These best practices in change management can help you minimize costs and maximize the benefits for your team.
Sheryl Crow sang in the 1990s about the positive aspects that change can bring to people in her song “Another Change Would Do You Good”
Crow could have released a more responsible follow-up to her hit “Too Much Change Can be Destructive” if she wanted to.
Imagine walking into work on Monday morning to discover that the kitchen has been renovated, and the old, inefficient coffeemaker and microwave have been replaced by newer appliances.
This would be a great change!
Imagine coming in to find your manager and three coworkers gone, that the $1 million project that you were working on has doubled in scope, that you are moving to a new 10 mile office, and that you need to migrate your project management system. Imagine this happening every other month for one year.
Too much change can lead to a loss of company and even your sanity.
Excessive and unneeded change will cost you dear
Change is something we can all handle. However, you should only accept it when it is necessary for your business’s long-term success and happiness. Over-simplifying and unnecessary changes can lead to frustration, lower work quality, and high turnover.
If change is not handled well, it can be a negative experience for your employees and your business.
Gartner (full report for clients):
“A positive emotional effect will build a long-lasting positive memory in our brain, while a negative one will make us feel worse in the future.” Neuroscience also shows how our thinking and memory are biased to favor negative experiences and feelings. To put it another way, more than one positive effect can outweigh one negative one.
Repeatedly negative experiences can be debilitating for your employees.
Gartner notes (research available for Gartner clients):
“It takes an average of two years for employees to recover from changes; however, the increasing pace of change means employees don’t have the luxury of fully recovering from previous changes before they hit them again.”
You’re putting your team through a lot of negative change experiences. If you can make change a positive experience, you’re building credit to deal with the inevitable negatives (like the time your network crashes the week before a major milestone).
Good change management is good for business. Gartner estimates that only 34% are clear successes in change initiatives. However, Prosci’s research on change management found that companies with great change management are six times more likely than those with poor management to achieve their goals.
Your goal is to minimize costs and maximize the benefits from change. Let’s take a look at some ways you can do that.
4 change management best practices for project managers
According to Gartner, this open-source approach to change management is key to maximizing benefits and minimizing costs.
What does it mean to use open source?
Open source software developers make their code public so anyone can interact with the software and possibly improve it. Imagine Wikipedia becoming the largest online encyclopedia in the world by allowing anyone to edit and contribute entries.
Open source change management is the same. It means that employees can access the process. In other words, it means that employees can access the change management process.