What Is Change Management and Why Is It Essential?

May 13, 2019 | Posted by Michael Campbell

I find myself talking to customers regarding my role as a change practitioner, when asked about my role, I often turn to practical examples in life to demonstrate the necessity for change management within an organisation. However, is there another way to consider when explaining to someone what change management is and why it is essential, not optional? Prosci’s® Five Tenets of Change Management help you tell a simple and compelling story about why change management is essential.

If you are stuck in the detail of your current change project, or you need to advocate for a growing use of change management within your organisation, this is the article for you! 

The Five Tenets are made up of these five statements:

  • We change for a reason
  • Organisational change requires individual change
  • Organisational outcomes are the collective result of individual change
  • Change management is an enabling framework for managing the people side of change
  • We apply change management to realise the benefits and desired outcomes of change

We are going to take a closer look at each of these and consider how to apply them.

We change for a reason

As individuals, when we choose to change, we have different motivations and stimuli that bring about behaviour change. For example, telling two individuals 'you can't do that' can produce entirely different effects. As part of our Prosci Practitioner Certification pre-work, we ask participants to provide details of specific events or decisions, business, customer or competitor issues, and the risks or costs of not changing. These create a detailed picture of why the change is necessary. Successful change occurs when we as individuals understand why it is required and then agree to change the way we work day to day as a result.

Organisational change requires individual change and Organisational outcomes are the collective result of individual change

We tend to focus on change at an organisational level.  Imagine a group of 25 individuals who all have to change their way of working. Only when every individual has changed their way of working will the group have changed. This is no different in an organisation, only the groups are generally larger and more diverse in their roles and responsibilities.  Taking some time to step back from the organisational level, consider those different groups and how the change might differ from group to group can produce some helpful results. Prosci's ten aspects of change help bring to light where some groups are more impacted than others and can help you to connect the motivations we discussed above with the right individuals. 

Change management is an enabling framework for managing the people side of change
 
Change management is about preparing, equipping and supporting individuals through their personal change journeys they experience as part of their organisation. To do this you can use the Prosci ADKAR model for individual change outcomes. Using ADKAR will help focus on the individual, whilst using the 3-Phase Change Management Process and the Best Practices can support the organisational level, offering an approach that is scaled and customised to your change and your organisation.

Prosci three phase process

We apply change management to realise the benefits and desired outcomes of change

Prosci's Best Practices in Change Management which has gathered data for the last 20 years shows that if we apply change management we can improve the likelihood of change outcomes such as meeting or exceeding objectives, keeping on schedule and to budget. In fact, projects with excellent change management effectiveness were more than six times more likely to achieve project objectives than projects with poor change management effectiveness. 

6 TIMES MORE LIKELY 2017

This Friday at 9am (GMT), we will be delivering our Five Tenets of Change Management webinar. Join us whether you are new to the discipline of change management and you are still getting a feel for your role, or if you are a seasoned change practitioner in need to coming back to your roots. The Five Tenets of Change Management webinar helps remind us why we need change management. Register here or take a look at the full list of Prosci change management webinars.

If you're ready to immerse yourself into the Prosci Change management methodology, find out more about how CMC can help you with a variety of role based change management training including our three day Prosci Practitioner certification programme