Planned Change Meaning

Meaning of planned change: Under a planned approach to change, change is ‘top-down’ in nature and refers to the sequential process of systematically planning, organising, and implementing change so that an organisation can move from its current state to a desired future state (i.e., realising its vision) in a short period. Hayes observes that planned changes in organisations are usually triggered by the failure of people to create continuously adaptive organisations. 

What is planned change?

Thus, planned changes are designed to change the behavioural elements of an organisation, such as people, processes and organisational culture, and ultimately lead to improved organisational outcomes. In the planned approach, change is initiated internally within the organisation in response to environmental pressures and the change usually affects many different parts of the organisation. Further, the top management of the organisation is not only responsible for initiating the change, but also for its main planning and implementation. Burnes adds that implementation under the planned model of change depends on detailed plans and projections as well as the the role of managers.


Planned Change Definition

According to Warren Bennis, “Planned change encompasses the application of systematic and appropriate knowledge to human affairs to create intelligent action and choices”. 

According to Lippit, Watson, and Westley, “Planned to change it a purposeful decision to effect improvements in a personality system or a social system that is achieved with help of professional guidance”.



Features of Planned Change

Planned change has the following features:
Features of Planned Change,  Planned Change : Meaning, Definition, Steps for Managing Planned Change

1) Deliberate, Systematic and Rational: Planned change is always deliberate, systematic and rational in nature. These changes are the result of innovative and creative thinking on the part of the manager.


2) Changes with Changing Environment: Planned change aims at coping with a changing environment and achieving a new set of goals for the organisation. These changes may arise both from internal as well as external environments. For example, if the organisation grows, planned changes are made to keep it in the right direction and to maintain continuity. Similarly, if there is a change in the competition, the manager has to develop a suitable course of action to deal with it effectively.


3) Natural and Inevitable: Planned changes are natural and inevitable. An organisation faces this problem regardless of its size. Every organisation makes some structural changes in response to the changing environment.

4) Broader in Scope and Magnitude: Planned changes are broader in scope and magnitude. They may affect the whole organisation or a substantial part of it in a significant way. Thus these changes aim at preparing the entire organisation to adapt to change.


5) Have Positive and Negative Aspects: Planned changes may have both positive as well as negative aspects. If they have a positive aspect, they are more readily accepted by the employees; otherwise, the employees may resist the changes. 


6) Expensive: Planned changes are difficult, expensive and painful also. Due to these changes, employees may be compelled to surrender their comfortable and convenient work habits. Similarly, some local employees may lose their jobs.


7) Focussed: Planned change may focus on the structure, processes, technology, people and organisational goals, depending on the nature and magnitude of change.



Steps for Managing Planned Change

Managing planned change requires a sustained commitment of resources to the change implementation process. Various steps involved in managing planned change are as follows:


1) Engage in debate or dialogue about the need for change and the nature of the proposed solution. 

2) Communicate consensus or decisions to all stakeholders.

3) Form a coalition to manage the change process.

4) Develop a work plan and ways to measure progress (metrics).

5) Implement the proposed change by integrating it into organisational culture, structure, and strategy. 

6) Listen and learn, adjusting the nature of the solution and the speed of the process as needed.


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