6 Strategies to Reduce the Cost of Change Management

In today’s world, adapting to change is crucial, but success requires using resources wisely. As businesses face the dual pressure of cost reduction and continued transformation in trying times, the question emerges: How do you remain an organization that continues to embrace change, keeping ahead of the curve, while simultaneously meeting the imperative to cut costs?

In this blog, we’ll look at six strategies that can help achieve change in a way where excellence exists in harmony with fiscal responsibility.

1. Start Early to Design for Cost-Efficiency

Embarking on transformation early affords your organization the luxury of time, an invaluable asset. By initiating the process in advance, you pave the way for thorough analysis, comprehensive feasibility studies, and diligent risk assessments. Doing this allows you to identify viable paths and potential roadblocks, resulting in informed decision making and a more cost effective transformation journey.

A headstart in planning also allows you to take your time with the change rollout instead of making decisions in haste. This in turn minimizes disruptions and reduces both errors and rework. This early start negates the need for reactive measures driven by time constraints, thereby mitigating the risk of higher expenses and subpar outcomes.

2. Create Momentum for Sustained Change

If you want change to run on schedule and not face delays and overruns, you need to create momentum within your teams. One way to do this is by incorporating smaller victories on the road to your ultimate goal. Integrating quick wins into your transformation plan gives a sense of achievement and instills a positive dynamic within your teams. These initial triumphs serve as catalysts, igniting morale and enhancing change adoption, because your team is able to see the fruits of their hard work immediately. And such an environment can become infectious, creating even more momentum, curtailing potential delays rooted in resistance or reluctance.

Additionally, large transformations either save on costs, strengthen revenues, or do both together. By embedding early wins, you can glimpse into the future and see what your return on investment (ROI) might look like. And just like early revenue is a positive sign, early ROI establishes a compelling narrative that justifies ongoing and future budget allocations, ensuring that resources are continuously aligned with tangible progress.

3. Use The Expert Expertly

Harnessing specialized knowledge and experience effectively can address key transformation challenges head-on. Consultants offer crucial insights, guidance, and support to conquer obstacles, ensuring streamlined processes and minimizing setbacks. To make the most of their expertise, strategically deploy consultants to focus on critical areas that demand specialized skills.

However, it’s equally important to be mindful of the consultant’s role and value proposition, given their considerable cost. Reserve their involvement for mission-critical planning and expert tasks like formulating your change strategy and communication plan, change leadership development, and for guidance and oversight.

Delegate the day-to-day execution of transformation initiatives to your in-house employees. This includes tasks such as monitoring implementation, collecting feedback, and documentation and reporting to your in-house employees. To ensure your team can effectively manage the transformation, prioritize investing in knowledge transfer and building internal change capabilities. This way, you can cut the cost of change management without compromising on the success of your outcomes. In fact, McKinsey research shows that organizations that invest in capability building during a change implementation are twice as likely to sustain positive outcomes beyond three years.

A helpful way to ensure your in-house team is empowered to take on day-to-day execution is to equip them with enterprise change management software like Volonte. Its powerful features help you streamline change implementations and track team progress in real-time, while simultaneously upskilling your workforce. This assures high-quality change implementations using tool purpose-built by change experts, all at a fraction of the cost of relying on consultants for end-to-end transformation efforts.

4. Engage Employees From Day One

Involving employees in change is absolutely crucial to its success. By engaging employees eary on, organizations can tap into their firsthand knowledge of daily operations, which helps identity inefficiencies.

More importantly, when employees are asked for their inputs and their contributions are valued, they develop a positive attitude towards the change initiative. This positive sentiment translates into quicker adoption of the changes, as employees are more inclined to embrace changes they have had a hand in shaping. Research shows that allowing employees to own implementation planning increases the chances of change success by 24%.

In essence, by engaging your team in the change process, you not only harness their creativity and expertise but also create a more cost-effective and smoother transformation journey.

5. Turn Your Entire Organization into Change Agents

Transforming every member of your organization into agents of change is an excellent strategy that harnesses existing resources optimally. By leveraging their skills and knowledge you can reduce your reliance on expensive external consultants, who sometimes might also require more time to get acclimated to your organization and its ways of working.

Moreover, when your team actively participates in the change process, it accelerates the implementation timeline, mitigates the risk of costly delays, and fosters a culture of self-sufficiency, which is useful for any future changes as well. As a result, the organization saves on both the financial and the time front, making the transformation process efficient in more ways than one.

6. Track Change Metrics to Course-Correct Quickly

Monitoring progress in a change implementation is not easy. Often, companies operate with no visibility into what is working and what needs improvement. Continuing with inefficiencies reduces productivity, causing delays and overruns, which in turn increase costs.

Keeping a vigilant eye on productivity not only exposes inefficiencies but also allows for swift corrective actions. Data-driven insights become guiding lights, aiding decisions regarding resource allocation, project priorities, and areas needing targeted attention. For example, tracking implementation metrics like timeliness, employee participation rates in change activities, and project completion rates minimizes waste and ensures cost-effectiveness.

Utilizing purpose-built change management software like Volonte simplifies the process. It centralizes the tracking of employee engagement, timeliness, completion rates and other success indicators. Changeflows allow you to build custom roadmaps that guide employees through what’s required of them to participate in particular change initiatives, and track progress at the individual and team-levels. The Impact Dashboard allows you to get a bird’s eye view of your organization’s overall progress and change readiness with its many metrics like the Agility Score and Real ROI, to help you make informed decisions.

Each of these ideas guarantees a reduction in the cost of change management, without compromising on the quality of the transformation. And with Volonte, you don’t need to worry about the how of it. If you would like to see how all of these can be put into action and yield tangible results, get in touch to learn more.