What is Change Management ?

As organizations grow and expand, their business processes might change to accommodate this growth.

These business process changes might include the implementation of a new system, business policies changes or a total restructuring of their organogram.

Some of the reasons for these changes might include regulatory, environmental or political changes or a change in the way the organization works.

Regardless of the type of change involved and reason for the change, every organization must be willing and able to adapt to these changes.

Business analysts are usually at the center of these changes, they might be tasked with identifying solutions to implement these changes or asked to identify what needs to be changes to resolve a business need.

Due to their unique positions in organizational changes, Business Analyst might also be responsible for change management.

What is Change Management ?

Change management is the planned approach to implementing a change.

It is based on 4 main principles which are :

  1. Understand the Change.
  2. Plan the Change.
  3. Implement the Change.
  4. Communicate the Change.
  1. Understand the change : this is the first step in the process is to understand why this change is needed.

To do this, You need to understand the reason for the change, what the change is meant to fulfill and how the changes is connected to the business objectives.

Asking the following questions can help you understand the change:

  • Why does the organization need to change ?
  • What benefits will this change bring to the organization?
  • How is this change connected to the business objectives ?
  • Will this change have a positive impact of the employees ?
  • Will the change affect the way they work ?
  • How would we know if the change was successful?
  • What would happen if this change is not implemented?

2. Plan the Change: to effectively make the change, it needs to be well planned.
This involves preparing an effective change management plan and to do that, you need to identify the following key points:

  • Change Sponsor: who is sponsoring this change ?
  • Stakeholders: who is involved in this change and where do they fit in the RACI matrix. RACI is a stakeholder analysis method that is used to analyze the stakeholders involvement in an initiative. It stands for RACI stands for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed.
  • How do the employees feel about this change: while this change might have the support of senior management, you also need the employees to buy in to the change because while they might not make the executive decisions, they are the ones who are going to be using the proposed change. So you need to ensure that they are well informed and their concerns are fully addressed early on in the change.
  • What impact would the change have on the organization: you also need to identify the impact that the change might have on the organization, and this would include both the positive and negative impacts. These identified impact s can be used to create the key performance indicators which are used to measure the success or failure of the implemented change.
  • 3. Implement the Change: there are numerous ways in which the change can be implemented and the chosen method would depend on the business’s needs but regardless of the chosen method you have to ensure that the following criteria are fulfilled:
  • Everyone involved in the changes understands what needs to happen.
  • All the relevant stakeholders have been mapped.
  • Any training needs have been identified and planned for.
  • The change’s success factors are clearly defined, validated and verified.

4. Communicate the Change: the change needs to be clearly communicated to ensure that it is a success. The stakeholders which includes the employees in the organization need to understand the need for the change, how it could impacts them and how it would be implemented.

The communication needs to be open and transparent to avoid any misunderstandings. You should also link the change to the organization’s business objectives to put it in a positive but familiar light on it.

The communication should ensure that :

  • The stakeholders understand the reason for the change, its relevance and how it would impact them.
  • The stakeholders are not opposed to the change.
  • The relevant stakeholders receive regular updates on the implementation’s progress.

As a Business Analyst, you would wear many hats and a Change Manager might be one of those hats. But creating a structured change management plan can help reduce risks and ensure the change’s success.