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Enterprise Change Management on a Tight Budget

Don’t get left behind because of budget constraints and miss the opportunity to make innovative changes that set your business apart. Learn why every business needs enterprise change management, even on a small budget, and the three must haves to help you get there.

When shopping for a car, you rely on your budget to help you make the decision on what to purchase. For example, let’s say you are working with a tight budget. Do you go out and buy a Tesla or a Toyota?
Many mid-size organizations face the same predicament when developing their enterprise change management capability. Just like the family that needs a reliable vehicle and wants to get the most for their money, small to mid-size companies need consistent enterprise change management to help them thrive and survive.

Why do small to mid-size companies need Enterprise Change Management (ECM)?

Change management isn’t just for big companies going through large transformations. Mid-size and small businesses also need to help guide their employees through change. This is more than applying change management project by project. It means embedding change management practices in your organization and building it as a capability and competency.

According to Prosci® industry research, change isn’t slowing down. In fact, 55 percent of organizations polled predict the amount of change taking place in their companies will increase significantly over the next two years.

The result of ECM is that change management becomes the norm and routine. Y and your organization can thrive even during times of large change, as experienced through COVID-19. This means leaders are sponsoring change by being active and visible, the management team is advocating for change by sharing the change message and looking for feedback, and employees are embracing change because they understand its need and the consequences of not changing.

Three ECM Must-Haves

How you can build ECM without breaking the bank? Prioritize those actions that deliver the greatest impact.

Must Have #1 – A Change Methodology

One of the key ECM development practices is to establish the change methodology you want your organization to follow. Think of this as the standard people-side approach everyone will use to ensure each project has a similar process from the project planning stage to the closing stage.
Here is a sample of a three-phase change methodology to get you started:

  1. Assess and Plan the Change
  2. Activate the Change
  3. Sustain the Change

The second part of developing the change methodology is to determine the tools and tactics you will use in each phase of your approach.

For example, in the Assess and Plan the Change phase you will want to evaluate the change impact, complexity, and organizational readiness of your project and use this to develop a change strategy to drive toward the project outcomes.

In the Activate the Change phase you need to start building your leadership readiness plan, communications plan and training plan based on the assessments from the first phase.

In the Sustain the Change phase, you are looking to create proper feedback mechanisms to look for and diagnosis gaps and take corrective actions for your change. You will also want to build the proper metrics to measure success.

Must Have #2 – A Change Intake Process and Intake Assessment

If you don’t have a handle on the amount of change taking place in your organization, it will be near impossible to manage the people side of change. To help your organization understand the changes impacting them on a holistic basis, you must develop an intake process and intake assessment.
The intake process can include working with your project management team and other key leaders throughout your company to develop a portfolio of changes taking place across your organization.
The intake assessment is the opportunity to delve deeper on each change to determine the size and scope and the organizational readiness of your company for each change.
Take a moment and think about the changes taking place in your organization and ask yourself:

  • How many departments are impacted by the change?
  • Does the change have an active and supportive sponsor?
  • Do employees support this change, or do they think the change is not necessary?
  • Do employees perceive past changes positively or negatively?
  • Are there a few changes underway or is everything changing?

When you combine your intake assessments together, you will start to see a picture of the change support that needs to be developed to help your organization manage the entire change portfolio.

Must Have #3 – A Change Coalition

With a limited budget, you probably think you also have limited resources for change management. Think again. Another priority for building ECM is to use and develop the resources you have. Building a change coalition is the perfect way to assure you have sponsorship support at each level of the organization to advocate for the change, share the change messages, and acquire the feedback you need to get it right.

Here are a few tips for building your change coalition:

  • Include employees from all levels and departments of your organization (ex: senior leaders, managers/supervisors, employees in HR, finance, legal, etc.)
  • Look for team members with experience in organizational change
  • Involve employees with both positive and negative outlooks on change
  • Skill up your change coalition on your organization’s change management practices (you know, your change methodology and change intake process)

Consider the following characteristics when choosing your change coalition members: 

  • Effective communicator
  • Good listener
  • Respected among their peers
  • Adaptable and approachable
  • Embraces new opportunities
  • Problem solver 

Once you build a change coalition, you’ve also set-up your change sponsors with a team of employees to help make change happen.

About the author:

Carrie King is a Principal Consultant and Prosci® Certified Advanced Instructor at Avaap. Avaap’s team of Prosci® certified change management experts bring more than 15 years of experience helping build ECM at organizations from small-to mid-size companies to large enterprises. Avaap’s team of 50+ OCM experts use tried and tested methodology, tools and solutions that can help any company on any budget navigate change and build for the future.