Plan or "hope for the best" when managing change?


I'd be interested to hear how people in the asset management / reliability community handle change.

Do you plan or just put a plan for change out there and hope for the best?

Do you use any change management tools / models?

There are some fairly simple, quick tools out there and I'd be happy to share if anyone has interest.

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  I think if you find some articles about the U.S. Navy's recent decision to eliminate Enlisted Ratings altogether (a 240 year tradition) with virtually zero change management tools utilized, and then look at the ensuing backlash, I think you'll find a good case made for effective change management. I've been retired from the Navy for over 20 years and I was offended by it! 

Michael Meehan, CMRP, CRL, EM1(SS), USN, RET

I use the ADKAR tool: Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Action, Reinforcement. Its more for organizational change management but I've found in works in this arena because its simple and my team can relate it to a broad spectrum of changes. The degree to which we follow it (the level of formality) is dictated by the significance and complexity of the change that needs to take place. Sometimes its just running through those steps in our mind, and other times its a fully outlined project plan built around those major stages of change. But pausing for a moment and asking, "is there sufficient awareness and desire to make this change" helps tremendously before they launch into something.   


If you don't plan for change, you fail to plan and an uphill battle. It's about integrating culture and addressing "people, processes and technologies" as you move from one asset management environment to another. This is around outsourcing and being a 3rd party service provider and is particularly relevant in 1st generation outsourcing.

Thanks for your comments guys.

It seems to me that once we have the technical things in shape we have concentrate more on the people side of things. I use forcefield analysis sometimes to assess how successful a change might be.Anyone familiar with that technique? I can post something if anyone's interested. 


As with any endeavor, planning is always the best path when managing change.  The tools used are also situational dependent on what change you are trying to make.  If it is a change to an asset or process , then some type of management of change form/procedure should be utilized.  If it is an organizational/people change then the change should be communicated before hand at least to those affected by the change if it is something than cannot be communicated to the group immediately.

If it is a strategy change, such as pursuing better planning and scheduling for instance, the leader should let his employees know that moving forward we are going to be pursuing better planning and scheduling, and this is how we plan to get there.  After communication a change like this  it is important to let your direct reports know the change is going to begin at this date and any deviation after that is not acceptable.

Hope this helps,


Greetings Derek,

That is a great question! as with any dynamic process, planning will go a long way so long there is follow up and follow through. Additionally, there shall be some form of metric to identify if we are headed in the right direction and to adjust the plan accordingly. Please share tools you use, it will be greatly appreciated.