A look into some high level aspects of change management, kicking off an SEI change management series
Occasionally, a new term arises in the world of professional services that seems to have come out of nowhere. Slowly, the word or phrase is integrated into statements of work or your Linked In updates and before you know it, it’s considered essential. The question often asked is “How can it be critical if we’ve gotten by without it for so long?”
Change Management Defined
Change Management is one such term. In the past five years, it has popped up left and right at conferences, in white papers and in contracts and to the uninitiated, it may seem nebulous. And to some degree, it is. Change Management is an inclusive term that involves everything needed to ease an organization into a new product, process or protocol with minimal complications. Each time new information systems or processes are introduced there is an impact on the organization, and business results depend on people integrating the new into their day-to-day activities. Change Management (sometimes called Organizational Change Management) is the discipline of anticipating and addressing these impacts.
Why should you care?
But why should you or your organization, well… care? As stated in the SEI white paper “The Impact of Organizational Change Management on Outcomes in Business Transition“, modern life, more than almost any other factor, is characterized by change. With knowledge, technology, and globalization increasing at exponential rates, change is a common and pervasive experience. Within the business organization, the ability to understand and manage change is essential for successful outcomes through transition. Just as it would be impossible to build a sophisticated product without understanding the materials and processes required, it is impossible to manage change without understanding its key components and processes. Thus, for change outcomes to be successful, it is necessary to define the component and process characteristics of a transition and their impact upon the organization. To assist with this process, it is first helpful to understand the attributes or characteristics of change.
Change Management at SEI
At SEI, the need for change management has been perceived by our consultants over and over. We have Change Managers working with clients to better transition to a future state and reduce issues that often pop up when a new product or process is deployed. This is the first of a series of articles on our blog discussing various aspects of change management, including how to get started, change management at the next level, and how to approach change management when involved resources are resistant to a focused change management effort.
The imperative of constant change in today’s marketplace requires tools and skills which manage the leaving of the old, the transition between old and new, and the successful adoption of the new. Change Management creates successful outcomes during transition, maximizes the potential of human resources, and celebrates the ability of both people and organizations to adapt to new ways of achieving their goals.