What is organizational change management?

Change management includes techniques organizations apply changes to processes that could potentially interrupt daily operations if applied incorrectly.

Because 80% or more of technology downtime can be attributed to change, success in an organization is contingent on the success of change management and how well changes can be managed to avoid downtime. Change management that is properly executed can reduce the risk of processes being rejected by the enterprise or failing during implementation.

Organizational change happens one person at a time

Companies tend to think of change as a top-down approach and from an organizational perspective. But, even the most sweeping organizational changes happen one person at a time. Adopting new approaches is a personal choice, one that each employee will have to make for themselves. Enterprise change management can make it easier to encourage change throughout your organization, preventing the kinds of interruptions and frustrating experiences that could stand in the way of company-wide adoption.

Deadlines can be missed, employees can be overworked, and budgets can overrun. There is a tangible impact to the health and motivation of an organization when change management is not properly managed at an individual level.

Effective change management increases success

Data has begun to indicate that successful change management increases the likelihood of meeting project objectives.

There is a reduced risk that changes and other systems will be rejected by the enterprise when change management is implemented effectively. Teamwork and employee motivation can increase, and productivity can see a rise and operations can function more efficiently.

The work of individual jobs

There are some jobs that require individuals to perform repetitive tasks. There are processes that can be changed or automated away which may create more comfort and efficiency over time.

The roles of individual employees

Individuals can become very uncomfortable when they are asked to take on different roles. Those with strong technical skills can struggle to become managers, and they have to learn to work through other people rather than performing all of the tasks themselves. Employees tend to question their worth when they are not being rewarded for skills that have made them successful.

The organization itself

Executive teams of organizations can discuss major changes for a while before they choose the final decision, which helps them form a deeper understanding of how their changes will affect the organization. This allows them to fully process the change and decide to accept it, or bow out of the organization. Individuals who are lower in the organization don’t have as much time to process the change before it takes place, which can make the change difficult and make them feel unstable or uncomfortable.

Change management usually isn’t easy. It takes a while to alter attitudes about the change and behaviors under the new changes. There can be several difficulties in change management:

Change management is not deterministic

People are not predictable. Change management that may work well with one group may not work well with another group, and messaging may not resonate well with everybody.

Change management is high contact

Individuals need to interact with one another. Emails and mass communication can build and reinforce a message under change, but it can be impersonal. There are many individuals who are going to need to be heard and understood. This is why individual contact options are crucial.

Mid-level and front staff must buy in

The effectiveness of a program can be made or broken by mid-level and frontline staff. They understand details of current operations and processes, and they will be able to anticipate potential issues. It is important to include mid-level and frontline staff in decision making and discussions to help them buy in at an earlier stage.

Cultural differences can be difficult

Cultures can vary from country to country, state to state, and even city to city. Change management needs to take into account the cultural differences and show sensitivity to the differences. Consider communication style, time orientation, and egalitarianism.

Change management could be an afterthought

Change management efforts need to be started concurrently with the program, including the project team and their IT efforts.

It can be started too early

Efforts need to be made in conjunction with the rest of the program. It can be difficult with programs when change efforts begin before details have been finalized. Change management teams can also begin to vaguely describe a new system without tangible information, which can cause disillusionment and confusion among staff.

Change program may be disconnected

People are not completely rational—emotions need to be taken into consideration. Those executing changes need to communicate their case logically, but with an important appeal to energy that can help individuals feel like part of something bigger.

  1. Define the change.
  2. Select the change team.
  3. Identify sponsorship and get commitment.
  4. Develop an implementation plan.
  5. Implement the change in stages.
  6. Collect and analyze data.
  7. Find gaps and analyze resistance.
  8. Modify the plan as needed.
  9. Return to the implementation phase if needed.

Problem management vs. change management

A problem is a root cause that can lead to an incident. Problem management minimizes the impact of a problem and tries to prevent it from growing into an incident—this is usually by identifying a root cause to identify an underlying issue. The objective is to prevent problems from occurring in the future or spiraling into a further problem.

Change management works to modify an infrastructure or process in a systematic manner. It usually involves several stages, processes, and statuses. This can occur as a result of problem management, but the two are not inextricably linked.

Release management

The process of handling change initiatives and software deployments. It identifies and assigns the resources necessary to execute the release. The process usually starts with planning what the release will contain, managing the software that will be building the new release, testing, and deployment.

Incident management

This is the process by which an organization identifies, analyzes and corrects hazards that occur in order to prevent a repeat incident. An incident that isn’t properly managed can disrupt operations, tasks, security, and customers.

ServiceNow’s Change and Release Management can help change managers transform into change enablers. There will be minimal failed changes and a reduction in cost per change using automatic conflict detection and risk assessment. DevOps change processes will be enabled with automated change approvals and governance.

Organizations will be able to automate approvals for lower-risk changes for greater process efficiency. More complex changes can utilize the Change Advisory Board (CAB) Workbench as a single location to automatically plan, schedule, and execute CAB meetings effectively.

Automate change approvals

Built-in Change Success Score automatically approves low-risk changes.

Accelerate change management

Leverage automated change frameworks to reduce friction between DevOps and business management teams.

Integrate change processes across IT

A single, auditable repository of all planned changes using the CAB Workbench.

Dive deeper into ServiceNow ITBM

Drive value with an aligned business and IT strategy using our scalable ITBM solution.

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