How Important Change Management is and Why It Matters
As you may expect, project management is not always an easy task to implement, yet it guarantees a clear understanding and an anticipated result. Accurate project management is an essential part of product deployment especially if it is a software product.
If you have already checked one of our previous articles related to product management, you know that there are several types of techniques. If you haven’t still read it, then you are highly recommended to check out: Top 5 Project Management Techniques That Work for Software Development.
Companies that properly value the product management process are familiar with a term called change management.
The Definition of Change Management
According to highly popular Cambridge dictionaries, change management is “the planning and introducing of new processes, methods of working, etc. in a company or organization”. Having analyzed as well as getting a related experience, I would like to make further comment and add “change management in product management is the process and also all the tools, techniques, and technologies that aim at organizing the human-side of all the changes required to achieve specific business objectives”.
The Role of Change Management in Product Management
Nowadays when digital transformation introduces many products, change management has become an essential factor in achieving certain business goals. Imagine that you trust your software product development to a company and during the implementation, you want to add a new feature, or probably, a misunderstanding happens so that you need to change the further development process. Do you already guess the importance of change management? It is what provides you with an opportunity to adjust the future process and change something for the expected final product. It is accepted that there are three levels of change management, and I’m going to introduce all of them so that you (regardless of the fact whether you are the client or the agency) have a clear image of why it matters.
Individual Change Management
As for human beings, it’s a natural psychological and physiological reaction to refuse change. Therefore we are literally flexible creatures and we can easily and successfully adjust change. Individual change management depends upon understanding the way people react and feel the change as well as what they require to implement a successful change.
This level of management also pretends to realize what people require to adjust a successful changeover. It may include:
what messages do people need to hear when and from whom,
when the optimal time to teach someone a new skill is,
how to coach people to demonstrate new behaviors,
what makes changes “stick” in someone’s work.
Individual change management depends on psychological and neuroscientific control in order to put actionable frameworks into use and make an individual change.
Organizational Change Management
Although the final transition is adopted at the individual level, sometimes the project team cannot adjust the expected change on the basis of a person-by-person interaction.
Organizational change management that is also known as initiative change management offers all the steps and actions that are required to be taken at the project level to help individuals who are related to the project.
First of all the initiative change management requires identification of the teams and individuals who are expected to change and the ways they should change. Here we come to the point that organizational change management tends to develop a personalized strategic plan in order to ensure that the connected workers fully realize the point. This level of management covers the awareness, training, coaching, and leadership, the group members need to successfully implement change.
The general concentration of all the activities in an initiative change management should be leading successful individual changes. This type of management should be integral to any kind of project management. If the project management process is what guarantees that the solution for the final project is designed, built and produced, the change management is what ensures that the solution is successfully considered, adjusted and operated.
Enterprise Change Management
This is an organizational primary capability that offers contrast distinction and the capability to successfully adjust to the continuous change of the world. An enterprise change management competency pretends that effective change management is adopted into the roles, structures, activities, projects, as well as leadership capabilities of the company. The processes related to the change management are usually applied to actions successfully, the leaders guide the development groups through transition, and the team members, in their turn, determine their questions to ask to work effectively and realize the expected result successfully.
The final outcome of an enterprise change management competency is that group members adjust to change in a faster way. As a result, agencies manage to respond to market changes as soon as possible, take strategic actions, as well as rely on innovative technologies more quickly yet experiencing less production shock.
Change Management Process Flow in Project Management
We may identify three steps in the implementation of change management in project management. These 3 steps of change management process flow are Request, Impact, and Decision (Approval/ Denial). Now, let’s discuss these steps in detail.
Step 1. Request
In the first step, a change is requested by someone inside or outside the project team. The approval section of a change-request takes some time. The project team analyzes and decides whether the expected change makes sense or not. If it does not, they proceed and the problem with the change is mentioned on the issues list and discussed with the person requesting the change. The confirmation of change addresses several questions:
What? (is expected to be changed?)
Why? (Why they want to make it changed? what is the problem?)
How? (to change)
How urgent the request is
If the change request is justified, the second step comes.
Step 2. Impact
In this step, the management team analyzes the request of the change and evaluates the impact on the project. As a result, the impact analysis is inspected with the customer, originator, and sponsor.
Then the team should identify whether or not the change also requires changing the plan or the risk rating. If it doesn’t require (the team immediately passes on the third step) the changes are made. If it requires, the team defines what impact the change will have on the plan and completes the impact portion of the change request form.
Step 3. Decision
Afterward, the change is to be approved. If it is still declined it is put on the issue list and the person who requested get notifications about the denial. Yet, if it is accepted, the changes are made.
To Sum Up
Having discussed the levels and also the flow of the change management process, we come to the conclusion that this is an integral stage of project management: Below you may also find some benefits:
Surely, all the benefits are not included in this list. After all, what really matters is that the careful planning of change management ensures that the expected change is implemented by the right person at the right time. So, if you want to make some changes in your project management process, make sure you pass on the above-mentioned steps in order to justify the real need for the change and make changes that will really matter. Accordingly, the risk that the final product may fail to be the expected one decreases.