Change Management: doing things "with Them" rather than "To Them" E-mail

Change management is a basic need to which all projects that require change must abide to. There are very few working environments where change management is more important than an IT system implementation.

Five key principles act as guiding principles in XCIT'S line of conduct as far as change management goes:

  • Different people react differently to change
  • Everyone has fundamental needs that have to be met
  • Change often involves a loss, and people go through the "loss curve"
  • Expectations need to be managed realistically
  • Fears have to be dealt with

Some of the rules XCIT strongly believes in include:

  • Give people information - be open and honest about the facts, but don't give overoptimistic speculation. Ie meet their OPENNESS needs, but in a way that does not set UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS.
  • Produce a communication strategy that ensures information is disseminated efficiently and comprehensively to everyone (don't let the grapevine take over). Eg: tell everyone at the same time. However, follow this up with individual interviews to produce a personal strategy for dealing with the change. This helps to recognise and deal appropriately with the INDIVIDUAL REACTION to change.
  • Give people choices to make, and be honest about the possible consequences of those choices. Ie meet their CONTROL and INCLUSION needs
  • Give people time, to express their views, and support their decision making, providing coaching, counselling or information as appropriate, to help them through the loss curve
  • Give individuals the ability to express their concerns , even in a face-to-face fashion if needed, and provide reassurances - also to help assuage potential FEARS.
  • Keep observing good management practice, such as making time for informal discussion and feedback (even though the pressure might seem that it is reasonable to let such things slip - during difficult change such practices are even more important).

Where you are embarking on a large change programmes, you should treat Change Management as a fundamental project. It may sound fluffy, difficult to measure and value. It's not.

At XCIT's, we like rollouts with "the users on our side", for it takes more than cooperation to make a project happen: it takes TRUST.

Read example case studies of how XCIT built a fruitful relationship with user comminities over time, and see if there might be something of value for you in here.

eXplic IT Limited - IT: delivered. Systems: understood.