Main menu


 Organization change management (Change Management)

Poor change management in an organization can destroy promising projects and even entire enterprises. Our task is to reveal the essence of change management in an organization and teach you how to respond to changes in business processes correctly. In this article, we will look at the approaches, methods, and pitfalls faced by change managers.

Organization change management

We'll start by learning how to apply change management techniques at different levels of an organization, from a project to a change in direction of a business or an entire company. Next, consider the steps involved in managing change within a project or as part of a separate change initiative within a company. We then analyze the various components of change, including business process management, knowledge transfer, and the provision of related training. Good change management is vital for organizations in virtually any industry or level of management.

Levels of change management in an organization

There are still many misconceptions about what change management actually is, despite the profession's rising prominence in our region.

The goal of change management is to guarantee the success of choices made regarding modifications to the organizational structure of the firm.
 Change managers in an organization work with senior management to determine the direction of future change and manage those changes in their organizations. They ensure that employees are trained well, that training is delivered effectively, and that the impact of change is positive for business and people. It's not just staff training or change awareness, as many people think. 

Change management in an organization is an understanding of corporate strategy and the psychology of people

The change manager is in constant contact with the leaders of different levels and different departments. The main goal here is not only to develop a strategy for high-quality employee training, but also to understand their main concerns about the upcoming reforms and their role in the company.   

To effectively implement changes in various company structures, use the following tips:

  1. Raise awareness for executives you can reach out to directly. They are your first contacts with whom you can discuss the impact of future changes.
  2. Use the most common methods for developing the skills of employees in your company.
  3. Work with business analysts, project managers, and other change managers to integrate your change efforts. This approach will help you develop an effective formula for planning, making decisions, and implementing change.
  4. Look for middle managers as the main driver of future change. They are close to real work and keep in touch with higher management, who in turn make changes within the organization.

The project manager strives for careful planning and evaluating results for accuracy. However, managing change in an organization involves activities that cannot be measured objectively.

First, articulate and plan for change. While your goals may vary, it's best to start with an action plan. It entails a number of actions that account for all stakeholders.. As part of this plan, make sure everyone has a clear understanding of the purpose of the change. Be sure to state what this change means for the organization and for all parties involved in the process.

Second, communicate proposed reforms as early as possible. When the prerequisites for change appear, people think through various negative scenarios and are in a state of uncertainty. Even if the change is bad news, it's best for participants to understand the implications and benefits of change and be able to deal with facts rather than hearsay.

Third, be careful to inform all participants of upcoming changes. The justifications for upcoming reforms, the procedure itself, and the results should all be explained. People can better grasp your goals if you participate in training.

Fourth, evaluate new rule changes that may result from your reforms. This is for two extremely significant reasons:

  • The New roles must already be formed and working for your changes to be effective;
  • the new rules will help the participants to translate their fear into possible performance gains, i.e. Motivate them. But only if the role reversal is clear and the path from their current role to the new one is planned accordingly.

Having a measurement system in place is the fifth thing to check.. You must evaluate the effectiveness of the changed processes. You may need to plan for intermediate measurements as new processes are tested and then final objective measurements as the new processes stabilize. For example, if you're going to change your production line to go from five units a day to 10, you don't have to jump from five to 10 all at once. Your staff will need to get used to the new production procedures and possibly test new equipment.

The Project Management Guide describes the need for organizational change management quite well. Business change is not only a characteristic of many sector projects, but it is also one of the strategic performance drivers for financial and business services firms. Organizations must have clear initiatives built on cultural values and strategic change to survive. These are often large, complex projects and need to be managed with care.

Initiatives for organizational change, vary widely, nevertheless. They fall into three categories defined by the Project Management Institute (PMI): first-order change, second-order change, and third-order change.

  • First order change involves tweaking the processes and approaches used to get a particular job done in an organization. This is where you're looking for incremental improvement, where you can measure results quite easily. Your team members can practice the changes you are trying to implement and you can make adjustments before they are implemented. At all organizational levels, first-order change projects can also be reintroduced. If planned targets are not achieved, they may even be abandoned. The most immediate improvements are first-order ones, but they can be quite expensive and time-consuming to accomplish since they need careful monitoring.
  • Second tier initiatives include multiple, significant business organization reforms. This is usually a reaction to significant changes in the market. There are many factors to consider in second tier initiatives, including new company policies, cultural changes, significant job changes, training to support these changes, and new key process indicators. In many cases, these changes are so global and far-reaching that they cannot be undone. These initiatives require careful planning, and employee support is essential, as many of them will be significantly changed roles when the changes take effect.
  • Third-tier reforms are rare, but they can be vital. This happens when a business begins to become obsolete due to progress. Suffice it to recall Kodak and Nokia. They almost disappeared due to not properly monitoring the world around them and not taking third order change initiatives in order to survive. Data and initiatives require exceptional skills and dedication. You must be one step away from the top management of the company, striving to change the very purpose of the existence of your organization. In these initiatives, you don't only need to manage the elements of second order change, but also monitor innovation trends and analyze the market.

To keep market share, organizational adjustments are frequently necessary. Whether it is a first, second, or a third order change. These are fairly complex activities that empower any change management team.

Stages  of change management

Regardless of the scale of the change, there are five steps you need to go through before implementing your plan for future change:

  1. development and refinement of changes;
  2. creation of a change implementation plan;
  3. providing examples of earlier changes;
  4. implementation and support;
  5. Strengthening and correcting changes.

The first phase focuses on developing and refining changes. Initially, there is a simple idea, more of a slogan than a real initiative, for example: "introducing training to improve the knowledge of staff." Further, it is necessary to clarify how exactly this idea will be implemented. For example, “we will create a training team to develop training material”, “trainings will be held twice a month for each employee.” All of these initiatives include organizational reforms to improve business agility and quality.

Next comes the second phase - the creation of a change implementation plan. The formation of a training team, employee training, and the construction of a schedule for the interaction of those making changes with people and management are all taken into consideration in this strategy. Additionally, it's crucial to give staff samples of upcoming updated processes so they may better comprehend the responsibilities they will play in the future. We now proceed with the following action.

In the third stage, instances of early alterations are shown. Your organization is more likely to agree to reform if it sees that you are making the right decisions and delivering the results you want.

The fourth stage is implementation and support. The decisive point in any decision to bring about future developments. At this stage, it is very important to monitor the results of changes and provide ongoing support to your team members who may be struggling with new challenges in their work. Support and patience are the keys to getting your staff through this time.

The process's strengthening and modification make up the fifth phase. Despite the possibility that your reforms will result in improvements, ongoing organizational changes necessitate regular observation and correction. Find out what works and what might be improved by talking to your staff. Try your best to take the ideas of the staff and implement them in order to get additional input into your changes.

Any changes to the organizational structure are difficult for the firm and its staff. It's critical to effectively communicate your vision to your superiors if you have a fantastic notion of how to enhance a specific procedure and you really believe in its efficacy. What is required for this?

  • First, it's important that you develop good reasons for the change. Otherwise, you will get weak support that will be difficult to interact with. First of all, you must make sure that your organization understands the meaning of future changes.
  • Second, it's important to create a clear picture of what things will look like once the change has passed its final stage. Once you've created a compelling reason to make a change, create a picture or refinement of the potential outcomes, and then choose the right approach.
  • Then you need to decide on your team and their potential. Your ability to manage organizational change is limited by the skilled workforce you have. As part of your project implementation, introduce your change management agents and what role each of them plays.
  • Finally, when you're already at some stage, go back and determine what other steps you need to take. This is sometimes referred to as matching results. When you create a project, it is very important to form a sequence of steps so that the team understands the process and can support your approach.

Be sure to highlight those elements that will change in the future, but also give equal weight to those that will not change. This can be called the creation of a stability plan, because. It is stable elements that help your employees during a period of change. A few tips on how to create a plan, given the two groups of elements:

  • Treat the change plan like a project. Create a schedule, list the risks and contingencies when the process could get out of control.
  • Concentrate on creating, maintaining and monitoring support systems that can be created to help your employees. These can include: Human Resources, access to an in-company psychologist, access to managers who are involved in the change process, and informal exchange groups where your team members can ask questions or share ideas. Let employees know that these support channels exist so that when questions arise, they can be quickly answered. Nothing kills a change initiative faster than an unresponsive support system.
  • Create a resistance plan. One must always take into account the future discontent of certain groups of people who will be affected by the coming changes. These can be: the change of power of individual employees, the negative experience of implementing changes in the past, or simply the emotional instability of individuals. In these situations, work closely with the team to design your change strategy, rely on the benefits of change, and involve all of your employees in carrying it out.

Creating and demonstrating a prototype of future changes will contribute to a better vision of the final result. This is useful both for your change implementation team and for company employees who need to familiarize themselves with future processes. At this stage, it is very important to track the early indicators of the process (prototype) and correct it if necessary. This allows you to test your ideas early to see if they are viable. Consider the positive aspects of this approach:

  • early examples are a great tool because they show the weaknesses of your changes or the instructions that were developed to implement them;
  • helps management and the change development team demonstrate their personal commitment to change by taking action;
  • help you see how different groups understand, apply and accept changes in their field;
  • gives you more time to work on the final product - the results;
  • Help to assess the impact on the business.

For future reforms to work effectively, here are a few important elements that need to be included during the implementation phase.

The first is the right educational program. In many cases, most projects fail due to the wrong approach to the learning process. This may be due to training employees too early in relation to the scheduled change date or creating short, uninformative training sessions. In the first case, try to organize training closer to the date of the change. In the second, create educational material not only in the form of trainings in the classroom, but also in the form of demonstration material: videos, infographics, instructions in PowerPoint. 

Second - create a group of the most trained employees from different teams, i.e. So-called champions. They should help workers in their teams better adapt to change. It's good to have one champion per 20 people in a group. This may seem very ambitious, however, significant changes require equally significant implementation support.

Third, focus on the activities of the first day separately from those that you have planned for the second stage. The second stage comes about 3-4 months after the start of the main stage, when the initial changes are already implemented and will work. The second stage is required to remove the temptation to use all the tools and processes immediately in the early days to demonstrate the business benefits as soon as possible. Since the problems and shortcomings that have arisen from the implementation of changes at the first stage, they can be solved by planned activities at the second.

Fourth, focus on the big picture of results. This means that you must respond quickly and decisively to any difficulties that arise in the implementation of your plan.

The preparatory stage has been passed and the reforms you planned have been implemented. Now it is important to consistently adjust and maintain them to ensure positive business results. Here are some rules to remember for this last step:

  • Set the measurement method. At this stage, it is important to tune and monitor performance in line with the business results you identified at the beginning of your plan. Keep in mind that some of these results may be subjective, and you may want to organize public opinion polls in the enterprise to obtain objective data for measurement.
  • Manage ongoing processes. Correct what is happening, but do not change the implementation process too early if the resulting shortcomings cannot be corrected with the help of employees. Be receptive to fresh tips and ideas for your implementation strategy.
  • Pay attention to those whose roles have altered dramatically or entirely.
  • They are the main link in improving the process of change. Always be ready to explain or clarify points of contention regarding the change process.

The issue of communication in the process of implementing changes in the organization
When we talk about communication in change management in an organization, it is important to determine the message that you want to convey to other participants, whether they are managers, employees of the company or its customers. This is not easy to do as there are many activities involved in the process of organizational change. However, this can be achieved by the following steps:

  1. First, define the communication process. Reforms constantly alter in status and direction since they have numerous moving pieces and important stakeholders. As a result, it is very important that you establish a consistent approach to getting the most important and up-to-date information to your company's customers.
  2. Create a business impact analysis template. This is an important document that reflects the elements of the changes you are about to make. At a minimum, it must include:

  • the field of activity or areas affected;
  • roles affected, such as customer or helpdesk agent;
  • level of impact, from small to large;
  • the nature of the changes needed;
  • change implementation strategy;
  • Responsible persons for monitoring the results of changes.


  • Describe the current situation and what will change in this area as a result of your project. If known, add the time the change will occur.
  • Please provide a problem(s) that could also be solved by the change in question. What problem are you trying to solve?

Roles affected

Specify the position or department affected (if the change affects the functions of the entire department)

Description of impact

Describe the nature of the change and how it will change the approach or processes that employees will use in their work

Impact level

  • Small
  • Middle
  • Tall

Necessary Behavioral Changes

Describe what employees will need to do differently

Change Management Strategy

Describe how you will implement, manage and track the success of your changes

Who is responsible?

Who will manage change on an ongoing basis (This is NOT the Project Manager. This is the COO or Project Manager)







  • Maintain dialogue between the management team to respond in a timely manner to their suggestions for improving the change process. Monitor and edit the business impact analysis document you create by participating in discussions with department heads. Because they may have other ideas about the project's success, it's important that you listen to them and appreciate their thoughts.
  • Incorporating management tools into the customer care department.
  •  This should be done so that your customers always get updated information and help desk staff can make timely decisions.
Any change in the work of the organization is a rather complicated and not always clear process for everyone. Sometimes it takes a lot of time to convey to everyone involved the main points of your choices on impending adjustments.
 In order for the stakeholder to understand the reasons for your decisions, you should provide them with full information about why you are making these changes and how you intend to implement them.

  • Clearly stating the change's goal is the first step in providing justification for your choice.
  •  Most often, the goal is to make a profit, but most organizations have an accompanying motive, such as gaining more market share, gaining a competitive advantage, or entering new markets. So don't let stakeholders speculate about the goals of future reforms.
  • The second step is to convey a sense of permanence to what you are doing. New ideas are replaced by other new ideas, so the reforms you propose and their impact on business must be long-term.
  • The third step is about explaining how your idea will be implemented. There are a number of important points to consider when describing how you will approach the implementation of an idea. What innovative methods and instruments will you employ? This point is very important because you are going to educate your stakeholders with them. This includes: conducting trainings in the classroom, creating infographics, videos, staff access to instructions or a team of trainers in case of contentious issues.  
  • Fourth step. Specify the indicators by which progress will be measured. Indicators that will help you know that you are moving in the right direction.
  • And the last one is decision making. Any change process involves a few important decisions and perhaps hundreds of tactical ones. The stakeholder must clearly understand by whom and how decisions will be made in the process of change.

Contingency management

As a result of significant organizational changes, there is a high probability that all sorts of unforeseen circumstances will arise that can confuse you or stop your work. As a result, it's crucial that you devote some time to problem and risk management.

A risk is something that could happen, but has not yet affected the reform process. Thus, you can try to manage the risks. On the other hand, problems are things that have happened and are affecting the progress of your changes right now. Therefore, in order to resolve the issues that have surfaced, you must act right away.

Let's focus on risks for a bit, as proper risk management can prevent problems from occurring. In every process of changing something, there are various kinds of risks. We shall attempt to take into account the following main categories of risks, though:

  1. The risk may be associated with the acceptance of your changes by all affected participants. An effective strategy to mitigate this risk is to analyze the participants and consider how to increase the chances of them accepting your changes. Certain actions by management or the creation of an alternative group of participants that may affect a particular area of ​​the business are effective mitigation measures that should be considered.
  2. Departure of key persons from the business. This risk can have several consequences. First, the departure of competent employees can send a signal to other employees that your reforms are negatively affecting the work process. Secondly, the departure of key employees can destroy the new process management pyramid. To mitigate this risk, try to create teams of several people from each department who receive all the information about the process and are able to duplicate each other.
  3. Unpreparedness of business for future changes. Conducting a readiness assessment, also known as a skills assessment, is the major mitigating measure in this direction. This process analyzes the overall degree of change that is taking place in your business and the degree of collaboration between departments where the change will be significant.
When problems arise, you, as an organizational change manager, do not have to solve everything yourself. An effective method is to delegate problem solving to your team members, and you can track the progress they have made in solving the problems that have arisen.

Let's now examine some of the tools that managers employ to oversee corporate operations while changes are implemented.
 They are listed in the order in:
  1. A permanent governing body that makes various kinds of decisions. This committee is active during the implementation phase of your project, but it is also very important to retain it after the completion of the process. Sometimes changes need to be adjusted and made compatible with future projects in the business.
  2. A collection of measures that you may use to gauge how well your adjustments are working.
  3. For example, it could be the output of a converted production line, or the number of bugs reported in the code of a new digital product.
  4. Implementing sustainable change within the organization. Here are a few typical components you should use in the long run:
  5. New tools for measuring employee performance. If you have implemented process changes, the way you measure the success of your employees will likely change as well;
  6. The steering group we discussed before is associated with the policy review board. This board consists of key staff and managers who ensure the clarity and effectiveness of the new policy. They could suggest modifications or revisions to the steering committee;

  7. A new set of criteria for project approval. If you've changed the way you work and introduced new business benefits, any new project must support those new business benefits. Thus, it is necessary to revise the project approval criteria;
  8. Updated training plan for new employees. Following the conclusion of the transformation project, training should continue. It is necessary to constantly introduce new approaches to learning based on your innovation.

The human factor in the process of change management in the organization

Let's now concentrate on human wants and emotional aspects. Unless they have a compelling personal cause to change, they rarely do.
 Creating a need for reform is essential to maintaining the momentum needed to make your proposed changes a reality. Here are some strategies to make sure of this:
describe how the problems the organization is facing will directly affect people if reforms are not implemented;
Talk about the present political or market circumstances that make change a top priority rather than just a business directive.

make sure that team leaders get the message across in the right direction and don't downplay the circumstances for the changes to come;
Discuss the benefits of change as well as the consequences of not doing it, and don't forget to write down the reasons why staying put is not an option.
Provide information from different sources. Others will respond to the real tale while some people will believe the statistics. Both the organization's data and statistics from other sources are trusted by different people.
Remember that implementing change is a personal exercise. Your communication needs can be tailored to your specific change goals, your company situation, and the circumstances of the people you work with. You will be more successful in your business if you share your vision of where you are going. There are several factors to consider when voicing your ideas:

  1. Look for those corporate values ​​that are accepted by your employees. Since your project may change or potentially improve on these values, it is important that you include these details in creating the overall value of future changes.
  2. Tailor your change project to your corporate strategy. If individuals are aware of the benefits your reforms would bring to the company's growth, your prospects will improve.
  3. Create priority goals. Your employees should be focused on the highest priority tasks. Determining your goals and priorities will help your stakeholders take the right action at a moment's notice.
  4. Make sure that the normal operations of the organization are your priority and that teams are not pressured by your ambitions. For example, if you are implementing reforms in the sales department, then it is important for you that the team works as usual, but at the same time, smoothly implement your ideas.
No matter how gifted a person may be, they are unable to implement a change project on their own. To do this, you need to create a team with the right composition, training and support in order to successfully implement your ideas. The basis of this team should be the so-called champions, who are also called champions for the implementation of changes or champions of departments. They must be able to understand your reform agenda, accept it, test the results, and integrate those changes into their department. The management of this leadership team consists of three primary components.

First, pick the best candidates to act as champions. Look for those who are enthused by the reforms you have suggested. Enthusiasm is not the only factor, though. To safeguard the company, they must strike a healthy balance between that and skepticism. Champions are eager and cooperative with those in their department. Choose people who are respected by their colleagues.

Secondly, providing quality training to selected champions. It is an almost continuous process. Here are some of the nuances of providing quality training:

A personal touch that ensures your champions know what you are doing and how you will make changes. It is important that they ensure that they're part of the business is not affected by any changes you make.
Testing or evaluation in training, which allows your champions to properly test the changed business items. This approach also helps your champions train others in their department.
Third, support for learning systems. Champions will need specific help and support to carry out their tasks. They must know how to deal with the problems they face. Make sure your champions have access to all the training materials and get the answers they need from the coaching team or you.

The reforms you are implementing can not only improve the business, but also open up opportunities for new changes. If you improve something in one part, then it can cause slowdowns in another part of the company's business. For example, if you improve parts production by turning out 10 pieces an hour instead of five, you can put pressure on the packaging and shipping department downstream. Therefore, improvements in product manufacturing can trigger a review and improvement of the workflow in other departments.

Sometimes small reforms in one direction can inspire other people to more significant and viable ideas. After implementing the changes, it is a smart move to review all the performance indicators of the process, and then listen to the ideas of your employees as they come up. Weaknesses in your project can be identified in the same way, but make sure that any new ideas are properly thought out and that there is a sound business case for further changes. So successful reforms can lead to new opportunities, identify improvements elsewhere, and drive improvements in other areas of your business.


The benefits of successful change management in your organization are substantial. As you manage larger and more ambitious change initiatives, your chances of encountering cultural and organizational challenges increase. Your overall success may depend on your ability to actively identify and address these issues.