Harnessing the Power of Change Management: Strategies for Success
Valentin Huang 07/10/2023 Glossary
6 Minutes

Change is inevitable, especially in the fast-paced world. But change can also be challenging, both for the team and the users. How can you manage change effectively and ensure a smooth transition?

Defining Change Management

Change management refers to the process of navigating organizational change from scratch. It involves various aspects such as planning, executing, and enforcing change within the organization. Change management takes a systematic approach to managing changes within the organizational culture, such as a transformation of its processes, hierarchy, technology, or objectives.

In short, change management focuses primarily on implementing strategies to manage transformation.


Change management is not just communications

The functions of change management go beyond mere communications and announcements. It is a dynamic process in which project management and team leaders inform the organization of impending change. Not only that, team leaders are expected to convey system implementations and acquisitions to the team, usually on short notice.

It is essential to support and nurture individuals within the organization as they embrace their transformational journeys. It is also important to recognize the unique factors required to motivate each individual to embrace and implement change. This enables organizations to increase overall project success and improve their ROI.

The significance of a flexible yet structured methodology

Organizations tend to apply change management in a variety of ways, tailored to their specific business needs. The importance of change management cannot be ignored, whether it is to implement a critical technology while yearning for change management, or as a potential investment to drive ambitious growth.

Each organization works with its own definition of this discipline and applies it differently from the others. Finding the delicate balance between structure and flexibility is paramount. Companies must adopt a structured but adaptable approach to effectively manage change within their organizations.

Project Level Change Management

Change management at the project level focuses on the application of the structured process, along with an amalgam of tools to meet the required project outcome. It involves planning, executing and monitoring activities to ensure that individuals, teams and stakeholders are effectively prepared for the changes introduced by the project and are supported throughout the process.

In change management, the collaboration of cross-functional teams plays a crucial role. Likewise, cross-functional teams can drive successful change initiatives. 

Organizational Change Management

Change management at the organizational level involves a holistic approach to navigating and implementing change within an entire organization.

It focuses on managing transitions, transformations, and shifts in a systematic and structured way to ensure the successful adoption and integration of new processes, technologies, strategies, or cultural changes across the entire organization.

Why do you need change management? 

How you manage change has a substantial impact on the most practical issues in your organization. These can include your customers, your workforce and your profitability. In today's fast-paced era, as organizations struggle to adapt to intricate changes, the importance of change management is only increasing.

The answer to "why change management" is clear: it prepares and supports employees to commit to, embrace and effectively implement organizational change.

Upgrading project outcomes

Project management acts as the gatekeeper for the technical implementation of change. Successful change management depends on the two pillars of technical and human-centered strategies. The possibilities are endless when these dynamic forces are combined.

The question, however, remains: to what extent does the likelihood of meeting project objectives increase when the best practice approach is adopted?

Based on years of research, it is evident how organizations that apply strong change management techniques achieve higher success rates with change. The results are about 6 times better!

There is a 5x chance of sticking to your planned timelines and schedules or even finishing earlier than that!

The chances of working within the budget also increased by 2 times by incorporating the best practices to change management. 

In order to effectively plan and visualize the timelines and tasks involved in change management, many organizations use Gantt charts. Gantt charts are an extremely valuable tool for managing and tracking project schedules.

The Impact of Change Management on the Organization

Without change management:

Without change management, you are most likely to experience the following mishaps:

  • failure to achieve the desired project outcomes

  • project timelines taking longer than planned

  • additional costs incurred to complete projects

  • lack of implementation and usage

With change management:

With change management, you can achieve the following objectives:

  • employees feel stimulated, empowered, and nurtured

  • the team stays on track

  • the team completes project milestones according to schedules

  • the project is completed within the planned budget

  • the organization witnesses a remarkable return on investment that hinges on people-centric strategies

Developing change capability

The simplest way to improve your organization's ability to change is to develop an overall sense of change capability. This concept is also known as enterprise change management.

Understanding Enterprise Change Management

In simple terms, enterprise change management refers to the methodical deployment of processes, competencies, and tools of change management which are implemented within an organization. Enterprise change management takes center stage, a symphony of skills, tools, and processes that reverberate throughout every corner.

Whether you want to opt for formal training within the organization or external experts, it is vital to nurture these capabilities and unlock greater potential.

The Steps to Create a Change Management Plan

Preparing a Change Proposal

The change proposal essentially sets out the reasons and the argument for why you need the change. A change proposal entails a document to set out the reason, likely benefits, and impact of the change for the organization.

Recognize the Leaders for Change

Your change leaders are the vocal followers and support groups for the change. A change team may include members from your top management and a variety of influential leaders from elsewhere.

Develop a Communications Plan

This is another document that focuses on communicating the smallest aspects of the change to the stakeholders associated with it.

Set Goals and Targets for Your Change 

The purpose of this step is to track and monitor the progress of the overall change initiative. With this, you can evaluate your change as it is implemented and track its impact on business goals and key performance indicators (KPIs).

In measuring the success of change management initiatives and goals, use key performance indicators (KPIs). They will be helpful in tracing the target and goals. KPIs can also assist in monitoring the progress of changes within your organization.

Be Ready to Invest 

It is absolutely important to invest in new tools and support needed to drive the change project. Some of these tools may include software packages for change management or employee training.

Develop a Training Plan

The purpose of this plan is to collaborate with team leaders, particularly the learning and development team to craft and modify customized change training plans. These will provide guidelines to administer training and ensure that these plans are contextual to respective roles.

Moreover, before planning any change in an organization or in any product it is pivotal to assess the opportunity cost of the actions. An understanding of opportunity cost will assist in making relevant and lucrative changes. 


A Framework for individual change

The ADKAR model offers a structured framework for individuals to embrace and adopt a change on an individual level.

A: Awareness

Create awareness about the need for change.

D: Desire

Foster a desire and motivation to embrace change.

K: Knowledge

Provide the necessary knowledge and understanding of how to change.

A: Ability

Equip individuals with the skills and capabilities to implement the change.

R: Reinforcement

reinforce and sustain the change through ongoing support and rewards. 

The ADKAR model:

  • augments the effectiveness of change management

  • offers a structured approach to change

  • promotes individual readiness to change

  • increases employee engagement and buy-in

  • improves change adoption and reduces resistance

  • enables targeted communication and support

  • enhances overall change success rates

A Framework for organizational change

The Prosci 3-Phase process offers a useful framework for implementing change at an organizational level. The framework provides a flexible yet structured guideline to accomplish new initiatives by performing a series of activities and steps. The three phases of the Prosci model are explained below:

Phase 1. Prepare Approach

This stresses positioning the change for success by creating a tailored strategy with the aid of sponsorship and commitment.

Phase 2. Managing Change

The second phase entails the implementation and adoption of the change with the aid of plans. Subsequently, these plans will be applied and used to drive individuals and the overall organization through the ADKAR model.

Phase 3. Sustaining Outcomes

The last phase calls for realizing the value of change, warranting the adoption of change, and ensuring that the organization is all set to implement the change sustainably.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is change management in simple terms?

Change management is the process of planning, implementing, and guiding individuals and organizations through transitions to achieve desired outcomes. It involves understanding, communicating, and addressing the impact of change and supporting people in adapting to new ways of working or thinking.

What are the 5 key elements of change management?

The five key elements of change management are: 1) Clear and compelling vision, 2) Stakeholder engagement and communication, 3) Change impact assessment and planning, 4) Training and support for individuals, and 5) Monitoring and feedback mechanisms to ensure progress and make adjustments as needed.

What is the main purpose of change management?

The main purpose of change management is to facilitate successful transitions and transformations within organizations. It aims to minimize resistance, maximize adoption, and ensure that changes are implemented effectively and sustainably, resulting in desired outcomes such as increased efficiency, productivity and organizational growth.

What is change management and what examples?

Change management is the discipline that encompasses the processes, tools and techniques used to plan, implement, and manage changes within an organization.

Examples of change management include:

  • Implementing a new technology system

  • Restructuring or organizational redesign

  • Mergers and acquisitions

  • Process improvement initiatives

In conclusion, managing change effectively is crucial for achieving long-term organizational success. As we've explored, a well-planned approach to change management can truly drive a transformative impact. 

At Harvestr, we offer comprehensive guidance on all aspects of change management, equipping you with strategies to build superior products and fostering an impactful organization. As an all-in-one product management platform, we are committed to facilitating cross-functional collaboration and fuelling success.



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