How Important is Organizational Change Management in SAP By Benjamin Roussey

Organizational change management is the term used to define the management of change in an organization effectively so that the people are prepared for what is coming. Simply put, organization change management deals with the management of change in organization structure and culture, and helps the employees cope with the new processes.

There are many situations in a workplace that could call for organizational change management. It could be due to an expansion, merger and acquisition, restructuring, regulatory compliance, or a change in culture, language, etc. Change cannot be implemented abruptly.

A lot of things need to be considered for the effective management of change in an organization. These include the challenges and opportunities, expected organizational changes and their challenges, and how change management and training should be integrated at the workplace.

For the proper management of change in an organization, risks and business impacts need to be identified, and the enterprise needs to get ready for the impact of change. If the people side of an organization is not ready for the change, deadlines will be missed and there will be expensive mistakes. This is what makes change management so critical.

Steps to proper organizational change management

There are several steps of proper change management in an organization. For the most effective change management that prepares employees, stakeholders, and all other members of the organization, the following steps need to be followed.

  1. Careful planning

The first step in effective implementation of change in an organization is careful planning. When planning to implement necessary changes successfully, the end result (i.e. what it will be like when the change has been implemented) needs to be imagined.

A proper vision for the best possible outcome is required, because without having a clear image of the outcome in mind, it is not possible to implement change successfully. When this vision is in place, it is essential to start listing the tasks that could help accomplish that outcome, and identify the best people for those tasks.

This is what Apple did when Steve Jobs returned to Apple. They made lots of changes in 97 when Steve Jobs came back – mainly at his behest. Jobs dumbed a lot of people and brought back people that he knew were his kind of people. This enables Apple to come up with the iMac and switch to Intel hardware. This is what helped Apple regain its status as a fantastic tech company and really what made Apple become a tech powerhouse and one for the ages.

  1. Defining governance

Once you have the vision and the plan, it is important to assign roles, tasks, and responsibilities to the different people in the organization. This defines the framework or structure for making the right decisions necessary for the proper management and implementation of change. When people know their respective roles and responsibilities, it aids in the proper implementation of change.

  1. Leadership

It goes without saying that no structure can ever function without a leader. It is for this reason that you also need to establish leadership roles within the organization when assigning tasks and responsibilities to the members. Not only should you assign people in leadership roles at the top, but also throughout the organization to manage the implementation of change and keep the process stable.

The people chosen for the leadership roles should be responsible, committed to the task, and be able to lead by example. Others in the team must be inspired by them to come on board.

  1. Keeping stakeholders updated

All stakeholders of the organization, including employees, must be kept updated during the change management process. This is necessary if you need the support and commitment of the stakeholders of the organization. There should be open lines of communication, not merely for exchange of information, but also for expressing concerns and opinions. Employees should feel like a part of the process and not be kept in the dark about anything.

When everyone is made to feel part of the change management process, they will warm up to the process more quickly, and make things move faster and more efficiently. You can say this about Transformers 4. It was different than the previous three Transformers movies (no US military involvement, different main characters, new Transformers characters, and so on) but still a success nonetheless. The stakeholders signed off on this plan, orchestrated by Michael Bay and his team.

  1. Reviewing the process

During the change management, it is necessary to constantly review the process. It is critical to measure whether the implementation of change is successful, and by the proper review at every step, it is possible to avoid more expensive mistakes later. There are different types of means to review the process. The review and assessment process can be either formal or informal, but the goal should to be address any issue or concern quickly, and always get proper feedback at each step, to make sure the change implementation process is working.

  1. Address concerns

While implementing the change process, it is necessary to understand how it is affecting the workplace and the employees. Any concerns or worries they may have must be addressed. It helps to find out if the change is having any negative emotional impact on the people of the organization. For the successful management of change, everyone must feel positive about the process.

The success of any organization depends on the willingness of the employees to accept change. Organizations need to make employees aware of the need of the change for success. SAP provides enterprises with the proper solution to manage and implement change.