FREE, DOWNLOADABLE & PURCHASABLE CHANGE MANAGEMENT PLANS


Complete Guide to the Best Change Management Plan with Templates & Samples | What You Need to Know in 2020-2021

Every Change Manager knows that organizational change is something that is happening regularly.

Change management is about putting a framework in place for any type of organizational change to happen successfully. And, a top change management plan offers a strategic roadmap for all aspects of your change management deliverables, including conducting change impact assessments and activities, from identifying what’s changing to training users on new processes.

Some business changes are slow, planned, and incremental, while others are more abrupt and unexpected. Without the ability to change and adapt, a company, project, or program can quickly falter and get left behind the competition.

change management plan example pdf

Organizational Change Management Plan Template Excel

How a change management plan example PDF or Excel may differ from a PDF of a general project plan, is that change management is focused on transitioning people successfully through a change, rather than just on the mechanics of the change.

If you’re involved in change management activities, then one thing that can make your job easier is a change management project plan template. Using such a defined and ready to use template can take a big part of the work off your plate.

The right change management template -Excel, Cloud, or PDF – lays out all the information you need to manage, and helps with you a strategy based upon change management best practices.


Best Change Management Toolkits & Templates

Get Yours Today...


Why Do You Need a Plan for Organizational Change?

Without a comprehensive change management plan or change management document template, a change project can easily fail.

Driving successful change means having all assets properly allocated, having a project timeline that makes sense, and knowing all the activities that need to be done, and which order to do them in.

Organizational change management templates and plans provide structure to organizational change. That structure includes assessing stakeholders that are being impacted by the change and the organization’s readiness for the change.

A change management plan template also includes activities that help remove resistance to change, such as leadership coaching and developing a change champions network.

Where do these change management activities come from?

There have been change models and methodologies developed that guide change management best practices. One of the most well-known is the Prosci ADKAR® Model, another is the Kotter 8-Step model for change management.

What these change management models, and others, have in common is that they offer a strategy for guiding people in an organization through change. This includes guidelines, best practices, tasks, and strategies all designed to achieve successful organizational change.


Change Management Defined  

Change management is a set of strategies and procedures used to manage an organizational change and guide people through the necessary transition to achieve the desired result.

Once you understand the main definition of change management, a change management template can serve three main purposes:

  • Provide a place to input all data related to the change management activities.
  • Return analytics on the data entered into the ADKAR change management plan template or another change management template.
  • Guide you in what types of data you need to collect and activities you need to undertake for the change project.

Whether you have a small change project or a large one, you have a much better chance of success if you’re using a change management plan example PDF, PPT, or Excel to guide your activities.


Free & Downloadable Change Management Plans (Excel, PDF, PPT)

Get Your Copy Today

Free Change Management Plan and Template - Airiodion Global Services (AGS)-min


How Do You Write a Change Management Plan?

Writing a change management plan begins with understanding the basics of change management. Without knowing about important change management activities like resistance management and leadership coaching, you could end up with a “half-baked” sample change management plan as your draft.

You need to be familiar with the change management methodologies before you begin creating a change management template Excel or other plan. This will help ensure you’ve included all the tasks needed to both prepare for and implement the change project.

Next, we’ll get deeper into what goes into a change management project plan template. Later in the article, you’ll also find a free downloadable change management document template and other organizational change management templates to use.


What Goes into a Change Management Plan?

We’ll start with a high-level overview of what goes into a change management plan or change management template.

We’ll use the ADKAR change management plan template to describe the five phases that people being impacted by the change must go through for a change to be successful.

The goal of your change management plan is to incorporate the activities needed to get people through each of these stages.

  • A: Awareness of the need to change
  • D: Desire to change
  • K: Knowledge of how to change
  • A: Ability to demonstrate the skills needed for the change
  • R: Reinforcement of the change

How do those stages translate to your organizational change management plan template Excel, PPT, or PDF?

Here is an example of how you can use those stages to inform your change management activities and in writing your change management plan example.

  • Awareness of the Need to Change: This would relate to the need to do an impact assessment to identify what processes are changing and communicate the benefits of that change to the impacted users, which you identify using stakeholder analysis.
  • Desire to Change: In order for people to have a desire to make the change, you need to conduct activities such as resistance management and leadership coaching.
  • Knowledge of How to Change: This would relate to your communications plan that you would design to communicate information and updates about the change throughout the project.
  • Ability to Demonstrate Needed Skills: To ensure end users are proficient in the new skills they need, a training plan and training implementation will be part of your change management plan.
  • Reinforcement of the Change: It’s important to include in your change management project plan template activities to help reinforce the behaviors and new skills needed for the change so it can be sustained.

5 Phase Process Change Management Document Template

Another way to think about your change management activities is to divide them into five phases. This helps to give you a general structure for an ADKAR change management plan template or other organizational change management templates.

Our free downloadable Change Management Plan uses this process to help guide change management activities and tasks. It puts it into an easy-to-use organizational change management plan template Excel document.

These 5 phases are:

  1. Change Assessments
  2. Develop Change Plans
  3. Execute Change Plans
  4. Track & Monitor Adoption
  5. Change Management Exit

When looking for a change management plan example PDF, it’s helpful to think of the tasks in the framework of each of those five phases. It gives a sense of forward motion to your change management plan because your goal is to take the organization from Phase 1 to Phase 5.


►► FREE Change Mgt Strategy Playbook and Toolkit ◄◄


What Should a Change Management Plan Include?

Let’s go a bit deeper now into the types of tasks and activities that a change management template Excel or PDF document should include. We are going to use the five phases we mentioned above as a framework.

When you’re making any type of project plan or change management template, it’s often helpful to outline your framework first, then you can fill in the blanks with the necessary tasks and activities.

A change management plan example can include different types of organizational change management templates. For example, you may use a checklist template to check off change management activities and a change management plan example PDF to lay out a timeline of events or roadmap.

A sample change management plan template can help you fill in all the details of your entire project and may be multiple pages long. Each type of change management project plan template has a purpose and adds one more important piece to your planning and implementation of an organizational change.

Sample Change Management Plan Example

When downloading our free change management template Excel below, this is the format that you’ll see used for the change activities. So, reviewing it here will help you become familiar with it and be ready to hit the ground running.

Phase 1: Change Assessments

Change assessments are a vital first step in any change management plan template. The analysis you do during the assessments informs all the activities in your change project plan.

For example, the impact assessment will allow you to identify where to direct training and resistance mitigation resources. The project assessment is key because it’s how you know the purpose, parameters, and benefits of the project to communicate to stakeholders.

Change management activities in Phase 1 include:

  • Project assessment (Informs the project scope, scale, and objectives)
  • Stakeholder analysis (Identifies those being impacted by the project)
  • Current state process mapping (Visual flow of existing process/procedure)
  • Future state process mapping (Visual flow of future, post change, process/procedure)
  • Impact assessment (Identifies the groups and job roles being impacted and by how much)
  • Organizational readiness assessment (Informs how ready the impacted groups are for the change)


►► Change Impacts Assessment Toolkit ◄◄


Phase 2: Develop Change Plans

In this phase of your change management document template, you’ll be analyzing all the data that you collected in Phase 1 and putting it into an actionable change management plan and roadmap for your project.

You’ll be allocating resources, deciding on a timeline and budget, and creating milestones to help chart progress along the way. Being able to celebrate incremental milestone wins is an important way to keep momentum going for a change project, which is why they should be included in your change management plan timeline.

Change management activities in Phase 2 include:

Phase 3: Execute Change Plans

This phase is when “the rubber meets the road.” You’ll be implementing your change management template that you worked so hard to put together.

Using an organizational change management plan template Excel or cloud change management tool can be a great help here. This type of resource will put all the planning documentation at your fingertips, so you can easily update things like your training plan quickly as you’re in the midst of the change implementation.

Change management activities in Phase 3 include:

  • Communication assets (Development of the messages, graphics, and delivery tools for project communications)
  • Training assets (Creating FAQ’s, guides, cheat sheets, and other training content and delivery tools)
  • Coaching and mentoring (implementation of the coaching plan)
  • Communication delivery (delivery of the communications about awareness, training, status updates, etc.)
  • Train Users (implementation of the end-user training plan)
  • Stakeholder management (continue managing stakeholders, including resistance identification and management)

Phase 4: Track & Monitor Adoption

Throughout your execution of the change management strategy, you will need to track and monitor a variety of metrics. These will help you gauge how well the change adoption is going and inform any adjustments you need to make.

For example, if you’re finding that users are taking longer to become proficient in the new processes than you planned, then you may want to update your change management template to provide an additional training session.

You can save a lot of time if you use a change management activities tool that keeps your analytics updated in real-time, like AGS Cloud All-in-One Change Management Tool. This saves you considerable effort with tracking and monitoring and allows you to make faster decisions to adjust your change project.

change management plan template

AGS Cloud Analytics | Change Management Plan Example

Change management activities in Phase 4 include:

  • Employee surveys (use to gauge change awareness, potential resistance, and more)
  • Meetings (Meet with managers and change champions to gauge how the project is going)
  • Track Queries (Track user feedback, questions, and concerns)
  • Additional Training/Support (Provide additional training and support as needed per employee/manager/change champion feedback)
  • Celebrate milestones (As milestones are reached, reward stakeholders and celebrate to keep enthusiasm for the project going)
  • Normalization support (prepare for the post change environment by setting up Q&A, virtual sessions, FAQs, etc.)

Phase 5: Change Management Exit

In this last phase, you’ll be confirming that the change is sustained and transitioning away from change management template activities. This may include a transition of help desk support from a change team to a specific department.

The goal is that the changed process is no longer in the “training and change project” phase, but rather becomes normalized as part of the corporate culture and standard processes.

Change management activities in Phase 5 include:

  • Lessons learned (Provide documentation on “lessons learned” during the change project to inform future activities)
  • Transition plan (This plan will inform how you transfer responsibilities from the change group to a designated group in the organization
  • Celebrate success (Recognize leaders, change champions, end-users, and everyone that helped make the change happen)
  • Transfer ownership (Officially transfer ownership for change to appropriate department or group and close change project)

What is a Change Management Plan in Project? (Incorporating Change in Projects)

It’s not unusual for an organization to be confused between change management and project management. This is because both are interconnected.

What is a change management plan in project planning?

A change management plan in project planning is the plan developed to support the people side of change. It is the plan that covers how impacted users will be enabled to adopt the project changes. Most projects being implemented will impact employees. It may not be a large impact, but any impact requires a change management project plan template. Using such a template helps to ensure that those being impacted are properly guided through the change.

Any change management plan (example: PDF, Excel, or PPT) you find will include a project planning element as well. That’s exactly what you’re doing when you put together the change management plan and strategy.


►► Change Readiness Templates & Toolkit ◄◄


Change Management Plan Template – Free Downloads

Based on multiple requests we have received from change managers and project leads; we have put together several free and paid change management plan templates. These include a sample change management plan, change management activities checklist, toolkits for each main task in a change project, and more.

We’ll begin with our free downloadable sample change management plan templates, checklists, and roadmaps.

Free Downloads | Change Management Template Excel, PDF, Word, PPT

Change Management Checklist and Tasks

Would you like a PDF or Microsoft Word checklist of change management tasks and processes? Then click on the change management checklist link below to download our PDF and MS Word versions for this checklist and change management plan template.

change management template

Change Management Roadmap Example (PPT) – With 3 Swim lanes 

This guide provides you with a step-by-step overview, including everything you need to know about the best change management plans, roadmaps, and project management roadmaps for 2020.  

Click below to download this free change management plan template.

change management plan example

Organizational Change Management Plan for Change Managers

The free change management template below is a spreadsheet with a Gantt chart that you use to track and manage change management activities and deliverables. It includes a step-by-step list of activities for conducting change management assessments (impact assessments, stakeholder analysis, organizational readiness assessment, program assessment, etc.) and planning activities for communication, training, stakeholder engagement, change reinforcement, and many more.

Click below to obtain your free copy of our industry-standard, top change management plan template.

change management activities

Change Management Strategic Playbook

Our change management strategic playbook provides an overview of the various strategies that will be used for your communications, stakeholder engagement, end-user engagement, coaching, UAT readiness, Go-Live, leadership engagement, training, and change management activities.

Click below to download this free change management plan template.

Change Management Strategic Playbook - sample change management plan

It is normal human behavior not to like change, even when people know that the change is good for them. As such, when rolling out projects and change management, it is essential that you apply effective change management deliverables to manage proactive and reactive resistance to change.

Click below to download this free resistance management checklist for your change management activities.change management template excel - Resistance Management ChecklistResistance Management Checklist


More Change Management Template Examples

If you’re looking for a change management plan template that is more robust and will include multiple tools that can facilitate all your change management activities, then you may be interested in AGS Cloud.

The AGS Cloud All-in-One Change Management Toolkit includes nine (9) individual change management tools, plus other free templates and playbooks. It gives you everything you need for a successful change project.

AGS Cloud All-in-One Tool - change management plan

“With this All-in-One Change Tool, our goal is to place a globally consistent set of tools at the hands of change managers and project leads across every organization to empower them to effectively drive change”

-Ogbe Airiodion, Senior Change Management Lead

This ultimate change management planning tool includes individual modules for:

  • Change Impacts Toolkit
  • Organizational Readiness Toolkit
  • Training Toolkit
  • Project Assessment Toolkit
  • Change Champions Toolkit
  • Coaching Impacted Managers’ Toolkit
  • Communications Management Toolkit
  • Resistance Management Toolkit
  • Stakeholder Management Toolkit

You can learn more about the AGS Cloud All-in-One Tool here.


►► Change Management Toolkit | All You Need ◄◄


Make Change Easier with a Change Management Plan Template

Planning an organizational change project includes multiple steps that all work together to ensure a change can be completed successfully.

Change management activities revolve around the people being impacted by the change. As such, most of the tasks will have to do with assessing, managing, communicating with, mentoring, and training those people.

One thing that can make your change management planning go more smoothly and take less time is to use a change management plan template.

Download any of the free templates above to help guide your change management activities, and for a most robust tool, check out AGS Cloud, the ultimate change management planning tool.

What is Change Management? Definition

Change management is a set of strategies and procedures used to manage an organizational change and guide people through the necessary transition to achieve the desired result. Read more here: https://www.airiodion.com/change-management-plan-template/

How Do You Write a Change Management Plan?

Writing a change management plan begins with understanding the basics of change management. Without knowing about important change management activities like resistance management and leadership coaching, you could end up with a “half-baked” sample change management plan as your draft. Read more here: https://www.airiodion.com/change-management-plan-template/

What Goes into a Change Management Plan?

We’ll use the ADKAR change management plan template to describe the five phases that people being impacted by the change must go through for a change to be successful.The goal of your change management plan is to incorporate the activities needed to get people through each of these stages. Read more here: https://www.airiodion.com/change-management-plan-template/

What Should a Change Management Plan Include?

Let’s go a bit deeper now into the types of tasks and activities that a change management template Excel or PDF document should include. We are going to use the five phases we mentioned above as a framework. Read more here: https://www.airiodion.com/change-management-plan-template/

What is a change management plan in project planning?

A change management plan in project planning is the plan developed to support the people side of change. It is the plan that covers how impacted users will be enabled to adopt the project changes. Most projects being implemented will impact employees. It may not be a large impact, but any impact requires a change management project plan template. Using such a template helps to ensure that those being impacted are properly guided through the change.Read more here: https://www.airiodion.com/change-management-plan-template/


Authors: Ogbe Airiodion (Senior Change Management Lead) and Francesca Crolley (AGS Cloud Content Producer)
Content on Airiodion Global Services (AGS)'s Airiodion.com website is copyrighted. Questions? Contact Airiodion Global Services (AGS) .

Best Change Management Toolkits & Templates

Get Yours Today...


Free & Downloadable Change Management Plans (Excel, PDF, PPT)

Get Your Copy Today

Free Change Management Plan and Template - Airiodion Global Services (AGS)-min


►► FREE Change Mgt Strategy Playbook and Toolkit ◄◄


►► Change Impacts Assessment Toolkit ◄◄


►► Change Readiness Templates & Toolkit ◄◄


►► Change Management Toolkit | All You Need ◄◄


Images: https://pixabay.com/photos/screen-technology-computer-indoors-1839500/, Microsoft 365 Clip Art Image(s) (Bing images licensed under the Creative Commons license system.)