This report will look at the importance of change in organizations. It will look at the change management process and the benefits of change management. IT will also look at different types of change management processes. In addition to this the report will also look at some IT led Change management processes. In addition to this the report will also show how a company had implanted this change management process in parts of their organization which have eventually led to their success in that particular sector.
COMPANY SELECTED FOR REPORT
The company selected for the purpose of this report is HP (Hewlett-Packard). This organization has successfully implemented the change management process and have experience dealing with change management processes. These will be explained further on.
Today's world is all about change. It is very important to change and learn to adapt to these changes in today's ever changing world. As individuals it is important to change when necessary to move on ahead. The same principle goes for organizations as well. Organizations should always keep in touch with the market trends. In addition to this Companies should be able to change and adapt in order to be a step ahead of their competition. Whether it's the IT sector or business Sector it is important to always keep in mind of your surroundings and change when necessary.
However change is not always easy to accomplish. There are many factors that have to be considered. As an individual change can sometimes be easy where by only a few features or elements have to be changed. On the other hand this is not the case when it comes to organizations as a whole. There are many steps an organization has to take in order to successfully change from on state to the other. Let us look at change management in more detail in order to better understand it.
RESEARCH METODOLOGY & BACKGROUND ON TOPIC
On order to write any report of this size, a considerable amount of research has to be done. Hence in order to write this report research was done using the internet. Mostly search engines like Google were used in looking for articles and information. However this was not used as a primary source of information. An electronic learning resource called Athens was used in order to obtain authentic information such as e-journals. In Athens some of the famous databases like ACM and IEEE which are databases famous for the journals that are especially IT Oriented. One such e- journal is used in this report. The e- journal talks about how HP incorporated change management processes in their company in order to promote customer centered design.
However it was first important to do some research and find information about what change management was, what were the different types of change management process, what were the benefits of using the change management process etc. It was also important to understand the change management process that required the use of IT. One of the websites that help provide an understanding as to the change management process was the article called "Change Management definitions and solutions" from the CIO website. This website clearly explained what the different aspects of change management were. This article was written by Geoff Koch in 2007. Another article that was very useful was the article in the SearchCIO website. The article is called "How IT can lead change management" and was written by Karen Guglielmo in the year 2009. This article talks about how businesses rely on IT in order to make any type of change. It also briefly talks about organizational change. It was important to understand IT change management process in more detail hence another article that helped achieve this was called ITIL change management from the website ITIL Survival. This article talked about the goal of ITIL and it also talked about what a CAB is.
What is change management? According to Recklies Change management can be defined as the "means to plan, initiate, realize, control, and finally stabilize change processes on both, corporate and personal level. Change may cover such diverse problems as for example strategic direction or personal development programs for staff". Change will always take place in organizations. This can include changing the company's strategies and structures in order to meet certain requirements in the external environment. However there are times where the organizations also change in order to meet the requirement of individual employees. Hence there are two types of change
- Organizational development
This is a kind of change where by the organizations believe that they can align or base their corporate strategies with their individual employees objectives. This however is a slow process and takes a lot of time to initiate. However this type of change is rarely used by organizations.
This is a kind of change where by the entire business strategies of the organization are changed. This is a radical and drastic method of change. The reason being that it challenges all the strategies, business processes and structures that have evolved over time.
In order to understand the change process it is important to understand the phases in change process. This will help managers understand what the situation of the organizations is and where do they stand. The seven phases are as follows:
Shock and Surprise
This occurs when people or organizations are confronted with unanticipated situations. These scenarios can occur by accidents (e.g. losses in any business units) or can even occur in planned actions (e.g. workshops in individual development and team performance improvement). These scenarios make people or organizations realize that their own ways of performing tasks are not feasible for the new conditions any more. Hence, their own perceived capabilities decreases.
Denial and Refusal
Sometimes People just refuse to believe or accept that change is required. They believe there is no necessity for change; hence their supposed capabilities increases.
There are cases where people or organizations understand the necessity for change. In this phase, their apparent ability decreases again. People focus most of their energies or resources on finding short term solutions, What they don't realize is that they are only buying a little more time. Even in this phase they are unwilling to change their own pattern of actions.
This phase is the most important phase. If the organization is able to create a readiness for the change in principles, standards, and behaviors, the organization will then be able to take advantage of their real potentials. However some of the change processes will slow down or come to a halt here
Exercising and Learning
When people start to accept change it tends to create a new enthusiasm for learning. People start to experiment new behaviors and processes. In this phase they will either fail or be rewarded for their perseverance. It is the task of the change managers to create some early wins (e.g. by starting with easier projects) in order to facilitate the transition. This will eventually lead to an increase in peoples perceived own capabilities.
People and organizations tend to gather more information by learning and practicing. This type of knowledge has a feedback-effect. People begin to understand their actions and also understand the reactions to their actions. This, in turn, paves the road towards new experiences and encourages the concept of 'Thinking out of the box'. These extensive patterns of activities increase the flexibility of the organization. Perceived capabilities start to reach a higher level than before the start of the change.
With their new self confidence people now start to put together their newly acquired experiences. The new experiences become routines until a point where by the organization changes again due to external factors.
Hence it is very important to understand the change management process. Let us look at what are the benefits of change management
BENEFITS OF CHANGE MANAGEMENT:
Change Management is used to make sure that all the aspects of introducing new processes and technology have been achieved. These can include: creating an organizational structure that is aligned with new strategies and processes; having jobs and a sets of skills that maintains the new organizational course; using effective communication strategies; ensuring customers, suppliers and other stakeholders understand the importance to support the effort which in turn minimizes the resistance to change. Some of the other benefits are:
Increased effectiveness of the organization: By meeting your employees concerns, you can speed up the acceptance of new processes and technologies that will in turn boost the effectiveness and efficiency of your organization.
Enhanced standards of work and morale: These are the perks you receive for placing people in the middle of the change process.
Enhanced teamwork and communication: Encouraging exchange of ideas and encouraging the flow of information people need to know paves the way to a more supportive, and more dynamic, environment.
Employees tend to stay longer in the organization: A carefully well thought-out move toward to change reduces strain and pressure and encourages people to stay loyal to your organization.
Improved customer service - An efficient organization with excellent morale and knowledgeable employees can bring about the benefits most changes are considered to offer; superior and more cost efficient service to clients.
It is very important to foresee the barriers and key issues that prevent change as this will help speed up the process of change and reduce any disruptions in the organization. By foreseeing such barriers well in advance we can help transition the change from one state to another which in turn will have some advantages like:
- Decrease in cost of change
- Reduce the time it will take to implement the change
- Decrease the risk of unsuccessful change
- Minimize the number of operational disruptions
- Increase in the employee acceptance towards the change
- Increase in the performance of the employees
- Increase in the ROI (Return on Investment)
- Increase in the quality of customer service
There are many elements that are required in order to implement a successful change management process. The most important factor is the culture of the organizations. However this change usually requires upper management or executive support. Many IT managers send their teams of employees to classes that teach the latest practices of change management. They then come to their offices or cubicles and try to implement these practices. However this again has to be supported and followed up by the higher management. Another element is being attuned to the customers' needs. It is very important to encourage and receive feedback from those people that have been affected by the change and not just look at the customer's point of view all the time. In other words it is important to keep in mind of both the customers' views and at the same time make sure that people are comfortable with the change that has been implemented.
Let us now look at another type of change management.
ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE MANAGEMENT
Organizational change is a complex venture. There are many forces or factors that will always prevent organizations from making changes as they would prefer to keep the status qou, however it is not impossible to overcome these obstacles. There are eight fundamentals which can be followed which will in turn help organizations adapt to this change. They are
1. Understand the organization.
The first step is to analyze and understand what the current situation of the organization is. It is important to understand which organizational factors help maintain the status quo as it helps build up plans for overcoming the barriers of change. However, it is important to know more about the business as it relates to a change proposal.
A concrete change plan requires the knowledge of which organizational characteristics will be kept during the transformation process and which characteristics should be left behind. Some of these items may be cultural. An example is frankness of communication. Some of the items can also be operational. An example is specific processes. Although some strengths and weaknesses may be apparent, others may need to be determined through the use of feedback methods such as employee surveys etc.
Another way of acquiring knowledge about the organization is looking through documentation of previous change initiatives and what led to their success or failure of each it. Learning from past experiences and efforts helps in avoiding known potholes and helps build on past successes. It can be sometimes vital to analyze this information as failure to do so can slow down the change process considerably.
2. Identify the future possibilities.
Each and every change program requires a clear and well structured vision of the future preferred state, whether it is a specific vision statement ("We will be #1 supplier of cars in 10 years.") or mission statement ("By 2010 we will be the leaders in innovation.") This target explanation of the future helps define the scope of the conversion and sets the schedule.
It is important to have a clear vision of the future as a good vision has three important qualities: It is inspiring hence people are enthusiastic towards achieving this goal. It is compelling as it helps people understand what they are supposed to accomplish and it is realistic which means that if all the people work together their mission and vision statements can be achieved. Each and every employee that is affected by the change is in turn motivated by different elements of your vision.
3. Obtain upper management or executive support.
This is an important point as it can be agreed that no change can really take place in an organization without the support of the management. It takes a lot more than just understanding the change and just discussing these matters. It is crucial for the upper management their absolute commitment and requires that the leaders have an understanding and implications of the individual behaviors which may be required to be modified in order to facilitate the change. In a time when employees make it a point to look for the loopholes and make sure that the leadership team is absolutely serious about the change plan, it is vital that total commonality outside the conference room is followed. Confiding uncertainties or providing unconstructive comments to employees who are not on the execution team is one sure way for management to bring to an end the change effort.
4. Guarantee Accountability.
It is important to make sure that there is a method for holding people responsible for implementing the change plan otherwise managers and employees will not be interested in implementing the plan. Accountability requires people to follow guidelines that are reinforced by both positive rewards (rewards, promotions) and negative outcomes (disappointment, loss of status). This is important as some times employees tend to lose interest in what they do If they feel that others are not kept in line.
The first person to start with accountability is at the executive and upper management level. Once the executive and upper management level is accomplished in holding each other accountable for the change effort, the same processes and structure will be followed in the organization.
5. Grant the necessary resources.
Like any project, the speed of change occurring in the organization depends on the amount of time invested in it. Similarly, the quality of the change in turn is dependent on the quality of time devoted towards the effort. If the plan is painstaking and is going to be an accumulation to their jobs employees will not give the change process the interest it deserves.
One of the means for communicating the leadership commitment towards a change plan is by the amount of time spent talking about it. Another element that is important is the amount of time they expect their employees to devote towards the plan.
Even though time is one of the scarcest resources, like all projects change plans need financial support. It is important to set aside a budget for the conversion in order to ensure it isn't squeezed out of the working budget. Assurance can be shown by allocating resources and expectations.
6. Importance of communication planning.
There are times when the communications between employees are excessive and many times differing or inaccurate. It is important to be short and decisive in the messages that are sent about the change plan in order to take advantage of it. Realize that different roles in the organization call for different level of messages. It is important to recognize the anticipated target audiences and decide on what they need to hear and how often they should hear it. The effectiveness of the communication also depends on the medium through which it is sent. It is important to consider the difference between formal letters email, etc and understand which medium can be used in which place. Different types of media have different places in communication with each having different levels of impact and authority.
7. Importance of Involving employees.
Some people take the 'Lone Ranger' approach when implementing the change. Although being the person who stars the change process can seem like a lonely place, there are a lot of people in the organization who will believe in the changes being led by you. It is vital to include them in your efforts which in turn will add extra eyes and ears and much-needed hearts to your plan.
There are a many ways to engage the employees. First use employee survey as means of enlisting the help of the employees towards understanding the organization. The next step in the change process is to provide many ways for employee feedback which is a part of the communication plan. The best part of this is that the technology existing these days makes interactive communication both simple and inexpensive. The chief thing to bear in mind is that once feedback is requested, it is crucial that the feedback is taken into consideration in order to keep receiving proper feedback.
8. Use a change methodology.
An organization is made up of complex individuals that contain several different personalities, styles and motivations. It is most helpful to implement a change management process or organization development methodology in order to sort out opinions, strategies and initiatives.
In most cases it is important to have a framework which will provide a method for cataloging your activities and will in turn help focus your awareness. It is very simple to become a victim of scope creep without using a proper methodology. By using a tested structure benchmarking information can be collected. In addition to this help from other organizations who have followed the same path can be received.
Let us now look a change management process that uses Information Technology (IT).
ITIL CHANGE MANAGEMENT
According to Guglielmo, Karen IT change management can be defined as "a process or discipline used to ensure that any technology or infrastructure changes made in an organization don't negatively affect or disrupt other business-critical systems." This process mostly involves analyzing the possible technological alteration, upgrading or implementation; documentation of the steps that are involved during the rollout procedure; finding out how the execution will have an effect on other systems, Also information about the IT resources and also about how people accomplish their tasks; and analyzing the risks and benefits of making this technological change. One example of IT change management would be the investment in virtualization. This is a change when it comes to the infrastructure and the way in which IT systems run. The role of IT in the change management process would be to ensure that this process during implementation does not lead to any system failure in the business. IN addition to this it also plans out how this type of change management process will in turn have an effect on the existing resources and systems.
One important factor that leads to the success of implementing an IT change management is having a CMDB (configuration management database). With A CMDB more flexibility can be achieved in the way that IT manages change. In addition to this it also helps in preventing and the control of any illegal changes. Another Advantage of a CMBD is that you receive something know as Collision Detection. Collision detection enables you to see if you are creating all your components at each of the right stages. Sometimes a CMDB can also help with innovations and mapping of IT services. However this is only possible if the organization has reached a certain maturity. There is a certain IT Change management Process that organizations us. This is called ITIL Change Management. Let us look at it in to more detail.
ITIL is the acronym for Information Technology Infrastructure Library.
ITIL Change Management is a complex and important procedure. The ITIL Change Management process is dependent on how accurate the configuration data is in order to ensure that all the impacts of making the Changes are known. in the end Configuration Management, Release Management and Change Management all have a very close relationship with one another. The objective of this change management process is to make sure that consistent procedures and standards are used for well-organized and on time management of all the Changes. This is done in order to reduce the impact of Change-related situations upon service quality, and most importantly to therefore to perk up the everyday operations of the organization.
The reason changes occur in the first place is due to the occurrence of problems, however the main reason why changes occur is due to the fact that organizations always seek business benefits like improving services or reducing costs. IT is important to document the details of the change process in SLAs in order to make sure that Users are well aware of the procedures for requesting Changes along with the projected target times for, and also what impact the implementation of these Changes brings about. It is also important to make available the information about the details of changes to the Service Desk. Even though comprehensive testing is done there always possibilities of difficulties occurring in the Change implementation process either because the Change does not work as required or anticipated, or even sometimes because of queries on the change in how they work.
This is where the Change Advisory Board (CAB) comes into play. The CAB is a set of people who give their expert recommendations to the Change Management team about the execution of the Changes. This board is normally made up of representatives from every area within IT along with representatives from the commerce units as well as any outside parties that are considered necessary. In addition to this the CBA also sometimes carries out what is called and ITIL Change Management assessment. Some times in order to make an suitable reply to the needs of a change request, a logical approach towards the evaluation of business and risk stability, impact of change, resource requirements and approval of change is taken. This well thought-out approach is crucial in order to uphold an appropriate equilibrium between the necessities for Change against the impact of the Change. Along with this it is also vital that the ITIL Change Management processes have high priority and also always have open 'mediums of communication' in order to support smooth transitions when the Changes occur. Let us now look at a company that has successfully implemented change processes.
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE COMPANY
The Mission of HP is to devise technologies and services that drive business value. In addition to this they also aim to create social benefit and also improve the lives of customers. They also aim to try and reach the greatest number of people possible through their innovations. HP is an organization that operates in more than 170 countries worldwide. They explore the different possibilities of how technology and services can used to help people and organizations address their problems and challenges, and turn their possibilities, aspirations and dreams into reality. In addition to this they also apply new methods of thinking and creation of ideas in order to create more straightforward, important and trusted experiences with technology and also constantly improving how their customers work and live.
They say that no other organization offers a complete technological product portfolio like them. The state that they offer many communication and business assistance that span from handheld devices to some of the most powerful supercomputer installations in the world. They also provide consumers with a wide variety of products and services that range from digital photography to digital entertainment and also from home printing to computing. It is this complete portfolio that enables them to match the right products, services and solutions to our customers' precise needs.
Some of the interesting facts about HP are:
- HP states that they are currently the world's largest IT Company, with revenue totaling $114.6 billion for fiscal 2009.
- They currently hold the 9th rank in HP's 2009 Fortune 500 ranking
- They also state that they currently have approximately 304,000 employees worldwide
Let us now look at how Hp has successfully incorporated change process.
IMPLEMENTATION OF CHANGE IN HP
HP realized that the key to a successful future business is to focus on establishing a strong and superior customer experience.
In the fall of 1999, Carlton "Carly" Fiorina, who became the new CEO for HP, initiated organizational changes throughout the whole company. In order to support the organization towards becoming more customer-driven, Carly added the following goal as one of the top 3 goals for the company "Deliver the best customer experience in industry". The objective was to make HP a world-wide company that is more competitive in the new economy. Hence in order to gain a competitive advantage over other organizations HP established an initiative called the ìTotal Customer Experience. This initiative focused on delivering superior customer experience and satisfaction. However since this was the first time HP agreed to change in order to have a competitive edge they first decided to implement this change process in certain sectors to first assess how effective the change process is.
HP decided to implement this change process in HP Tape Storage Division in Bristol, UK. The objective was to set up and effectively institutionalize customer-centered design within the tape drive development function. When they compared the designing of the customer-centered approach to the change management process it was found that the change-management process accounted for the most part of the time and energy. It was crucial to introduce a design approach that is customer-centered at the appropriate phase in the change-management process was crucial to its adoption. They followed the John Kotter's "Eight-Stage Process of Creating Major Change". This is another change management process that focuses more on organizational change. Below is a figure displaying how HP incorporated the Kotters eight stage change process with the tape drive design in order to make it more customer centered.
HP also came up with the Total Customer Satisfaction (TCE) frame work. The TCE is the customers overall satisfaction experience towards HP when using its products and services.
The TCE touch points have a most direct influence to design for the installing, learning, use, and support touch points especially for product development teams. The team reviewed the selected requirements to ensure they had coverage in the install, learn, use, and support TCE touch points. They also started compiling videos from their customer visits and usability reviews onto a CD and arranged them according to their key design requirements. This proved very useful in helping the program management team understand and prioritize customer experience design requirements. The CD proved a real breakthrough in facilitating change. The authors found it was far easier to persuade individuals when the approach appealed to people's emotional side as well as rational side. In order to facilitate complete change HP realized the importance of considering the individual change. In other words HP made sure that all the employees were on board and they especially had the backing of the executive management.
Due to the success of the change process the customer-centered approach was extended to cover fresh designs needed to maintain design for ease of access. By the end of 2001, the program team was functioning with the TCE lifecycle and tools for future tape drive versions. By 2002 the Customer centered approach became fully institutionalized in HP Tape Storage Division in Bristol. Before the TCE frame work was used only in meeting very rarely however due to its success there was now a slot open for the review of the TCE framework at every meeting. So let us look at what were the benefits brought about this change.
Benefits of this change process in HP:
The results of the change process implementation were brought about in 3 main areas: the products, the organization/processes, and finally the culture of the organization. The radical change in Product improvements have been recognized by customers during iterative usability testing. The new Product Design Process has helped generate a much stronger importance on the customer all the way through product development, which has encouraged strong commitment and support from all groups in the expansion program. Some of the benefits are:
Improved installation and learning experience
- Improved learning products are much better tailored to the actual profile of our customers, providing the comprehensive information they require to address their range of usage environments.
- Installation assistance software through Library and Tape Tools (L&TT) checks the configuration of the installed drive in the host computer and helps the user to troubleshoot common problems (e.g. SCSI settings, cable connections, etc.).
Improved support experience
- Provision of local diagnostic tools through Library & Tape Tools (L&TT), which help the user to identify and troubleshoot typical error situations.
- Improved Product Upgradeability through L&TT that helps the user manage and undertake firmware upgrades to the drive, allowing the user to more easily take advantage of product enhancements.
- Improved interactive diagnostics through Instant Support that allow the customer to check their drive installation and e-mail the results of any tests directly to a HP support engineer.
Benefits at the organizational level:
- A revised product design process (product lifecycle) to reflect the key customer-centered design activities and deliverables
- Regular TCE team meetings in addition to the product development team meetings
- Regular customer experience design reviews within the customer's environment with members of the program team
- A specific job function within the product development organization, Customer Experience Design Engineer, which has TCE objectives and measures within its set of performance objectives
Benefits at the cultural or individual level:
Wider range of inputs just getting the directed input from a wider range of HP staff means that we are much more likely to come up with a better solution than if the "design request" was left to the design team.
- Customer requirements have the potential to affect fundamental shifts in the design since the customer requirements are reviewed with business and marketing requirements early in the design process.
- We let designers design:
Sounds obvious, but it is easy to fall into the trap of the TCE team describing the solution rather than describing the problem and letting some of our great designers come up with better solutions.
* Greater ownership of solutions:
This has been a true success of the TCE program. By shifting the emphasis from the TCE team trying to impose solutions, to getting the product team to understand customer problems and concerns, and then for them to invent the solution there is no doubt that there is a much greater level of ownership within the product teams.
* Greater supportability of solutions because our solutions have been invented and designed by the product team, the solutions they come up with tend to be easier to support and evolve with future product developments.
In Conclusion Change management processes can be used to strategically improve an organizations core competency. It can be seen that the company receives benefits, not only at an organizational level but also at an individual level. It is very important for the change managers of today to understand the important of change in organizations and how to effectively implement change within an organization. It is also important to realize that in order to successfully implement a change, the change process should be supported by everyone in the organization. In other words a collaborative effort by everyone including the people at the executive level of the organization is required in order to implement the change without any problems.