Change is inevitable. Organizations implement changes left and right and if your planning on implementing changes efficiently, there is a few best practices to consider. Identifying your current processes, customizing the process for everyone, and most importantly, making it an easy process will be key to making sure your Change Management Process doesn’t fail you.
Identify, enhance, and continuously improve your processes.
The organization and all affected departments must sit together and nail down the “current world” processes for all things change – planning, testing, scheduling, implementing, documenting, evaluating. Getting everyone involved makes sure they are included from the start, and are part of the process from the very beginning. This will also gain their buy-in which will spread throughout the organization. Once you’ve nailed down your processes, you can determine what changes need to be made in order to enhance it. Then you need to continuously monitor and improve your processes. Things change over time- things like departments implementing new processes that may have factors that trickle down to the change processes, parts of your processes may no longer be providing value and need to be removed, strategic plans may change, etc. Don’t let your Change Management Process fall into a rut.
Customize the process for every part of the business
No Change Management Process is one size fits all. Can you imagine how difficult it would become? Or how overwhelming it would be to manage and control? There are so many great Change Management tools out there that allow you customize the process based on the department. That means that IT can have a different Change Management Process than HR, and still all be managed together.
Make the process easy
Just because there’s a process in place doesn’t mean it needs to be difficult. Processes are meant to make things more efficient and in the long run easier. If you make a process that is difficult to follow or understand, or too time consuming, no one is going to want to use it. Make sure all the steps to the process are simple, and your not asking for unnecessary information – only require what is valuable. Utilize your already existing tools to help. If you are using a CMDB, then you can link the assets to your change forms- instead of me entering in all the information for an asset I am submitting a change for, I can simply link the asset and all the information will be stored for me. This can also ensure that the CMDB is updated.
Following these best practices will help you have a smooth running Change Process, and not to mention, very happy end users!
-Krystina Hodge, Consultant | Project Manager