How to Create a Winning Change Plan

Have you identified your key constituents?Have you identified your key constituents?
How do you create a successful change plan?

How do you create a successful change plan?

As you’ve gathered from our posts the last two weeks the leadership of organizational change is both an art and a science. I often say that change is a reactionary sport. However, we do want to be as anticipatory as possible.

Yes, we have to react but a change plan is crucial to be able to influence the activities of the change initiative and the organization in the proper direction. A plan is also necessary to determine how many tools to activate from our tool box. So how do you create a winning change plan?

So far we’ve looked at your skills as a change leader and how we think about our constituents.

The Change Planning/Monitoring Workshop

The Change Planning Workshop is actually a facilitated workshop with the key members of your change team. While it can be conducted in one long session it can also be completed in small chunks. Also, notice the word monitoring in the title. This indicates that this activity must be repeated and updated throughout the change project.

In this planning workshop we examine the scope of the change, change complexity, potential resistance, the strength of the team, and the organizational impacts of the change.


How far do you go? What’s connected to this project? Is there a series of projects? Is this a pilot? Clarity is important.

Scope creep is inherent in a change project. Take the time to anticipate where this will occur and begin to build the plan for this.

Change Complexity

Most of the change initiatives all of us work with are usually off the charts as far as complexity and everyone knows it. Why spend time analyzing complexity? By analyzing specific impacts of our change initiative and how each constituent group views these potential complexities, we’re given a glimpse into each constituent group and how our change will affect them. The change complexity rating serves as a communication tool and provides a clear sense of direction.


Resistance is extremely valuable and does more to shape direction for the change team than anything else. We seek resistance and use it. There are basically two main sources of resistance: 1) a misunderstanding, or 2) a resistor who is correct and has recognized a real roadblock. We want to know about resistance as early as possible. The workshop allows us to identify high level resistance and then deeply analyze each individual resistor to create a campaign moving forward.

Team Assessment

One of the things that our constituents look at regarding our change initiative is how important the initiative is in the grand scheme of things. The right people on the team shows the importance of the change initiative.

This starts with an evaluation of executive sponsors and then individual project team members. The goal is to identify where the team needs additional support.

Organizational Impacts

This facet of the workshop is to identify the impacts on the organization that result from the change project, or are necessary for the change project to be successful.

Here we’re looking for things like incentive programs, high level directives, etc. These are the things that if not changed will result in something less than success.

These components provide custom direction for each change initiative. Monitoring these components throughout the change initiative allow for adjustments over time. In the Web Series (see below) we provide and discuss the actual forms and tools you can use to conduct your own Change Planning/Monitoring Workshop.

Change Leadership Web Series with Jim Canterucci

Learn more and register for this 7 part web series that brings you Change Leadership education in a convenient and practical way. The focus is on application of a solid change leadership methodology and analysis of the approaches you use in the field. Seating is limited. Click Here.

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