How to create a change management plan template (plus examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 18 November 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Most organisations and businesses go through changes at some time or another. Whether these changes are large or small, an effective change management plan can reduce the amount of disruption for employees and customers. You can introduce changes more successfully by discovering how to plan and set up templates to manage these changes. In this article, we explain what a change management plan template is, discuss when to use them and provide examples of useful templates you can edit and adapt for your transition plans.

Related: How to deliver successful business change in 7 steps

What is a change management plan?

Before discovering how to create a change management plan template, it's worth establishing exactly what a change management plan is. It's a document that outlines the strategy and procedures that are necessary to begin a new project or set up an organisational change. Among other things, this document may include the steps to follow to implement a new project or the details of the different tasks for each member of the staff.

Since introducing changes can be complex, there are recommended processes that managers and change-makers can follow, as set out in the plan. Many factors may affect the implementation process, but a blueprint can help you remember why you want to make changes and what you hope to gain from this transition. The change management plan is a reference point for what you want to do and why.

Related: Change management plans: definition, strategies and benefits

What are the benefits of using a change management plan?

A plan that organises how a company is going to implement change helps the project run more smoothly. It prepares the employees involved in the process and sets out the steps each person is going to follow. Not all employees embrace changes, so the change management plan is designed to help them through what can be a difficult transition. Some of the other benefits include:

  • greater productivity

  • more confident decision-making

  • increased employee morale

  • better communication

  • more creative thinking

Related: The importance of change management for businesses

When do you need a change management plan?

Since there are many benefits of using a change management plan, it makes sense to create one whenever you propose a change project. It can benefit large or small organisational shifts. If you can implement change in an organised way, you're more likely to achieve a successful outcome.

If you don't document projects efficiently, you may find there is a tendency towards 'scope creep'. This term refers to a project moving beyond its scope, which can result in overspending the budget and having to extend the deadline for the completion of the project. A comprehensive change management plan helps you stick to the project's scope, reduce employee stress and stay within your budget.

Related: What does a change manager do? (With levels and advantages)

How to create a change management plan template

To create a change management plan template, it's advisable to explore why you're making the changes and what you hope to gain from them. There are five steps towards a successful project completion:

1. Make a plan

This is a key element of any template. The team taking charge of the project work together on a plan for how to implement the changes or the new project. They delegate tasks for different team members to focus on and establish a timeline for each step of the project.

2. Prepare employees for the changes ahead

It's important to prepare employees for the planned changes. Help employees understand the need for change and what they can expect during and after the process takes place. Set up training and support for each member of the team to learn any new systems or working practices and ensure there is someone available to answer any questions they may have.

3. Introduce the changes or new project

At this stage, you can implement the changes. Work with employees to oversee any difficulties or problems they may encounter with a new system or way of working. Give employees plenty of opportunities to provide you with feedback to ensure they're happy and that they understand the project's progression.

4. Monitor the changes

Check that the changes are going according to the plan. You may find it necessary to modify the sequence of steps at this stage if you find that the outcome is not going to be the same as the plan. Go through your goals and check that everyone is working together on the tasks you set out.

5. Evaluate the outcome

Once you've implemented the changes and everyone involved is happy with how things are progressing, it's time to evaluate how it all went. You can decide whether you think the project is a success or if there may be a need for further changes. The evaluation stage identifies areas for improvement and ideas for how to better implement a similar change in the future.

Related: 11 examples of effective change management principles

Change management plan templates

Here are a few change management plan templates that can help you organise your team and keep a record of a project's progress:

1. Change proposal template

This helps you draw up a template to explore the requirements for change and assess any drawbacks the changes may lead to. It also gives you an estimation of costs. Assessing the overall scope of the project helps you explain why the project is necessary to stakeholders. You can use this change proposal template to help you create your own version:

[Organisation name]

Proposed change: [Short explanation of the changes you expect to see from the project.]

Reason for change: [Details of why you're implementing the project with explanations.]

Intended outcomes: [Specify the outcomes of what you hope the project delivers.]

Estimated duration: [Provide an estimate of how long the project may take from implementation to solidification, including planning time and transitional periods.]

Estimated cost: [Provide an estimate of the cost of implementing the proposed changes, including labour, training and technology or software acquisition.]

Additional factors to consider: [Include important factors that may impact this change project, the project's scope limitations and any risks associated with it.]

Related: How to write a business proposal (step-by-step guide)

2. Communications strategy template

A communications strategy is essential in any change plan. Creating a streamlined communication model is a priority to help team members who are going to be impacted by the proposed changes. Here is a communications strategy template you can use as a guide:

[Organisation name]

Change management model:

[Give an explanation of which change management model or combination of models you plan to implement. Each model influences your strategy.]

Change leader:

[Specify who is taking the role of change leader]

[Title and role]

Event or action:

[List the changes you plan, the training you propose and when you expect this to occur, plus the processes to follow.]

Date:

[Name a date for the start of the process]

Parties taking part:

[Who is working on the communication, project management and follow-up stages.]

Reasons for the communication:

[Explain why the communication is necessary and what you hope to achieve from it.]

Method of communication:

[Explain how you expect to initiate communication, including if you're using multiple channels, whether you're using the intranet, online meeting rooms, in-person meetings and the type of training you're proposing.]

Related: What is a change agent? (Definition and skills guide)

3. Change leaders template

Defining who's leading your change project is a key aspect of planning a successful transition. To ensure success, appoint the leaders you expect to support, manage and monitor the changes. Your change management plan identifies who is going to manage the changes:

[Organisation name]

Change leader 1:
[Name]
[Title and role]
[Reason for involvement]
[Key responsibilities]
[Names of team members managed by change leader]

Change leader 2: [Name]
[Title and role]
[Reason for involvement]
[Key responsibilities]
[Names of team members managed by change leader]

Change leader 3:
[Name]
[Title and role]
[Reason for involvement]
[Key responsibilities]
[Names of team members managed by change leader]

4. Template for change management analysis

It's important to assess the success of your change management plan. Change management analysis helps you keep a track of what went right and what you may have modified if you were to embark on a similar plan in the future. This analysis can help you decide whether you think the changes are successful and if you may require further modifications in the future. Here's the analysis template:

[Organisation name]

Change management model:
[Specify your choice of change management model or combination of models. The models directly influence your analysis of each step in the implementation process.]

Event or action:
[Explain what you plan to analyse. These events may align with events or actions from the communications plan.]

Date:
[Original date of event or action.]

Date of analysis:

[Date you're analysing the project.]

Issues:
[List what you believe could have gone better, include any mistakes you've identified and any aspects of the event or action that you could improve in future.]

Successes:
[Highlight what went well and the direction you want to take in future events or actions.]

Action:
[Your conclusions from the analysis and next steps.]

Disclaimer: The model shown is for illustration purposes only, and may require additional formatting to meet accepted standards.

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