The Change Management Plan

The key to any organizational change is to plan for and manage the change and the associated transition effectively. This entails developing a change management plan that addresses the human side of change. The mere existence of such a plan can send an important message throughout the organization that management cares about the people in the organization and will listen and take their needs and issues seriously (Bridges 1991). Depending on the size and impact of the change initiative, the change management plan can be an informal or formal document; however, the project team and sponsor should address and be clear on several important areas. These areas are summarized in Figure 11.3, and provide a framework for the developing a change management plan discussed in this section.

Assess Willingness, Readiness, and Ability to Change

The first step to developing a change management plan is to assess the organization's willingness, readiness, and ability to change. This assessment entails defining who the players or stakeholders involved in the change will be, their roles, and how they will interact with each other (Davidson 2002). Conner (1995) defines several roles or players involved in a change initiative: the sponsor, change agents, and targets.

Sponsor The sponsor can be an individual or group that has the willingness and power, in terms of authority and making resources available, to support the project. Although this person or group is often the project sponsor, an initiating sponsor may hand off the project to a sustaining sponsor. More specifically, after making the decision to fund and support the project, the initiating sponsor may become completely removed from the project. Without the support of a sustaining sponsor, the project will eventually lose steam and direction. Therefore, the sustaining sponsor must become the primary sponsor for the project. A major portion of the organization's ability and willingness to support the change rests with the sponsor's commitment to the project and

Assess willingness, readiness, and ability to change

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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