Creating your first Change Plan Template

This week, I’m going to look at how you go about creating your first Change Plan Template. Before that, it’s probably time for a recap.

I’ve been blogging about Change Management recently. The recent posts have covered subjects such as Change Management Definitions, Change Management Scope and Change Management Process, all in an effort to ‘set the scene’.

The Change Plan Template I mentioned above this the name we give to the whole process you enter into Serio – it defines the tasks, what is meant to happen when, standard times, exception handling – everything you would expect to be included in a standard Change. As always, for full information and documentation, please consult the HowTo guide which is distributed with Serio products – you’ll find an entire book there documenting the Change Management subsystem.

There seems to be a temptation to simply sit down in front of the Change Explorer in Serio and try to ‘create a template’. This is not the right approach! Before approaching the tool, you need to have a clear idea of what process you’ll be following, what will be involved, who is participating, what your reporting will be, and have some agreement with colleagues.

In reality then, you should have something written down before approaching the tool. This might take the form of a simple flowchart or a textual description. Whatever you decide upon, it will be something you can visualise before approaching the Change Template editor.

Working with Affected Teams

One of the big challenges facing a Change Manager is the fact that he or she might be changing the way that individuals and teams work both with themselves and with each other. The most obvious example of this is when there is no Change Management process in place at all, and so staff that have been able to entirely control whatever tasks they perform suddenly have a process ‘imposed’ on them, causing ill-feeling and conflict.

It’s usually advisable for the Change Manager to work with affected teams. My advice to customers is to avoid working with the team as a whole, but to select one ‘Champion’ or ‘representative’ to work with the Change Manager in developing a process, who can make decisions on behalf of their team (my experience has been that large groups are not good at decision making).

In summary, Change Managers have to be able to work effectively and communicate well with different groups, and handle situations calmly where people don’t see eye-to-eye. It’s not something you can do isolation (though I know some that have tried).

I’ll post later in the week about the key parts of a Change Plan Template.