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Change Management Plan

Essay by   •  October 22, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  2,651 Words (11 Pages)  •  2,005 Views

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Change Management Plan

Purpose: The purpose of this plan is to show how my company should plan for a change management initiative in support of a large change initiative being planned involving business process reengineering and a new enterprise resource planning system. All the information will explain how the employees will prepare to use the new system, show how the employees will make the behavioral changes required to realize the potential benefits of the new system, what else must be done to ensure the employees can make the new system justify the substantial investment and how to handle the employees resistance to change. In order to do all this I will break everything down in six steps: preparing the organization, resistance to change, managing resistance to change, having the skills to perform, change agent, and implementation and evaluation.

Step One: Preparing the Organization

This is the first and most critical phase. It enables change managers to assess the nature and direction of the change and requires establishment of a preparation team to coordinate.

First, there will be a requirement to establish the need for change. Through stakeholder consultation and participation, establish the organization's need to change and communicate the present situation and future desired state throughout the organization. Detail the internal and external pressures that are driving the changes and collate all the factors and list the issues that point towards a new desired organizational state.

(Price, A., & Chahal, K., 2006).

Next, the awareness and changing beliefs need to be raised. Create understanding and a caring attitude to alleviate initial concerns. Educate the individuals and groups throughout the organization of its current and future cultural perspectives. Instill an awareness in the individuals and groups throughout the organization that change is a positive factor and somewhat inevitable in today's marketplace. (Price, A., & Chahal, K., 2006).

Finally, winning over the workforce is important. Highlight the types of change that are being considered but these should not relate to specific areas of the business until a fuller appraisal of the situation has been made. Argue the case and where possible persuade the workforce that the change is legitimate and is consistent with the organization's values.

(Price, A., & Chahal, K., 2006).

During this initial phase, listening to the workforce demonstrates respect and is a powerful tool to build self-esteem during potentially turbulent times. The information and knowledge gained through constructive dialogue will be valuable during later stages of the change process. Management should ensure they act fairly with everyone to avoid the feelings of mistrust and resentment, which are the fundamental ingredients of resistance. It is important to be as transparent as possible but without highlighting specific groups or individuals; this may cause unnecessary duress before the workforce has been fully consulted and the full nature of the change process decided upon. The difficulty must be appreciated in achieving transparency while at the same time remaining confidential regarding the potential impact on the individuals concerned. (Price, A., & Chahal, K., 2006).

Step two: Resistance to Change

In a nut shell, people don't like change. Most people like the term "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!", so when an organization takes people out of there comfort zone and wants to make change, behaviors start to change and most of the time it's negative. The companies' leadership needs to find ways to include their employees in the change and explain why the change is important. You will still get some resistance, but if employees are kept in the loop from start to finish, they may start to realize the importance of the change and their behavior is more positive than negative.

Dealing with resistance requires recognition of the symptoms of resistance, which in the worst case could include: work slowdown; official and unofficial industrial action; gossip/rumors; refusal to learn new tasks; and disruption/sabotage.

Once the resistance is recognized, the next stage is to analyze the sources of the resistance. These are usually:

* Fear of the unknown - change brings with it often uncertainty

* Fear of loss - some employees may fear of losing their jobs

* Fear of failure - employees fear their own failure

* Disruption of interpersonal relationships - employees may see change threatening the meaningful interpersonal relationships on the job

* Personality conflicts - employees may resist change when a change agent's personality engenders negative reaction

* Politics - individuals or groups who hold power under the current arrangement may be threatened with losing these political advantages in the advent of change

* Cultural assumptions and values - sometimes cultural assumptions and values can be impediments to change

(Nelson, D. L., Quick, J. C., 2006)

One change management theory to help reduce the resistance to change is the implementation of the Unfreeze-Change-Refreeze model must be used. In unfreezing, individuals must be encouraged to discard old behaviors by shaking up the balance state that maintains the current conditions. This can be done by eliminating the rewards for current behavior and showing that current behavior is not valued. Slowly, individuals surrender by allowing the boundaries of the current state to be opened in preparation for change. (Nelson, D. L., Quick, J. C., 2006)

In change, or moving, new attitudes, values, and behaviors are substituted for old ones. This is accomplished by initiating new options and explaining the rationale for the change, as well as providing training to help employees develop the new skills they need. Employees should be given the overarching vision for the change so that they can establish their roles within the new organizational structure and processes. (Nelson, D. L., Quick, J. C., 2006)

In refreezing, new attitudes, values, and behaviors are established as the new conditions. The new way of operating are cemented in and reinforced. Managers should ensure that the organizational culture and formal reward systems encourage the new behaviors and avoid rewarding the old ways of operating. (Nelson, D. L.,

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