As businesses are preparing to start up again, or already have started up, they will have to implement changes to the way they work.
Where do problems come from?
The most common reason for major quality issues, is that something changed along the process and that this change was not properly managed. We are used to structure and standardisation. As soon a change comes up, we keep doing what we’ve always done and then it goes wrong.
Therefor change management is an essential part of your management system. A well-established change management system will look at all possible new and changed risks before implementing the change.
Management of change is a team effort and roles and responsibilities have to be clearly described in the procedure: who has to review what and what would be a showstopper for the change.
What after the change?
And once the change has been carried out, it has to be verified if the change is working and resulted in the desired outcome. If not, you might have to go back to the previous state and do the change management, including the risk assessment, all over again. That’s why the roles and responsibilities have to be clear: everyone in the team has to be a specialist to be able to define the impact of the change in their area of expertise, to do the change management first time right.
The importance of a consensus
A last important item on change management: the whole team has to agree with the change (after the necessary actions have been taken). Every part of the change management process and risk assessment is equally important and cannot be just overruled. This might imply that a consensus has to be found between different stakeholders in this change management, and that’s where the different risk assessments come into play. For example: the financial risk assessment might find an investment to implement the change in a certain way is too high, while a quality department counts on that investment to reduce the risk on their side. Finding that balance is not always easy and might take some time.
Key take-away from this: don’t rush into a change and make sure that all risk assessments have been carried out, actions agreed and taken, consensus on implementing the change is established before implementing the change. And after implementation, don’t forget to verify the result of the change and adjust where needed. It, again, all comes down to Plan-Do-Check-Act.
We would like to help you with setting up a change management system and procedure: contact us for a practical approach and prevent issues.