Change Management Roadmap

Change management roadmaps are valuable tools that will help you manage and analyze your organizational change journey. Without a proper roadmap that defines your goals, actions, and timing, change management becomes much more of a chore than it needs to be.

You will need to do a few things before you create an effective roadmap, most of this prep-work has to do with gathering and analyzing information about the change itself.

There will be 5 main steps to preparing a change-management roadmap. Most of these steps encompass the prep-work I mentioned earlier, but the final step will piece together all that you’ve learned about your organization to create an effective, efficient, and all-encompassing plan for your change efforts.

Heres the list of steps that we will discuss today:
1. Assess change motivators.
2. Analyze the scope of change to form a team.
3. Assess the change-readiness of your organization.
4. Evaluate the resources, budget, and restrictions you have.
5. Delegate resources based on the NEEDS of your organization. (refer to step #3).

If you were to boil down almost all change management efforts and job descriptions into a comprehensive 5-step list, this would be it.

Each one of these points is critical to the health and change-effectiveness of your organization. These points very much act like building blocks upon each other, that is to say, you should follow them in order.

Let’s jump right into the first point to build the foundation for our change management roadmap!

Step 1: Assess Change Motivators

Change motivators are the pressing reasons for change that might be putting your organization into an undesirable space. Perhaps these motivators are putting pressure on your organization in terms of revenue and cost, or perhaps there are unseen (and more difficult) forces at work that are affecting the way your organization does business.

No matter what they are, change motivators are the very reasons why change is being considered, and it is very important to consider these motivators before you begin taking action and planning a roadmap.

Without first considering the change motivators, you may not plan effectively to resolve the true issues that are affecting your organization.

More often than not, people who do not take the time to define what needs to change will make plans and expend resources in remedying the symptoms of issues, and not the issues themselves.

Change motivators can be broken down into two primary categories. Those categories are 1) Internal Motivators, and 2) External Motivators.

Internal motivators are the things that your organization can directly influence and control.

Internal Motivators:
– Culture
– Values
– Leadership
– Technology
– Structures
– Systems
– Etc.

All in all, internal motivators comprise the aspects of business, which you have control of, that may be making a change necessary. For example, let’s say that I have recently discovered that the structure of my organization is ineffective in my business model. Structure is something I have entire control over.

External motivators are things that your organization may have to adapt to as a result of its operating environment.

External Motivators:
– Politics
– Marketplace
– Competition
– Laws/Ordinances
– Etc.

External motivators are things that are not within the direct control of your organization but may be forcing an organizational change to occur. New laws and ordinances that affect business practices are a great example of external change motivators that directly impact a business’s operational activities.

By analyzing these motivators, you will begin to form a better idea as to the true problem that must be resolved by organizational change. Only then will you become clear on the desired “end-vision” of your organization after the change has occurred.

Step 2: Analyze The Scope of Change to Form a Team

Analyzing the scope of change is a necessary part of the change process which allows you to form a better idea of the impact that change will have on your organization.

The keys in this step are “Scope” and “team”.

The Scope of a change effort is, essentially, the impact severity that a change will have on your organization. Impact severity is made up of two key components; Complexity and Coverage.


Complexity refers to how difficult a change will be to implement. That is to say, how complex are the new systems? And how easy will it be to switch to the new systems or processes for just one person at a time?


Coverage refers to how many people will have to change in total.

Are you implementing a systems change? In which, only a single hierarchical tier of your organization will be implementing new processes?

Or will you be implementing a structure change? In which multiple organizational layers of management will be involved, comprising many people?

All in all, the impact severity of your change efforts are the blend between the difficulty of implementing change, and how many people must implement change.

Forming a Team

Forming a team is a necessary part of change management efforts.

Now, let’s discuss what is needed to form a change management team. There is a general overarching structure, but the specifics will ultimately require your best judgment in terms of your individual change impact severity. Obviously, a larger change impact may require more change-team members, etc.

Change management teams are comprised of:
A single Executive sponsor (Usually)
Managers (specific # will depend on impact severity)
Informal Leaders (specific # will depend on impact severity)
Operational Employees (specific # will depend on impact severity)

Executive sponsors are required to give the overarching vision of change, and to manage change from a strategic perspective in order to make large and crucial decisions as well as enforce awareness and desire to change.

Managers are required to oversee the operational aspect of change. They are the enforcers of direct accountability and recognition for change efforts.

Informal Leaders are involved to breed awareness for change and to collaborate desire from within coworkers. Informal leaders are the respected operational-tier employees who have, what I call, the “trust of the equal.”

Operational Employees are on the team to provide perspective as to the nature of change impact on themselves and other organizational tiers. Without this perspective, it is easy to find that your purpose is lost in practice.

The number of team member is entirely up to you and your preferences for managing change with varying degrees of impact severity.

Often, however, it is necessary to consider forming team members based on the spread of change through different departments within your organization. This way, you can formulate an idea as to how the change will affect every aspect of your organizations operations.

Step 3: Assess the Change-Readiness of Your Organization

A change readiness assessment is an excellent way to delegate resources (which we will be doing later) and also to form your roadmap in the most efficient way possible. Let me explain.

Without properly analyzing the change-readiness of your organization, you may continue expending resources into a change-management pitfall, so to speak. Those pitfalls are the areas in which an abundance of resources begins to provide diminishing returns.

Let’s use the ADKAR model of change to make my point clear. Adkar stands for Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, and Reinforcement.

ADKAR Model of change management.

No change can occur without your organization following this method of change IN ORDER. This is important, because consider what happens when you expend all your resources on gaining awareness, you will have nothing left to develop desire or knowledge about how to change.

Also consider the point of diminishing returns when developing these change-keys. There is a point at which expending resources to develop awareness does not produce much of an effect, at least, not as much of an effect as it had before.

It would be efficient to then begin developing the desire for change, but only if you know how to recognize sufficient levels of awareness before you move on to the other key points.

Let’s say the culture of your organization is extremely change-ready. Perhaps, most of your organization already recognizes the need for change and wants to begin implementing it.

It would be unnecessary to expend resources building awareness and desire when what you really need is knowledge and ability! But you wouldn’t know that without performing a change-readiness assessment.

This is why change readiness assessments are critical to saving your organization’s time and money. Your organization can focus on what matters, and avoid what doesn’t.

The easiest and most effective way to establish an idea around your organization’s change readiness is to conduct one on one interviews with your employees to determine if they recognize the need for change. Do they desire change? Do they have the knowledge to change? Have they established the ability (through practice) yet? are you reinforcing good behavior? Etc.

Other change management models you can use include:
McKinsey 7s
Nudge Theory
Productive Disequilibrium

Step 4: Evaluate your Resources, Budget, and Restrictions

Evaluating the resources and restrictions you place on the change efforts will give you a set of individual guidelines that your organization to follow when delegating expenses and time on certain key activities on your change-roadmap.

I argue that there are only 2 primary resources that an organization has available to it. All other resources are a function of these two primary ones. Those resources are 1) Money, and 2) Time.

Money is a resource quantified in terms of dollars (or whatever currency you use) and can be beneficial in providing the materials and resources necessary for change in the following ways.

– Coaching
– Consulting
– Books
– Materials
– Subject Matter Experts
– Etc.


Time is a resource that an organization must consider in terms of productivity, and onset schedules. Onset schedules are the designated times for the change effort to take place and become fully-implemented.

Often, the time that an organization has to implement change is a result of its motivators. External motivators for change that provide clear and strict guidelines for conducting or adapting business (such as laws and ordinances) often cause change to be enforced more quickly than it otherwise would have.

The reason this is an important consideration is because, based on the timeline of your roadmap, you may need to consider whether you implement Step-change or Incremental-change.

Step Change vs. Incremental change.


Step-Change is a change effort that occurs almost immediately. Step-change is like jumping from where you are to where you want to go with the focus being on implementing change in the least amount of time possible. Usually, step-change is a result of pressing external factors.

The benefits of step change is that it can be done well with LOTS of planning. It is beneficial for change efforts that require all moving parts to function immediately, and it is quick in adherence with whatever factors are motivating change to occur.

The disadvantage of step change is in its inherent unsustainability (due to lack of reinforcement and awareness), as well as it’s unpredictability.


Incremental change is like climbing a staircase one step at a time. Incremental change is much more common because it is generally safer, less-risky, and provides more time to pick, choose, and adapt to the change process along the way.

The benefits of incremental change is that there is time to determine what works and what doesn’t before cementing changed processes or structures into the culture of your organization. This way, your organization can adapt the change to work for it where need be, and overall make the implementation and effectiveness of change much more natural and smooth.

The disadvantages of incremental change is the timeliness of it. It is not useful when dealing with pressing and urgent matters, therefore, incremental change is often more suitable for internal motivators as opposed to pressing external motivators.

All in all, considering the resources, budgets, and restrictions you have surrounding your change efforts will give you a much better idea as to the delegation of resources to varying activities for change. This is the essence of building a roadmap!

Step 5: Delegate Resources Based on the Needs of Your Organization

This is the step where we will take all that we have considered and actually develop a roadmap to make our change efforts much more easily implemented and all-inclusive.

The roadmap is essentially a schedule, in which you delegate certain activities, cost, and time, to your change efforts.

We have already developed the necessary organizational considerations in the previous four steps, therefore, we can begin to create a roadmap with these considerations in mind.

Start by considering the change-readiness of your organization. This will tell you what needs to be done first. For example, if I discover that my organization has the awareness of what needs to change, but no desire, I will begin to focus my resources (budget and time) on building desire, the next fundamental building block of successful change.

I can do this by asking myself “What can I communicate to my employees that will get them to realize the beneftis change has for the company AND THEMSELVES” Often, employees see their checks whether the company does well or not, so applying change to THEIR interests is the best way to build desire.

Let’s say that I decide to communicate the benefits of change with a company-wide presentation.

After considering the change-readiness (desire), and what I must do to (presentation), I can begin to apply and delegate my resources and time to balance my change efforts.

I want to implement in less than 6 months? I’ll have to delegate change efforts over that amount of time.

I want to keep within a budget of $50,000? I’ll have to analyze the cost-benefit of my different money-based resources.

This balance is the key to proper change management roadmaps, and setting priorities is important. Is time a priority over money? Or is it the other way around? Knowing your priorities will help make it easier to make strategic change-decisions.


Let’s recap the points we made earlier.

1. Assess change motivators.
2. Analyze the scope of change to form a team.
3. Assess the change-readiness of your organization.
4. Evaluate the resources, budget, and restrictions you have.
5. Delegate resources based on the NEEDS of your organization. (refer to step #3).

By performing these analyses, and delegating resources, you will have a change-management roadmap in no time!

Remember, organizational change has a success rate of LESS THAN 50%. But, with proper change management, that success rate jumps to 93%!

Hopefully, I was able to help you manage change more effectively, to get in touch with me, please call (951) 833-2987 or send me a message on my website.

Thanks for reading!

-Austin Denison is a change management consultant from Southern California and founder/CEO of Denison Success Systems LLC. He is the author of The Essential Change Management Guidebook: Master The Art of Organizational Change as well as The Potential Dichotomy: The Philosophy of a Fulfilling Life.


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