Operational Change Management Checklist
Resiliency and adaptability are necessities in today’s quickly evolving world. Organizations must, at times, quickly execute operational changes in order to respond to various types of changes or threats. For example, a nonprofit may need to temporarily shut down due to a security break, HVAC failure, or civil authority. Prolonged school closures could shift the need for an organization to increase daycare operations. An infectious disease outbreak could lead a school that normally provides hot meals or a food pantry to switch to online ordering and curbside pickup.
Change also brings with it a certain level of risk. This is because, with change, there is oftentimes disruption to established processes and procedures. Changes in staff levels, technical skill demands, facility characteristics, and lack of clear communication are just some of the risk factors that need to be managed. It is important that your organization identify, assess, and adequately address risk factors associated with operational changes on a proactive basis before losses can occur.
When considering a shift in your operations, three steps can help you assess your facility’s preparedness to handle the new operations, identify your susceptibility to frequent or severe losses, and plan your hierarchy of controls.
Beginning with a risk assessment presents a structured approach to addressing the risks associated with the changes. It is important that you include members of your internal team in your risk assessment in order to benefit from other perspectives and experience/knowledge. This also helps to create “buy-in” from all staff and volunteer members.
Risk assessments should include both table-top discussions of potential risks and physical walkthroughs of the facility in order to identify physical risks. Examples of risks for consideration include:
Prioritize Risks through a Risk Assessment Matrix
Once you have identified the risk exposures that are present with the change in operations, it is a good idea to grade the risks and prioritize them so that you can develop controls for the highest priority to the lowest.
Hierarchy of Controls
This hierarchy is intended to provide a systematic approach to eliminate, reduce, or control the risks of different hazards Each step is considered less effective than the one before it. It is not unusual to combine several steps to achieve an acceptable risk. The types of hazards employees are exposed to, the severity of the hazards, and the risk the hazards pose to employees should all be considered in determining methods of hazard elimination or control.
Not all controls are the same. While elimination of the risk altogether is preferred, it is not always the most feasible. Select the most effective control type that is feasible for your organization.