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Planned Approach to Managing Change

Completion requirements

Step 1: Build a Sound Business Case

Before we begin our analysis, we need to detail the future state. It is critical to understand where we are versus where we want to be, i.e. the current state and the future state.

Step 2: Determine the Scale and Scope of Change

Once you have detailed the states you need to understand the scale of change.

An impact assessment and a readiness for change assessment can be helpful. Read here what this entails:

Change Impact And Readiness Assessments

Ask the following questions in the categories as indicated below when doing the Change Impact Assessment:


  • Which People in the organisation is affected by the change?
  • What impact does the change have on the roles of people in the organisation?
  • What new/different skills will people need to handle the change?


  • Will the change have an impact on the structure of the business?
  • If yes, describe the department/s on which it will impact.
  • Describe the details of the change in structure.


  • What business processes will be influenced by the change?
  • Are there any policies, procedures or other documentation which needs to be developed/changed due to the change – identify and list them?
  • Do you need to revise any strategic goals, departmental objectives or key result areas as part of the change effort?


Identify the systems linked to the change effort and determine which changes need to be made to systems/technology.


Identify if any logistical changes need to be made due to the change effort, e.g. Office space, personnel, equipment etc.

Change Readiness Assessment

A change readiness assessment answers the question: Where are we today? The assessment looks at past practices and the current situation. There is a short questionnaire that can help you begin that assessment. Ask a cross-section of people in the business to complete it to get a broader opinion than your own - other departments and levels within the organization will give you a more complete view of where things stand. In your Summative Assessment, you will be allowed to do a change readiness assessment. See below a template for a change readiness assessment.

Assessing an Organisation’s Readiness for Change

Complete the following exercise to assess a company that you worked for or are familiar with that undertook a change effort:

Click here to download and complete the organisation's readiness for change questionnaire. 

Step 3: Stakeholder Management

Stakeholders are defined at various levels and include all individuals and groups who are impacted by and have a vested interest in the initiative.

  • You can use the opinions of the most powerful stakeholders to shape your projects at an early stage. Not only does this make it more likely that they will support you, but their input can also improve the quality of your project.
  • Gaining support from powerful stakeholders can help you to win more resources - this makes it more likely that your projects will be successful.
  • By communicating with stakeholders early and frequently, you can ensure that they fully understand what you are doing and understand the benefits of your project - this means they can support you actively when necessary.
  • You can anticipate what people's reactions to your project may be and build into your plan the actions that will win people's support.

Stakeholder Analysis and Mobilization of Change

Identifying your stakeholders: The first step in your stakeholder analysis is to brainstorm who your stakeholders are. As part of this, think of all the people who are affected by your work, who have influence or power over it, or have an interest in its successful or unsuccessful conclusion. Stakeholders could include managers, co-workers, work team, customers and prospective customers, shareholders, suppliers, alliance partners, analysts, government, trade unions, press, interest groups, public, community, etc.

Remember that although stakeholders maybe both business and people, ultimately you must communicate with people. Make sure that you identify the correct individual stakeholders within the business.

Group your stakeholders: Place your stakeholders into their natural groupings i.e., leadership team, project team, clients, suppliers, etc.

Analyse stakeholders: Map out your stakeholders using the support/degree of influence grid shown in the figure below and classify them by their support for and interest in your work.

Someone's position on the grid shows you the actions you have to take with them:

  • High influence, support people: these are the people you must fully engage and use as champions for your initiative.
  • High influence, fewer support people: put enough work in with these people to build support for the change.
  • Low influence, support people: keep these people adequately informed, and talk to them to ensure that no major issues are arising. These people can often be very helpful with the detail of your project.
  • Low influence, fewer support people: monitor these people as they may spread negativity or doubt around your initiative.

The key to effective stakeholder management is to understand and adequately address your stakeholder’s needs. This will ensure buy-in and cooperation from all groups of stakeholders.

Key questions that can help you understand your stakeholders are:

  • What financial or emotional interest do they have in the outcome of your work? Is it positive or negative?
  • What motivates those most of all?
  • What information do they want from you?
  • How do they want to receive information from you? What is the best way of communicating your message to them?
  • What is their current opinion of your work? Is it based on good information?
  • Who influences their opinions generally, and who influences their opinion of you? Do some of these influencers, therefore, become important stakeholders in their own right?
  • If they are not likely to be positive, what will win them around to support your project?
  • If you don't think you will be able to win them around, how will you manage their opposition?
  • Who else might be influenced by their opinions? Do these people become stakeholders in their own right?

A very good way of answering these questions is to talk to your stakeholders directly - people are often quite open about their views and asking people's opinions is often the first step in building a successful relationship with them.

You can summarize the understanding you have gained on the stakeholder map so that you can easily see which stakeholders are expected to be blockers or critics, and which stakeholders are likely to be advocates and supporters of your project. A good way of doing this is by colour coding: showing advocates and supporters in green, blockers and critics in red, and others who are neutral in orange.

Consult with stakeholders: The purpose of consultation with interested and affected parties within the changing context is to ensure buy-in and commitment to the project. Appropriate time and effort should be spent consulting with stakeholders. A well-thought-through communication plan should be implemented to ensure proper consultation. Below is a diagram to assist in the development of a good consultation plan:

Example Stakeholder communication template:

Step 4: Communication

Communication can make or break your change effort. The guidelines below will assist you to ensure efficient communication:

A communication strategy is developed to:

  • Raise awareness and understanding of the project throughout its development, in particular, how you intend to manage and communicate the key messages and content of the project to identified stakeholders and the target audiences.
  • Provide the project sponsor, steering committee and senior management with a documented framework detailing which communication mechanisms/tools would be most appropriate for the identified stakeholders and target audiences.
  • Ensure the communication of issues, implementation of issues and project updates to key stakeholders.
  • Provide a mechanism for seeking and acting on feedback to encourage the involvement of, and assist in 'selling' the project to, the key stakeholders.
  • Identify the actions required for the implementation of the strategy and associated costs.

To minimise speculation, uncertainty and rumours, project communication must be:

  • Shared with the business as and when the project team is able.
  • Conducted in an open honest manner.
  • Timely, accurate, proactive, consistent and meaningful.
  • Focus on the facts.
  • As interactive (2-way) as possible.
  • The message must be balanced (good and bad).
  • Multiple messages need to be given preference over complex messages.
  • Communication protocols (scripts and guidelines) must be developed for difficult change management issues to ensure a consistent and accurate message in these instances.
Communication Mediums




·         Presentations/briefing sessions

·         Networking facilitation

·         Employee’s meetings

·         Seminars/workshops

·         Stakeholder consultation

·         Events

·         Launches

·         Social gatherings

·         Visitation programs

·         Personal email to identified stakeholders

·         Possible list server

·         Internet/intranet including:

  • Online forums
  • Fact sheets
  • Newsletter
  • Web sharing of ongoing project planning by internal and external stakeholders

·         Fax stream etc.

·         Mailouts of important documentation

·         Advertising

·         Pamphlets and brochures

·         Information in operation newsletters etc.

Step 5: Transition/Contingency Management (Risk Assessment)

This involves planning the shift from the current state to the future state and the impact on people, processes and systems. In short, when do you stop old practices and begin with new ones?

  • In between the period, old habits no longer have a place and new ones have not yet been assimilated.
  • The transition towards new habits triggers 2 independent processes – Endings and Beginnings.
  • Detail the migration of people, processes and systems.
  • Ensure contingency plans are in place.

In planning for the transition, a critical component in building contingency plans.

Template For Change Risk Analysis

Change Management SWOT Analysis Template:

State what you are assessing here…

Criteria Examples:



Criteria Examples:

Advantages of proposition?


Competitive advantages?

USP's (unique selling points)?

Resources, Assets, People?

Experience, knowledge, data?

Financial reserves, likely returns?

Marketing - reach, distribution, awareness?

Innovative aspects?

Location and geographical?

Price, value, quality?

Accreditations, qualifications, certifications?

Processes, systems, IT, communications?

Cultural, attitudinal, behavioural?

Management cover, succession?

Philosophy and values?



Disadvantages of proposition?

Gaps in capabilities?

Lack of competitive strength?

Reputation, presence and reach?


Own known vulnerabilities?

Timescales, deadlines and pressures?

Cashflow, start-up cash drain?

Continuity, supply chain robustness?

Effects on core activities, distraction?

Reliability of data, plan predictability?

Morale, commitment, leadership?

Accreditations, etc.

Processes and systems, etc.

Management cover, succession?

Criteria Examples:



Criteria Examples:

Market developments?

Competitors' vulnerabilities?

Industry or lifestyle trends?

Technology development and innovation?

Global influences?

New markets, vertical, horizontal?

Niche target markets?

Geographical, export, import?

New USP's?

Tactics: e.g. surprise, major contracts?

Business and product development?

Information and research?

Partnerships, agencies, distribution?

Volumes, production, economies?

Seasonal, weather, fashion influences?



Political effects?

Legislative effects?

Environmental effects?

IT developments?

Competitor intentions - various?

Market demand?

New technologies, services, ideas?

Vital contracts and partners?

Sustaining internal capabilities?

Obstacles faced?

Insurmountable weaknesses?

Loss of key staff?

Sustainable financial backing?

Economy - home, abroad?

Seasonality, weather effects?

Click here to view and download the change risk analysis handout - Handout 9.

Step 6: Training

To ensure that planned changes affecting business processes are successful, a Training Plan should be developed. This plan should identify:

  • Which groups or individuals require training.
  • What the training requirements are. 
  • How, where and when it will be delivered.
  • Who will deliver the training.

The objectives of training will be to:

  • Ensure understanding of the new process and supporting system.
  • Ensure that people in new and changed roles have the competency to successfully execute transactions.
  • Ensure a smooth transition from the “old” system to the new system.
  • Ensure learners understand that the system/process change is not complicated.
  • To eradicate any negative impact on productivity through the implementation of a new system/process.
  • Training must meet the desired needs and must be sustainable.

Critical success factors for change orientated training includes:

  • Design the training program to provide learners with the specific knowledge and skills necessary to effectively perform their work.
  • The training material designed must be sustainable into the future.
  • Support for users must be detailed for the intensive care period.

Step 7: Keep Track of Progress

It is important in any change initiative to map out the timelines for the stakeholders. To do this, you need to generate a change map that highlights key milestones against each supporting process of change management.

This picture helps prepare people for change i.e. the future state and more importantly managing expectations.

Step 8: Anchoring Changes

The anchoring phase of the project is the most critical because at this point the change either becomes sustainable or the business resorts to the “old” way of doing things.

  • Reinforce changes to sustain momentum.
  • Create and sustain momentum through visible improvements and rewards.
  • Translate improved performance to operational benefits.
  • Communicate project success.
  • Update Key Performance Areas.
  • Post-implementation interview.
  • Workshop operational learning points to create a continuous improvement cycle.







GM brief

State the business case for change.





High-level timeline

Contact details of operational change agents


Introduce project





Operational sponsor role and contact details

Project contact details

High-level timeline

Employee/union workshop

Re-iterate business case





Detail proposed changes

Gauge expectations, frustrations, concerns

Feedback/action plan from the workshop

Discuss action plan





Agree on roles and responsibilities

Line impact workshop

Set business case





Detail proposed changes

Gauge expectations, frustrations, concerns

Feedback/action plan from the workshop

Discuss action plan





Agree on roles and responsibilities

Roles and responsibilities workshop

Discuss the new way of work





Discuss and agree on new roles and responsibilities

Payroll changes

Detail changes to employees





"How does it affect me?"