Planning for change

Someone somewhere must have a plan!

There are many ways to manage change. Some aspects of the change programme may need to be designed by subject experts. For example, the national learning management system (NLMS) needed technical experts to develop it, however, the experts have to listen to the needs and wants of users in the design phase if the end result is to be fit-for-purpose.

Change plans should take into account

  • The level of known and unknown information. For example, an e-Learning system will require access to computers. The plan should take into account current access; skills of users, resources available etc and should also know what it doesn’t know eg there has been no audit that provides this level of information in these areas!
  • The history of change in the organisation. What has it done well in the past and what has failed? Why?
  • How much outside expertise is needed and what can be developed in-house?
  • What aspects of the culture might this challenge?
  • How much will it cost and where is the budget coming from? Is there a contingency?
  • How long will the change take and what are the most vulnerable aspects? 
  • Who needs to know what and when? (Communication and Training Plan)
  • What needs to be planned in advance and what can be developed as the programme progresses?
  • What are the milestones and people resources needed to deliver each milestone?
  • What are the risks and how can they be minimised?
  • Who is responsible for the overall delivery of the plan and for each aspect?
  • What skills and support do those responsible for delivery need?

There are many tools that can assist the management and development of projects. One example is Microsoft Project, software that enables project managers to plan a series of activities by timescale and to reflect on dependencies, eg D cannot happen before B is completed. It also enables planners to allocate human resources to activities.

Readiness to change questionnaires can help assess the commitment and skills levels of different groups including participants, change leaders and agents of change.

Sustaining the changes

Back to the Managing change page

Related Resources

    Readiness to Change Questionnaire

    A Toolkit brief guide to developing a readiness to change questionnaire.