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Learner Resource


Lead and manage organisational change


Precision Group (Australia)

Level 13, 269 Wickham St, Fortitude Valley 4006

Email: [email protected]


© 2020 Precision Group (Australia)

BSBLDR601 – Lead and manage organisational change (Release 1)

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Version Control & Document History


Summary of modifications


23 November 2020

Version 1 final produced following assessment validation.


Table of Contents

About the Business Services Training Package

The BSB Business Services Training Package covers a diverse range of industries and occupations. Business Services covers a range of cross-industry functions and services supporting the commercial activities of all industries.

Defining Qualifications

When units of competency are grouped into combinations that meet workplace roles, they are called qualifications. These qualifications are aligned to the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF). Each qualification will have ‘packaging rules’ which establish the number of core units, number and source of elective units and overall requirements for delivering the qualification.

Delivery and Assessment of Qualifications

RTOs must have the qualifications (or specific units of competency) on their scope to deliver nationally recognised training and assessment. RTOs are governed by and must comply with the requirements established by applicable national frameworks and standards. RTOs must ensure that training and assessment complies with the relevant standards.

Qualification Training Pathways

A pathway is the route or course of action taken to get to a destination. A training pathway is the learning required to attain the competencies to achieve career goals. Everyone has different needs and goals, and therefore requires a personalised and individual training pathway.

Foundation Skills

Foundation Skills are the non-technical skills that support the individual’s participation in the workplace, in the community and in education and training.

Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF)

This Assessment meets the five ACSF core skills as described in the Foundation Skills mapping.

About this Unit of Competency

BSBLDR601 – Lead and manage organisational change

This unit standard BSBLDR601 Lead and Manage Organisational Change covers the skills and knowledge required to lead and manage organisational change.

This unit applies to managers with responsibilities that extend across the organisation or significant parts of a large organisation. They may have a dedicated role in human resources management, workforce development, or work in a strategic policy or planning area.

This Learner Resource is broken up into three elements. These include:

Develop change management strategy

Implement change management strategy

Evaluate change management strategy

At the end of this training, you will be asked to complete an assessment pack for this unit of competency. You will need to access a supervisor, a manager, or your assessor who can observe you perform project or workplace tasks and verify your competency or performance.

On competent completion of the assessment, you must have demonstrated skills and knowledge required to lead and manage organisational change.

Chapter 1: Develop Change Management Strategy

Change is inevitable. It will happen and is bound to happen soon enough. The same goes for any business organisation.

Leading and managing organisational change can be divided into three phases. Developing change management strategy is the first of the three phases.

In business organisations, you cannot implement projects blindly. It requires the identification of the major operational change requirements. This is where organisational objectives, performance gaps, business opportunities or threats, and management decisions are probed and examined in line with the change that is to be implemented.

As a final step in developing the change management strategy, stakeholders, specialists, and experts will be consulted, confirming the change management opportunities and process.

1.1 Identify Major Operational Change Requirements According to Organisational Objectives, Performance Gaps, Business Opportunities or Threats, and Management Decisions

Organisational change is both the process by which an organisation changes its structure, strategies, operational methods, technologies, or organisational culture to affect change within the organisation and the effects of these changes on the organisation. Organisational change can be continuous or occur for distinct periods.

Organisational change is an essential concept to understand in this complex world. It is an important issue in organisations and is actually a process in which an organisation optimises performance as it works toward its ideal state.

Organisational change occurs as a reaction to an ever-changing environment, a response to a current crisis, or is triggered by a leader. Successful organisational change is not merely a process of adjustment, but also requires sufficient managing capabilities. However, many issues need addressing to achieve successful change.

In an organisational sense, change management to effectively implement new methods and systems is an ongoing task. The changes to be managed lie within and are controlled by the organisation.

Organisations should place high importance in ensuring that organisational change, when required, is implemented in a timely and professional manner. Where organisational change is implemented correctly, the benefits include:

It is imperative that the work area understands that organisational change is about allowing employees to influence the decision maker through a consultative process.

There are many reasons for initiating organisational change. Any business in today’s fast-moving environment that is looking for the pace of change to slow down is likely to be sorely disappointed. In fact, businesses should embrace change. Change is important for any organisation because, without change, businesses would likely lose their competitive edge and fail to meet the needs of what most hope to be a growing base of loyal customers.

Organisations must constantly review their systems, work practices, suppliers, and other elements of the business in an attempt to improve their ‘bottom line’. By keeping their practices current, they can capitalise on opportunities or manage threats more quickly and with better outcomes.

When reviewing different aspects of the organisation, it is important to follow any established processes set by your organisation to gather information and analyse current structures.

Further Reading

A sample of a continuous improvement policy and procedures is available on the simulated business website Bounce Fitness. You may read further on how to identify major change requirements in the document linked below:

Continuous Improvement Policy and Procedures

The review process generally begins by examining the strategic plans related to the following areas:


Without change, business leaders still would be dictating correspondence to secretaries, editing their words, and sending them back to the drawing board, wasting time for all involved. Change that results from the adaptation of new technology is common in most organisations. While it can be disruptive at first, ultimately, the change tends to increase productivity and service.

Technology also has affected how to communicate. No longer do businesspeople dial a rotary phone, get a busy signal, and try again and again until they get through. No longer do they have to laboriously contact people, in person, to find out about other people who might be useful resources — they can search for experts online through search engines as well as through social media sites. Today’s burgeoning communication technology represents changes that allow organisations to learn more, more quickly, than ever before.

Customer Needs

Customers who were satisfied with conventional ovens many years ago are sometimes impatient with the microwave today. As the world evolves, customer needs change and grow, creating demand for new types of products and services — and opening up new opportunities for organisations to meet those needs.

The Economy

The economy can impact organisations in both positive and negative ways, and both can be stressful. A strong economy and increasing demand for products and services will mean that organisations must consider expansion that might involve hiring additional staff and locating new facilities. These changes offer opportunities for staff, but also represent new challenges. A weak economy can create even more problems as organisations find themselves needing to make difficult decisions that can impact employees’ salaries and benefits and even threaten their jobs. The ability to manage both ends of the spectrum is critical for organisations that want to maintain a strong brand and strong relationships with customers as well as employees.

Growth Opportunities

Change is important in organisations to allow employees to learn new skills, explore new opportunities, and exercise their creativity in ways that ultimately benefit the organisation through new ideas and increased commitment. Preparing employees to deal with these changes involves an analysis of the tools and training required to help them learn new skills. Training can be provided through traditional classroom settings or, increasingly, through online learning opportunities. Importantly, organisations need to do a good job of evaluating employees’ capabilities and then taking steps to fill the gaps between current skills and the skills required to respond to growth.

Challenging the Status Quo

Simply asking the question ‘Why?’ can lead to new ideas and innovations that can directly impact the bottom line. Organisations benefit from change that results in new ways of looking at customer needs, new ways of delivering customer service, new ways of strengthening customer interactions, and new products that might attract new markets. New employees joining an organisation are especially valuable because they can often point to areas of opportunity for improvement that those who have been long involved in the organisation might have overlooked. But even existing employees should be encouraged to question why things are done a certain way and look for new ways to get work done faster, better, and with higher levels of quality and service.

1.1.1 Analysing the Organisational Objectives

Organisational objectives are the overall goals, purpose, and mission of a business that have been established by management and communicated to employees. The organisational objectives of an organisation typically focus on its long-range intentions for operating and its overall business philosophy that can provide useful guidance in change initiatives.

An analysis is a type of research designed to produce a look at what is and what could be. Organisational analysis specifically examines the current state of an organisation’s operational and structural framework and productivity indicators such as rates of production.

Four key areas of organisational analysis exist, each with its own objectives:


The objective of productivity analysis is to analyse efficiency and production by directly correlating the outcome of a product or service to the overall business operation. This type of analysis determines everything involved in the production. A version of this is historical analysis, which examines productivity in relation to a previous period’s operation. Productivity analysis is most useful for service providers or organisations involved in producing a hard product.


The objective of an efficiency analysis is to determine whether an organisation is conducting operations in the safest but quickest manner. The results of this analysis may result in an organisation identifying areas of excess, which could eliminate and save costly overheads. Organisations that conduct a thorough efficiency analysis or make this one of the objectives of an overall study, usually find ways to improve speed, time management and workload management.

Further Reading

A sample document containing business objectives is available on the simulated business website Bounce Fitness. You may read further about the subject by clicking the link below.

Business Objectives and KPI

1.1.2 Analysing Performance Gaps

Organisational gap analysis is a process by which a business or organisation identifies ways to improve performance. The ‘gap’ is what exists between present performance and a standard model or benchmark set by a similar organisation. Each organisation uses a variety of tools to make comparisons. Some tools involve self-assessment, and others use outside parties to conduct an organisational gap analysis.

Some examples of aspects of an organisation that can reveal important gaps can be found below:

Skills Gap

Analysing the performance of the organisation may reveal a gap in employee skills. When the organisation uses the review to compare its performance to that of a similar organisation, it can identify best practices for increasing employee performance. Closing the gap requires developing a plan to bring employees’ skill levels up to or higher than those in the organisation used for comparison.

Customer Service Gap

Survey research is one way to identify a gap between the organisation and its competitors. For example, the organisation can survey its various stakeholders, including employees, suppliers, investors, and customers, to evaluate the level of customer service it provides. When the organisation compares its rate of customer satisfaction with that of similar competitors, it can create a plan for closing the gap between its present level of service and a higher target level. The plan must include specific ways in which employees will individually and collectively increase the rate of customer satisfaction.


Another key aspect of the organisation that can reveal an important gap is its organisational climate. Through assessment of managers and employees, as well as people outside the organisation, the organisation can identify the quality of the work environment. A study might include items such as employee empowerment, employee perception of management, the competitiveness of compensation and benefits, and general working conditions. When gaps are found between the climate of the organisation and that of other similar organisations, the management and employees can work together to develop ways to improve the working environment. Satisfied employees produce better results, and turnover decreases when the organisational environment improves.


The organisation may study in-depth on how successful its managers are at leading employees toward the achievement of short-term and long-term objectives. Finding out what employees and managers think assists in identifying any gaps between what people believe is possible and what outcomes are achieved. Comparing evaluations of managerial effectiveness over time also suggests managerial approaches that worked better in the past, and these practices might be considered again. Comparing the organisation’s level of managerial effectiveness with a standard or another organisation may reveal specific management issues that require immediate attention.

Technological Resources

Organisations must stay technologically current. A review may identify this as a gap, and the organisational response must be to either hire expertise or use current staff (if qualified) to bridge that gap.

1.1.3 Analysing Business Opportunities and Threats

Another factor that helps in identifying major operational change requirements is the analysis of opportunities and threats. Business opportunities refer to the external factors that give your business organisation the push to achieve the organisational change that you want to implement. Business threats, on the other hand, are the factors that present a potential harm to the changes you want to implement in your organisation.

Opportunities and threats are both external factors, which mean that you, in your role, do not have the capacity to control them. You can, however, mitigate these factors given enough foresight and planning. This is where the SWOT analysis will come into play which will be discussed in the next section.

1.1.4 Identifying Change Requirements Based on Management Decisions

Every major operational organisational change is ultimately based on management decisions. Without the management’s approval, nothing can be done. An organisation’s action needs to be cohesive and streamlined; when the change is to be implemented, management needs to make sure that everyone in the organisation is on the same page. The likelihood of success starts with management decisions and how management decides to proceed with the implementation of the change.

In this part of the unit, decisions have already been made by management which are relevant to the operational change they may have requested for the change themselves, or a decision made by them necessitated an operational change or affected a change already in progress.

Some examples when management decides that change management is necessary are in:

In order to identify the change requirements, the top management would have carefully considered the internal and external factors wherein the organisation belongs. ‘Organizational change is not stimulated by pressure from the environment, resulting in a set of problems that trigger an automatic reply, but the perception of key factors on the environment.’ (Kanter et al., 2003)

To identify the change requirements, you must be able to answer three basic questions:

The first and second question can easily be answered with the change planned to implement and they usually have to be implemented the soonest possible time. The third question is dependent on the factors that affect the organisation. Internal factors include:

The organisation’s employees

The existing organisational factor

The informational system

The quality of management

The organisational culture

External factors, on the other hand, include:

Economic factors

Political factors

Legislative factors

Technical and technological factors

Management factors

Socio-cultural factors

To effectively identify the change requirements, you have to go through each of the factors and determine how to align the existing process with the goal. You can also consult with top management since they may have valuable insights and opinions as to how the change should and could be implemented.

As the manager with a dedicated role in significant departments and whose responsibilities extend across the organisation, your task is to identify the change requirements within your work role so that said change requirements can effectively be implemented later on. Remember that the top management has already decided that organisational change will be implemented and that a plan has already been made or is in the making. Your role is to help the change along. To do this, you have to look at the big picture what the organisational changes aim to do and determine the role you play in it. If, for example, the organisational change is to implement new technology and you have a dedicated role in human resources management, requirements within your work role will involve but are not limited to, determining the people who will be involved in the training. If you have a big workforce, you might have to train in batches. Other requirements will most likely include determining the trainer and coordinating with other organisation departments to make sure that all supplies and equipment needed for the training will be available.

1.1.5 Planning the Change Management Project Plan

Organisational change cannot happen overnight. There must be a plan to make the transition as seamless as possible. A Change Management Project Plan helps make this transition easier while ensuring that requirements budget, schedule, scope, communication, and resources remain within control.

A Change Management Project Plan is a combination of two key concepts: project management and change management. Project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet project requirements while change management is the part that manages the people change of the process in order to achieve the required business outcome. Overall, the plan aims to minimise the impact that the change can have on the business, employees, customers, and other key stakeholders.

The process for writing the Change Management Project Plan can be summarised as follows:

Explain the reason for the change.

One of the biggest barriers to organisational change is the people in your team and your organisation. Explaining the reason for change will help set the groundwork for an easier transition. If people have a clear understanding of the reason for the change and the impacts it will bring, then people will be more likely to support the change.

Determine the scope.

The scope is the part of the change management project plan that lists what needs to be achieved and the work that must be done to deliver the project plan. It defines the boundaries of the project and forms the basis for every decision you will be making throughout its eventual implementation.

Thus, a scope document should be set out so that it covers each of the following:

Identify stakeholders and the change management team.

Stakeholders are any persons that have a stake in the organisational change. In order to make the organisational change possible, there needs to be a team to implement it. The composition of the team is vital. The management team identifies the people impacted by the change and how they are expected to adapt. The team also addresses the concerns to make the change transition as smooth as can be.

Roles in the management team must be clearly defined, outlining each member’s responsibility. A Change Advisory Board (CAB) may also be established to focus on the organisational change – overseeing the changes and offering change approvals and guidance.

Clarify the expected benefits.

By clarifying the benefits that the organisational change hopes to achieve, the people in the organisation and the stakeholders will have a better understanding of why the organisational change needs to happen. Hence, there would be less resistance to change.

Outline the milestones.

Milestones are actionable steps that lead to your main goal. In the context of this unit, the goal is implementing the desired organisational change in a seamless manner. By breaking your management plan into smaller chunks, you and your team will be able to keep track of every phase and immediately spot shortcomings like crossed deadlines.

When you sit down and look at your project, it is usually quite overwhelming. You have a huge task to undertake, and initially, you are unsure of how to set about doing it. By breaking down the project into smaller tasks, you can get to grips with what actually needs to be done. Milestones give the management team direction.

Create the Change Management Project Plan.

This step basically means putting your plan to paper. The Change Management Project Plan is mainly composed of three parts.

The first one is scope, where the key deliverables and exclusions are detailed. This is where information on what needs to be achieved and how to achieve them can be found. This was also discussed in the second point for the process for writing Change Management Project Plan.

Second, are roles and responsibilities. This is the part where the change management team identifies the people impacted by the change and how they are expected to adapt. This also details the members of the change management team and the key stakeholders for the project. This was discussed in the third point for the process for writing Change Management Project Plan.

Finally, there is the communication strategy. This is the part where the communication strategy for change is detailed. This contains the protocols and templates for how to communicate change. It also includes information on how to report progress and issues that might arise.

Examples of communication strategies are the following:

Email Blasts

This is the strategy of sending a single email to a large distribution list. In the context of this unit, you can send an email or a series of emails detailing the organisational change. It is a quick method, but the downside is that it can also be impersonal.

Town hall Meetings

Town hall meetings are public meetings or events conducted with the aim of providing open dialogues between the ‘town officials’ which is the management of the business organisation and the ‘citizens’ or employees. These meetings are perfect opportunities for an in-depth discussion of the organisational changes planned to be implemented.

Feedback Sessions

Feedback is information about the reaction to planned organisational changes. Feedback sessions are set meetings with the aim of getting what the employees’ thoughts are about the organisational change. This way, plans can be changed, and barriers can be mitigated.

Telling staff what’s in it for them

To effectively communicate change, you must tackle what staff members care about and value. You must explain to employees what they can look forward to, as well as to set their expectations regarding the effects of the change taking place.

Establish formal consultation process

This means involving team members in the planning and decision-making processes to make them feel included and part of the change. This includes, scheduling briefings, staff conversations or process meeting to allow open dialogue regarding the change and capture the staff’s insights regarding the change.

1.1.6 Change Management Processes and Cycles

When changes happen in the workplace, your team will go through processes and cycles to help them adapt to these changes. Processes refer to a series of procedural steps taken to complete a task or an event. Cycles, on the other hand, refer to a repetitive series of events that happens over a definite (e.g. life cycle) or indefinite (e.g. cash cycle) period of time.

In the context of change management, there is Kotter’s 8-Step Change Process which you can use to facilitate change. The process includes the following steps:

Create a sense of urgency.

Your team will be able to adapt to change easier if they want the incoming changes. Create a sense of urgency around the need for change to motivate your team. To do this, you can:

Identify any potential threats and develop contingency plans

Analyse opportunities that your team can use to their advantage

Facilitate discussions among your team about decisions regarding the changes

Ask for support from external stakeholders (clients, suppliers, business partners)

Build a guiding coalition.

Network with people that can help you lead change in the workplace. To do this, you can:

Identify both internal (supervisory employees) and external (clients, suppliers, business partners) key stakeholders

Work on team building within your network

Check your team for areas of improvement

Ensure that your team is comprised of diverse people from different departments and levels within your organisation

Form a vision for change.

Note down ideas and solutions relevant to the incoming changes in your processes. Link all these concepts to an overall vision to help your team easily understand and remember what these changes should bring. To do this, you can:

Identify the values that are significant to the change

Develop a summary (in one or two sentences) that captures your vision for the future

Create a strategy to carry out your vision

Ensure that your coalition can describe your vision in no more than five minutes

Practise your speech detailing your vision

Communicate your vision.

When communicating your vision, do not just conduct meetings. Talk about your vision every chance you get. Use your vision daily for decision-making and problem-solving. If your vision is fresh on everyone’s minds, they will remember it and respond to it.

In addition, it is important for you to demonstrate the kind of behaviour you want from others. Leading by example will help your team respond to your vision. To do this, you can:

Speak about your change vision often

Address the concerns and anxieties of your team openly and honestly

Apply your vision to every aspect of your operations (e.g. from training to performance reviews)

Role model desirable behaviours to your team

Remove obstacles and barriers.

Consider any barriers (e.g. resistance to change, poor communication practices, etc.) that may arise. Put your change management plan into motion and continually check for obstacles and barriers. Removing these obstacles and barriers can motivate your team and change coalition. To do this, you can:

Determine leaders whose main roles are to deliver the change

Study your organisation’s structure and systems to ensure that they are aligned with your vision

Recognise and reward people for making change happen

Identify people that resist the change and seek and offer ways to help them

Take action to swiftly remove obstacles and barriers

Create short-term wins.

Short-term targets are attainable and can motivate your team. Your team may need to work hard to come up with short-term targets, but each success from achieving these targets shows progress and can further motivate your team. To do this, you can:

Look out for sure-fire projects that you can implement without help from detractors of the change

Avoid early short-term targets that are expensive

Ensure to thoroughly study the potential advantages and disadvantages of your targets; failure to achieve an early short-term goal can hurt your change program

Build on the change.

Your short-term targets are only the beginning of what needs to be done to attain long-term change. Look for areas of improvement within these short-term targets. Each success you have provides an opportunity to build on what went right and determine what needs to be improved. To do this, you can:

After achieving each short-term target, study what went right and what needs improvement

Set goals to continue building on what you have achieved

Take note of ideas for continuous improvement

Bring in new change agents and leaders for your change coalition to keep ideas new and fresh

Anchor the change.

To ensure that changes are seen in every aspect of your organisation’s processes, you must make continuous efforts. These efforts will help give the changes a solid place in your organisation’s culture. To do this, you can:

Discuss your progress whenever you can

Include change ideals and values when hiring and training new staff

Give public recognition to the key members of your change coalition and ensure that the rest of the staff remembers their contributions

Develop plans to replace key leaders of change as they move on; this will help ensure that their contributions are remembered

When change is in place, your team may undergo through the Denial-Resistance-Exploration-Commitment (DREC) curve. The DREC curve is a cycle that describes the four stages that most individuals go through as they adjust to change. These stages are as follows:


At this stage, this is when the reality of the change hits. Your team needs information and time to adjust and understand what is happening. Communication is key during this stage; make sure to communicate often but take care not to overwhelm your team.

Your team will only be able to take a limited amount of information at a time. Let your team know where they can go to for more information if needed and take the time to answer their questions.


Your team may start to resist change through concern, anger, resentment, or fear. This resistance can be active or passive, and if badly managed, crises or chaos may ensue. To avoid that, you must plan and prepare carefully by considering the impacts and objections that your team may have.

Ensure to address these impacts and objections early with clear communication and by taking action to mitigate these problems. Take care to listen and watch your team carefully during this stage so that you can respond to any unexpected problems.


In this stage, your team is starting to adapt by accepting and exploring what the change means. Your team will be able to explore easier if you provide them with help and support, such as giving them ample time to accept change.

In addition, you can provide training and opportunities for your team to experience what the changes will bring. Know that your team will not be able to be completely productive during this stage, so allow them time to adjust.


During this stage, your team fully accepts the changes and improvements to their processes. Your team becomes productive with these changes, and its positive effects become more apparent. Support your team during this stage by celebrating their acceptance of the change as a success.

Activity 1

Matching activity. Connect the category to the group of concepts it is associated with.



Communication Strategies


Customer needs

The economy

Organisational Gap Analysis



Technological Resources

Review Process

Determine the scope

Clarify the expected benefits

Outline the milestones

Organisational Change Benefits

Email blasts

Town hall meetings

Feedback sessions

Change Management Plan

Greater employee participation

Better informed decision-making

Minimal loss of productivity

1.2 Assess Risks and Opportunities Presented by Operational Change Requirements

Business risks refer to the possibility of something bad happening that might compromise the implementation of the organisational changes. Risks are anything that threatens your business organisation’s ability and capability to achieve the organisational change desired. Opportunities, on the other hand, refer to the external factors that give your business organisation the push to achieve the organisational change that you want to implement.

Every business organisation has external and internal factors that influence the business. These external and internal factors work together and influence each other making up the business environment.

The internal environment refers to those factors that are within the business organisation’s control – events, people, systems, structures, and conditions.

The external environment, on the other hand, is factors outside the control of the business organisation that affect or influence the organisation. This includes customers, competition, the economy, technology, politics and societal expectations, and resources. Assessing external environment starts with the review of strategic objectives.

1.2.1 Analysing the Internal Environment

Processes for analysing internal environment include the Risk Analysis and the Cost-Benefit Analysis.

Risk Analysis

In leading and managing organisational change, one process that is essential in the planning stage is the risk analysis. Risk Analysis is the process of identifying and analysing the potential issues that could negatively impact your organisational change. By doing this, risks can be mitigated, if not avoided.

In risk analysis, the process of identifying possible issues, such as barriers to change, is at the centre of the action.

Barriers to change include the following:

To properly do a risk analysis, creating a Risk Register is highly recommended. A Risk Register is a tool that acts as a repository for all risks identified, including additional information about each risk so that mitigation strategies can be implemented.

Creating a Risk Register can be condensed into the following steps:

Step 1: Identify the proposed organisational change’s goals.

The goals will be your guide in making your Organisational Change Project Plan. All actions and decisions must be geared towards its fulfilment.

Step 2: Identify the core process in order to reach the goal.

Break down your goals into actional items or step-by-step actions. Looking at the organisational change as a whole can be a daunting task but breaking them down into smaller steps will make the whole project doable.

Step 3: Determine the key activities per core process.

Break down the core process into more specific action items. The question you need to answer is ‘What are the necessary actions in order to achieve the core process?’

Step 4: Identify the risks or challenges per core process.

Now that you have your core process and action items identified, you can now identify the risks more effectively and efficiently. Go through the action items one at a time and think of all the risks and challenges that might hinder or threaten its fulfilment.

Through the use of problem-solving skills, you can effectively identify potential risks. You can use your research skills to find gaps in the organisational change as well. Your intuition, experience, and emotional intelligence will also come in handy when identifying the risks. Part of identifying the risks is identifying the barriers to change.

Step 5: Rate the risks identified according to Likelihood (L), Consequence (C), Risk rating (R), and Priority Level (P).

For every risk identified, rate them according to the likelihood of occurrence, the impact of the consequence should the risk happen, the risk rating which is the overall impact to the project, and the priority level in terms of mitigating or correcting the risk.

For rating the likelihood, consequence, and risk rating, you can assign numbers 0 – 5 with 0 as least priority and 5 as the highest. For priority level, you can devise a different coding that is more apt.

You can refer to the Risk Register Sample and the Risk Rating Guide on the succeeding pages.

Step 6: Determine a Mitigation Plan for each risk.

To help make your decision-making more efficient, you can add a column in your Risk Register detailing your Mitigation Plan or Risk Mitigation Strategy for each risk.

Risk Register Sample

Risk Analysis


Risk Description

Initial Risk Rating

Mitigation Strategies





Example of a Risk

Description of the Risk





Describe mitigation strategy for the risk

Risk Rating Guide

Likelihood Scale






The event may occur in exceptional circumstances. Less than once in 2 years.



The event could occur at some time. At least once per year.



The event will probably occur at some time. At least once in 6 months.



The event will occur in most circumstances. At least once per month.



The event is expected to occur in all circumstances. At least once per week.

Consequence Scale






No Injuries. Low financial loss. Financial loses less than $1000



First-aid treatment. Financial losses between $1000 and $10,000



Medical treatment required. Financial losses between $10,000 and $50,000. Moderate environmental implications. Moderate loss of reputation. Moderate business interruption.



Excessive, multiple long-term injuries. Financial losses greater than $50,000. High environmental implications. Major loss of reputation. Major business interruption.



Single death


Multiple Fatalities

Multiple deaths and serious long-term injuries.

Risk Rating Matrix

















































Multiple Fatalities







Risk Priority Scale

Risk Rating

Risk Priority




No Risk: The costs to treat the risk are disproportionately high compared to the negligible consequences.

1 – 3


Low: May require consideration in any future changes to the work area or processes or can be fixed immediately.

4 – 6


Moderate: May require corrective action through planning and budgeting process.

8 – 12


High: Requires immediate corrective action.

15 – 25


Extreme: Requires immediate prohibition of the work process and immediate corrective action.

Once risks have been assessed, those risks that have been assessed as being unacceptable, or possibly unacceptable to management, will require the development of a risk mitigation strategy.

A risk mitigation strategy refers to the additional efforts that must be taken to lower the likelihood of the risk occurring and/or to minimise the impact if the risk did occur. Risk can never be totally eliminated, but it can be managed and mitigated to lessen the likelihood and/or impact.

Any risk mitigation strategy should include:

Change managers should integrate risk mitigation strategies into the design of their initiatives for those assumptions with the highest risk rating. This will require the reallocation of resources and will be important in understanding the level of risk tolerance.

Risk and Issue Management and Change Management

To facilitate in dealing with unforeseen events, a structured yet efficient and agile way to respond to problems as they arise must be developed. You need to categorise each issue according to its impact. This facilitates the identification of suitable responses, including the use of matrices or past lessons documenting the resolution of similar issues. The issue categories are:

Change Request

A formal request to change an approved (baseline) product or aspect of the project.


A non-forecasted discrepancy between a product or aspect of the project from their planned description.


Any other event that impacts the project.

Although issues can be managed in both a formal or informal way (depending on their nature, impact, and level of authority delegated to you), there are some instances where a formal procedure must be applied (change requests impacting baseline products, issues that are considered outside of your remit as per contractual agreements, policies, applicable standards).


The issue and change management procedure provides for the issue or change to be captured, categorised, and recorded in the issue log.


Following the identification of the issue, you must proceed to the priority and impact assessment to ascertain the effect the issue has had or will have on the project objectives and to verify whether this impact is an exceptional situation or whether it can be resolved within the delegated authority and the stage/project tolerances.


Following the impact assessment, you will find a suitable response before proposing it to the deciding authority.


Once a decision has been made on whether the response can be implemented, take any corrective actions planned and update any relevant documentation.

For major or complex issues, you might seek the help of external resources (i.e. stakeholders, specialists, experts) to deal with the issues. A possible change to the budget might be planned as part of the project budget to cover any unplanned corrective actions arising from an issue.

Exception Procedure

The ‘management by exception’ principle is always applicable and stipulates that you might carry out activities and take decisive actions provided the combined impact of the event, and its resolution is within the Project Manager’s (PM) own delegated authority level. Once this condition fails, the exception procedure must be used:

Identify the Exception

Issues, risks, stage assessments, external factors, changes in policies etc. can all cause a deviation from the forecasted objectives of the project. When this deviation takes the project outside the agreed tolerances (project, stage or even work package), an exception situation occurs.


Once recorded as an issue, proceed with the assessment of the causes and effects of the deviation on the projects, paying particular attention to the impact assessment on the business case, plans, resources, long term benefit realisation, and sustainability aspects. Once the impact analysis is done, appropriate solutions should be identified, and their impact on the project should also be assessed before recommendations are made.

Report Exception

When an actual or forecasted deviation from tolerance levels is identified, you should report it via an exception report to the project board outlining the reasons for the exception, the assessment of the impact, the possible solutions and your recommendation.

Plan Exception Stage

The project board will assess the report and make a decision on the most suitable solution proposed to provide a plan (an exception plan) outlining the implementation of the solution and the new outlook for the stage/products/objectives affected.

This request triggers the stage definition and planning process as you close the current stage at the moment of the identification of the exception and request an extra stage to be authorised (an exception stage) to replace the remaining unfinished stage.

Before the exception plan can be authorised, a control point will be required to assess the continued validity of the project and to update all the relevant documentation (paying particular attention to the business case and the project plan) to reflect the new outlook and to propose updated forecasts following the exception situation.

The exception plan must be submitted to and approved by the project board, as for a normal stage plan. Provided authorisation is granted, the stage control and product delivery process are triggered and the project proceeds according to the new plan.

Cost-Benefit Analysis

Another process that is vital for decision-making is the cost-benefit analysis. Cost-Benefit Analysis is a process whereby business organisations determine the value of intangibles. It is a way to evaluate potential costs, revenues, and other benefits or advantages that the business organisation might generate from the organisational change. The analysis provides business organisations with a clear overview of the issue being evaluated without being tainted by subjective opinion or bias. Once completed, the cost-benefit analysis will lead you to reasonable conclusions around the feasibility of a situation.

Each cost-benefit analysis must contain the following:

1.2.2 Analysing the External Environment

For a review of strategic objectives to be useful, it must have clearly defined objectives from the outset. These objectives will be most effective when aligned with the strategic aims of the organisation.

This essential linkage is illustrated below:

Review objectives will usually be derived by breaking strategic plan objectives down into delivery and operational objectives at the functional level. This process will often result in the setting of specific targets for improvement over a pre-defined time period. However, a review is not always about improvement. A valid objective may simply be to establish the relative position of an organisation as compared to its competitors on some level. This may provide reassurance to managers or directors about whether the current position is acceptable, or it may highlight a need for improvement if it is not.

Having identified the objectives of any review process, the next requirement is to investigate the context within which the objective is sought. This must include a thorough and honest self-appraisal of the organisation’s current position. The following questions may help guide such a self-appraisal:

What is your current state with regards to the objective?

What evidence is available to establish your starting point or baseline position?

What environmental factors may impact on your ability to meet the objective? Are these static or changing over time? The external environment may include factors that are:

It can also refer to factors which drive corporate sustainability, or which help a business transition from a production-based to a knowledge-based economy. Environmental scanning and awareness is an essential part of strategic planning. It may be the precursor to a review exercise when information suggests the need for investigation or action. The external environment affects every organisation because no organisation operates in a vacuum. Therefore, the external environment must be taken into account as decisions are made in regard to strategic planning.

The external environment can be divided into four main categories: the socio-cultural environment, the economic environment, the political-legal environment, and the technological environment. The four categories will be discussed in a later part of the section.

PESTLE and SWOT are tools that are used to determine the current status and position of a business in relation to their external environment and current role. They can be used as the basis for future planning and strategic management.

SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) Analysis

A SWOT analysis helps identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in a given situation so that you can effectively lead and manage organisational change. The SWOT Analysis will give you an overview of the situation before you implement any organisational change, allowing you to look at both internal and external factors that can have an impact on your business. This tool can help you examine the external factors which affect your business (that is, the opportunities and threats) as well as the internal factors (or your company’s strengths and weaknesses).

As you work through the tool and think about how you can use it, you will see that it is not just for looking at the business as a whole. It is also a starting point for developing strategies for sales teams, service departments, and individuals.


The best place to start is to analyse what your organisation or your team is good at. You want to take advantage of what you do well and build on it. You can use the following questions as a guide:

What is it that your organisation or team does better than anyone else in the industry?

What do your current customers see as a benefit they get from working with your organisation?

What strength does your current product line offer that your competitors cannot?

Do you have unique processes, products, or services that set you apart?

These are sample questions you may want to answer but try to come up with questions of your own. You want to ask about your unique selling point that you see as a strength or your ability to service your accounts with one day of service. When you are trying to uncover your strengths, ask others within your organisation to identify your strengths and do not forget to ask for help outside the organisation as well. Talk with your current customers and ask what they like about your organisation. Talk with vendors or anyone else that can help give you a clear picture of your organisations’ strengths.


Every organisation or team has weaknesses, and you need to identify them early and take action. It becomes a problem when you hope things will get better without taking action or the weaknesses will miraculously disappear. Your organisation and your team need to gain an understanding of why the weaknesses exist and look for ways to strengthen them. So, write them down.

What does the competition see as your biggest weakness?

What do your current customers see as a weakness in your style, product, or service?

What negative feedback have you received in terms of processes, products, and services?

What is it that you try to avoid?

Understanding your weaknesses provides you with a road map of the areas within your organisation you must work on, and areas that you must limit exposure to until they are strengthened. Remember that your strengths and weaknesses are both internal factors that you as a sales manager have direct control over. Once you understand what they are, take every action possible to build on your strengths and eliminate your weaknesses.


Opportunity is all around you, but in the hustle and bustle of day-to-day business, you often walk right past it. It can come when a competitor stumbles, a new technology appears, the perfect new manager walks past your door, or a new law impacts on your customers. So, take a look and see what opportunities exist.

What do you see as a good opportunity that will strengthen your organisation?

In what segment of your market are clients consistently making purchases?

What high margin products or services can you expose to a broader market?

Have you noticed a change you can exploit in your market?

Is there a market you can enter with greater profits potential?

As you look at the opportunity, it is important that they move hand-in-hand with your strengths. It is only a good opportunity if it fits your organisation.


Threats, like opportunities, are factors that have a major impact on your business. As you manoeuvre your business around the challenges of the marketplace, you have to understand where danger exists, or you will find yourself in trouble. So, what are the threats to your business?

What reoccurring challenges do your salespeople face?

Is there a competitor that consistently beats you in the marketplace?

How much bad debt are you carrying?

Are sales meeting expectations?

Threats, like opportunities, are external factors that you must constantly look for, examine, and find ways to deal with.

The SWOT Analysis is one of the best tools you can use to help managers develop a true understanding of where the business is and where you need to be before you try to take things to the next level. This exercise is also a great way for you and your team to develop consensus and a way to understand exactly where your organisation stands before starting to chart a new course.

An example SWOT analysis can be found below:


What is working well?

What is making a difference?

What value do we bring to the customers?

What do we do really well?

What differentiates us from the competitors?


What is working as well as it could?

What is not making a difference?

What processes need to be improved?

What hinders sales?

What do the customers dislike?


What needs to be improved or changed?

What should we stop doing?

What should we start doing?

What is missing that we need to be doing?


What is threatening the business?

What obstacles do we face right now?

Who might cause us problems in the future and how?

What are the economic threats that could impact us?

Costs? Revenues? Debt? Cash flow?

PESTLE Analysis

PESTLE is an acronym for Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Environment. This analysis is used to assess these six external factors in relation to your business situation.

Basically, a PESTLE analysis helps you determine how these factors will affect the performance and activities of your business in the long term. It is often used in collaboration with other analytical business tools like the SWOT Analysis and Porter’s Five Forces to give a clear understanding of a situation and related internal and external factors.

Aside from the organisation’s internal resources and industry factors, there are several other macro-economic factors that can have a profound impact on the performance of an organisation. In particular situations such as new ventures or product launch ideas, these factors need to be carefully analysed in order to determine how big their role in the organisation’s success would be. One of the most commonly used analytical tools for assessing external macro-economic factors related to particular situations is the PESTLE Analysis.

Understanding the PESTLE Factors

Before you jump ahead and start using this analysis, you should understand what each of the factors in this analysis signifies.


Here, government regulations and legal factors are assessed in terms of their ability to affect the business environment and trade markets. The main issues addressed in this section include political stability, tax guidelines, trade regulations, safety regulations, and employment law.


Through this factor, businesses examine the economic issues that are bound to have an impact on the organisation. This would include factors like inflation, interest rates, economic growth, the unemployment rate and policies, and the business cycle followed in the country.


With the social factor, a business can analyse the socio-economic environment of its market via elements like customer demographics, cultural limitations, lifestyle attitude, and education. With these, a business can understand how consumer needs are shaped and what brings them to purchase from the market.


How technology can either positively or negatively impact the introduction of a product or service into a marketplace is assessed here. These factors include technological advancements, the lifecycle of technologies, the role of the internet, and the spending on technology researched by the government.


Legislation is the act of making or enacting laws. When people talk about the legislation, they mean a law or a body of laws. The legislation in a state or territory is the laws enacted specifically to control and administer the state or territory. Changes in legislation can have a huge impact on an organisation, particularly in the areas of law relating to discrimination, work health and safety laws, consumer protection laws, and copyright and patent laws.


While the organisation may have little or no control over many of these factors, changes in weather and climate, changes in laws regarding pollution and recycling or waste management will have an impact. The use of green or eco-friendly products and practices could potentially impress customers.

So, if you want to assess a business situation in a comprehensive way, a PESTLE analysis is a definite must that can help you understand the macroeconomic business environment.

1.3 Consult Stakeholders, Specialists and Experts to Confirm the Change Management Opportunities and Process

As previously mentioned, stakeholders are those who have an interest in the organisational change. These could include the board of directors and sponsors who approve the change management plans and finance its implementation, members of the team in charge of the planning and implementation of the organisational change, and the employees who will be affected by the change.

Specialists, on the other hand, refer to highly-skilled persons who concentrate on a specific field while experts are persons who have a comprehensive and authoritative knowledge of a particular area. If the organisational change to be implemented is, for example, a new IT system, an IT specialist would be one who applies technical expertise to the implementation, monitoring or maintenance of IT systems while an IT expert would be one who monitors and manages computer hardware, software, and networks.

The results of the review processes will typically be presented to managers, stakeholders, and decision makers at this point in the process with a view to bringing them ‘on board’ for the implementation. Relevant managers might include those:

Effective presentation of review data (or indeed other forms of business intelligence) is very important in ensuring that the review results are accessible, applied, and understood.

Effective presentation of review results to decision makers will often lead to searching discussions.

Such presentations must reflect:

Decisions must be taken on areas of performance in which improvement is required and the setting of targets to direct improvement. The results of the review which highlight performance gaps and generate insight into causes will provide context for realistic target setting in terms of extent and timeframes for change. Of course, this must be balanced against the costs and capability of an organisation to implement change.

Every change management project needs compelling reasons for the change. Whether taking advantage of an opportunity or meeting a customer need, a reason for change needs to convince all those involved and, eventually, the stakeholders and customers. If everyone agrees that the project has a good and necessary purpose, they should be far more supportive of the changes.

This is not the same as the project’s main business benefits case. The business case is likely to be founded on financial results which are not usually the most influential argument for those in the workforce. The reasons for change should clearly indicate that there are better ways of doing things for the organisation, workforce customers, and (maybe) suppliers.

The reason for the change is developed in conjunction with relevant managers who will be or are affected by the change, are participating in the change project, or hold a position of leadership in the organisation. It is essential that these managers be included to provide ‘buy-in’, which will make it easier for them to take ownership of the project and enact the change management program to be initiated. They may simultaneously develop a list of priorities.

Change management is an expensive process, and it is therefore important that the expertise of accountants, lawyers, or other experts, in various and appropriate fields, be utilised. The final choices should be checked by an expert to ensure that the change is going to be appropriate and successful in providing the expected outcomes.

Another area which may require greater expertise is the change management initiative itself. There are many models, and the selection and application of the best model to achieve the desired outcomes are essential. There are businesses and individuals who focus solely on conducting change management processes for organisations.

1.3.1 Sponsorship

All projects have sponsors, and these are usually the ones who saw a need for change and had the authority to make something happen. Sponsors need to have that authority and commitment to act.

The sponsors are responsible for defining the project and must have a clear view of the outcome. But the planning is the responsibility of the project manager with support and agreement from the sponsor. The project manager needs to keep the sponsors well informed throughout the project. It is also essential that the project manager gains agreement and support for the detail of the change management plan before commencing the change initiative.

It is crucial that the sponsor gets the message out from the very highest level. As all staff do not always listen to senior management as well as they should and often wonder about their credibility, team managers should consistently echo the same messages to their teams.

1.3.2 Consult with Relevant Groups and Individuals for Input into the Change Process

The goal of the change management and communications effort is to align executive leadership and build commitment, manage the changes, and enable the organisational transformation to support the complex process of implementing the change areas. Achieving the change management objectives will help the organisation more effectively implement the changes necessary to realise the vision for the transformation, achieve the desired results, and realise the long-term benefits of the program.

Further Reading

A sample of a Communication Plan template is available on the simulated business website Bounce Fitness. You may read further about the subject by clicking the link below.

Communication Plan Template

Communications must be planned and delivered effectively. It should also be open and ‘risk-free’, allowing employees to ask questions and offer suggestions without fear of repercussion. The method of communication you choose to use will depend on the message that will be delivered. Methods of communication include:

Face-to-Face for Effect

Email for Efficiency

1.3.3 Messages to be Communicated

In relation to the delivery of the message, direct, face-to-face communication is most effective. Direct communications are seen as successful for conveying messages about the need for change, providing details about specific roles and expectations, describing the future state, and answering specific questions.

In addition to how the message was delivered, communications that contribute to success should be:

Communications done properly and delivered by the right source will be perceived as direct evidence of the support and commitment to change by executives and sponsors.

Best Practices for Communicating Change

The most important messages to communicate to stakeholders fall into two categories:

Messages about the Change

The current situation and the rationale for the change

A vision of the organisation after the change takes place

The basics of what is changing, how it will change, and when it will change

The expectation that change will happen and is not a choice

Status updates on the implementation of the change, including success stories

Messages about How the Change will Impact the Employee

The impact of the change on the day-to-day activities of the employee (WIIFM – What is in it for me?)

Implications of the change on job security (Will I have a job?)

Specific behaviours and activities expected from the employee, including support of the change

Procedures for getting help and assistance during the change

Prosci’s Communication Checklist draws from benchmarking research with over 900 participants and the feedback and input of hundreds of training participants. The checklist can be used as an audit tool to see if you are using best practices in your current and future communication plans.

Benchmarking research shows that employees prefer to hear messages from two people in the organisation the person at the top of the change (for messages about the business issues and reasons for change) and their immediate supervisors (for messages about the personal impact of the change).

When individuals learn of a change, their first question is ‘why is this happening’ whether the change is personal or professional. Senior leaders tend to focus on the ‘vision’ of the future state, and project teams tend to focus on sharing their great new idea. Your first communications should be focused on why the change is happening. Do not forget to reinforce the ‘why’ throughout the entire project, especially if the time elapses between your first communication and the start of implementation.

Making a change is a personal choice, no matter what senior leaders believe. Communication about change must resonate. To be effective, communication must get at what you, as an employee, care about and value. To gain support, you must provide a compelling case for how you will be better off or what you get out of engaging in the change. Answer WIIFM early and often in your communications.

Employees prefer to hear messages from two people in the organisation, and neither is the project leader. One of the biggest and most common mistakes you can make is to have a project team sending all of the communications.

Face-to-face communication is the most effective form of communication. While it is more time-intensive, do not underestimate the value that face-to-face communication creates.

It is important to repeat key messages a number of times. The first time you announce a change to employees, they are often wondering how it will impact on them and not focusing on the details of what you are communicating about. Repeating key messages is important to ensure that what you want to get across is being heard by employees. Share messages more often than you think you need to.

You need to craft and plan for two-way communications. Give employees the opportunity to share their concerns, provide their feedback, and ask questions. Two-way communication creates buy-in and provides answers in real-time.

One of your key roles will be to prepare the preferred senders of change messages. This includes sharing with them the important messages that need to be delivered, creating alignment between different senders, and planning the delivery sequence. It also includes educating them on how to deliver key messages.

A holistic communication plan uses numerous channels to reach employees for example, staff meetings, one-on-one meetings, newsletters, presentations, brainstorming workshops, lunch and learns, Intranet Q&A forums, CDs, screen saver messages, etc. Be creative in how you communicate and gather feedback from employees.

Communications cannot be viewed as an activity that is planned, delivered, and then checked off the list of work to be done. You must find ways to ensure that employees are hearing and interpreting the messages you are trying to send. Assessment tools will help you identify when you have not communicated effectively, or when the message is being misinterpreted so you can continue to correct and refine your communications.

1.3.4 Feedback

Feedback is essentially on many levels. Feedback is not simply criticism, constructive, or otherwise. Rather, it is a reflection of the perceptions of the person or group providing it. You may think you are presenting things in a particular way, or accomplishing a particular purpose by what you are doing; but if those at whom it is aimed to see it differently, you may have little chance of success, or of achieving what you set out to do.

Feedback can come in many forms:

Obviously, feedback can be positive, negative, or neutral. Its nature may also be influenced by some other factors:

It can be completely or at least somewhat objective, based on facts, observation, and past knowledge; or almost entirely subjective, based on emotional reactions, defensiveness, loyalty (to family, friends, or class), cultural gaps, or distrust of outsiders.

It might be bolstered by participants’ knowledge of the history of the community, of specific people and relationships, of culture, or of other factors and information.

It might be constrained by participants’ limited knowledge of an issue or process, by their lack of information, or by their lack of understanding of the information available.

It might be solicited (asked for) or unsolicited. Feedback that is volunteered often takes a negative – sometimes an extremely negative – form, and may be hard to pay attention to and incorporate into your work.

In addition to its range of possible characteristics, feedback can be delivered in a number of ways, and it is important to pay attention to as many of them as possible.

Direct Verbal Feedback

The most useful feedback, in most cases, is direct and to the point. That is the kind you get when you ask someone what they think, and they are willing to give you an honest answer, either face to face or in writing. Unfortunately, that kind of feedback is not always available.

Indirect Verbal Feedback

This might include remarks that are not meant specifically as feedback, parts of conversations overheard in passing, or comments that may not, at first hearing, seem much like useful feedback at all.

Direct Non-Verbal Feedback

When participants fail to keep appointments, never follow through on tasks, or simply disappear from the program, they are often giving you feedback. It is extreme, and like other non-verbal feedback, does not always have to do with the nature of the program or relationships with the specific people it is aimed at.

Indirect Non-Verbal Feedback

People send all kinds of messages with their facial expressions, tone of voice, body language (posture, hand or body movements, eye contact, etc.), and their actions. Participants are often extremely nervous or scared – or defiant – when they start, but that usually breaks down as they become more comfortable with the situation and the other people – staff members and other participants – involved in it. If it does not change, as in, if the fluttering hands, shaky voice, and other signs of nervousness do not ease for most participants, or if they remain hostile or withdrawn, they are telling you something about their response to what you are doing. If they never follow through on tasks or assignments, continually fail to keep appointments, or simply disappear from the program, they are making a feedback statement that you should listen to.

It is also significant to remember that feedback is a matter of perception. Thus, even though it comes from participants, that does not mean it is accurate. It must be weighed as any other feedback would. What is true, however, is that if many participants perceive that they are not well served, that perception needs to be changed whether it is correct or not. Even if feedback is offered in a negative way, you should pay attention to it.

In thinking about when feedback is necessary, it is helpful to refer to the Deming Cycle, which consists of five phases: Plan, Do, Check, Act, Analyse. Feedback from participants can and should be used at every phase of the change management implementation cycle.

Before a Program or Initiative Starts (Plan)

Participant feedback is crucial to ensure accurate assessment of the assets and needs of the community, and to understanding what the appropriate outcomes of an effort should be.

During the Development of the Program or Initiative Itself (Do)

Having members of the population you are aiming at providing feedback for – or, better yet, engage in – the planning and structuring process will greatly increase the chances that your effort will attract participants and meet their needs.

When Your Program is Ready to Begin (Check)

Asking potential participants for feedback on your plan can identify bad choices, omissions, add strong points, and help you to make your effort as effective as possible before you begin. Be sure to ask if it addresses the needs expressed by potential participants and if it is likely to achieve the outcomes that meet those needs.

During the Running of the Program (Act)

Continuing to ask for and obtain feedback from participants as the program runs will allow you to make adjustments on the fly, and to fine-tune the program as it runs.

As part of a Formal or Informal Evaluation (Analyse)

You should conduct some sort of evaluation on a regular basis. You really cannot get an accurate picture of the strengths and weaknesses and the effectiveness of your efforts without participant feedback. The evaluation allows you to incorporate that feedback, and other information into an improved effort for the following period, thus starting the cycle over again.

Activity 2

Scenario: You are the manager of a supermarket that will be launching an online shopping network endorsing door to door grocery delivery.

One risk identified is the possibility that none of the existing staff has the know-how for operating the delivery portal and monitoring the orders that will come in. Identify as many mitigating strategies as possible to address this risk.




Key Points: Chapter 1

Organisations should place high importance on ensuring that organisational change, when required, is implemented in a timely and professional manner.

Change is important for any organisation because, without change, businesses would likely lose their competitive edge and fail to meet the needs of what most hope to be a growing base of loyal customers.

A Change Management Project Plan helps make this transition easier while ensuring that requirements – budget, schedule, scope, communication, and resources – remain within control.

Risk analysis is essential in the planning of organisational change. This will identify risks and find ways to mitigate, if not avoid, the risks.

Every change management project needs compelling reasons for change. Whether taking advantage of an opportunity or meeting a customer need, a reason for change needs to convince all those involved and, eventually, the stakeholders and customers.

The process of prioritising risk is essential in your organisational management project plan since this will form your basis for allocating resources.

Chapter 1 – ‘True’ or ‘False’ Quiz

Tick ‘True’ if the statement is correct, and ‘False’ if not.



Organisational change can be continuous or occur for distinct periods of time.

Organisational changes are the overall goals, purpose, and mission of a business that have been established by management and communicated to employees.

Organisational gap analysis is a process by which a business or organisation identifies ways to improve performance.

A Change Management Project Plan is a combination of two key concepts: project management and change management.

Risk analyses are anything that threatens your business organisation’s ability and capability to achieve the organisational change desired.

The project managers are responsible for defining the project and must have a clear view of the outcome.

Presentations and demonstrations are included in the method for face-to-face interactions.

Chapter 2: Implement Change Management Strategy

You are now at the second of the three phases of leading and managing organisational change.

The implementation of the change management strategy can be divided into three parts: the assignment of resources to the project, the development of the communication or education plan, and the arrangement and management of activities for the delivery communication or education plans.

To be able to implement any plan and convert it into something tangible necessitates the use of resources. However, this cannot be done on a whim. It must follow protocols and must go through the relevant stakeholders.

Once resources have been assigned, communication and/or education plans must be established. This will make the process of transitioning the organisational change desired in your business organisation easier and smoother.

Finally, arranging and managing activities for the delivery of communication or education plans translates the plans into actionable items or into step-by-step processes and milestones towards achieving the goal. This section is about the process of embedding the change into your business organisation.

2.1 Assign Resources to the Project and Confirm Reporting Protocols with Relevant Stakeholders

Resources are the source of supply or aid that you will need in the implementation of the organisational change desired.

At this stage, you are ready to take serious action. Resources must be supplied to the team. The resources may include, but are not limited to:

Employees and managers

External and internal consultants

Financial and budget allocation

Hardware and software

Physical assets

The nature of the resources will depend on the type and size of the implementation. Scope, time, cost, risk, quality, project organisation, human resources, communications, and procurement must be managed. These are executed and controlled against the change management plan.

2.1.1 Reporting and Reporting Protocols

In keeping track of the progress and status of the organisational changes, reporting protocols must be established. The methods and requirements for reporting protocols are usually included in your organisation’s policy and procedures.

Relevant stakeholders in reporting protocols are the personnel with stakes to the implementation of the organisational change. In the implementation stage, relevant stakeholders are usually the ones whose approval for implementation was needed to proceed with the change management strategy. These include, but are not limited to, the top management, board of directors, and/or sponsors. Confirmation may be accomplished through any form of communication. Meetings and conferences with the relevant stakeholders are the most comprehensive, allowing for face-to-face communication and instant answers to whatever questions and clarifications the relevant stakeholders might have. Other means of confirmation is through emails and memos.

You must also agree with your reporting schedule. A reporting system must be negotiated upfront with the project sponsor and must be in place from the beginning of the project. The content, format and frequency might vary as the project moves through its life cycle, but regular reports happen throughout the entire project.

What Needs to be Reported?

Ask your stakeholders what they need to report to their stakeholders. This question will guide you with respect to the level of detail needed in your reports and the frequency. It is a waste of time to report unnecessary detail, but it is also a waste of time to report insufficient detail.

There are four essential types of reports:

Project Proposal

The project proposal is developed at the conclusion of the project initiation phase and requires ‘sign-off’ or the authority to proceed to the next phase. It contains the summarised results of the initial high-level planning process. In large projects, the project proposal may be substituted by a business case. Detailed planning follows the approval of the project proposal.

Project Plan

The project plan is developed at the conclusion of the planning phase of the project. It is a detailed document comprising:

Scope definition (key deliverables plus exclusions)

Schedule (including project milestones)


Risk schedule (Major project risks and management strategy)

Project organisation structure (Reporting and approval pathways)

Roles and responsibilities (Project team and key stakeholders)

Quality system (Procedure and standards)

Procurement schedule (human resources; goods and services)

Communications strategy (Protocols, templates, reporting schedule)

Change management procedure

Variance Request

A variance request is a formal process that documents any changes to scope, or any risks triggered, which might result in variances to the project objectives, in terms of time, cost, or quality.

Status Report

A status report is required at regular intervals throughout the project. The frequency and the format should be negotiated with the project sponsor and various team leaders. The level of detail to be included is an important consideration also to be negotiated with the project sponsor. Essentially, the status report summarises the following:


This is the original approved completion date, authorised changes, and current estimated completion date.


This includes the original approved budget, authorised changes, and current estimated budget.


Any issues or risks triggered that have resulted in approved changes to scope, schedule, budget, quality, or functionality are included here.

Issues and Risks Log

Earlier, it was recommended that an issues and risk log be kept to help track issues or risks as they arise and records status, action, responsibility and closure of the issue or risk.

For reporting protocols, there are four main types of information that must be found in it. These are:

Requirement to Report

This section details the important matters that have to be taken into account throughout the implementation of the organisational change. These requirements can impact the other phases of implementation and are vital in decision-making.

Requirement to report includes, but is not limited to:

Progress of implementation strategies

Barriers that may affect the implementation of change

Results of training

Medium of Reporting

The medium of reporting is the means of reporting. The medium of reporting includes, but is not limited to:



Progress report sheets

It could be any or a combination of the above.

Recipient of Requirement

Recipient of the requirement are the people and key stakeholders that need a copy of the report. Recipient of requirement could be:

People manager

Change management agent

Change resource team

Timeframe of Report

The timeframe of the report, or any report in the business organisation, is usually included in the organisational policy and procedures. If not, it is best to decide on it during the development stage.

There is no specific frequency for the timeframe. It depends upon your agreement with your team and stakeholders. It could be on a once a week frequency or a day after the necessary pieces of training are conducted or on a fortnightly capacity.

Reporting is an essential part of project management. It keeps track of the progress of the subject of the report and make necessary adjustments. However, the level of detail should be appropriate to the risks associated with the project. It is possible to spend all your time preparing reports leaving no time to manage the project, and this is, of course, unnecessary.

2.1.2 Resource Allocation

Resource allocation is the process of assigning resources to your project. This process is vital for without resources, nothing can be done. Resource allocation will also efficiently and effectively help you manage resources, especially the human side of your resources. You do not want to underutilise or over utilise your people.

Resource allocation can be divided into six steps:

Divide projects into tasks

Think of the organisational change as one big project. To achieve it successfully, you have to divide the big project into smaller, actionable tasks. List all the tasks then assign a start date, an end date, and a budget.

Assign resources per project

There are generally five types of resources:

Determine resource attributes

Resource attributes are the specific details of the resources that you need. How much is needed? Size, shape, colour? If human or labour resource, what specific skill sets are needed? Availability is also a factor. Make sure that the resource you need will be available when you need it.

Implement resource levelling

Resource levelling is the process of inspecting the resources’ serviceability. It is also a way to prevent over-allocation, which is the allocation of resources at excessive levels or where resources are overlooked. Remember that equipment can only run so much in a day and that people can get tired too. Resource levelling is a way to make sure that all resources are handled and used at the most effective and efficient level.

Re-allocate as necessary

Ideally, resources are available when needed. Sometimes, however, resources are scarce or do not show up on time, or the resource could be needed by another more urgent project. Re-allocate resources as necessary so that work on the organisational change is not disrupted.

Track resource utilisation

Track the resource used and how often it is used. This will be important data in determining the success of the implementation of change management and will be useful in the future when implementing similar projects.

A simple way of tracking the resource is to get the percentage of the billable time. The formula for this is simply: Utilisation Rate = Number of Billable Hours / Number of Total Hours

2.2 Develop Communication or Education Plan, in Consultation with Relevant Personnel

2.2.1 Communication Plan

A communication plan is a policy-driven approach that aims to provide stakeholders information in order to fulfil a goal, which in this case is the effective leading and managing of the organisational change.

A good communication plan will enable you to target your communication accurately to get the best result. It will make all your efforts more effective, efficient, and long-lasting. Remember that no matter how significant the foreseen results of the organisational change might be, it will be all for nothing if the rest of the people in your business organisation refuses to go along with the change.

The communication plan should have the following elements:

There are two more elements to be included in the communication plan, but at this stage of the implementation, they are left blank. These are:

Communication Strategy

Communication strategy is the method of communication that is used to communicate the key messages about the organisational change. There are a variety of community strategies that you can use. You can use the examples discussed in Section1.1. Examples of communication strategy cited were emails, town hall meetings, and feedback sessions.

Target Audience

Target audience referred to are the relevant individual that you need to share the message to. This generally includes staff members and colleagues participating in the change project. Apart from that, there are certain groups that must be specially taken into account.

Departments in your business organisation that will be affected by the change

Groups or individuals who resist the change

People who still need more clarity on the effects of the organisational change

Key Message

Key message refers to the key points of the organisational change that you want the target audience to know and understand. These may include the following:

Introduction to the details of the change

The benefits of the organisational change

Opportunities for feedback

Frequency of Communication

Frequency of communication refers to how often the message will be sent using the communication strategy. There is no set frequency that has to be followed. It could be daily, weekly, or fortnightly.

Change Team Member Assigned

From your management team, specifically assign people tasked for each communication strategy. Particular members may be, but not limited to, the following:

Managers of specific departments

People manager

Resource team member

Expected Implementation Date

This is the date when each communication strategy is to be implemented.

Expected Outcome

Identify what is expected and what each communication strategy hopes to achieve. Examples could be:

All staff is aware of the current changes the organisation will be undertaking.

Employees will be aware of all the benefits they will receive because of the change.

Promotion of Benefits of Organisational Change

Developing a communication or education plan is done with the promotion of benefits of organisation change in mind. It exists for any or all of the following reasons:

2.2.2 Education Plan

If a communication plan is a strategy for getting the information across to relevant stakeholders, an education plan is a method for getting the relevant stakeholders ready for the upcoming organisational changes.

To execute an education plan, a training plan is necessary. It guides your planning and delivery of instruction so that your relevant stakeholders will be able to ready themselves to accept and be part of the organisational change.

A training plan must contain the following:

Other sections of the training plan that should be included but could be left blank for later are the following:

Training Strategy

The training strategy is the method on how to educate your target audience on the organisational change. How do you go about it? Methods may include, but are not limited to, the following:


This follows the principles of formalised teaching but with the help of electronic sources. This strategy uses electronic technologies to access the curriculum outside of the traditional classroom setup.

Instructor-led training

This strategy typically occurs in a training room which can be an office, classroom or even a conference room. There is one or more instructor that teach the skills of the subject to another person or group. The training is done through lectures, presentations, and demonstrations.


This strategy is a more personal approach. It is where an experienced person, called the coach, supports the learner by providing training and guidance

Target Audience

Who is the training for? Identify the learner group for which the training strategy is intended for.


Depending upon the subject matter of the training and the medium of instruction, choose a facilitator that will be the best fit to hit the objective. The facilitator could be an HR officer, for example, or a specialist.

Expected Timeframe

When do you expect to hold the training?

How long will the training take?

If it is a series of trainings, how much time should be allotted for each?

Expected Outcome

Describe the intended objectives of each training strategy. What does the training hope to accomplish? An example could be that the employees will know how to use a new system at the end of the training. Another could be that the employees will be fully oriented on the new standards being put in place.

The training plan is generally accompanied by a session plan. The training plan provides an overview of the training, but the session plan has specific details on what the training plan entails.

A Session Plan must have the following details:

Training Strategy

The training strategy for the session plan is already identified in the training plan. You just have to reiterate that since it is the method or medium of training that you will be using.

Details of Training

Here, you identify the discussion points for the training. It is like an outline for your training. Discussion points include, but are not limited to:

Skills to learn


Expected outcomes

Training Resources

What is needed to make the training possible and smooth sailing? The usual resources include, but are not limited to, the following:





Learning Activity

Learning activities are activities designed to help your target audience stimulate the learning experience. Example of learning activities could be:

Role play activities



Number of Sessions and Duration of Training Strategy

Identify the number of sessions needed to complete the whole training and how long each session will take.

2.2.3 Relevant Personnel

The relevant personnel referred to in this section are the people whose attitudes and actions have an impact on the success of the organisational change you want to implement. These people would be the top management, the board of directors, and sponsors whose approval or sign-off is needed at every phase of the organisational change implementation. Other relevant personnel that should be consulted with the communication and educational plans are the members of the team that will implement the organisational change.

Consultations are done through a variety of methods. Meetings and conferences that provide instantaneous discussions and promote face-to-face interaction are recommended when there are comprehensive clarifications and intensive discussions. For follow-ups and updates, emails and memos will suffice.

2.3 Arrange and Manage Activities for Delivery of Communication or Education Plans

Arranging and managing are two words that have interrelated and interconnected functions. Arranging in this section refers to the planning and organising of all related activities to prepare for the implementation of the communication or education plan. Managing, on the other hand, is about leading and overseeing the activities for the implementation of communication or education plans.

At this point in the unit, you will already have a communication or education plan detailing the strategies that will be implemented and the resources that are needed. It could also be that the communication or education plan is divided into smaller projects. Whatever the situation might be, there are still things that you will need to prepare to successfully start with the implementation of the communication or education plan. You can use the following factors to guide you:

For example, one strategy for the communication or education plan is the conduct of a series of trainings. The resources you need will include a training space and an instructor. You will also need lecture kits for the participants and a good sound system for the instructor that will lead the training.

As for the timeframe, how long will the training take? How many times will it be conducted? Answers to these questions are essential since you will also have to arrange the resources that will be used every time the training is conducted.

Determine who the specific audiences are. The audience will most probably be the employees in your organisation who will be impacted by the organisational change. Sometimes, organisational changes do not affect the whole organisation, and the impact is compartmentalised to specific departments or specific job functions.

You might have to coordinate with relevant stakeholders and consult with the change management team as to how to go about the implementation of the communication or education plan. Provide guidelines to be considered when arranging the activities.

As to the management of the activities, it is important to remember that you do not need to do everything by yourself. Assign the management of tasks to members of your organisational change team. You can, for example, assign a team member to follow up the instructor that will lead the training for every session, one member to take charge of the training kits to make sure that there is enough, and another member to check the availability of equipment per session.

To effectively arrange and manage activities, you need an action plan. An action plan represents a roadmap of activities that the change program implementers intend to undertake to achieve the communication and education plan’s goals. It is a detailed plan outlining actions needed to reach one or more goals. It also allows project managers to monitor their progress and take each task step-by-step, therefore allowing them to handle the project efficiently. The advantage of doing this is that it allows the execution of a structured plan for the desired end goal.

Furthermore, it provides the team with appropriate foundations, therefore prioritising the amount of time spent on each task. This will then prevent any side-tracking that may occur. Lastly, it creates a bond within the team, as each member is aware of their individual role while providing necessary information to ensure the success of the project.

When using action plans, limitations will need to be considered. Firstly, each member of the team will need to be allocated individual roles and tasks which will require completion by a set date. This can be demanding for some, due to coping with the stress and distractions that may occur. Another issue is not being guided thoroughly and effectively, leading to a lack of effort and passion for the project. In addition to this, if communication amongst the team is non-existent, key information will not reach members of the group, resulting in a lack of confidence. Lastly, failing to reach the goal you set can lead to frustration and wasted time in planning.

When creating action plans, there are guided steps that need to be followed to ensure success; however, the structure can be altered during the process. First and foremost, you will need to outline what you want to achieve from the communication and education plan; by doing this, you set yourself targets. After this, specific roles will need to be assigned to ensure adequate training, resources, and issues have been considered and any problems addressed. The next stage allows members of the group to monitor progress by outlining milestones, solving any issues, and making any necessary changes. Lastly, once the project has come to an end, the final stage can be examined to ensure future success.

Further Reading

A sample of an Action Plan template is available on the simulated business website Bounce Fitness.

Action Plan Template

2.3.1 Activate Strategies for Embedding the Change

All too often, once a project is over, people simply slip back into old ways of doing things. Staff need to be aware of the wider consequences of their activities and to understand how the project outcomes may be used in other parts of the organisation as well as for fulfilling their element of the process.

To be properly embedded, change must be reflected in the organisational strategy and policy, be operationalised in the form of business processes, and be supported by information systems and infrastructure. Change can be subverted or reversed if it is not adequately supported by all of these elements or if the reasoning behind it is not communicated to, and accepted by, stakeholders.

With many change initiatives failing to achieve their objectives, employees are now at risk of becoming resistant to change.

To ensure your business transformation initiative does not become undermined by falling morale, lost productivity, or industrial action, follow these steps:

Set Clear Objectives

Most organisations assume that once the business objectives have been met, the project is a success. The reality is that to create long-term sustainable benefits, measurable objectives for both the business and employees must be set from the outset. Rather than, say, merely planning to implement a change management strategy, the objective must be to do so in a way that actually enhances productivity and engagement levels. This requires properly thinking through any restructuring activity and redefining roles in a way that genuinely eliminates wastage.

Engage Unions from Outset

Clearly communicate the business case for change and invite union representatives to help create the solution, rather than simply telling them how employees’ working terms and conditions will have to change. Enlist the union’s support in creating clear people objectives for the change, such as securing funded support to help individuals facing redundancy find new employment. Train union representatives to explain the need for change and deal with any emotional reactions or concerns from employees.

Help Staff Embrace Change

Employees must be helped to embrace change. At the most fundamental level, this is about helping them to redefine their value in terms of the skills and experience they can bring to the organisation, rather than their role or the particular part of the organisation they work for. The employee who describes themselves as doing role A at desk B will naturally come unstuck should they be relocated or have their job description changed. The employee who defines themselves as a great communicator or craft worker will feel much more inclined to embrace opportunities to apply these skills in new ways as required.

Listen to Staff Feedback

If your organisation is struggling to realise the value of a change initiative, the chances are that management considered it a success before it was fully embedded. To ensure survivors’ resentment does not result in staff turnover or diminished productivity, give staff a chance to vent frustrations. Listen to their concerns and think creatively about how to act on them.

Support Managers

Do not assume that managers who were effective before will automatically have the leadership skills required to deliver the change initiative, build new teams, and maintain morale. Career transition coaching costs less than 25 per cent of the cost of replacing a disillusioned manager and will help managers to meet the new demands placed upon them. Ensure any coaching provided does not amount to an esoteric exercise but is instead closely linked to the needs of the organisation.

Support Those Who Leave

For those employees that feel they have no part to play in the changed organisation, providing career transition support to help them identify other employers and roles where they can add value will ensure they feel supported in moving on, protect the company’s reputation, and prevent them from becoming unproductive or disruptive.

Provide role models for change

To make change possible, you must also lead by example. For staff, especially for those who resist the change, they need to see that the change is not there to set them back. Staff need to feel that management is one with them, that they are understood, and that their welfare is being considered. When management leads the change by example, not only does management demonstrate that they are one with the employees, but they also illustrate how the staff can adapt to the new system.

Change is, at its core, a people process, and people are creatures of habit, hardwired to resist adopting new mindsets, practices, and behaviours. To achieve and sustain transformational change, companies must embed these mindsets, practices, and behaviours at every level, and that is very hard to do — but it has never been more important.

Activity 3

Find the following hidden words and encircle.










Activity 4

Scenario: You are the manager of a supermarket that will be launching an online shopping network endorsing door to door grocery delivery.

Develop the key message for your communication plan.




Key Points: Chapter 2

A reporting system must be negotiated up front with the relevant stakeholders and must be in place from the beginning of the project. In keeping track of the progress and status of the organisational changes, reporting protocols must be established.

The resource allocation process is vital for without resources, nothing can be done. Resource allocation will also efficiently and effectively help you manage resources.

Communication and education plans are vital elements for implementing changes. A communication plan gets the message across to stakeholders while an education plan gets the stakeholders ready for the organisational change.

A good communication plan will enable you to target your communication accurately to get the best result. It will make all your efforts more effective, efficient, and long-lasting.

To execute an education plan, a training plan is necessary. It guides your planning and delivery of instruction so that your relevant stakeholders will be able to ready themselves to accept and be part of the organisational change.

To effectively arrange and manage activities, you need an action plan. An action plan represents a roadmap of activities that the change program implementers intend to undertake to achieve the communication and education plan’s goals. It is a detailed plan outlining actions needed to reach one or more goals.

Chapter 2 – ‘True’ or ‘False’ Quiz

Tick ‘True’ if the statement is correct, and ‘False’ if not.



Resources are the source of supply or aid that you will need in the implementation of the organisational change desired.

The content, format, and frequency might vary as the project moves through its life cycle, but regular reports must happen throughout the entire project.

The essential types of reports are project proposal, project plan, variance report, and status report.

Reporting is not an essential part of project management.

An education plan is a policy-driven approach that aims to provide stakeholders with information in order to fulfil a goal.

An action plan represents a roadmap of activities that the change program implementers intend to undertake to achieve the plan’s goals.

Chapter 3: Evaluate Change Management Strategy

You are now in the last phase of this unit.

The process of evaluating the change management strategy can be divided into three. First is the assessment of the performance of communication or education plan against the objectives. The development of the said education or education plans and assessing whether it fulfilled the objectives or not is one of the first indicators of success.

Throughout the course of the development of plans and management of its activities; however, you will have noticed barriers to the organisational change. This brings you to the second stage: the identification of barriers to change and determining how to respond to these barriers. For this, you will refer to your risk management plans.

After assessing the initial plans and determining how to respond to the barriers, you finally enter the last stage, which is the modification of the communication or education plan to suit the change program objectives.

3.1 Assess Performance of Communication or Education Plan Against Objectives

Leading and managing organisational change does not stop with developing communication or education plans. Neither does it stop upon its subsequent implementation. You still need to assess the performance of the plans and determine whether it hit all objectives that were set.

To properly assess the performance, you and your change management team have to go back and go through each item in the communication or education plan and determine whether it has actually accomplished the goal it was set to do.

At this stage, the assessment will now be on how the plan was implemented. To this end, an after-activity report is recommended. An after-activity report is a summary of what transpired during the conduct of the activity. It is also a documentation of the organisational change team’s assessment of the activity.

In the assessment, factors to be considered include:

Evaluation of the implementation

The evaluation of the implementation has a number of facets to it. You can evaluate any one or all of the following:

Process Evaluation

This type of evaluation determines whether the communication or education plan has been implemented as intended and resulted in certain outputs. It seeks answers to questions like what were the barriers, if any, to the implementation of plans? In the evaluation, you can look at reports and observe the plans being implemented.

Outcome Evaluation

This type of evaluation measures the progress of the organisation change. The main question to be answered is whether the objectives were achieved. To do this, you can make a comparison of the situation before the plans were implemented and after the plans were implemented. Were the objectives achieved completely?

Impact Evaluation

This type of evaluation assesses the program’s effectiveness in achieving the goals. The impact evaluation is helpful in determining whether to continue, discontinue, replicate, or scale up the plan.

Feedback from relevant stakeholders

The relevant stakeholders referred to here are the participants of the communication or education plan, which are the employees affected by the organisational change, and the members of the change management team who implemented the plans.

An effective way to get feedback from the participants of the plan is through surveys and interviews. For the change management team, a good way to get feedback is through meetings wherein the pros, cons, and means for improvement are discussed and analysed.

3.2 Identify and Respond to Barriers to the Change According to Risk Management Plans and Organisational Objectives

While the changes may be necessary for the future of the company, you are likely to face certain barriers and challenges. Anticipating these roadblocks helps you avoid them before they become major issues in the change implementation.

These can include:

The culture of an organisation resisting the power structure

Managers feeling threatened by the process of change

Resistance from employees

A lack of understanding about why change is to take place

A lack of communication or trust

Inefficient communication process

Employees fearing the unknown

Interdepartmental conflict

Clash of the existing systems and the new system the organisational change wants to implement

Lack of strategic direction

Lack of consistency

Effective managers take barriers to change into account. They do this during the planning stage of the change program. For example, the culture of an organisation can be a barrier to change. The culture is the way in which employees work through custom and practice, reflecting the norms of an organisation. This can make employees rigid in their approach to their work which could create resistance to change if not managed effectively.

Use problem-solving skills to identify and analyse the barriers. Problem-solving skills include:

Asking hypothetical questions and determining what the worst scenario would be

Looking for similar situations in other organisations or similar situations in the history of your own organisation to get insights regarding potential problems that may arise

Researching on specific topics to find gaps in the organisational change

Using intuition and experience to find threats that are common with the type of change you are trying to implement

Using emotional intelligence to anticipate any negative reactions people will feel that would affect the implementation of the change in the organisation

With barriers, great points of reference are your risk management plan and organisational objectives. Regarding the risk management plan, some barriers would have been already identified during the risk analysis stage. You can then refer to the risk management plan on how to respond to the barriers indicated therein.

Use the organisational objectives as a guide. A good rule of thumb is that if the ‘barrier’ does not affect the organisational objective, then it is not really a barrier. In the same way, all responses to barriers must be guided by organisational objectives. Does it conform to the organisational goals? Will it help the implementation of the communication or education plans? If the answer is in the negative, you will have to rethink whether it is actually a barrier and whether the response is appropriate.

3.2.1 Responding to Barriers

Responding to barriers is a vital role for managers. In an organisational change, employees’ resistance to change comprises a big part of the barrier.

Change can be a sensitive process. To minimise resistance and avoid rumours, an effective manager will communicate clear objectives. This will help everybody get involved in the process and enable them to understand why change is necessary. Employees may also need training so that they have sufficient resources to carry out any changes.

Involving employees at each stage helps to create support for the change process. You can, for example, include the employees in the problem-solving process by asking them to conduct research and find the gaps in the organisational change. Asking them for their insights and experience might also be useful since they can provide a different perspective on the situation.

You can also explore the following areas to find solutions.


Without step-by-step planning, change in an organisation is likely to fall apart or cause more problems than benefits. You need to understand exactly what changes will take place and how those changes will occur. For example, if you are transitioning to a new content management system, you will need to know if the new system is compatible with the old system, how you will transition the old information to the new system, and if there will be limited access during the transition. You also need to assign roles to individuals who are responsible for the change, so all duties are covered. The timeline for the change is also a key component. You need to plan for downtime or difficulties in completing regular work tasks while the change occurs.

Lack of Consensus

If you fail to get everyone on board with the corporate changes, you are likely to face barriers during the process. The decision to implement changes should come from the top level of the organisation. All management-level staff need to be on board, and able to deal with the changes or you may face dissension amongst staff. You may not have everyone on board right from the beginning. Showing managers how the changes will affect the company and the steps for implementing the changes helps get them on board if they initially have reservations.


Failing to communicate with all employees invites rumours and fear into the workplace, particularly if you are facing major changes, such as downsizing or a merger. Employees want to know what is going on, whether it is positive or negative news. The feeling of uncertainty when management does not communicate disrupts work and makes employees feel as if they are not a part of the decision. Keep employees updated regularly about the plans and progress toward the change implementation. Involve all employees as much as possible through meetings or brainstorming sessions to help during the planning phase.

Employee Resistance

In some cases, employees resist change. They become comfortable with the way the business is run. They know the expectations and their role within the company. When a major change disrupts their familiarity, some employees become upset. They do not want to relearn their jobs or change the way they do things. Supporting your employees and providing training for any new responsibilities can help ease the transition.

3.3 Modify Communication or Education Plan According to Change Program Objectives

At this point in the manual, you have already assessed the performance of your communication or education plan against the change program objectives and have collated all the barriers and risks to the organisational change. It is now time to modify the plans in accordance with the changes. Sometimes though, the modification process happens more than once. Make sure to conduct regular evaluation and review and modify the project plan where appropriate to achieve change program objectives.

The communication or education plan should ideally be the final version. It should already have been reviewed, evaluated and modified to fit the program objectives. However, there are instances wherein the communication or education plan needs more modification, such as when an unidentified risk occurs, and no risk mitigation plan was previously identified.

Reviewing and evaluating the change management plan requires going back to the change program objectives. This also involves taking note of the successes and failures in your change program. Analysing these successes and failures allow you to identify what further changes you must make in your processes. There are a number of steps you can use in reviewing and evaluating your change management plan. These steps include:

Clarify your change program objectives.

Discuss your change program objectives with your team members. Inform them of the impact of these objectives to your processes and why these objectives must be attained. Specify how these objectives can be attained and who must be involved in the process.

Gather feedback from team members.

Your team members are aware of change programs and the preparations they must do for these programs. Allowing your team members opportunities to voice out their thoughts can help decrease the stresses that come with adjusting to changes in the workplace. More importantly, feedback from team members allows you to identify areas for improvement within your processes.

Gather input from fellow supervisors.

Your fellow supervisors interact with employees daily and understand each employee’s requirements and concerns regarding change programs. They would be very familiar with your organisation’s processes and can give insightful suggestions on how to improve these processes.

Conduct a pre-assessment to identify gaps.

Examine your organisation’s current business practices for any gaps. These gaps may carry over to new business practices. These gaps can include skills that your employees lack, which may be useful for new tasks or practices. Because of this, you must conduct a pre-assessment to identify areas for improvement and update your plan accordingly.

After reviewing and evaluating your change management plan, you may find that your plan is insufficient. Your plan may not be effective in achieving objectives, or your plan could be improved further to achieve your objectives more efficiently and effectively. With these conclusions, you will need to modify your change management plan.

Modifying the change management plan can be reduced into the following steps:

Identify what will be improved.

Identify the focus and clarify the goals. From there, identify the resources that will be needed and assign the action items.

Present it to the stakeholders and get approval.

Present all the changes to the stakeholders and get their approval. The approval is necessary to proceed to the next phase of the project.

Plan for the change.

Plan for the specifics of the implementation. This is basically like starting all over again, only that you can use your old change management plan as a basis.

Provide resources and use data for evaluation.

Modify the plan according to the changes; the resources you need might have changed too. Make sure that everything is still aligned with the objectives.

Monitor and manage resistance and budgeting risks.

A modified plan can mean other barriers and budgeting risks that have not been previously identified can come up. Monitor these changes and manage them. Anticipate and prepare for the resistance.

Review, revise, and continuously improve.

Every change is an opportunity for improvement. Keep reviewing and revising the plan, as necessary.

If your communication or education plan’s performance does not achieve the objectives of your change program, you will need to modify your plan. In addition, your communication or education plan may need modification because your change management plan has been modified. When modifying your communication or education plans, ensure to keep in mind the elements that should be present in your plan, as discussed in Section 2.2.

Another important thing in modifying the change management plan and communication and education plans is the documentation part. Make sure that there is approval from relevant stakeholders at every phase of the implementation and that all changes are documented.

Activity 5

Complete the crossword below.







Activity 6

Using the same scenario in Activity 2 and 4, list as many possible barriers to change that may be encountered.

Scenario: You are the manager of a supermarket that will be launching an online shopping network endorsing door to door grocery delivery.




Key Points: Chapter 3

In assessing performance of communication or education plan, you have to go back and go through each item in the plan and whether it has actually accomplished the goal it was set to do.

Anticipating barriers and challenges helps you avoid them before they become major issues in the change implementation.

Involving employees at each stage of the implementation of the organisational change help to create support for the change process.

Reviewing and evaluating the change management plan requires going back to the change program objectives, taking note of the successes and failures in your change program.

You need to modify the communication and education plan if they do not achieve the objectives of your change program or if the change management plan has been modified.

Chapter 3 – ‘True’ or ‘False’ Quiz

Tick ‘True’ if the statement is correct, and ‘False’ if not.



Leading and managing organisational change stops with developing communication or education plans.

Employees fearing the unknown and inefficient communication process are barriers to organisational change.

The evaluation of the implementation can be done through a process evaluation, outcome evaluation, or through an impact evaluation.

An effective way to get feedback from the participants of the plan is through surveys and interviews.

Failing to get everyone on board with corporate changes does not change a thing. It is not a barrier to change. It just means that top-level management must exert their authority to make the change happen.

In modifying the change management plan, every change is an opportunity for improvement. Keep reviewing and revising the plan, as necessary.


The world rewards those who take responsibility for their own success.”

Curt Gerrish

Change is a reality in the current business environment and, if done well, can help grow your business. Most people, particularly employees, are uncomfortable with change because it interferes with their routine and exposes them to the unfamiliar. The way you manage the process will heavily determine the impact of change on your staff. You can help create a positive environment for change by ensuring employees understand the reasons for the change. Communicating the reasons and benefits, describing the process, and providing regular updates on the change process will help you cultivate a team that thrives on change.

Managing people through change involves motivating staff to work together on planning and making the changes and giving employees clear goals and defined roles.

Determining why, what, and how you need to change – and involving your people in each step – will help you manage a smooth change process, strengthen your business, and retain key staff, business skills, and knowledge.


These are some references that we feel may be of assistance to you in completing the Assessment for this unit of competency:

Ackerman, L. (1997). ‘Development, transition or transformation: The question of change in organizations’, in DF van eynde, JC hoy & DC van eynde (eds), organization development classics: The practice and theory of change – the best OD practitioner. San Francisco.

Conner, D. R., & Patterson, R. W. (1982). Building commitment to organizational change. Training and Development Journal36(4).

Fahrenkrog, S., Bolles, D., Blaine, J. D., & Steuer, C. (2004, October 26). PMBOK® guide— third edition: An overview of the changes. PMI® Global Congress 2004—North America, Anaheim, CA. Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute.

Fullan, M. (1999). Change forces – the sequel (educational change and development series): Fullan, michael G.: 9780750707558: Books. Routledge.

Kanter, R. M. (2003, April 1). Challenge of organizational change: How companies experience it and leaders guide it. Free Press.

Kotter’s 8-step change modelimplementing change powerfully and successfully. (2009). Mindtools.Com.

Nohria, N., & Beer, M. (2000). Cracking the code of change. Harvard Business Review.

Pappas, C. (2020, April 11). How to evaluate your change management process. ELearning Industry.

Rogers, E. (2013, August 16). Diffusion of innovations, 5th edition. Free Press.


The change curveaccelerating change, and improving its likelihood of success. (2009). Mindtools.Com.

Thurley, K., & Wirdenius, H. (1973, January 1). Supervision: A reappraisal. Heinemann.

Trevisani, D. (2007). The direction of change: Integrated approaches in human resources, organizational development and coaching. Franco Angeli Publisher.

Weick, K. E., & Quinn, R. E. (1999). ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE AND DEVELOPMENT. Annual Review of Psychology50(1), 361–386.

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