How a Current State Assessment Can Improve Change Management

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Jan 03, 2024

How a Current State Assessment Can Improve Change Management

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Written by Charmydevine Beane

Category: Change Management

Assessing organizational culture and conducting a current state assessment of your existing programs and departments can provide great insight into the change management principles and tools used today. By understanding your organization’s current state, you can leverage existing methodologies and structures and then apply customized change management tools and tactics that best meet the needs of your initiative.

Common Assessment Areas

The most common areas to begin your current state assessment include:

  • Organizational Structure: Your distinct organizational structure, whether top-down or flat, will influence the success of change management. For example, it is common for flat structures to experience faster decision-making and better communication due to the few levels of approvals.

  • Learning and Development Programs: Your organization’s Human Resources department may offer programs that help teach change management principles or methodologies, develop effective change leaders, or overcome resistance to change.

  • New Employee Onboarding Programs: Programs designed to onboard new employees provide the baseline organizational policies, knowledge, and skills to acclimate to your organizational culture. The tools used to prepare new hires for their new roles may also help prepare employees for change.

  • Program Management Office (PMO): Your PMO may provide the structure for delivering changes in the form of products or services through established projects and programs. In contrast, change management applies specific tools and tactics to lead the people side of change. How your organization connects project and change management and understanding what’s currently in flight will provide great insight for change management.

Common Findings from Current State Assessments

I’ve conducted dozens of current state assessments and have uncovered many commonalities across different organizations in terms of their culture, methodologies, and tools.

  • Change management training is often offered as a part of an existing learning program open to all levels of the organization and required for leadership development program participants.

  • Organizations tend to use a single, preferred organizational change management methodology vs. a combination of methodologies.

  • Recent survey responses and focus group discussions can indicate whether there is an appetite for change.

  • The enterprise communications department infuses change management tips and tricks into their monthly system-wide communications.

  • When change management tools have been applied to other initiatives already in progress, new initiatives will often need to stay consistent with methodology and tools.

  • Infrequent communications about what’s driving a change can allow rumors to flourish, so it is important to focus on early and frequent communication to control the message.

By diving in and understanding these areas, you will be equipped to leverage your organization’s preferred change management methodology, existing change management tools and processes, and lessons learned from current change management initiatives.

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