Business Center

Communicating about Change

Manager’s Quick Start Guide for Communicating about Change: Introducing a Lean Process Improvement Change to Employees

Developed in July 2013  by CDOT’s Office of Process Improvement

ADKAR: A Model for Change in Business, Government, and our Community; Jeffery M. Hiatt (2006); ISBN: 1930885504.
Change management: The People Side of Change; Jeffery M. Hiatt and Timothy Creasey (2012); ISBN: 1930885615.

This Quick Start Guide is intended to help CDOT Executives and Managers be effective in leading during times of change. This Guide focuses on communicating with employees about changes from process improvement projects and/or other initiatives. This Guide can be used on its own, or in conjunction with the books referenced above.

 Please refer to these pages in the “ADKAR” reference: pages 5-16; 45-48; 63-78; 84-85; 127-128; 130; 136; 139; and 141.

  1. Explain our “business drivers”: why this change is occurring

    1. Explain why this change is being made: what current business issues created a need to change, and discuss the benefits and business reasons for the change.
    2. Talk about our customers’ needs or expectations that support a need for change
    3. Explain how these external and internal issues impact CDOT employees.
    4. Share the potential consequences or risks to CDOT if no change is made. Discuss the business-as-usual scenario, and why we cannot keep doing business-as-usual at CDOT.
  1. Our CDOT business performance

    1. Present the operational performance /process measures and trends to demonstrate the business problem or opportunity (use charts and graphs as much as possible).
    2. Show the corresponding financial performance and trends to demonstrate how this business condition affects CDOT’s financial performance (use charts and graphs).
    3. Compare performance with benchmarks or against performance goals (show contrast between where CDOT is today versus where CDOT needs to be).
  1. Our CDOT objectives for this change

    1. Share the specific objectives that must be achieved with this process improvement or other change initiatives.
    2. Describe the conditions of a successful change (numerical goals/targets that would indicate whether the change was a success).
  1. Our scope of this change

    1. Share who is impacted by this change (and who is NOT impacted).
    2. Describe which processes and systems will undergo the most change, and which processes and systems will remain unchanged.
  1. Our change: the details

    1. If elements of the change itself (that is, the solution) are known, begin to present the high-level vision for the organization for this change.
    2. Describe what will change, by Division, Region, Branch, Department, team or group (if known at this time).
    3. If elements of the change are not yet known, discuss when more information will be available and set expectations.

This Communication Plan Template is intended to help Executives and Managers develop a comprehensive Communication Plan for a process improvement project or other change initiatives. This Template begins with identifying your “audience” for communication – different audiences will have different needs, so please repeat this communication planning for other audiences, too.

Message Content
Delivery Mechanism(s)
Preferred Sender
First indications of change
Early stages of the project
During the design of the change
Before implementation
During implementation