How to define change!

Social and Traditional media offers lot of wisdom on Change management. Few well-defined methodologies (Prosci, APMG) are available to help delivering change as well. However, there does not seems to be a lot of success on delivering change. So, why is that we find it difficult to delivering and accepting change?

I don’t think there is any simple answer for it. However, one of the major reasons is that often we fail at the first step of delivering change. That is, we do not define change.

Change is a complex business. Change have multiple facets/attributes. Some of which we can see and explain, other comes to us as surprise. Before planning for delivering change, it is important that we define a 3-D model of change and understand all the various attributes of change.

There are some more reasons for defining change. Here is a list for you:

  • Change definition helps to develop common understanding of change among Change management team members.
  • It helps to develop change strategy.
  • It helps to develop change implementation plans.
  • It helps to develop custom communications for different groups (Winners, Losers etc.)
  • Change definition is based on facts and analysis. Therefore, it acts a source of truth throughout project implementation.
  • It prompts Change management teams to find facts and do necessary analysis to facilitate change

Now we know importance of defining change. Let us see how we can define change:

I suggest, using following Change Definition Table (CDT).

Change Definition Table (CDT)
Change Definition Table (CDT)

Now let us define change with help of example:

Let’s assume that local government has passed plan to build a new bridge in busy area within city. We have been asked to develop change management plan for project implementation.

Using table above and doing some analysis (which I am making assumptions here) we can define change as:

Change definition: A bridge is planned to be built between ‘Rock’ street and ‘Star’ street. It will be 1 KM long and allow four lanes. Following are the attributes of change:

CDT example
CDT example

I hope you find this useful!

So, what about you? Have you defined change before? Which tools have you used? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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