Why is change management important? First, it’s important to know what is it. It’s the tools that managers use to address the people side of organizational or business change. It doesn’t do much good to create a new organization, with new processes and technologies, and ignore the people who have to use those technologies and processes, the people who are ultimately responsible for the quality of your business. Your financial success is dependent on whether your employees are willing to take on those changes. Basically, change management focuses on ensuring your employees accept new ideas for the business.
This article from Procsi goes more in-depth on what change management is, why it’s important, and how to implement change management effectively. Learning how to properly manage the side of business that includes your employees is vital to your business’s success.
The Cost of Poorly Managing Change
There are countless consequences of ignoring the people side of a change:
- Productivity declines on a larger scale for a longer duration than necessary
- Managers are unwilling to devote the time or resources needed to support the change
- Key stakeholders do not show up to meetings
- Suppliers begin to feel the impact and see the disruption caused by the change
- Customers are negatively impacted by a change that should have been invisible to them
- Employee morale suffers and divisions between “us” and “them” begin to emerge in the organization
- Stress, confusion and fatigue all increase
- Valued employees leave the organization
Projects also suffer as due to missed deadlines, overrun budgets and unexpected and unnecessary rework to get the effort back on track. In some cases, the project itself is completely abandoned after large investments of capital and time. All of these consequences have tangible and real financial impact on the health of the organization and the project. And each of these consequences can be addressed and mitigated if a project includes a structured approach to the people side of change.
Effective Change Management Increases the Likelihood of Success
There is a growing body of data that shows the impact that effective change management has on the probability that a project meets its objectives. Prosci’s longitudinal benchmarking studies show a strong correlation: Data from the 2013 benchmarking study showed that 96% of participants with excellent change management met or exceeded objectives, while only 16% of those with poor change management met or exceeded objectives.
In other words, projects with excellent change management were six times more likely to meet objectives than those with poor change management. Regardless of the change at hand, focusing on the people side of change increases the likelihood of being successful. Additionally, Prosci’s research shows a direct correlation between effective change management and staying on schedule and on budget.