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Managing Change: 5 Critical Questions Leaders Must Answer

Change is usually something that happens to you. It goes against the grain of the universe to make the transaction work in reverse. But that’s exactly what you must often do as an IT leader. In an article for PM Hut, Richard Lepsinger discusses the five questions leaders must ask when it comes to managing organizational change for IT:

  1. Why is this change necessary?
  2. What will each person be expected to do?
  3. Will we be able to do it?
  4. How will we manage the transition?
  5. Where are we in the process?

The War on Habits

Change managers are always at war with employee habits – and there’s nothing wrong with habits per se. Habits are kind of like automation for the human computer. But when they run counter to a new strategy, you have to “reprogram” by communicating how strategies hit home on everyday tasks. This communication is not a once and done deal. Habits are muscular, which is to say that (unlike a line of computer code) they must be persistently reworked until they take a new, more desirable shape.

The Labors of Change

You may have detected an underlying theme in this article – yes, effort is the common strain of advice for change managers. Effective change requires the adequate allocation of resources:

If the change will require an extra two hours of an employee’s time each week, be sure to account for this. You’ll need to determine what needs to be cut or done more efficiently to make up for the time this change requires.

Another critical detail to watch for is the coming and going of the various department managers that make up the organization. By setting checkpoints, you’ll be able to create a transition framework that will hold the change intact in spite of other common changes taking place in the enterprise:

If a new department manager is taking the reins in two months as part of the change, be sure you’ve built in time for that person to meet with his or her predecessor and other key internal stakeholders and customers. In addition, be sure to anticipate potential challenges (such as the new manager needing more time than expected to relocate) and have a plan in place to address them.

Just don’t lost yourself in the change process, as your own governing role will need to remain transparent and available to employee concerns.

Read the original post at: http://www.pmhut.com/managing-change-5-critical-questions-leaders-must-answer

About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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