Change is life’s only constant.
Heraclitus, an ancient Greek philosopher, is credited with this paraphrased idea. It still rings true, especially in the enterprise security world, where new and evolving compliance requirements and regulations create new risks. Regulatory change management helps your company track, analyze, and respond to risk by automating “the identification of regulatory obligations and rule changes to ensure that you know what changes are made when they are made.” Effective change management is key to successfully tracking and navigating changing regulations so that you can stay on top of them.
Many companies optimize their change management practices by pairing them with governance, risk management, and compliance (GRC) efforts. These practices mitigate the ongoing risk resulting from industry changes, relying strongly on change management to accomplish their shared goal of preventing risk.
GRC’s 20/20 research identifies three regulatory change management characteristics—efficiency, effectiveness, and agility—as key to effective risk prevention. A deep dive into these attributes shares insights into how they form the foundation of effective change management and what that means for your greater GRC and risk management efforts.
Change management efforts aren’t helpful if they’re not efficient. Efficiency provides your company with a greater understanding of changing regulatory requirements that let you keep up with—and stay ahead of—industry changes. Setting metrics and KPIs is one way to measure how efficient your current change management efforts are and where they could be improved.
Zendesk notes that effective change management happens on both the corporate and employee level.
“Your employees make the changes in their work, and the company provides them with the processes, tools, and systems that smooth the transition,” a Zendesk blog states. “Measuring success in change management starts by looking at a few key performance metrics at both levels.”
The metrics you use will depend on your company’s specific operations and structure. However, here are a few general change management metrics to get you started as you dig more deeply into specific benchmarks that you should measure on both of these levels.
On the employee level:
- Assessments and continued education scores
- Job/company satisfaction scores
- Participation in departmental and all-team events
- Average tenure (with team/overall company)
On the corporate level:
- Help desk metrics (tickets, hotline calls, escalations, resolutions, etc.)
- Compliance (with industry/framework regulations)
- Project/team KPIs (project time, budget, etc.)
- Usage/utilization/production reports
Regulatory changes can also affect your overall industry, in addition to employee and company levels. Consider having a dedicated member of your audit team conduct regular reporting to stay in touch with changing industry regulations. Legal counsel and licensing experts may also have natural skills in this area.
Measuring change management efforts allows you to address and avoid gaps or accidental mistakes before they become real issues. This way, you can move forward without undoing the processes, systems, or workflows you just created.
Effectiveness lets your company proactively optimize its resources and build a sustainable risk management and response process, so you can keep growing and stay compliant. The keyword in that first sentence is proactive, which plays into every part of (organizing, assessing, prioritizing, communicating, addressing, and monitoring) change management.
Resolver shares the importance of workflows and processes in proactively setting your change management process up to be effective.
“The backbone of the regulatory change management process is a system of structured accountability to intake regulatory changes from content feeds and route them to the right subject matter expert for review and analysis. This is extended by getting others involved in review and response, and requires some standardized workflow and task management with escalation capabilities when items are past due. The process needs to track accountability on who is assigned what tasks, establish priorities, and determine appropriate course of action.”
Implementing strong workflows and technology (like AI and automation) makes change management more effective. Say a help desk team lead notices that it’s taking far too long to manually identify urgent incidents from lower-level risk events. This slowdown results in significant breaches and lost information. It’s obvious that a change is needed. However, management just can’t stop operations since calls still need answering. Instead, they proactively master the change and continue operations by creating a workflow process.
This doesn’t need to be a complex process. Instead, break the process down into four simple steps:
- Proactively plan a clear task sequence (who does what, when, and how when an incident is reported)
- Design the workflow and train employees on the new procedures
- Add more tasks to better track issues revealed by the new workflow
- Automate your change management (incident submission, triage, and reporting) process to increase efficiency
Agility is the difference between an alive, dynamic change management program and a stagnant one vulnerable to increased incidents. You get a clear picture of your agility (or lack of it) when you understand how changes affect your company’s security and risk tolerance.
The Project Management Institute shares,
“[C]hange agility is enhanced through an intentional management process of continuous improvement in the organization’s ability to both respond to environmental change to remain competitive … [and] … considers what the organization’s needs are for change over time, and influences such things as what people need to know, how they behave and interact, and how they play out roles.”
Can you quickly adapt and respond to new risks? Or are your competitors’ strategic change management efforts consistently outpacing yours? Both third-party compliance and internal audits give you a clear, standardized way to answer these questions and examine agility’s role in your current risk environment.
Audits serve as an ideal litmus test for how effective your existing security procedures are. While certain metrics used in the auditing process can specifically test your procedural or operational agility, you should also consider processes and business outcomes when gauging agility.
Minimize Risk with Better Change Management
Efficiency, effectiveness, and agility undoubtedly improve regulatory change management. However, your greater GRC and risk management efforts can’t stand on change management alone. Compliance and ethics, security operations, IT management, and countless other pieces work together to complete your overall security puzzle. Whether you’re growing faster than your team can keep up with, are seeking your first-ever risk management partner, or need an experienced enterprise-level security expert to minimize risk, Resolver’s here to help.
Download our whitepaper to learn more about regulatory change management and modernize your organization’s security efforts. Or reach out to a representative and start your organization on its path to a more streamlined, automated approach with our easy-to-use, no-code solutions, and customer-support focus.