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Department of Premier and Cabinet

Change Management Toolkit

Page Last Updated: 7 January 2020 JM

A guide to managing change

How to use this guide/purpose

This toolkit provides guidance to people who may be involved with managing and leading change.  The materials in this guide have been adapted for State Service-wide use, while at the same time allowing Agencies to contextualise to their Agency's needs. The guide has been developed to ensure that the best results are achieved in the management of organisational change.

Why we manage change

Change is inevitable. It affects our workplaces as well as our personal lives. Because of this, being good at managing change is vital to good leadership. Knowing how to communicate your vision for change and knowing which style of leadership is appropriate in each change situation will help you to keep pace and effectively move your agency/division/team in a direction it needs to go. It will also reduce resistance to change and promote high levels of productivity and engagement.

The guide is provided to help managers and leaders in State Government agencies to lead sustainable and productive change. This information is for guidance and is not to be taken as binding. It should be read in conjunction with relevant awards and agency  policies.

Types of organisational change

Change can apply to many areas and occurs in many domains. Some typical examples of organisational change can include, but not limited to a change in:

  • size or composition of the workforce
  • agency structure eg mergers or restructures (including reorganizing work; team restructures)
  • leadership positions
  • focus, priorities, strategic objectives, business strategies
  • culture and values
  • new business practices, processes or introducing new services
  • new systems - application of management information systems; human resource systems
  • legislation, regulatory functions and policy development
  • product lifecycles
  • skills

As change manager, it is important to recognize both the size and type of change that you are leading. Different types of change need different leadership approaches.

The scale of change

This toolkit supports all change projects - from very small through to very large projects. Only you can judge which category the change falls into as the definition differs across agencies. The size of the change dictates the resources allocated and time frames. Some criteria to help you determine the scale/scope of your project include:

  • Cost - the budget needed to implement the project
  • Benefit - the magnitude of the financial or other savings
  • Impact on employees/stakeholders - the degree it will impact on employees or wider community
  • Diversity of stakeholders - the number of different organisations involved in the decision-making
  • Risk - the potential repercussions that need to be managed
  • Number of changes - the number of simultaneous changes occurring in your organisation.

These criteria are not mutually exclusive. Some projects may be low cost to implement but have a significant impact on a diverse number of employees/stakeholders. This is considered a large change project and requires careful management. If you're working on a small project, you may not need all of the information  and templates in this toolkit.

Role of Human Resources | Managers | Employees

Everyone is part of change and will benefit from managing it better. A change manager can identify the need for change, facilitate change assessments, create a change management strategy and develop change management plans, but they are not the only ones involved in managing  change. This Change Toolkit is most useful for:

  • Human Resource Managers
  • Senior leaders and managers
  • Change managers allocated to projects
  • Project sponsors
  • Project managers/teams
  • Managers and supervisors
  • Anyone charged with implementing change
  • Employees

More information on specific roles can be obtained here.

Planning for Change

There are four steps to consider when managing change.

Step 1 - Identify what the change is and who will be affected

In this stage, Change Managers should have a good understanding of the need for change, what the change is, the reasons for the change including benefits of change, timing, costs associated with the change, risks and who is going to be impacted by the change.

Step 2 - Communicate and consult with employees and stakeholders

In this stage, the change proposal, plan and impact analysis completed in Step 1 helps to identify what is communicated to employees and who is consulted about the impending change.

Step 3 - Monitor and deal with resistance

In this stage, Change Managers will know that individuals deal with change differently. Everyone is different and therefore will experience change and the change process differently.  The key for Change Managers is to be aware of where people may be and help them through the change process with clear information, consultation and support.

Resilience resources developed by the Department of Health and Human Services provide a range of practical strategies to build resilience. Using these resources, you will be better able to support yourself and your employees to increase resilience.

Step 4 - Evaluate

In this stage, Change Managers can review the change process including the planning, communication and consultation strategies used by them. Evaluating the change process will help to understand what worked well and what could have potentially been done differently. Evaluating and reviewing the change process will enable you to learn and improve on the way you implement, plan and communicate change in the future.

Change Toolkit

In order for users to achieve the best results from this guide, it is recommended you refer to this guide - it's checklists, factsheets and templates across the four step process identified above.

The following checklists, factsheets and templates illustrate some of the basic approaches in the development of any change management strategy - regardless of whether it is large-scale or small.  These templates can be used in any order.



Change Management Checklist - used to check that the Project Plan has addressed all necessary change management tasks and processes.

Change Proposal - used to understand what change is proposed and why the change is needed.

Change Plan - used to seek approval to proceed with a change and to assist in gaining a clear understanding as to what the change is.

Change Impact Assessment - used to actively manage the implications of your change project.

Change Impact Analysis - used to determine stakeholders affected by the proposed change.

Managing Risks - used to identify possible negative events that can have an impact on the change project.



Change Implementation Plan - used to ensure change actions are undertaken by relevant people.

Change Communication Plan - used to ensure effective communication with all stakeholders (internal and external).

Four Stages of Consultation - used to guide change managers across the four stages of consultation.

Leading successful meetings - used to help managers deliver key messages in the change process.



Model of how employees respond to change - used to identify the 8 stages of transition and to remember that everyone is different and will experience change and the change process differently.

Managing individual reactions to change - used to help employees through the change curve.

Managing resistance when it occurs - used to identify the types of resistance.

The Process of Transition - Fisher Transition Curve - used to analyse and identify how individuals deal with change.

Feelings of Change - used to identify the range of feelings associated with change at work; the emotions experienced which can lead to various outcomes and possible reasons for those feelings.

Common Reactions to Change - used to identify the four most common reactions to change - denial, resistance, exploration and commitment.

Change Management - common problems and solutions - used to examine the warning signs and common problems and solutions in a change project.

Change Training Needs Analysis - used to ensure those affected by the change obtain professional learning and development.



Measuring and communicating the benefits of change - used to realise the benefits of a change program by identifying, measuring, tracking and reporting on benefits of the change.

Measuring the benefits of change - used to examine the output and outcome measures of the change project.

Change Management Evaluation Tool - used to help you review your change process including the planning and communication strategies you used.

What else does this toolkit contain?

Please use the menu below to find out more about the theory of change.


The State Service Management Office (SSMO), Department of Premier and Cabinet acknowledges and thanks the Department of State Growth; the Department of Health and Human Services (Leadership and Management Development Unit) and the Office for the Public Sector, Government of South Australia for change management information and resources which have been adapted for a broader audience.

A number of agencies/authorities may already have resources, templates and tools in place that assist with the process of managing and leading change. We encourage you to share resources to those shown on this website so that a library of resources can be accessed by all agencies/authorities.

Feedback and more information

If you found this change management toolkit helpful, would like more information or have feedback, please email SSMO or contact Viv Burgess, Senior Consultant, Learning and Development on 6232 7140.