When planning for a change you need reflective and purposeful steps. This change may be personal and / or professional. I am not recommending a total development and then launch. As I have written about before, when you feel over 70% certain GO! the rest will fall into place. As Alan Weiss says “We need success not perfection”. Additionally breaking Macro-Decisions into Micro-Decisions will result in greater motivation and ability to be agile in your leadership of the change process.  

Below is a process of planning for a change. Before and while involved on projects and exploring areas of challenges with existing clients I often look to this chart.

By setting a model for you to place objective thoughts into. As a leader you will be better equipped to determine areas of success and which areas to proceed into next with your Micro-Decisions.

Team Building & Leadership Coaching

I am not sure where this image first came from. I received this from Team-Building training I led with McGard

The questions below I created to serve a group with project planning.

Here are questions (by no means comprehensive) that will serve you in thinking through, planning, and making successful action steps for a change.

Planning a Change Question Sheet


  • What is the purpose?
  • Who will it affect? How?
  • Why is it important to your team? The organization/business/community?
  • What made you decide that this is important?
  • Did you ask your team for input? If so how and what was their input? If not, why not?
  • How will this change affect the staff? Those you serve (clients, customers, vendors, suppliers, supervisor(s), etc…)? You as a leader?
  • Describe the ideal state…Describe the current state…How will you achieve the ideal state?


  • In what ways might the staff and your existing skill set be useful for the change?
  • What new skills will be needed?
  • How will you accomplish training these new skills?
  • Explain, in detail the necessary skill set for completion of change (if multiple people have/need multiple skills, list the key responsibilities of the change and the necessary skill sets for success)
  • What skills will you as leader(s) need for implementation of the vision?
  • How can the Leadership team partner with you to enable completion?

Incentives – Explain your plan to move your team and yourself towards completion of this change

  • Why should we work towards this change?
  • How is this change relevant? Now? In the future?
  • Identify the resistors to the change.
  • What will keep you, as the leader motivated?
  • How will you continue to keep the team focused?
  • How will you measure success and failure?
  • What steps will you take to reward success and re-direct unmotivated team members?

Resources – Explain what you have and what you need

  • What kind of budget will be available?
  • How much time is needed?
  • Explain how this change will be delegated to staff members.
  • What will be the steps for follow-up and accountability?
  • What resource do you currently have available (list everything from paperwork to people to machines to policies – the more explicit you are in what you have the better your completion will be)
  • What resources will you need (list everything from paperwork to people to machines to policies – the more explicit you are in what you need the better your completion will be)
  • In what ways may you secure these needs?

Action Plan – Explain in detail what you are going to do and how it will get done

  • Re-visit your Vision – and break the change into steps.
  • What are the steps for completion?
  • Goal (Quality, Quantity, Time Frame, Resources) – What is the 1st step for completion?
  • Strategy – In what ways might you implement a strategy for completion of the 1st step?
  • Objective – How will you know that you have completed the 1st step?
  • Responsibility – Who’s going to accomplish the objective?
  • Timeline – When is the implementer going to accomplish that objective?
  • Feedback and Evaluation – Who and how is the implementer going to know if they accomplished good or bad work on their objective?

Final Thoughts:

  • How do you plan for a change?
  • What existing processes do you / team / organization have in place for reflective thought?
  • Would this system work for plans outside of change? what would be different?
  • Describe how this applies to your current practice / life?


– Michael Cardus