Change to meet your Needs

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Process of Change Management-1

Change Management Process
There is only one thing constant in our lives and that is “Change”. No matter what one does, or how old one is, change is inevitable. The moment one stops changing for the better, the time calls for the departure. While change is such a common factor, we hardly know what it is and how they are better managed to make the outcome more precise and tangible. For organizations, Change is always characterized by a factor of fear that somehow creates the notion of not changing. They are always the majority in an organization. People are better off with what they have tangible in their hand rather than having to wait for something that is undefined or intangible. Fear makes the change process fail in most of the organizations. Change Management Matrix (Kindly double click on the image to view it better) In any organization, change starts at the very bottom of the channel and moves upward. But for the change to take its roots a conducive environment should be made available and the seeds of change has to be sown first with very clear intents and an understanding of its impacts organizationally. The change has to be supported by the top management to ensure that the environment for change is created and maintained at all levels. Now let us look at the process of change and how best to manage the process. The Need for Change: The process starts with the realization and pressure for change. There will be tangible signs and indications everywhere, that will lead to one point and that is the need for change. Failing targets for business, declining productivity, too many bottlenecks, too many complaints from the customers, and declining revenues are a few to be mentioned. Once the pressure point has reached the critical mass or even before, one would need to pause for a moment and look at the root causes for the blame. This has to happen through a combined session of all managers of the company gathering around for a brain-storming session leading to a general plan for a quick diagnosis of what the problem areas are and their root causes. This segment would require about 2-3 weeks completing. The session would reconvene after the Diagnosis period is over, with the managers of the concerned departments presenting their diagnosis results documenting the underlying causes for each problem and their perceived remedies. The outcome would be a series of “if-not- but” scenarios based on observable evidences. Clear and Shared Vision This is a critical segment for Change Management. The creation of a shared vision on what are the changes required, achieving what tangible results and how it is going to be achieved. This is again a Brain-Storming session lead by the Chief Executive Officer or the President of the organization leading the pack of managers from the critical departments being affected by the Change. The critical outcome of the meeting is to see that the Managers understand what needs to change in the department, what are the implication of the intended changes and finally the method and resources required for the change to take place. These meetings are often very cold at the beginning marked by individual fear of the unknowns. The role of the tip would be to alley those fears and cast them out from the minds of the managers. The outcome should be “we are all in this together for our business to grow”. If the fears are not removed out of the system, then the project is bound to fail at the end, as the managers are key players in the process and if they become the resistors of the process, then say goodbye to the Change Management process. This write-up is from Mr. Rial Ahsan is the CEO & President of DMS, e-mail A poll is also done on this topic which has got interesting results and comments for the readers here.

13 comments:

ERIC S. GRIESEL said...

With all due respect, I don't believe change starts at the bottom. If it doesn't start at the top and is not driven from the top down, it will not be sustainable.

Arun said...

Change unfortunately is never managed.
It is Lead.
It is ingrained.
It is felt.
Then it is dealt.

Arun

Anonymous said...

Hi Dibyendu,

(A reply from your question on LinkedIn.com)

I believe that change is, yes, and ongoing phenomenon and is necessary. Life itself needs change or it will be overrun by factors in the evolutionary chain. Change in business is necessary for the same reason but we have to get the 'whole team' to 'buy in' to this principal. Desmond Morris showed that change for change's sake will improve productivity. However, there has to be a need, want and then trust in (that) change or else people won't follow their leader(s). If everyone doesn't follow then, yes, any change is destined to failure but the failure may be the whole organization and not just the '(change) project.'

Cheers...

Bill Joyce said...

Change Management is the reality of our imperfect development process and when in place frees all from the fear of walking too far into the development woods and getting totally lost. It not only works it saves many projects and enhances creativity of the project participants.

BTW - great question to ferret out the logic level of the group. - Looks like we are very smart bunch!
Bill

Kurt Welte said...

If change management is followed too much in a textbook fashion, then productivity decreases raising cost and management resistance to the process. Change management protocols, guidelines and procedures must be implemented as then are relevant to your individual business model. Best practices for a software development company such as Microsoft will not be practical or viable for a small startup company with minimal funds and staff. The bureaucracy of the process can bring development efforts to a grinding halt and cause the company to fail. A measured approach with long-term implementation strategies that take into account all business units is needed. It should not be an all or nothing approach unless you have the resources to handle that, such as government or banks where you are spending other people's money!

H Ahmadi said...

I voted for yes,but i add that it depends on execution aswell.Felexibilty & creativity is key in implementation.especially when it comes to people.

Bill Joyce said...

Wouldn't that be the case for the main project plan as well?

I am not sure we are comparing apples here. No matter what level or flavor of Change Management - no matter how formal - it provides a process to correct issues during the life of the project without bringing everything to a halt.

The creativity of visionary developers is so fantastic that opening up the ability to change and control "flights of fancy" if you will is freeing. I have had two member teams and 187 member teams an in ALL cases Change Management allowed the freedom to be creative and the freedom to try.

Sabrina Titley said...

Dibyendu:

Effective Change Management requires consistent communication and support within all divisions; in addition the change process should not interfere with the present flow of the established business.

Effective implementation of strategies will definitely need unity of heads.

Do you think that the longer one is in a particular portfolio, the more difficult it is for them to accept change; to unlearn?

Sabrina

Bill Joyce said...

Sabrina:

If we were to agree with your statement, A well trodden axiom, we would believe that the corporate structure has more power than the people who run it.

While it is very true that time and repetitive processes create error and misunderstanding, processes like change management are there for create effective focus of resources not burden them.

Our only hope of creative involvement within the business structure is to assume the structure adds value. with dynamic processes like change management we can assure that our assumption is not false.

Keep changing - Bill

Darwin Stephenson said...

It really depends who is answering the question. Those that sell and provide Change Management services obviously are biased.

But the real question is do people change? Books such as "First, Break All the Rules" indicate that they don't.

If change management works universally, then studying it within an environment of social and political resistance would surely reveal the extent to which it is effective.

How have you been made non-resistant to change via a change management program? What made you change your mind (specifically)?

Bill Joyce said...

Not being a seller but a user of change manageemnt, I fell comfortable stating that Change Management can be very effective in companies like IBM, Barclays and SBC - I know I implemented it.

It can also completely change the outlook of product development in companies like Third Plane Publising, Pi Systems and OneCall Wireless - I know I helped instill the process within executive manageemnt.

But then again I am a dreamer and an optimist. I still get up in the morning and believe - really believe - I can make a difference. You know the type - the Quixote Complex - hehehehehe
Bill

Mohammed Thiab said...

Change management is there and being practiced for sure. However, we must remember that change management is not an objective for its own sake. It is rather a tool or means towards the objective of allowing controlled changes to happen according to a clearly-defined process/procedure and within well-justified high-level objectives of embracing change, adopting it as a way of life, and adapting to it with minimal problems/disruptions and maximum benefit.

Change management (or rather paradigm transformation) is the underlying theme behind my business model in MV-Consulting and I can lecture it easily and smoothly for hours, but I believe this comment is enough for the time being and within the context of the raised question.

Julian Frost said...

Not just managers. If any group of people feels threatened and that group is one of the key players, that group may be able to block the Change Management process. The fear in this case is indeed fear of the unknown and it must be dealt with in everyone. Good communication is vital.

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