Change management is an important part of the corporate culture today and project managers should be ready for it. Projects around us are changing and project managers are often found wanting when it comes to how they can handle this change.
As managers and employees in this changing era, the primary measures you can take to adapt to and be ready for change include:
• Becoming aware of your situation
• Understanding the true meaning of change and how it inspires you
• Building your skill and knowledge set for the future
We explore these points in greater detail within this article. Stay with us as we look at the processes of change management and what project managers can do.
Becoming Aware of Your Current Situation
A big part of change management for supervisors and managers is to become aware of their current situation. What is currently going on in your organization? If you don’t know, it is about time that you find out about it and take the steps necessary to inculcate change within the workplace.
Relevant ideas and questions to help you take the research process and pace forward include:
1. What is the mission of your specific department, organization or unit? Supervisors and project managers need to begin their analysis of the current situation by answering this question first. The very first thing to clarify is your department’s or unit’s mission. Concrete steps toward change can only be undertaken once the mission is clear.
2. What is the purpose of your job? As supervisors and managers, we contribute to the organization in one way or another. The job has a specific purpose, which should be identified and understood here.
3. What are your key assignments and responsibilities? Again, supervisors should take their understanding of the job’s purpose forward by studying the key responsibilities and assignments that come under their supervision. An understanding of these responsibilities can significantly enhance results.
4. What does your supervisor expect from you? As employees, and even as managers, we mostly have supervisors and higher-ups keeping an eye on us. These supervisors expect a certain deal from all members.
5. What obstacles stand in the way of change? Organizations and the employees within them should identify all obstacles in the way and come up with a clear strategy to remove these hurdles and build a clear path to success.
6. What resources are present at your disposal? The basic economic problem of limited resources and unlimited wants still stands true today and should be mitigated before proper change management. Understand the resources you have and take the query of wants forward from there.
7. What changes are coming? Finally, you should ask yourself the all-important question of what changes are coming your way? This answer helps you determine the management endeavor and adapt to change along with your team.
The inability to answer questions like these should be a warning for most department managers to do their homework. As managers and supervisors, you are in a very strategic position in the change management process. The inability to do your homework can significantly reduce the efficiency of change.
Instead, this is the time for supervisors and managers to look into their fears and broaden the information they have to explore a number of new ideas. By increasing their awareness of change, managers can practice a distinct advantage over others who have isolated themselves.
Compare your reaction toward change to that of a small child’s reaction to thunder. You might ignore change as it comes your way, but a small child may feel anxious and can seek assurance from the adult sitting them.
It is a basic human trait to fear the unknown, as confidence only comes from understanding the phenomenon and the intricacies behind it. From your learning and experiences as an adult, you now realize that thunder is a natural event that does not harm you.
Is your department in the process of being reorganized? Are you a bit worried about how that might impact you? These reactions are totally natural. But do not fall victim to speculations, inclinations or rumors that make you assume the worst. Wait for someone to explain the motive behind the reorganization and the specific changes that will result from it.
Flexibility toward change can make organizations stand out in the industry today. Organizations that fail to deal with change are unable to compete with other strong members in the industry. Project managers can have internal debates on this matter, but as a rule of thumb, organizations should appreciate technology and competition and also recognize that these two factors play an important role in business evaluation and reevaluation.
Adapting to change frequently requires an effective command over skills that matter in the industry today. In some cases, adapting to change will require you to learn a number of new skills that you do not yet have command over. As employees and managers, we cannot stop learning and updating our skills.
Employees should take the responsibility to educate themselves and also to remain current and up to date with changing trends. This information will help update their skill sets and will also demonstrate achievement and a push toward self-improvement.
We hope you have a better understanding of change management by now and can use this information to improve the overall performance of your project team.