Understanding and analysing Change Management

Essay add: 30-03-2016, 15:10   /   Views: 3

Managers must learn to place the proper emphasis on their organization's readiness for change, as well as understand the different (but complementary) natures of organizational development and behavior modification.

Let's begin by asking the question, "Why do organizations feel a need or obligation to change?" We can categorize the answer in the following four areas: Market forces, a need to improve performance internally, competitive situations, and rapid changes in technology.

Of course, organizations don't incorporate new technology into their business just for the sake of "keeping up." The successful organizations that implement technology solutions with an intense focus on change management most often do so because they have learned from their past failures. Many organizations have learned the hard way that while the actual technology solution itself can be superior, if users do not embrace it and use it effectively the implementation cannot be termed successful.

Researchers and practitioners argue that staff working inside the institutional system has too many constraints. Instead of being active in promoting change, staff usually conforms to the status quo and minimum health requirements (Manz, 1990 p.15-26). Job uncertainty makes professionals unwilling to take risks and professional interests are often put ahead of client interests (Manz, 1990 p.15-26). Certain professions, like recreation, have less power, credibility, and status than others, making it difficult to contribute to change.

Others believe change can come from both internal and external structures, but that leadership is a key issue. Rather than leaders taking a top down approach as in traditional organizational change theory (Wright, 2004), leaders need to be facilitators of change, utilizing "bottom-up" processes that encourage participatory decision-making (Wright, 2004). In this sense, leadership can come from administrators of facilities, advocacy groups in the community, or recreationists working in institutions. Good leadership is comfortable with this process and open to innovation and breaking free of the conventional way of thinking and operating (Barney, 1995 p. 485-6).

Taking Training to Task

We've established that consistent change management is critical to a new system implementation's success, but misconceptions about how and where it will occur abound. Some of the more common misconceptions that I see time and time again are

* Training will take care of the education process

* Executive sponsor(s) will make the rounds and take care of communications for the project

* The project team doesn't need to focus on this. We can let the corporate training/human resources group handle this aspect of the project implementation

* The organizational development group can perform the change management for the project

* We didn't budget for that, so we will have to find additional funding.

We often think about training as something that is delivered just prior to the actual implementation of a technology solution. But training is a necessary ingredient at the beginning of a project effort as well.

In effect, training at the beginning stages can be referred to as expectation management. Such training can play an important role in getting the project team to understand the functionality, strengths, and weaknesses of the selected technology solution. (High-level training is also very helpful for members of the executive and steering committees. After all, the more those executive sponsor and steering committee members understand the functionality being delivered by the technology, the better they are able to perform their sponsorship and steering duties.) (Barney, 1995 p. 485-6)

It's also crucial to time the provision of training. If it's delivered too long before deployment of the solution, users will forget what they have learned. Content is also vital; it should detail the basic fundamentals of the solution and outline the business processes that will change as a result of the new technology. Showing a group of utility dispatchers how to navigate an Outage Management System (OMS) is helpful, but walking them through their new dispatching processes - using the OMS - is most meaningful. (Barney, 1995 p. 485-6)

Making Communication Key

In addition to training, communication directly impacts the success - or failure - of a technology implementation. The technical aspects of a new system solution are complicated, but some of the more difficult issues arise when managers are tasked with communicating changes in business processes and other organizational adjustments.

Often, organizations think that the best way to communicate the kickoff of a new project is to have executive sponsors visit various groups and make a prepared speech. But the rank-and-file employee most likely has a higher level of trust in his or her day-to-day manager than in executive management. As a result, it may be more effective to have the local manager deliver information regarding a new project. (Wooden, 2004 p. 875-83) Executive sponsors should be present to make supporting comments, but the audience must clearly see that the local manager is involved and will be the main contact for all subsequent communications.

Even when executives do communicate a project's parameters, they don't often understand the intricacies of such a large effort. (Wooden, 2004 p. 875-83) Additionally, those involved in various review and steering committees - both of which lie on the periphery of any large implementation - can be very critical of the amount of time, effort, and money required. Many executives express concern and hesitation regarding any large investment that competes with their own information system initiatives. A clear, positive communication plan that explains how a specific project fits into the overall organization's mission is critical, and the plan must be communicated over and over again.

Hold Off on Human Resources.

It's true that executives in human resources and corporate communications departments are often tasked with training and communications for companywide efforts (safety, public awareness, blood drives, and community programs). While such initiatives manage certain changes for the company as a whole, they do not translate well into the kind of change management that is required during the implementation of utility engineering and operations technology projects. These projects require a detailed understanding of how current business processes are altered to take advantage of the new technology's functionality. This means that those who lead a change management team for a utility IT project must be well-versed in the actual business processes that are being changed. (Wright, 2004)

Another misconception is that an organizational development group can perform the change management for a utility IT technology project. Such a group typically performs cultural and behavior modification for an organization, polling employee satisfaction levels, mediating internal departmental conflicts, and conducting exercises to enhance employee relationships. Those involved in organizational development can serve as a supplement to a project change management team with regard to team building, resolving both executive management and employee personality conflicts and other related project impediments. (Becker and Huselid, 1998: 53-1) However, they are not used most effectively when they are tasked to lead training and communicating initiatives for new business processes that result from implementing technology solutions.

Ultimately, individuals who have actually performed the jobs for which business processes are being changed are the best candidates to supply communication and training. This is because they are familiar with the work processes and can communicate how the new technology will achieve desired benefits. The user community also knows and most likely trusts these people. To maximize the potential for success of a new solution implementation, be sure to tap into the rich resources these front-line people provide. Users are sure to identify with the hands-on, real-world training these individuals can offer, and that can translate to tangible bottom-line benefits, financial or otherwise.

Adopt a capability mindset.

At the basic level, HR must clearly cuddle individual employee knowledge as a vital organisational component. Company training behaviors should include objects and experiences that will increase the creative ability of every knowledge employee. For example, Hewlett-Packard knowledge workers went through a premeditated change from within alert, goal leaning R&D strategy to their more new capability oriented strategy. Today, HP knowledge workers aggressively communicate with clients, associates and a host of interior stakeholders in an attempt to develop the subsequent generation of yields and services. (Becker and Huselid, 1998: 53-1) They are probable to look for the knowledge of others while at the same time being obvious in developing their own knowledge reserve.

Achieving an ability mindset needs managers to help their theoretical strategy with realistic actions. Particularly, knowledge-boosting actions should be explicitly appreciated and recognized, while stoppage to contribute in knowledge sharing should be depressed and in few examples, detained. Cutting tour and conference supporting for knowledge workers when finances get rigid is an all-too-common performance that propels an alluring note to people about the factual role of knowledge and imagination in the firm.

Promote Cross-Pollination

Managers should think revolving knowledge workers to a variety of duties by the time. This depicts them to a width of information and skills while making them create some stage of strength at each fresh situation. Wal-Mart, for example, has a durable strategy of revolving top managers to partition outer their center level of skill. It was not uncommon that a vice president of HR currently got himself CEO for a world obtaining unit. (Wooden, 2004 p. 875-83) Other firms, particularly Japanese, have revolved scientists and engineers for many years transversely teams and product appearance as a subject of practice.

With lots of firms using groups to deal business objectives, revolving individuals transversely groups or to fresh duties inside a group is a better way to increase exclusive and original cognitive abilities. Sueh eross- pollination increases the ability of people knowledge workers and also broadened the company's total knowledge reserve. (Wooden, 2004 p. 875-83) The input is to develop objective rotations and permit workers enough time in every fresh post to achieve new knowledge and abilities (i.e., balancing depth and breadth).

Putting a Plan into Action

Putting together a change-management implementation plan can communicate the need for the new implementation and outline the importance of funding.

At a minimum, the plan should include

* Introduction (what is change management and why do we need it?)

* Goals and objectives - organizational and project-specific

* Approach - discuss the methodology used

* Risk/benefits - identify assumptions and constraints (internal and external)

* Organization and staffing - organization chart with staffing plan

* Roles and responsibilities - project leads, project teams, organizational development, etc.

* Training - scope, approach, activities, deliverables

* Communications - scope, approach, activities, deliverables

* Measurements/monitoring

- Business process gap analysis: "current state" vs. "future state"

- Executive management metrics (steering committee)

- Employees' ability to assimilate change

- Effect that organizational politics had on budget and schedule

- External distractions (mergers/acquisitions)

- Realization of estimated vs. actual benefits from business case

* Detail schedule and budget.

Who Should Be Involved

Though involving more people in strategy making has clear benefits, it can't yield high-quality results unless people have the necessary skills and perspectives to contribute effectively. Recognizing that, many companies are working to build the skills of new strategists at all levels, and to develop people's strategic thinking and influence skills. An effective strategic thinker is able to connect his or her daily actions with long-term goals of the business. Traditionally, that means making decisions that are consistent with the organisation's overall strategies (Becker and Huselid, 1998: 53-1) but it also means understanding when strategies should evolve in response to changes and potential shifts in the marketplace.

Although strategic thinking has been a key focus in executive development programs for some time, people at other levels of an organisation usually haven't had the chance to develop their strategic-thinking skills through formal training. As they become more involved in strategy making, that imbalance will be corrected. At Xerox, for example, selected middle managers from across the company convene throughout each year for four one-week sessions. They Learn principles for strategic thinking and apply them to solve a key strategic issue facing the company. They also make recommendations directly to Myerscough, the senior VP of corporate strategy (Barney, 1995: 485).

Increasingly, many training programs focus on helping people understand strategy making and how it affects their jobs and roles. Companies are also teaching people about the expanded strategic role that they're being invited to play. For example, front-line workers are learning how to serve as the voice of customers and as gatherers of competitive information -- two key inputs of strategic planning. Middle managers are learning the communication skills they need to serve as "ambassadors." (Deming, 2005) In that role, they communicate strategies to their units and represent the strategies developed in those units to senior management.

Other approaches to developing strategic-thinking skills include on-the-job development aimed at broadening people's perspectives and experience through job rotation, mentoring programs, task force assignments, and visits to customer sites. Yet, cognitive skills and a clear sense of their strategic role are not sufficient to turn people into effective strategists. The new breed must know how to devise sound strategies and persuade others to implement them. (Wooden, 2004 p. 875-83) The ability to enlist people's cooperation and arouse their enthusiasm for one's proposals can be addressed in training programs, particularly ones that focus on the skillful use of influence.

Hr Planning Issues

Many states have measured HR planning to be a less valued process with a different start and finish, slightly than a recurring one where every scheduling stage nourishes into the next. Therefore, planning, after all, has been a key attempt, more worried with the development of the plan than with its implementation. Such plans often set unrealistic or rigid standards or ignore the strategy of the system to disburse for the intended boosts in staff. As a method, this type of planning is expensive and therefore often shaky because it engages great figures of persons over a determined era of time. (Deming, 2005) It also provides inadequate concentration to checking and assessing the plan and to device that permit for midterm improvement.

Hornby et al. (1980) focused out that HR planning has too usually undergone from being troubled simply with facts of diverse kinds of staff, while overlooking qualitative features. suitable planning needs a broader viewpoint that involves such qualitative problems as significance of instruction to service needs, allotment of duties and purposes, efficiency, inspiration, etc.


The nature of management and employer-employee relationship has changed in recent decades, and now more closely reflects the principles of internal control psychology. Vestiges of external control boss-management are still in evidence, however. Chief among those is the continued reliance in many organizations of performance culture systems, as well as their affiliated reward systems. Culture systems are both ineffective and inefficient. These performance cultures are ineffective in that they do not measure performance, primarily because they fail to take into account the system factors which account foremost of variation within an organization. They are inefficient in that they erode interpersonal relationships, teamwork, creativity and motivation. Organizations which undertake performance cultures fail to recognize that motivation comes from within the individual - it is not externally implanted. Organizations can create an atmosphere conducive to internal motivation, however. Such a workplace is characterized by ongoing, open two-way communication between management and employees which focuses on future achievement rather than past failures. Workers need to know that they are trusted, that their work is meaningful, and that their input is valued. With this in mind, it becomes clear that there is no room for performance cultures in today's modern, internal control oriented organization.

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