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Change Management Plan

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Executive Summary

            The intent of the Marcklik Solutions change management plan is to aid the company which has been formed as a result of a merger to successfully go through the change process.

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This plan focuses on the changes in the human resource where changes in roles are likely to affect operations. Differences in cultures of the merging organizations; Marcklik Inc and Software Solutions need to be effectively brought together to come up with a neutral culture. These are changes that could be challenging to employees hence the need for proper planning and management of the change process. This change management plan lays out the procedures for employee selection in managerial positions and elimination of some workers following the merger. It defines the time frames required for implementation of the changes, training procedures and evaluation procedures to check the progress of the change and the effects resulting from the changes. It also gives suggestions for rewards for high performance and provides options for employees to give recommendations or request changes that they deem necessary for best results.

Introduction

            Implementing change within the organization should not be a complex undertaking. Managing this change and ensuring that it achieves the desired objectives however isthe most challenging task. Not only does it require knowledge of the intended change but also calls for keen follow-ups into the progress in the change process. Failure to understand organizational change management, poor communication, incompetence in the workforce and inadequate training could thwart the change process which is the reason why this change plan will address these issues. The change management plan is meant to re-organize the management and staff responsibilities for Marcklik Solutions Inc which is the result of a merger between Marcklik Inc and Software Solutions. This plan will also ensure that a common culture is implemented within the new organization so as ensure smooth operations. These will aid the organization in achieving the objectives of the merger. Marcklic Inc has been supplying computer hardware for the last six years now. The merger with Software solutions therefore presents an opportunity for the new company to deal with both hardware and software products. This is not the only benefit that the organization will obtain but it could record increased sales, elevated brand value and cost savings. This however will not come easy due to the change problems associated with mergers. There is bound to be elimination of some staff members and the organizational chain of command will change. This may not auger well with everyone’s interests within the organization. The ultimate objectives must however be met.

            The need for this change management plan is both timely and necessary. Management specialists maintain that a plan should be availed if changes designed to enhance the performance of the organization are to be achieved. A change management plan for Marcklik Solutions is especially important because of the following factors:

a)         A merger involves the incorporation of two companies with different cultures which could pose a real challenge in the resulting organization.

b)         Management re-shuffles are highly necessary and this implies that new organizational     structures and titles will have to be formulated.

c)         Given the above changes, resistance could be quite dominant. It is a common occurrence for managers to quit after mergers as a result of their change in ranks following a merger.

d)        These challenges can only be overcome through following the change management plan so that the objectives of the merger are met. This comprehensively structured change management plan is just what the organization needs.

Purpose

            The purpose of this change management plan is to enhance a successful transition of the company and its shareholders following changes brought about by the merger. The plan will ensure that all changes are well coordinated throughout the project lifetime and that reviews and approvals are made to any proposed changes during implementation of the project. Approved changes must then be communicated to stakeholders.

Goals and objectives

·         To guide employees through the change process until it is effectively implemented in the organization.

·         To ensure that all the employees are well informed on the new roles they are expected to play in the new organization.

·         To conduct fair lay-off .

·         To monitor the progress of the changes and effectively address any shortcomings.

·         Consider any changes that could prove vital in the implementation of the change process.

·         Communicate all changes made to the affected parties as soon as they are approved.

Phases and their time frame

            The implementation of the change will bring out the best outcome if it is divided into phases. According to Cameron and Green (2004), matching these phases with milestones serves the purpose of giving the plan a sense of direction. It is also essential because it helps to measure the progress of the change process through examining accomplished milestones (Alderman, 2004). This is better done if a schedule in which all these milestones must be achieved is formulated. The table below will outlines the phases in which the change process will be implemented.

Time
Phase
Milestones
July 1 – July 6
·         Selection of managers

·         Training of managers
·         The selection is meant to integrate the management process making sure that the best managers are selected and that the process considers managers from both companies.
July 1 – July 6

Staff Placement – This will go concurrently with manager selection.
·         To get the best qualified employees from both companies who will help achieve company objectives (Best corporate mix).

·         To ensure that the process of selection is fair
July 7
Dismissal of laid-off staff
·         This phase will involve assuring the dismissed staff that they will obtain all their dues in three months time. It will also mark the beginning of the company’s operation as a new entity.
July 8- July 30
·         Training

·         Implementation of changes

·         Analyzing feedback

·         Performing evaluations
·         Each member of staff should understand the activities performed by each company before the merger. Implications of the merger should be properly understood.

·         Full integration of culture.

·         Training on the new procedures, requirements and corporate culture. By the end of the training, every member of staff should be able to handle all procedures. Results obtained from evaluations and feedback will be used as a basis for this conclusion.
August 1-3
Evaluations and final report preparation.
·         To ensure all required objectives were met. Report showing overall performance and success of the project to be written.

Important Participants in the change process

            As the internal consultant, I will be there to oversee that all phases are implemented. This task however cannot be done single-handedly which is why great assistance will be required from change agents. This plan identifies heads of departments as the most influential change agents because they are very close to the employees working under them (Smith, 2001). We are also going to need senior managers to who will be actively involved in educating these leaders on the way forward following the merger. In essence, managers will give information to departmental leaders who will then pass it to the employees.

            Strategies have been formulated to help departmental managers acquire as many skills and information as they can concerning the new organization. They will need constant training on new procedures; products that the company will deal with; and any other changes likely to be implemented in the process. This is the sole reason why departmental managers will be trained before the other members of staff. It will ensure they are well conversant with every bit of the training procedure which will make it easier to disseminate this information to their juniors. Below is a table showing all the parties incorporated in the change management plan. As indicated in the roles, departmental managers have to deal with employees which places on them the hardest yet very vital task. This is the reason as to why they make an important part of the team.

Parties involved
Role
Internal consultant
·         To ensure all procedures in the change management plan are implemented.

·         Offer guidance on any unclear details of the plan.

·         Make follow-up reports on the progress of the change process.

·         Approving change request forms
Board of Directors
·         Selection of senior managers
Senior Managers
·         Selection of departmental managers

·         Staff selection

·         Training departmental managers

·         Instilling the need for change on departmental managers.

·         Approving change request forms
Departmental Managers
·         Training staff

·         Instilling the need for change on departmental employees.

·         Making follow-ups on change progress and giving reports

Hindrance to change

            Implementation of the change process cannot be smooth all the way and leaders will definitely encounter pitfalls along the way (Cook and Macauly, 2004). The most prevalent is resistance to change which is likely to be witnessed among some members of staff. Employees resisting change could be a great hindrance to the proper implementation of the program thereby slowing it down (Cohen and Kotter, 2005). Resistance to change according to Cohen and Kottler can be managed if the causes of resistance are established.

            Managing resistance to change

            Every organization is made up of different personalities, feelings, fears and aspirations. There are those who are optimistic while others are pessimistic; some are introverts while others are extroverts. In these respects, different people will respond differently to change either accepting or rejecting it (Yoming, 2003). Resistance to change could be a deterrence to the effectiveness of the intended change process hence the reason why it should be well taken care of.

            Since it is human nature to resist change Smith (2001) notes that it is possible for people to accomplish everything if only their apprehensions are exceeded by their will and desire. This apprehension is what should be eliminated so as that all parties involved are inclined in the same direction. Resistance to change is common in most organizational change undertakings which is why change agents must play a vital role towards ensuring that change is well accepted within the organization (Hiatt, 2006). Managers must be actively involved in creating an environment that emphasizes the need for change (Alderman, 2004). The following are some of the areas that the management will address and which are mostly the causes of resistance to change.

Changing habits: This is associated with little tolerance to change. It is often said that old habits are hard to drop and whenever people are used to a certain way of doing things they may find it a nuisance to learn new techniques (Cameron and Green, 2004). Inertia is also used such that whenever new concepts are introduced into the organization, people fear that the change will be a disruption to their current performance level.

            Education concerning the importance of the change probably before the implementation process starts will help to ease the process of change and increase levels of acceptance. Cook and Macaulay (2004) note that it is also advisable to involve the employees in making decisions regarding the change process. In this case, the change request forms to be filled by the employees requesting particular changes will be used. This way, undesirable elements of the change plan will be eliminated and change process enhanced. There are certain circumstances where every effort fails to work in getting employees to accept the change. In such a case, coercion could be used as a last resort. Employees can be forced by the management into accepting the change or face loss of jobs and promotions (Smith, 2001).

Limited resources and information: If the management is not well prepared to implement the change such that resources are not effectively supplied, it could prove hard for employees to commit to change. Poor communication such that the employees are mis-informed or under-informed could cause resistance to change.

            Communication should be able to curb the problem of inadequate information. This plan makes sure that the all the information that is required for the implementation of change is well distributed to the employees so that every step of the change process goes as planned (Alderman, 2004). Having put the resource requirements in place and a new organizational structure, proper implementation of changes should be able to give the expected results. As a consultant, I will play an important role in the change management process by ensuring that all resources are properly distributed for the various functions. Change agents within the organization will make this a simpler task to accomplish.

Parochial self-interest: This mostly results where there is a threat to power. It occurs when employees feel that a certain change will eliminate their powers which they are already used to. Kottler and Schlesinger point out that such individuals are more mindful of their own interests rather than the success of the organization (Alderman, 2004). They may therefore be reluctant to accept the change.

            Kottler and Schlesinger suggest early buyouts to such individuals who are not ready to embrace change meant to improve the organization. This will be the case for Marcklik Solutions. Once responsibilities have been distributed to all the remaining employees, there are those who may feel that the arrangement is not right. Negotiations will first be conducted in a bid to try and eliminate this resistance by citing the importance of the change. If this does not work, the affected persons will be asked to choose between early retirement or accept the ongoing changes.

Fear of the unknown: It is the nature of humans to fear new experiments because they are not in a position to predict their outcome and prefer to stay with the old ones in which they are more comfortable.

                Support is identified as an effective tactic in managing resistance to change especially where the new procedures vary greatly from previous ones (Hiatt, 2006). Training will be used in most of the change process so that any new concepts and changes in the corporate structure can get used quickly. The departmental leaders will be highly involved in helping the employees adapt to the new system. This means that they will receive more thorough training for this purpose.

Plans for the set milestones

Integration of the management

            In ensuring the best results in the change process, Kotter’s eight step model calls for building of a guiding team (Cohen and Kotter, 2005). In this context, the best team will be selected to head the organization. My role in this selection will be to ensure that fairness prevails during the selection of managers. Once they have been selected, it will be my duty together with the senior managers to ensure that the managers bond, interact and receive all the training that they require. Integration in this context means bringing together management styles used in both companies and coming up with a single management for the whole company. This will be done by the managers themselves and will involve airing of views under my supervision. The best method agreed upon by the managers will be used.

Best corporate mix

            The idea behind selecting the best is to get the best team for implementation of the development of the within the company (Yoming, 2003).  Employees with showing great concern in the change process will make good candidates. This must be shown through answering certain unique questions on the role they expect to play to enhance change and what they think is the impact of the change in the organization. The selection of staff will be based on merit and fair distribution between employees from both companies must be considered. Every member of staff will be required to appear before a management panel where oral interviews and scrutiny of academic papers will be made before the final selection is made.

Complete integration of culture

            The development of a common culture will form the basis of solving the corporate culture differences. There are cultures that are common in both organizations. These will first be identified before thorough scrutiny of the opposing cultures can be performed. Selection of the best mix will then be suggested by committees of members from the two companies. Voting will be used to solve difficult problems. Alderman (2004) suggests four models of cultural change. These include aggressive culture which calls for employees to be ready to take up changes and implement the quickly; congenial culture which requires them to work in teams to help achieve collective goals; risk aggressive culture that causes slow feedbacks and decisions; and  systematic culture which is slow in responding to change. Kotter in his eight steps for successful change advocates for increase in urgency through creating objectives and inspiring people to towards change. This is the criteria to be used by departmental heads in ensuring culture is well integrated. The company will adapt the aggressive culture for the purpose of better achievement of goals.

Stable work environment

            The achievement of a stable work environment is the direct result of the achievement of the above milestones. In other words, it is the end result of all the change processes that will be put in place in this plan. At this point, every employee will be working in harmony with the other as they will have mingled, interacted and learnt every aspect of the other company’s activities.

Change requests

            The immediate project team or the employees may pass requests on changes which they perceive useful in the change process. This is an exercise that will go on during the entire time that the change process is being implemented. Employees are best placed to identify areas that are posing challenges in the change implementation process hence the reason for their involvement (Smith, 2001). Change requests shall be made through filling the change request form that will be available from the internal consultant’s office. They will then be evaluated and approved by the project management in depending on their applicability to the change process and their priority.

Evaluation

            All the above plans cannot be effectively accomplished without making follow-ups on the progress of the process. Furthermore, the constant reviews will reveal areas where changes are needed. This plan will make use of observation method as well as questionnaires to check the progress of the employees in adapting to the changes. While observation could identify bodily language and the ease with which the changes are being adapted, questionnaires will help to establish the views of employees and their take on the progress thus far. Departmental heads will also be required to give weekly reports on the training and their views on the progress of the change process.

            These tactics are subject to the assumption that every employee is committed towards the change. On the contrary, it is possible for people to feign change through lying in questionnaires or pretending yet they are not yet committed. To assess such possibilities, reviews of employee jobs will be necessary and the use of allies to check acceptability of change among the members of staff could come in handy.

Rewards

            The speed with which the objectives of the change process are going to be achieved could be accelerated by the use of rewards. Negative attitudes towards change can also be dissolved if proper incentives are made to employees (Yorming, 2003). The change process will involve a lot of learning on the side of the managers and new responsibilities far from their previous lines. Members of staff who will display high desires to implement the new changes and who eventually adapt to the changes will be rewarded. Rewards will include recognition, promotions and financial tips. Once the desired results are obtained, managers will be given a pay rise as a result of the good work done. Cameron and Green (2004) note that rewards are a good way of encouraging commitment such that this also acts as a criterion to ensuring that the change process is successful.

Ethical and Social Responsibilities

            The implementation of this change some employees are bound to lose their jobs because the not all employees from both companies can be accommodated into Marcklic Solutions. Ethical values postulate that organizations must treat all employees fairly regardless of their race, age and gender (Wilford, 2003). The elimination process will therefore be done on merit basis. Merit will include education level and ability to handle the job in the most diligent manner. For this purpose, both companies will have equal opportunities. Before the elimination process, all employees will be informed on the procedures to be involved and they will be psychologically prepared for any outcomes. Employees who will be laid off will receive any due compensation including pension payments and insurance claims.

            Given that these are two companies that are merging and taking a new name, there is no doubt that customers may have difficulties making their usual supplies. During the training, employees will be educated on the importance of guiding customers through the new procedures. Sales procedures and payment procedures among others are likely to change. Similarly, there are some employees with whom the customers dealt with before could be changed to other departments or could be laid off. It is upon the acting sales representatives to effectively guide the customers on the right path to follow.

            The company must also consider suppliers of both companies. With the merger, some of the suppliers will have to be eliminated. This cannot be done in a haphazard manner. The new procurement department under the leadership of the chief of procurement will undertake the selection of the suppliers. New tenders will be announced so that the process of obtaining suppliers will be fair for everyone.

Conclusion

            Mergers cause a great shift in the operations of any company and many new procedures and changes in the organizational culture are likely to emerge. Without a change management plan like this one, it is hard to coordinate these changes and the results could be detrimental to the operations of the company. A change management plan not only shows the aspects of change but also creates a time-line and the strategies to be used in implementing the desired change. Evaluations and follow-ups ensure that the changes are implemented as planned. Should the change management plan be followed properly, Marcklik Solutions should be able to stabilize its operations within a month after the merger.

Reference List

Alderman, J. (2004). Business Management. New York: McGraw Hill.

Cameron, E. & Green, M. (2004).Making sense of change management: a complete guide to      the models, tools & techniques of organizational change. New Jersey: Kogan Page      Publishers.

Cook, S. & Macaulay, S. (2004). Change management excellence: using the four

intelligences for successful organizational change. New Jersey: Kogan Page Publishers.

Cohen, D & John P. Kotter, J. P. (2005). The heart of change field guide: tools and tactics for    leading change in your organization. UK: Harvard Business Press.

Hiatt, J. M. ( 2006 ). AKDAR: A model for change in business, government and our        community. US: Prosci.

Smith, P. (2001). Effective Change Management. London: SAGE.

Willford, T. (2003). Introduction to ethics: Theories and Principles. London: SAGE.

Yorming, P. (2003). Business Practices. New York: John Wiley.

Appendices

Appendix 1: Change request form to be used by employees.

Date

Requested by

Description of change request

Justification

Priority (High, Medium, Low)

For Official Use Only
Analysis of the change

Estimated Cost of Implementation

Outcomes/Impacts

Recommendations

Evaluated by…………………………………………………………..

Approved or disapproved…………………………………………

For approved changes

Approved by……………….. ……………….    Sign……………………..

 

Cite this Change Management Plan

Change Management Plan. (2016, Aug 21). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/change-management-plan-2/

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