

  • Has the goal been achieved sustainably?

  • Celebrate success!

 

As outlined above, change management deals with a variety of different issues, depending very much on the objectives that companies are pursuing. Typical objectives in change management are listed below:

  • Business goals (increase in sales, market share, etc.)

  • Employee goals (satisfaction, security, financial aspects)

  • Customer goals (quality, price, service)

  • Process goals (lean, speed, transparency, security)

  • Micropolitics (expectation management, informal communication, escalations)

 

There are various approaches to implementing change projects, all of which have their advantages and disadvantages. I am not focused on one particular approach, but always try to evaluate the actual situation, focus on the goal and apply the best variant to achieve the goal. This can be the model of Kotter or Prosci, but also the Change Canvas model or the GRIFFOX Bullseye model.

 

Why do you need a model for change management?

It is important here that it is not about the model or who the model comes from, but whether the model works and can be used to achieve the goals you have set for your change project.

A change management model primarily serves the success of the change project and ensures that essential aspects and actors of change are not forgotten. In addition, it ensures that project progress is made measurable.

Why do we read so often that change projects fail?

Changes in companies cannot be viewed according to a specific pattern, since the reasons for the change and the employees in the companies are too different. However, it can be seen that change projects are more frequently canceled for certain reasons. A topic that is mentioned very often is the topic of sponsors of the change project.

 

What do you mean with that?

The change sponsor is the person or group of people who initiated the change project and who have the greatest interest in the success of the change project. These are often C-level managers or the company board. Since change projects often last longer, which is primarily due to the fact that people cannot change completely overnight, it often happens in practice that a change project is canceled because the company's orientation is different takes than originally planned. This means that the change project is no longer required. Budget-relevant aspects can also lead to the termination of the change project. As a result, change projects that are terminated or aborted are often rated as failed.

From my perspective, this is too negative a thought. Change projects should always deal with the topic of awareness at the beginning of the project. So how ready are the employees of the company actually for the change?

If the subject of willingness to change is worked on intensively at the beginning of the project, this usually leads to people having a greater awareness of their willingness to change in the future. At the same time, this ensures that change projects do not have to be rated as completely failed, even if they are terminated prematurely.

In my opinion, it is particularly important that change projects are carried out by professional change managers and that the points that are most important for the company and the employees are brought to the fore.

 

What are the points that are of particular importance in Change Management?

 

Vision – Why is change necessary?

Goal – What is our goal? Who or what should be changed and when is the goal reached?

Strategy & tactics - What is our strategy? What is our tactic? What does our change plan look like?

Status quo / Change diagnostic

Project management – Create a Change plan!

Communication

Stakeholder management (CEO / Board / Leaders / Employees / Change Agents)

Monitoring and Steering

Communication

 

In the following I will go into the individual points and present the necessary connections.

 

Vision – Why is Change necessary?

 

What is the vision or objective of the change management project. What exactly should be changed and what is the reason for this change.

Change management should always be characterized by clear objectives. A goal helps in measuring the achievement of goals, in communication with employees, in motivating the change management project and in deriving sub-goals and milestones.

In most change projects there are many employees who are happy to participate in the change and act in the interests of the company. However, the prerequisite for this is always that the employees also understand why the change is necessary and what exactly is expected of them. Clear and transparent communication across all levels of the company is therefore an essential part of change management. The vision should always be as inspiring and driving as possible for the employees. It must therefore pull the employees in the desired direction and have an inspiring effect on the employees. Change projects that do not take this into account will always have a hard time getting employees enthusiastic about change management projects.

 

Goal - What is our goal? Who or what should be changed and when is the goal reached?

 

Why do I distinguish vision and goal? 

In practice, I often experience that this point is gone very quickly. The goal seems clear. Two departments are merged, a merger is carried out or new software is introduced company-wide. So the goal is clear. Or not?

In my opinion, the vision in change management defines the why, i.e. for what reason exactly do we need the change project? What exactly is so important about it? What happens to the company if we don't carry out the change project? Without the change project, where will we be in 5 years? These or similar questions can be answered through the vision (the why).

In my opinion, however, the goal must be clearer and more concrete. If it's just a question of introducing software and after the introduction all employees are dissatisfied due to the software implementation, do their work worse, are unmotivated or, in the worst case, leave the company, then the goal can hardly have been achieved.

That's why it's important for me to go into the goal clearly at the beginning of projects. What exactly is the goal? What or who should be changed specifically? What are the best possible variants of the change project? How do I know that the goal has been achieved?

Answering these questions helps us to carry out the change management project in a targeted and successful manner and to measure whether we have achieved the goal both during the project and at the end of the project.

 

Strategy & tactics - What is our strategy? What is our tactic? What does our change plan look like?

 

In terms of strategy and tactics, analogies from sports help to visualize what exactly is supposed to happen.

Strategy stands for the basic planning on paper, i.e. in a rather abstract way. Strategy is influenced to a large extent by the previous analysis of a change management project. How do company 1 and company 2 fit together in a company merger? What aspects do you need to pay particular attention to? Are there particularities between the employees of the companies that are essential for the success of the change management project?

The analysis provides the answers that are required to set up the project in the best possible way.

 

Tactics are based on the strategy at the beginning of the project and then look at the ongoing project. Tactical decisions react to the content and deviations identified in the project. So if problems arise that could not have been planned in advance, the tactics pick up on these issues and make corrections to the project and the course of the project. In any case, tactical decisions must ensure that the achievement of goals is not jeopardized. Thus, tactical decisions always require an exchange with the steering committee of the change management project.

 

Status Quo – Change diagnostic – Where do we stand now?

 

The status quo enables a comparison to be made between the current status and the status planned within the framework of the vision and goal. The difference between the two points also represents the work packages to be carried out in project management. The PROSCI methodology offers various tools for an analysis of the change project and to get a feeling as well as concrete indications of where the essential points for the project success lie. However, it should always be noted that areas that are already very positive must also continue to be kept in mind. It can never be ruled out that these positive areas will develop into negative ones if they are neglected. It is therefore important to carry out the analyzes continuously and holistically.

 

Project management – Create a Change plan!

 

Project management plays an essential role in change management. This is due to the fact that change projects often run longer and it is not exactly predictable how people will behave in a change project. Not every employee will always be enthusiastic about a change project and it is therefore not clear what consequences the individual employee draws for himself.

However, change projects always consist of different sub-aspects, i.e. sub-projects, and always have milestones to evaluate progress and make adjustments if necessary.

In this respect, a functioning project management is very important for the success of change management.

 

Whether the project is being operated in a more traditional or more agile way is a question that the respective company must clarify for itself. Change management can always be operated with both forms of project management.

 

Stakeholder management (CEO / Board / Leaders / Employees / Change Agents)

 

Stakeholder management stands for the ongoing exchange and supply of project-relevant information with the stakeholders of the project. At first glance, these are usually the CEO, C-level managers and the board of directors. In any case, this group of people is of great importance for the project, since their position makes them very noticeable in the project. Both positive and negative behaviors about the project affect the project. A positive CEO can have a powerful impact on the project and employees if he behaves positively and supportively. In the opposite case, of course, the same applies.

 

In stakeholder management, the employees affected by the change must not be neglected. The employees usually carry out the respective work. If the employees oppose the project, it is difficult to achieve the set goal.

Stakeholder management can also help to engage employees in change management projects by using timely and transparent communication.

Stakeholder management must therefore continuously take care of the individual groups of people and address problems at an early stage.

 

Monitoring and Steering

 

The interaction of the individual building blocks must lead to continuous monitoring of the project. This comparison takes place during ongoing project management and should be based on milestone plans. Problems found are discussed in the project and necessary adjustments can be made. Most of those involved are familiar with this control process from various projects. Despite everything, it must also be ensured here that the achievement of goals is always kept in mind, the time horizon is not forgotten and that the steering committee regularly reports on the development of the change management project w

 

Communication

 

Communication is one of the key drivers of change management. 

This has to do with the fact that change management includes the employees in all considerations. Based on the previously described vision of the change management project, everything is necessary to explain the vision to the employees, to inspire them with the vision and to convince them that the path taken by the change initiative is the right one. In practice, many different forms of communication can be found for this purpose. Which exactly is used in the respective change project usually always depends on the corporate culture of the respective company. In a long-established, conservative company, other forms of communication are normally established than in a young, hip start-up company. In one company, lectures, brochures and an experience in everyday life might be more appropriate, in another company perhaps agile workshop forms, digital whiteboards and storytelling.

 

At this point, change management must ensure that the right type of communication is selected in the project, that the appropriate measures are designed and rolled out, and that the progress of the project is monitored.

 

Furthermore, change management must ensure communication with all stakeholders and ensure that communication is transparent and takes place across all hierarchical levels. This always means that change management must use the right tools for change management e.g lectures, information events, employee newspapers, podcasts, video channels, workshops, digital formats or team discussions.