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Change management





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7 Rs of Change Management

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Seven Rs of Change Management is a checklist of important points that need to be considered while raising a change request. This compiled list of 7 Rs helps to minimize change rejection at the point of change logging. The checklist comprises seven simple questions, which are as follows:

  • Who RAISED the change request?
  • The REASON behind the change?
  • RETURN required from the change?
  • RISKS involved in the requested change?
  • Who is RESPONSIBLE for the create, test and implement the change?
  • RESOURCES required to deliver the change?
  • RELATIONSHIP between suggested change and other changes?


In today’s IT environment, this risk is considerable to respond to new business requirements. If you can’t develop a process to manage changes effectively, which will lead to frequent service outages. Here are some important questions related to change management:

1. Who raised the change?

With so many entry points, sources and stakeholders to request a change, it became important to get an answer to this question. The best way to address authorization of change is to design a system to record all changes. This system of records will assist you during audits.

2. What is the reason for the change?

The answer to this question can prevent changes with high risk and minimum business benefit. Regardless of the type of change, all major changes should be passed through an agreed-upon portfolio analysis criteria. This will ensure prioritization of changes.

3. What return is expected from the change?

Before implementing any changes, it is important to understand the return from the change to define the priority. ITIL distinguishes two key inputs into the change management and the ITIL Financial Management for IT Services provide cost-related information.

4. Risks involved in the change?

All changes involve risk. Some risks can be avoided, and some have to be accepted. While accepting or rejecting a change request, consider the risk of not making a change as well. No one can guess the exact amount of risk involved in change but can figure out the approximate degree of forethought before making changes.

5. Resources required to deliver the change?

The requirement and availability of infrastructure assets and human resource to implement a change. While accepting change, consider its impact on other projects. The change should not impact other projects.

6. Who is responsible for the create, test and implement the change?

The people managing the development should be able to answer this question. The responsibilities should be traceable, actionable and enforceable across the change and release management.

7. Relationship between suggested change and other changes?

In complex IT environment, it can be difficult to answer as there are numerous changes occurring concurrently. The relationship between changes needs to be determined across functional boundaries. Failing to do so can cause a delay in meeting timeline.

Before implementing any change, getting answers to these questions offers many benefits. Apart from calculating the risk associated with the change, these questions offer a great way to find out the effectiveness of your change-management process. Implementation of a change-management system is important because of the dependency of business on IT services and new requirements. CP’s ITIL Foundation training equipped you with the latest tools and techniques used in IT to improve the performance.










8 Elements of an Effective Change Management Process

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In this article, you’ll get an in-depth look at change management processes and principles. We’ve included the critical elements that are essential to facilitate successful change management outcomes.

Included on this page, you’ll find the 8 essential steps for an effective change management process, common challenges of change management to get ahead of, and supporting tools necessary to implement change management processes.

History of Change Management


The philosophies inherent in today's change management practices are structured to plan (rather than react) to the challenge of organizational change. It's a growing industry with thousands of books and numerous theoretical management frameworks that address both the necessity and the pain involved in managing and planning for change.

The concept of change management dates back to the early to mid-1900s. Kurt Lewin’s 3-step model for change was developed in the 1940s; Everett Rogers’ book Diffusion of Innovations was published in 1962, and Bridges’ Transition Model was developed in 1979. However, it wasn’t until the 1990s that change management became well known in the business environment, and formal organizational processes became available in the 2000s.

There are concrete reasons for accelerated growth in the change management industry. Products, technology, or ideas that used to take years to design, develop, test, and deploy are now being squeezed down to months or even weeks. The evolving consumer expectations for better, faster, and cheaper products also drive the need to reorganize the work culture to meet demand. Books touting these concepts run from the obvious, such as Change the Culture, Change the Game by Roger Connors and Tom Smith, to Alan Deutschman's dire call to action in Change or Die, Linda Ackerman Anderson’s Beyond Change Management, and Daryl Conner’s Managing at the Speed of Change. In addition, models and certifications from The Association of Change Management Professionals have come to life in support of this growing industry.




Understanding Change Management Terminology


Change Management has evolved over the past several years with Change Management Models, Processes, and Plans developed to help ease the impact change can have on organizations. So, what is a Change Management Model, a Change Management Process, and a Change Management Plan and how do they differ?
Change Management Models have been developed based on research and experience on how to best manage change within an organization or in your personal life. Most Change Management Models provide a supporting process that can apply to your organization or personal growth.
Change Management Processes include a sequence of steps or activities that move a change from inception to delivery.
Change Management Plans are developed to support a project to deliver a change. It is typically created during the planning stage of a Change Management Process.

Here is a great resource for an overview of effective change models, methodologies, and frameworks. You’ll find theories such as the McKinsey’s change management framework, John Kotter’s change management model, the Prosci ADKAR process, and the Deming Cycle.

Kotter's Chanfe Model


ADKAR Model


Deming Cycle


8 Essential Steps for an Effective Change Management Process


Your organization is constantly experiencing change. Whether caused by new technology implementations, process updates, compliance initiatives, reorganization, or customer service improvements, change is constant and necessary for growth and profitability. A consistent change management process will aid in minimizing the impact it has on your organization and staff.

Below you will find 8 essential steps to ensure your change initiative is successful.

1. Identify What Will Be Improved

Since most change occurs to improve a process, a product, or an outcome, it is critical to identify the focus and to clarify goals. This also involves identifying the resources and individuals that will facilitate the process and lead the endeavor. Most change systems acknowledge that knowing what to improve creates a solid foundation for clarity, ease, and successful implementation.


2. Present a Solid Business Case to Stakeholders

There are several layers of stakeholders that include upper management who both direct and finance the endeavor, champions of the process, and those who are directly charged with instituting the new normal. All have different expectations and experiences and there must be a high level of "buy-in" from across the spectrum. The process of onboarding the different constituents varies with each change framework, but all provide plans that call for the time, patience, and communication.


3 .Plan for the Change

This is the "roadmap" that identifies the beginning, the route to be taken, and the destination. You will also integrate resources to be leveraged, the scope or objective, and costs into the plan. A critical element of planning is providing a multi-step process rather than sudden, unplanned "sweeping" changes. This involves outlining the project with clear steps with measurable targets, incentives, measurements, and analysis. For example, a well-planed and controlled change management process for IT services will dramatically reduce the impact of IT infrastructure changes on the business. There is also a universal caution to practice patience throughout this process and avoid shortcuts.

4. Provide Resources and Use Data for Evaluation

As part of the planning process, resource identification and funding are crucial elements. These can include infrastructure, equipment, and software systems. Also consider the tools needed for re-education, retraining, and rethinking priorities and practices. Many models identify data gathering and analysis as an underutilized element. The clarity of clear reporting on progress allows for better communication, proper and timely distribution of incentives, and measuring successes and milestones.

5. Communication

This is the "golden thread" that runs through the entire practice of change management. Identifying, planning, onboarding, and executing a good change management plan is dependent on good communication. There are psychological and sociological realities inherent in group cultures. Those already involved have established skill sets, knowledge, and experiences. But they also have pecking orders, territory, and corporate customs that need to be addressed. Providing clear and open lines of communication throughout the process is a critical element in all change modalities. The methods advocate transparency and two-way communication structures that provide avenues to vent frustrations, applaud what is working, and seamlessly change what doesn't work.

6. Monitor and Manage Resistance, Dependencies, and Budgeting Risks
Resistance is a very normal part of change management, but it can threaten the success of a project. Most resistance occurs due to a fear of the unknown. It also occurs because there is a fair amount of risk associated with change – the risk of impacting dependencies, return on investment risks, and risks associated with allocating budget to something new. Anticipating and preparing for resistance by arming leadership with tools to manage it will aid in a smooth change lifecycle.

7. Celebrate Success

Recognizing milestone achievements is an essential part of any project. When managing a change through its lifecycle, it’s important to recognize the success of teams and individuals involved. This will help in the adoption of both your change management process as well as adoption of the change itself.

8. Review, Revise and Continuously Improve

As much as change is difficult and even painful, it is also an ongoing process. Even change management strategies are commonly adjusted throughout a project. Like communication, this should be woven through all steps to identify and remove roadblocks. And, like the need for resources and data, this process is only as good as the commitment to measurement and analysis.


Common Challenges of Change Management


Due to ever-changing consumer expectations and the competition in the global economy, the science of organizational change is itself constantly changing and evolving. The human element of change management may be one of the most difficult to navigate because people do not inherently like change or adjust to it well.

Most change methods agree that change is difficult and cumbersome. Therefore, involving people early on, implementing process, and continuously adjusting for improvement is critical to success. This includes thorough planning, buy-in, process, resources, communication, and constant evaluation.

Supporting Tools and Components for Implementing Change Management Processes


Effective change management processes rely on supporting activities and tools. These tools are often developed and managed internally by either the change management team or stakeholders of the change management process. For example, a product roadmap may be developed by the product management team, while a post mortem review would involve everyone responsible for and impacted by the change. These may include:
Product or Business Roadmaps
Readiness Assessments
Training Tutorials and Education Sessions
Stakeholder Feedback Forums
Post Mortem Review
Measurements and Analytics
Resistance Management
Continuous Improvement Plan
Business Case

Today, there are numerous proven methodologies. Some models focus on changing the individual as a method of cultural change and some have structures and frameworks to move an entire organization towards focused change and improvement. There is no one "right" solution, but with research, exploration, and resource planning, a change management strategy is possible regardless of organization size or need. If the explosive growth in the change management industry is any indication, the business of change is here to stay.





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