Change management processes

Skill level: Intermediate


All significant organizational change is difficult. Change by its very nature meets with resistance. It often requires many levels of cooperation and can involve different independent entities within an organization. Developing a structured approach, first working to involve all impacted parties, is critical.

The most important success factor for effective change management is communication. Everyone must understand the progress through the various stages and see results as the change cascades.


  • Involvement from all levels of the organization
  • Measureable outcomes
  • Structure over chaos

How to Use

  • Step 1.  Define the change.
  • Step 2.  Select the change management team.
  • Step 3.  Identify management sponsorship and secure commitment.
  • Step 4.  Develop implementation plan including metrics.
  • Step 5.  Implement the change – in stages, if possible.
  • Step 6.  Collect and analyze data.
  • Step 7.  Quantify gaps and understand resistance.
  • Step 8.  Modify the plan as needed and loop back to the implementation step.

Relevant Definitions

Resistance: Any obstacle that becomes an impediment to implementing change. Often the source of resistance will be individuals or groups, but it can also be systems or processes that are outdated or that fail to fit current business conditions.


Super Steamy Carpet cleaning is considering distributing new smart phones to its employees. The phones will help track work hours, improve communications, and enable real time inventory tracking.

The information technology (IT) group, however, is concerned that from the employee standpoint this change will appear to be intrusive. The IT manager responsible for the implementation decides to introduce the phones using a change management process to increase the probability of smooth introduction and ultimate success.

First the manager selects a change management team. He includes the field service managers, a few cleaning technicians, and the logistics planners. He approaches the vice president of operations with his team and the planned change to gain acceptance and ultimately sponsorship.

The team decides to implement the phones in a pilot group as a start. This group will be measured on average time to job completion. All employees receive a bonus based on the number of jobs completed per day coupled with customer satisfaction surveys. The pilot group will be compared against previous performance and other teams to measure the impact of the introduction of the phones.

The phones are distributed and work begins. Work assignments are communicated and marked complete using the phones. The cleaning technicians also use the phones to track supplies used.

The phones allow the cleaning technicians to be efficiently routed to the next job while ensuring adequate supplies to complete the day’s work.

After one week, the pilot group increases its overall performance by 20 percent compared to past performance and 10 percent compared to the rest of the workforce. This result is communicated using a scoreboard throughout the week. Interest grows from other teams based on the success, and full-scale implementation proceeds with minimal resistance.


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