Top Things to Consider for Successful Management of Change
How to move the organization through the change with confidence
Production plants for Chemicals, Food, Pharma, etc., need to perform changes all the time — whether the change is in a shift organization, a new process or product introduction, equipment replacement, or another type of change.
Production plants are designed to be safe for the people who work there and the surrounding, so running organizational or technical changes through the safe path must be managed exceptionally well. Before executing a change, the risks of that change must be known and evaluated. Only then can the organization move forward with confidence.
Keep reading to learn more about what makes for effective and safe change management.
Why is good management of change important?
Whether big or small change occurs, every site must go through certain phases, including proposing, approving, implementing, and checking a change.
There are many perspectives to consider in the change process. For example, different specialties like electrical, mechanical, safety, and process are all people who need to work together on their piece of the change and give the change their blessing. The critical question they seek to answer is always will this change introduce any new risks?
Additionally, there should always be someone overlooking the entire change process to balance these perspectives and ensure nothing is overlooked. There are many factors and perspectives to consider for each change, and each change can have a significant impact on the overall process, flow, efficiency, and safety of a site. The management of change procedure should support everything goes as smoothly as possible.
How to define a change?
It is essential to define what we consider a change.
How “big” or “small” the change is determined by the level of risk it introduces. If the plant starts using a new pen in the office, that is probably too small to be managed as a change. Though sometimes, a tiny change can introduce enormous risks. One wrong spare part can bring down an airplane. The key is recognizing changes and adequately assessing the risks they could trigger.
It is a valuable exercise to look in maintenance management systems or permit to work systems to review jobs described there and check whether the job is actually about executing a change. It tells you something about the effectiveness of the organization in recognizing changes.
Once we define a change and identify which events should be managed as a change, it is also essential to decide how to manage them.
Having a single approach to managing changes usually is insufficient. Often when employees find the procedure of submitting low-risk change requests too complex, they tend to bypass it. Thus to handle different types of change fast and smoothly enough, the approach should be agile, and .changes need to be managed differently depending on the scope, complexity, and risk involved in the change.
Download paper on Standardization prepared by Operational Safety Excellence experts.
A hurdle to innovation
One of the downsides of an ineffective change management process is that it prevents innovations. Innovations trigger changes at all levels, technical, behavioral, cultural. While change occurs, it is crucial to keep current processes running smoothly without introducing new risks.
Moreover, if people know that the existing process of managing changes does not support them enough, and thus, changes cause a rise in stress level, hassle, massive documentary work, and extra pressure on safety measures, they may resist the change. The fact that the process’s complexity is high can also result in changes being lost. Somebody is reviewing but not clear who that is. How many changes do you have hanging somewhere halfway?
As a result, those who might benefit from innovation prefer to keep the “oldie, but goodie” status quo.
Why should a site implement management of change software?
There are many benefits to implementing management of change software on–site.
Control of risks
Proper management of change process helps to keep risks low and manage safety at the site by keeping everyone informed of all the ongoing jobs and changes.
The ability to innovate
Creating flow in the process of change will allow the plants to manage more changes. Changes are not done for nothing. They are meant to reduce risks or make the plant more effective or efficient. Do more of them.
Increased efficiency and waste avoidance
Management of change software provides an easy-to-use overview of everything that needs to be done and when it needs to be done. It also helps keep the process flowing so the site can handle more changes with fewer people, optimize resources, and focus on innovation.
Data insights to inform decisions
Tracking every job in the management of change software can help you gather data and identify phenomena like bottlenecks in the process. You can see where the problems are and why. This data can be used to make practical, informed decisions on how to improve the process flow.
Clear procedures and responsibilities
Using the management of change software helps with clear communication and puts everything in one shared dashboard. It allows responsibilities to be easily assigned and procedures to be mapped out. This means there is less need for overhead and oversight, which can greatly improve efficiency.
Management of change software can help keep processes streamlined and on track. This can help ensure that your site is fully compliant with all necessary regulations. It also provides a traceable, trackable record of everything that was done and when. This makes it easy to go back if there are any issues. Having a traceable record can be greatly helpful for site audits.
Acts as a back-up
While nothing is a failsafe, implementing good management of change software can help you and your site avoid mistakes and remind you of what needs to be done so that nothing is forgotten.
Process components of change management
So, what does good management of change look like?
Firstly, the proper process should be adaptable to the nature of change, its scope, complexity, and risk involved in the change choosing the confident path to realize the change. Risks drive the process.
Secondly, the process should contain four basic steps: make the plan, approve the plan, execute the plan, and finally close the job. There are smaller checks to make within these four basic steps, including identifying and mitigating risks, providing necessary authorizations, and completing the required inspections.
Thirdly, the process should be traceable and measurable at each step, giving everybody involved an overview of if everything goes smoothly with a change. For example, measuring the time required to approve changes, several changes with open actions, or time delays between actual versus planned due date of the change can signal if the change goes effectively and put the process on constant improvement rails.
A successful process of implementing change is only possible if the procedure fits the different types of changes and if means are available to share the information correctly and make the status of the change transparent to all those involved.
And that calls for robust management of change software and Unite-X safety software offers this.
Read more about how the Unite-X management of change software can help you.