Managing a change initiative can feel overwhelming. Use these three effective change management tools for moving forward: Stakeholder Mapping, Culture Mapping and Forcefield Analysis.
This tool identifies the key blockers and facilitators of a change project.
To use this change tool:
This change management tool helps you manage the political dimension of the change. Too often, change agents involve key players too little or too late in the change process.
Middle managers often play a key role in change management. They tend to be the real implementers of change and help to fine tune the process.
They are a crucial bridge between top management and lower levels in a business. They can provide senior management with useful advice as the change progresses.
You also need to consider the possible role of others who are not key players. For example, would it be useful for interested parties to communicate with those who have a lot of power but no interest?
The culture of a business is "the way we do things here". Each business has its own set of paradigms - assumptions, concepts, values and practices. They constitute a way of viewing reality for the people that share them.
Some typical paradigms would be:
1. Respect for Authority - are the decisions made by your senior team unquestioned, or is there a healthy debate and recognition of viewpoints, whatever the status of the employee?
2. Reward Systems - are they based on seniority? good performance? or lobbying?
3. Control Systems - is your business highly regulated with a lot of paperwork, or is there freedom to make decisions?
4. Communication Methods - is your communication primarily through email, meetings or the grapevine? is it two way?
If you are responsible for managing change in your business, you need to be aware of the culture so that you can work in a way that is acceptable to those involved.
The paradigms that exist may be a source of resistance to change.
You may need to change existing paradigms, before you work on the change project itself.
For example, you could focus on developing two way communication channels.
This will allow your change project to be properly discussed when the time is right.
This change management tool provides an initial view of change problems that need to be tackled. It focuses on the drivers for change and the inhibitors of change. For example, a smoking ban in public places was introduced in Ireland in recent years. A driver for change was the impact of passive smoking on the health of bar staff.
An inhibitor of change (which had to be overcome) was the Irish weather, which is not conducive to people smoking outside public places on a cold rainy night! As a result, sheltered outdoor areas with portable heaters were set up in bars all around the country to facilitate smokers. Consider the drivers and inhibitors that impact your change project.
Here is an example of a forcefield analysis in practice. The drivers and inhibitors in an IT project have been identified:
The next step is to decide which drivers and inhibitors have the greatest impact, classifying them on a scale from 1 to 5.
In this example, the number of customer complaints and staff frustration are the strongest drivers for change. These factors should be highlighted when communicating the change plan.
The strongest inhibitors have been identified as resistance to change and familiarity with the current system.
The change plan should focus on the benefits of the new system compared to the old, and should include discussions aimed at understanding and dealing with staff resistance to change.
Use this change management tool to analyse the drivers and inhibitors of your change plan.
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