Time Management Tactics in Change Management Strategy
When managing change in the workplace, a critical skill you must adopt is time management. Unless you manage your own time effectively, and construct a framework in which your team does the same, your project is likely to descend into chaos.
Poor time management when managing change in the workplace results in:
- Missed deadlines
- Poor-quality work
- Unnecessary stress
- A failed change initiative
It will damage your professional reputation. In your attempts to get the change project back on track, you’ll find yourself working more hours. The work/life balance of you and your team (itself critical to change success) will be tipped the wrong way. The more unbalanced this becomes, the more your team are likely to resist the change being made.
Change is a project of many time-restrained parts
Though creating autonomy in teams will help engage your employees and stay on track, the change project must still be managed in the context of the whole.
A change project has the dynamics of an engine with many moving parts. If one part stops, the rest come grinding to a halt.
The result is more delays. The knock-on effect of poor time management of one individual or within a single team can be catastrophic.
6 Tactics for managing change in the workplace more effectively
To manage time through a change project, start managing it before the project begins, and then use tactics to ensure the entire team embeds time management as a crucial element in how they work. Here are six tactics to excel in time management within your change management strategy.
Step #1: Plan for change
Prior planning prevents poor performance. It’s the number one factor in successful time management through organizational change.
To plan successfully, consider all the moving parts in your organization, and ask:
- Which will be affected?
- How will they be affected?
- What new processes and procedures must be onboarded?
- How long will it take each moving part to deliver one piece in the puzzle?
Involve your people in these discussions. Sound them out. Explain what is happening and why. Ask them for their timelines to completion.
Do your homework, and then, as you would with any project, include contingency planning. It is easier to bring things forward than it is to push them back.
Step #2: Prioritize tasks and activities
Again, with your team, prioritize the tasks that are most important to achieve. Those tasks that are mission-critical.
The key focus should be in getting all the important things done. Techniques you should help your team to use include the urgent/important (Eisenhower) matrix. This tool will help to eliminate the fire-fighting that negatively impacts so many change projects. Your people will instead focus on the important but not urgent tasks. Time to deal with emergencies is inbuilt when you master this method.
Step #3: Resist multitasking and create focus
When you try to accomplish too many things at once, your focus wanders. Research shows that multitasking impairs your best thinking and stops you completing tasks effectively. By working to a to-do list of your priorities, you will focus on the important – the things that help to keep the change project moving.
Step #4: Eliminate distractions
Distractions are a curse. They destroy productivity. Turning to the science again, studies by the University of California found that it can take almost a half hour to recover focus after a single distraction.
Encourage your people to create environments in which distractions are minimized, and preferably eliminated, outside regular breaks. Just a few distractions each day is all it takes to add a day each week to any project timeline.
Step #5: Keep people on track with time management tools
There are many tools that are designed to help individuals and teams manage their own time more effectively. Treat your change management as you would project management. Embed these in the psyche of your team, and help them to use time management software not only to use their own time effectively, but to collaborate more closely and deliver more effective team and inter-team time management.
Step #6: Make time for people management
Time is precious. So, too, are the concerns and anxieties of your team. Make time for them. Hold regular team meetings and one-to-ones. Encourage open and honest discussion and feedback. In such an environment, you will be alerted of issues before they cause destructive resistance to change.
Great change managers are great time managers
It is no surprise that good change managers are good time managers. They keep projects on track, help their people and teams complete their tasks in a timely fashion, and always have time to discuss concerns of individuals and teams.
If you want to excel in change management, excel in time management.
We help organizations and their leaders and managers to master the personal nature of change and embed the strategies and methods to energize change. To find out more, contact Primeast Forward Focus.