Leaders must always be poised for change. Change management is a structured approach that enables the transition from a current state to a desired future state (Wikipedia, 2007). Change may directly affect the organization or an individual; nonetheless, the process must be managed.
Before a change manager can lead or affect change, the manager must first understand how he or she responds to change. Are you resistant and slow to change? Do you have a natural tendency to embrace or create change? Comprehending your own change persona and making adjustments where necessary, is critical if you want to be successful in the area of change management. A structured approach to change involves making a viable assessment of the area that requires an upgrade and developing an action plan. The plan should include a strategy that will enable the construction of relevant modifications purposed to take an organization to the next level. Create a project plan and timeline, and target one major issue at a time. These issues may include contemplating a communication campaign or determining what training may be required for the skill set augmentation of the impacted population. Most importantly, consider the end-user throughout the process, keeping in mind that a failure to plan could result in failure to launch.
After you have planned your work, it is time to work your plan. Make certain that the project is going according to plan, and that people and processes are in place. Is the plan advancing according to the project timeline and operating within a set budget? Make certain that communication is clear, concise, and complements the overall change effort.
Inspect what you have come to expect. Did your roadmap drive you to the desired destination? Will your change be sustained? What metrics will you use to evaluate your work? Make certain no stone was left unturned and adjust where necessary.
The best organizations can be better, and a successful change manager will direct the process from start to finish.