Change Management

Plan, Execute, and Sustain – a 3-Step Approach to Effective Change Management

In a recent article, we shared the 5 Factors to Successful Change Management Adoption. And while adoption is definitely a critical factor of change implementation, there are several prior important steps that one needs to consider to successfully implement any change initiative.


3 Stages of the Change Management Process

Effective change management is a combination of planning, executing, and sustaining the change initiative. Each stage has significant value in the change process and we examine each stage from a perspective of leading with the head, hand, and heart.

Plan Change with Your Head

The planning stage for Change Management starts concurrently with Project Planning. During this stage we are laying out the foundation for a successful change initiative by evaluating the readiness, resources, scope and plan. During the Plan Change stage, we want to ensure we’re covering the following:

  • Change Readiness Assessment
  • Change Scope Identification
  • Develop a Presentation of Detailed Plan

Planning change with your head means thinking through the impact of your decision and creating a roadmap from start to finish. Its about seeing the BIG picture and having a vision of the end goal and the impact it will create on your initiative.

Execute Change with Your Hand

The execution stage is where the rubber meets the road – each of the Change Components defined below is addressed during the Execute Change stage:

  • User Involvement: Ensuring user and people involvement in defining the change
  • Leadership Commitment: Obtaining effective sponsorship and leadership engagement
  • Training: Delivering appropriate training programs
  • Coaching: Developing change champions and providing hands on support to users
  • Organizational Performance: Defining organizational functions and performance standards
  • Communications: Developing and delivering appropriate communications messages
  • Metrics and Measurements: Defining and tracking metrics for benefits realization

Executing with the ‘hand’ means having a defined plan of action that will result in less missed deadlines and avoiding getting side tracked by other activities.

Sustain Change with Your Heart

Finally, change efforts needs to be sustained throughout the long-term existence of the organization – that means making change stick! Ongoing reinforcement of the change and evolution of the Desired Future Stage is managed in this final Control Change stage. Sustaining change with the heart means having a people first approach and focusing on the human aspect of change. By mobilizing people to be on your side and seeing the impact of change as a positive benefit for them, the change initiative becomes easier to implement and has lasting adoption.

Finding a Balance

Change doesn’t happen overnight and it takes time to learn team dynamics and company culture. Most people within an organization rarely see change coming and often hear about it through un-ideal mediums such as email for the first time. Therefore, ensuring you have a solid plan that combines planning, execution and sustainment, will help you successfully navigate your change initiative.

How can we help?

StrategicFront offers a unique approach by integrating Project, Process, and Change Management to deliver on client’s business goals. Our team of highly skilled and experienced practitioners have led successful projects across all areas including: banking, technology, retail, and professional services. Do you have a special initiative that may need support? We’d be happy to speak with you! Email us at to get in touch.

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