Free Clip from Change Management: Getting Started - Defining Change Management

[PHOTO] - Kevin Miller

Posted by Kevin Miller
Updated:  October 13, 2022
Released:  August 19, 2020

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This course was published via Pluralsight.

Let's get started with defining what change management is and why it is important. Prior to a change, you are in what is known as the current state. It is how things are at the time a change is initiated. The current state is the status quo. It's the starting point.

For example, think about an oven in a restaurant that takes 10 minutes to cook a meal and is large enough to cook 2 meals at a time. This may be fine for years. As the restaurant gains more customers, though, the oven is going to limit how many meals can be served at any given time. Currently, our fictional restaurant can serve 12 meals per hour, but what happens when 20 people show up for lunch? No business owner wants to turn customers away. Clearly, something needs to improve.

After verifying there is enough seating, staff, and food in the building, the restaurant owner realizes the oven is the limiting factor to how many people can be served in a short timeframe and purchases a new oven that takes only 5 minutes to cook a meal and is large enough to cook 3 meals at a time. Now, the restaurant can serve up to 36 people per hour, triple capacity.

The improvement is known as the benefit of a change. It's what every business owner is chasing when they decide to change something. It is the reason for a change. In this example, the benefit is quantitative and measurable. But benefits can also be qualitative and non‑measurable. Simply purchasing and installing the new oven though does not provide the benefit. Serving 36 customers per hour is possible with the new oven. But if the chefs don't know how to properly use it, they may not even be able to serve the 12 customers per hour that the old oven afforded them. Without any training or practice time on the new oven, stress is quickly going to pile up on the chefs because they want to succeed, but don't know how. With training on the new oven and even a little bit of practice time, the chefs will have the skills needed for the restaurant to realize the benefit of purchasing the new oven.

Once the benefit is realized, only then have you reached the future state, which is an improvement over the current state. The transition from the current state to the future state is how we define a change.

Now, it would be great if every chef was excited about the new oven and wanted to learn how to use it right away. Unfortunately, even with advanced training and some practice time, some chefs may still not want to use the new oven. Some may be afraid of failing since they knew every little detail about the old oven and were efficient in using it, even though they complained about it every day about it being too slow. Others may be close to retirement and simply not want to make the effort to learn anything new. Some of the unhappy chefs will say they are going to use the new oven, but fall back to using the old oven when no one is looking. And unfortunately, some may even quit their job to go work at a different restaurant that has the same old oven they are familiar with.

Change management addresses all of these scenarios and more because change management is all about managing the people side of change. In order to reach the future state where the benefit of the change is realized, the chefs need to change the way they think and behave. I already discussed how they will need to learn the controls of the new oven and practice their new skills. But they will also need to change their approach to preparing meals, since the new oven will cook them faster, and they won't want to burn the food by leaving it in for too long. They will also need to embrace that they can now serve more customers in the same amount of time.

While at first, having a new, faster oven may just seem like it creates more work, the restaurant's increased growth as a result of the new work could mean more job security, more opportunity for advancement, and higher salaries for all of the chefs. It could also mean the restaurant does not go out of business since it's able to keep up with the competition.

In the end, the chefs may not even have more work to do if the restaurant decides to add a couple of new chefs to the team to keep up with the increased demand. Adoption of the change is what is needed to realize the benefits and make it to the future state. Adoption occurs when people accept the new way of working and demonstrate their buy in with their actions.

This course was published via Pluralsight.

Free Clips

Free clip #1:  Defining Change Management

Free clip #2:  Change Management for the Individual

Free clip #3:  Benefits of Getting Certified

Free clip #4:  CCMP vs. PMP

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