The lecture series in the block week introduced some newer concepts of change management and its implications on organizations. The lectures introduced us to various studies like Lewin’s “Freeze phases” and “Force field Analysis”, Kubler Ross’s “Grief Cycle” and The ADKAR model, which are considered to be the basis of theories pertaining to change management. Change is the only word which is constant in today’s world. It is extremely important for everyone to evolve with time in order to keep pace with the environment and this mainly holds good for managers running businesses (Carcone, 2008).
Project management is one of the most important tasks involving higher risks and it requires a constant monitoring and adaptability with respect to the changing environment. It may be noticed from the square wheels theory that the most important aspect of studying is to bring the need, affect and impact of the changes in the current system. On observing the future prospect of project management, it may be noticed that the concept of project management refers to carefully planning and organizing towards achieving a particular goal (Project Management institute,2010).
Project management includes various stages like project initiation, planning, execution, monitoring, control and project completion. On the other hand, when we talk about the features of change management, it refers to the process undertaken by a management team or the project manager to bring about the required changes in the current system. The point to be noted over here is that the changes would take the organization from one state to another state, thus altering the existing set up and bringing new processes and models to improve the working of the organization.
The reflection in this report is based upon my work experience gained at MZ organization. I would like to recollect one of the much hyped changes in the company, which was the introduction of a new ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) package. The newly introduced package would require the issue books and records to be connected to the ERP system for maintaining records of the current status of inventory in the company by automatically picking details from the receipts and issue books.
The payments and receipts should be updated regularly in the MIS (Management Information System) and it should be well reflected in accounting for the managers to monitor the tasks at hand. The acid test for any successful launch rests on two measures namely the top line and bottom line; the force field analysis (Lewin, 1943) helps the managers to be prepared well in advance and make an informed decision on the implementation/non-implementation of the changes. If the changes are to be made, details about how to reduce the costs (i. e.
, tackling the forces against changes) and strengthen the forces helping the changes need to be studied and analyzed. Successful implementation of technology means success in achieving higher sales or reduction in the manufacturing cost and expenses to the company. Thus we shall have a clean and clear picture of the level of success in the implementation of the technology. The company thus sets first priority to communication and hence during an open house session, the manager breaks the news about the changes to be implemented in the company and spends time on few meetings with line managers to discuss the integrities of changes required.
During the meetings, every participant was involved in providing informative and productive suggestions to the firm and evaluating it on a SWOT framework. Managers in their initial stages used to list down the changes that they thought were needed to be automated in the work floor for improving the current condition. Various cost analysis done in prior to disclosure were shared with few relevant people and ideas were sought about the purchase of the software.
During my reflections on the ADKAR model (Hiatt, 2007), I realized that this is what our managers followed wherein they communicated the need of changes to the team members describing the inefficiencies in the current system/ lack of knowledge on the levels of work completed in the middle of the week, need for reduction in time towards preparation of MIS reports and collection of data/ physical auditing. This made it a desirable tool amongst the working force. The knowledge of changes and the ability to implement the same was ensured with the help of external consultants who were specialists in the field of ERP implementation and training.
After the completion of transition from manual to ERP system, the system was closely monitored for the next one year by employees at all levels which included fresh junior accountants, engineers and managers at the top. Information Technology (IT) has made our work and lives easier than it was ever before. It may be noted that not only my organization benefitted from IT, but also many other companies and sectors such as Dell, Wal-Mart, Aviation industries, investment banking, heavy vehicle manufacturing, pharmaceutical companies, space research and defense industry got benefited by using IT.
Many banks have used this concept of going virtual and helped their supply chain, stock holders and purchasers benefit in a bigger way. Unfreeze (typical techniques) Transition (typical techniques) Refreeze (typical techniques) Burning platform Boiling the frog Burning bridges Challenge Challenge Evidence stream Command Coaching Golden handcuffs Evidence Command Institutionalisation Destabilise Education New challenge Education Facilitation Reward alignment MBO First steps Rites of passage Restructure Involvement Socialising
Ritual/rites of passage MBO Setting goals Open Space Visioning Re-education Whole system planning Shift-and-sync Spill and fill Stepwise change Whole system planning As discussed above, the biggest issue faced today is the change, the management of resistance to change, the transition phase of change, and the post change period till things settle down completely (Lewin, 1943). Though we discussed earlier that the only thing constant in this world is change, but it is the same thing which is opposed by most of the employees in an organization.
The managers or the team leaders have to keep a number of things in mind when initiating the changes. We learn from the Lewin’s theory of Freeze phases, that the humans by their very nature are reluctant to make any changes, thus taking cues from the theory we must Unfreeze (Lewin, 1943) the current status by various methods. My organization adopted the combined method of burning the platform and educating the employees at the same time to lead them into the transition phase, where help from consultants was taken to facilitate and coach the team.
It took one full year for the firm to reach a stage of complete reestablishment. Reflections on the square wheel gave the organization a good platform to prepare itself and launch the changes. In the same context the manager should take care that there is no communication gap between employees at various levels. The employees should be made a part of the decision making process and this should be aimed at improving communications between each other. All this will result in the company tiding over the square wheels problem.
The model of Freeze phases (Lewin, 1943) as employed by my organization in the transition phase implemented the following particular issues; First and foremost they understood that the employees’ concern needs to be understood, as the use of IT would lead to few job recessions, reduction in salary, and requirement of training to manage the new IT enabled set up efficiently. It is hard to convince the work force about a new method, which is more efficient but reduces the dependency of the firm on the manual work force.
Thus the manager has to be cautious about the building of suspicious plans in the office and keep a check on the grapevine(O’Dea, nd). The management should thus communicate in the best possible manner, an open house, to avoid the spreading of rumors and thus providing transparency in the work place. Apart from merely explaining the change processes, the change processes should be effectively implemented with the help of regular monitoring and handing over of smaller decision making powers to the line managers.
The assurance (of job security and work profile) about the perceived benefits must be reconvened to the employees and managers to make them pro-change agents (reduce against the change agents) and make them look forward to the same. Sharing the problems faced by the company can help the managers to resolve the problems easily. Change is incomplete without adequate training/educating the staff. If the new technology is not acceptable or adaptable by the employees, then the investment and changes are least effective.
So we need to match the infrastructure with the educational/vocational levels of our staff. The company follows a complete one to one match policy for its recruitment and well defined roles are explained completely before zeroing in on a particular candidate. In order to derive the successful change in the systems infrastructure, we should learn from the mistakes of others and look into factors that IT posed in other organizations. If we have faced failures at our end, we should learn from these failures and prepare a better strategy to plan changes in the organization.
References Carcone, P. (2008) An Overview of Coping with Change for Non-Specialists. Project change management. Hiatt, J. (2007). ADKAR: a model for change in business, government and our community. Prosci Research. Hibert, R. , & Richards, R. (2006). An Introduction to Critical Change Project Management. AACCE transitions . Lewin, K. (1943). Defining the “Field at a Given Time”. Psychological Review . O’Dea, T. (nd). Strategies for managing change. In The project manager. Project Management institute. (2010). Retrieved April 27, 2010, from www. pmi. org/Sample Essay of Eduzaurus.com