Significant organizational change can be brought about by your technology projects, and if you are not careful, chaos can be created. In this video, Bob McGannon takes you through the steps to imbed organizational change including having a plan, communication, evaluation of roles, training and measuring the effectiveness of your solution. In addition, he will explore obstacles to progress including potential power shifts, current experts preserving their roles, and other resistant stakeholders.
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- Deepak Chopra is quoted as saying, "All great changes are preceded by chaos." Now I hope that's not true for our technology projects, but the reality is we can create chaos if we're not careful. Significant organizational change can be brought about by your technology projects. Earlier I discussed how to identify the specific business processes that will be changing. In this video I'm going to give you tips to assess the degree of organizational change that may result from your project, and how your project can be used to steer that change.
Let me give you an example. Several years I was implementing a solution for a trucking company, so they could maximize truckloads in both directions. We decided to deploy GPS technology, which was new at the time. Both the management team and the truckers supported this change because full truckloads meant more money for both parties. However, as the solution was getting close to implementation, the truckers realized the technology would also provide details of the exact location of their truck at all times.
This was a major cultural change for the trucking company, and some of the truckers didn't like that feature at all. Well, the management team proceeded as planned and implemented the solution. It worked exactly as intended, but the truckers didn't like that management was tracking their trucks. They rebelled and took matters into their own hands, literally. The truckers poured coffee on the GPS devices to force them to fail.
Liquids and technology rarely get along well. This is a great example of how organizational change must be considered and managed throughout your project. We need to get staff members onboard, show them how the solution can benefit them, and consider their input. The key steps to successful organizational change are have a plan regarding organizational change, communicate the expected change to those impacted, evaluate roles that will change, train and inform staff members regarding product capabilities specific to their role, and measure the effectiveness of your solution to determine if adjustments are required.
The real key to technology project organizational change is to truly understand the impacts. Some impacts to watch out for include potential power shift changes between departments. These shifts in authority need to be identified and managed. If not, resistance is likely to occur, and you can have difficulty implementing your solution, just like in my trucking company example. Current experts may be threatened by new technology.
They fear they may no longer be considered the expert when new technology is deployed. These people are key to your success and you need to ensure they're involved in project decisions. Where possible, help support them in new or different roles as your technology is implemented, so they can feel they're part of an ongoing business interest. Some stakeholders will fight to keep things as they are. Change is hard and some staff will simply want to do things the old way, even if the new way is better.
You'll need to create an environment in which staff are encouraged and even rewarded for doing things with your new technology in place. As you can see, staff members are key to success or failure of your project. Careful planning and consideration for the impact of organizational change will help ensure the overall success of your project and reduce the chance you'll see Deepak Chopra's chaos.
- Identifying and managing stakeholders
- Guiding process and organizational change
- Considering a cloud-based solution
- Planning a technology project
- Assessing risks and changes
- Executing a technology project
- Addressing challenges such as conflict and changing priorities