Change is inevitable in all aspects of life. In the business world, if change is handled effectively, it can result in improved performance, enhanced employee satisfaction, and innovative growth. Changes may occur at an organizational level, such as reorganizing staff or introducing a new product, or they can be specific to a project, such as schedule or budget changes. Change management provides a structured approach to handling changes so that organizations and projects can not only adapt, but also control the process to promote smooth transitions and successful outcomes.
A change management plan outlines the strategy and procedures for dealing with changes. It may describe general procedures such as submitting a change request for review by the Change Control Board, how changes will be assessed, and other process details. Or, a plan may provide details on how a specific change will be managed, including the type and scope of the change, roles and responsibilities, budget requirements, stakeholder management, and other relevant information. While there are common steps to the change management process, a plan should be customized based on the culture and objectives of an organization as well as the attributes of a given change.
The key to saving time, alleviating stress, and reducing costs in change scenarios is having clearly defined change management procedures. Templates can serve as tools for strategizing, planning, and implementing a change management policy. To help you get started, we’re offering multiple template options below. You can download templates for Excel and Word, or use Smartsheet’s change management plan template, which offers enhanced collaboration features.
Prevent ‘Scope Creep’ With a Change Management Plan
The scope of a project includes all of the work required to deliver the final outcome. When changes to project scope are not properly documented and controlled, “scope creep” can result, which often starts with small adjustments to a project that have not been reviewed and approved and thus become problematic over time. To prevent issues with timelines and project outcomes, any change to project scope should be considered carefully in order to make appropriate adjustments and keep projects on track. Even a small change may impact multiple components of a project, so it’s important for project managers to identify and address change requests as they arise, including who or what may be affected by the change, whether it’s team members or other staff, clients, technology requirements, or business operations.
A change request assessment reviews these impacts as well as the risks and benefits of a proposed change, requirements for implementing the change, and other factors. Once a change request has been approved by the Change Control Board or project sponsors, project baselines must be altered to accommodate it, and the changes must be documented and communicated to stakeholders as needed. A change management plan outlines all of the steps in this process, and helps to ensure that changes are handled effectively and with minimal risk.
Change Proposal Template
A detailed change proposal describes why the change is needed, expected outcomes and impacts, time and resources required, and any other factors that need to be reviewed. As the name implies, a change proposal may be the first step in a change management process, and outlines the type and scale of a change and seeking approval to move forward with implementation. This template includes space for adding descriptive information as well as sections for calculating costs and benefits.
Change Management Communications Plan Template
An effective communications plan is crucial at every stage of a project, and communicating with stakeholders about changes can be especially important. Just as stakeholder analysis is part of initial project planning, it applies to any changes that need to be implemented during a project lifecycle. You can use this template to create a change management communications plan to be integrated into your broader plan.
Change Management Log Template
A change management log tracks who requested what change and when, the status of the change request, its priority, and resolution information. Depending on how thorough you need the log to be, other details such as the type and impact of the change may be included. This log template is designed for keeping track of vital information so that change requests can be easily prioritized, addressed, and referenced later.
Change Impact Assessment Template
Before a change request can be approved, it needs to be analyzed for potential impact. An impact assessment looks at what people, systems, and process will be affected by a change as well as the likely level of impact. It may examine the timing of impact, risks that need to be considered, and actions that may help mitigate the impact. This template can be used for assessing changes on its own or added to a management plan as supporting information.
Organizational Change Management Plan Template
Organizational changes affect individuals, groups, and the organization as a whole. Strategic planning can help anticipate resistance from employees or other stakeholders and provide insight into managing any resistance that can’t be avoided. Having a clear communications plan can help by collecting feedback from employees and ensuring active participation from project sponsors and other leaders. Planning, implementation, and reinforcement mechanisms are all important aspects of successful organizational change, both in terms of a smooth transition process and for creating lasting change. You can use this template to create a detailed organizational change management plan that addresses all aspects of the change process.
Change Request Template
A change request form is standard documentation in change management and may include information on the project, the change being requested, evaluation details, and resolution. This form can be used to initiate a change control process and for documenting closed change requests. You can modify this change request template to include whatever details are needed for your specific change process.
Change Management Process Template
Fill out this diagram to reflect your change management process, from change request flows to measuring and reporting the outcome. You can include this diagram in your change management plan for a visual representation of the process. Showing a breakdown of each step helps to simplify the process and provides a snapshot view for easy reference.
Download Change Management Process Template
Change Management Policy Template
This change management policy template provides an outline for describing how a change will be managed, from defining the type and scope of a change to roles and responsibilities for those involved to assessing risk factors. You can provide detailed information on your change control process and what procedures need to be followed. This template can also be used for creating a change management plan for a specific project.
Change Management in Healthcare Organizations
There are many areas in a healthcare organization where change can bring about increased process efficiency, improved patient satisfaction, and stronger security of data and information. Planning for these changes and reviewing how they will impact your business can ensure that the changes are welcome and helpful.
As changes occur in healthcare organizations, these businesses are required to acquire and maintain the same expertise needed to carry out tasks and provide optimal care to patients and clients. Additionally, healthcare companies must abide by stringent security measures, ensuring that all data and health information are securely stored, tracked, and maintained. To manage and adapt to all changes, you need a powerful, real-time, and secure tool to maintain business efficiency and data security.
Smartsheet is a work execution platform that enables healthcare companies to improve work efficiency, scale repetitive processes, and securely store and share protected health information. Streamline documentation, improve communication of changes across your organization, and modify healthcare processes for the better, while also maintaining top-level data security compliant with HIPAA’s regulatory requirements. Track the progress of changes in individual processes with all-up reports and centralized, real-time dashboards.
Interested in learning more about how Smartsheet can help you maximize your efforts? Discover Smartsheet for Healthcare.
Why Smartsheet is the Ultimate Tool for Managing Processes
Smartsheet is a work management and automation platform that enables enterprises and teams to work better. Organizations embracing change management methodologies can utilize Smartsheet’s features to streamline documentation, improve communication, and modify work styles. During the strategic planning phase, you can use Smartsheet to proactively chart your vision, align the right timelines, and empower your team members to share their ideas with an accessible model.
Track the progress of your processes with Smartsheet Sights. Build a customized, centralized dashboard in Sights to surface key information and stay updated in real time. The automated reporting tool provides visibility into resources, status, and performance so you can quickly align operations to strategy.
Ready to try Smartsheet for yourself and start managing processes with ease?