Change is Here to Stay – Embracing Federal Change Management

“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” —John F. Kennedy

Seemingly everywhere we look throughout society, change is occurring at a blistering pace. Often the change transpires so fast we have little or no time to react, leading to non-optimal adoption of the change, ignoring of the change’s benefits, or worse – an unanticipated step backwards for the organization.

Bearded man working at a computer

As federal agencies transform and respond to administration mandates, congressional requests, and global market demands, change is a necessary constant. Maximizing the potential of changes is a huge challenge – and missing out on that potential results in a missed opportunity, wasted resources, and a hit to achieving your agency’s mission.

Agencies’ missions evolve and change. Their workforces change. Their challenges change. While the world around them advances and fluctuates, agencies must adapt or face the prospect of not fulfilling their missions.

Implementing change – such as a new business process, organizational structure, or budget allocation – is just one aspect of the full picture.

Without successful change management, successful adoption of the change is unlikely, resulting in numerous problems that could include reduced job satisfaction, reduced morale, poorer engagement, and wasted resources.

There are several proven steps that a federal agency should embrace to maximize the potential of a new business process or other organizational change, leading to a successful project that helps an agency better fulfill its mission.

  1. Stakeholder analysis
    This initial step will document the needs of the change management process across your agency’s internal and external stakeholders.

  2. Interviews and focus groups
    This step ensures there is an understanding from various perspectives and stakeholder groups.

  3. Change Management Plan
    Creating a formal change management plan ensures everyone involved in the change management process understands the roles of everyone affected, and it serves as the roadmap to help ensure universal buy-in and adoption.

  4. Ongoing stakeholder engagement
    To eliminate misunderstandings, break down silos, and ensure the change process is on track, regularly engaging and meeting with stakeholders is critical.

  5. Employee communications
    Clear and ongoing communications with all affected employees helps ensure successful adoption and generally improves morale and job satisfaction, while removing uncertainty, doubt, and debilitating confusion.

  6. Training
    Having a targeted and clear training plan is another key component of change management that helps improve adoption and success. These should include a range of training events to share information and educate the workforce on changes impacting them.

  7. Supporting Collateral
    Designing, developing, and distributing collateral such as posters, wallet cards, infographics, webinars, training guides, videos, marketing materials, or other communication materials helps employees understand the benefits of the change and how to adapt to the change, which goes a long way to help reach full adoption.

The world is changing and the federal government – including agencies and their workforces – is no exception.

Accordingly, forward-thinking agencies embrace continuous change.

The agencies that are best at managing change will continue to be the most successful.

If you’re ready to learn how our industry-leading change management capabilities can help your agency, contact us today for no-cost consultation.

Joe Abusamra