CURRENT CHANGE MANAGEMENT
In present business world and globalisation, organisations require updating their plans and procedures frequently to meet industry demands and requirements. Change management is an essential contributor to this process of operation. The current report analyses the fundamentals of change management in modern organisations. It highlights the need for managing change and its benefits. Three theoretical model of change management, namely Kotter’s Eight Step model, Lewin’s Three-Step Model and Ackerman and Anderson’s model is discussed in the report. Applications of these models in organisational change management procedures are analysed. Several challenges are evaluated like communication, management of multiple teams, drawing a roadmap, lack of visibility, employee resistance and arrangement of important documents. The study, at the end, provides detailed recommendations in order to overcome the above-mentioned challenge
To understand the role and application of change management process in the present generation of organisations, this reports aims to provide a discussion on its intrinsic aspects and challenges. Change management encompasses all the tools, techniques and processes required to help individuals make successful transition contributing to realisation and adoption of change. Managing strategic, operational and various other changes within a business have emerged to be a core challenge for managerial professionals and employees. This report will analyse the different theories of change management and evaluate the present challenges involved in the process. Suitable recommendations will be provided at the end.
Significance of Change Management
Change management drives adoption and effective usage so that organizational processes deliver expected outcomes and success. It helps an organisation to survive in a changing world through delivery of results on each change more effectively. It is important as it facilitates building of competencies in order to tackle unanticipated changes. As opined by Ionescu et al. (2014), significance of the process also lies in its ability to deliver human-dependent portion of the project ROI. About 80-100% of project success depends how the team is able to change process during the course of the project as per requirements. Change management facilitates this by helping people to develop ways of adapting faster to immediate requirements.
Figure 1: Success Rates of Projects using Change Management
(Source: shrm.org, 2017)
Change management increases the possibility of project success. The return on investment captured through change management is relatively more than projects without change management. It is seen about 94% of projects achieve success with efficient change model while 15% project achieve success without change management. It is highly essential for organisations to gauge and assess the dynamics of its external environment for establishing and envisaging appropriate relationships with its stakeholders (Tudor, 2014). Through comprehending the intrinsic aspects of change management, managers can understand process of meeting changing requirements of the organisation. Change management also brings about a reduction in the gap between results and requirements. It is often seen that organisations meet changes without delivering appropriate results. Change management reduces the gap through providing support and equipping people who may be impacted through the change. Mitigating critical risks of mission is also a significant contribution of change management towards organisational operations.
Change Management Theoretical models
In the present competitive business environment, organisations regularly face unanticipated requirements in operations. The external conditions impose stringent regulations and specifications that the organisations are forced to implement. Organisations implement various theoretical change management models for achieving sustainability and success.
Lewin’s Three step Model
Kurt Lewin developed a 3-step process for meeting organisational changes. It provides managers with a structured framework for implementing change effort. The process is sensitive and needs to be seamless. As opined by de Andrade et al. (2016), the model helps a manager to make radical changes, minimise disruptions of structural operations and adopt a permanent process of change.
The three steps are unfreezing, changing and refreezing respectively. Current generation organisations use this model widely since it provides a synchronised and transparent framework. After an organisation realises, it unfreezes the current processes. This includes analysis of each step and HR interaction for the required improvements. Unfreezing is also applied to organisational perception about the future change and its resistance. The next step is enforcing changes through communication, education and collaboration. As opined by Aljohan (2016), changes often include adopting a new marketing policy or operational strategy. After the change has been implemented, an organisation refreezes the newly made status quo. The processes are sent back to previous stages. Regular reviews are made to keep the new processes in the right place.
Kotter’s Eight-Step Model
Many of the information technology organisations apply Kotter’s model for implementing change management. Managers are required to budget, plan, organise staff and control departmental leaders for establishing direction and aligning people. As opined by Calegari et al. (2015), the success of Kotter’s model of change management depends on effective leadership and capability of establishing predictability and order. Kotter's eight steps are designed in a synchronised way to offer effective change management services to organisations.
As depicted in the figure the change management model is divided into three phases, namely creating climate for change, engaging the organisation, introducing, and sustaining the implemented change. Three steps are covered in the first and second phases while the third phase includes two steps. Through Step 1, organisations develop a sense of urgency through identification of potential threats and examination of possible opportunities. Step 2 includes development of a group or coalition through convincing people about the change. This coalition, as stated by D'Ortenzio (2012), has to work as an integrated team for building momentum and urgency for change. Step 3 creates a vision for the change by explaining employees the target goals and objectives.
Step 4 is highly essential as it includes communication of the vision to the employees. The vision is embedded is all activities of the leader. Organisational leaders demonstrate the behaviours expected from employees. Step 5 incorporates all actions required for implementing the change. Organisations overcome obstacles in the process and empower employees for executing vision. Step 6 focuses on creating short-term wins and focusing on larger goals for the organisation. As opined by Pieterse et al. (2012), step 7 of Kotter’s model is essential for change management since it focuses on continuous improvement throughout the process of change implementation. Failures are analysed and opportunities are presented throughout the process. The final step anchors the change within the corporate culture of the organisation.
Ackerman and Anderson’s Model
The model helps managers to implement all types of organisational changes. It is based on a hypothesis stating that a comprehensive strategy for change is based on three fundamental areas that are people, process and content. Content refers to technical and operational areas that need change while process refers to actions required for planning, designing and implementing the change. People refer to behavioural requirements and mindsets necessary for change.
As opined by Hayes (2014), this model includes three stages that are upstream change, midstream change and downstream change. The first stage incorporates three phases of preparation of change, creation of organisational commitment and vision and assessment of the current situation for determining design requirements. The second stage also includes three phases that design of desired situation, analysis of the impact and plan for implementation. The third or downstream stage is most important since it incorporates implementation of change (Worley and Mohrman, 2014). It helps in integrating the new state and correcting the change procedure through its gradual progress.
Application of Change Management in Organisations
In the current dynamic nature of the business world, changes, if not managed correctly lays strain on human resource abilities for creating and improving competitive advantage. Recent scholarly journals and articles suggest that only 23 percent of the global organisation possess sufficient HR capabilities for handling unanticipated changes. Consequently, most organisations tend to adopt change management frameworks and tools for maintaining competitive edge and sustainability in the industry. Different types of changes have high impacts on organisational functions. For instance, as stated by Kuipers et al. (2014), operational changes possess greatest influence on lower levels of organisation while political changes mostly influence the higher levels. As a result, adoption of change management studies and model has become most relevant in the current situation.
Organisations make effort at all levels to gain knowledge about the new requirements and challenges that are demanded by the external business conditions. For instance, a business upgrading software solutions needs to know the latest industry requirements. These are done through application of change management processes. The strategies include identification of the need for change, arranging resources required for change and adopting the easiest and most cost-effective method of change. Organisations often face troubles with certain factors that hamper the change process. These are project duration, time between reviews of change, performance integrity and employee turnover at the middle of the project (Burke, 2017)). Kotter's model and Lewin’s theory are the most used change management approaches. Organisations prefer to follow systematic approach. Lewin's model helps managers to unfreeze the process and see the organisation from core. It also enables them to understand the required processes and arrange the resources accordingly. Kotter’s model is more of an integrated approach collaborating different steps together into a bundle.
As opined by Coetzee et al. (2012), various environmental factors like cultural influences, socio-economic factors and political factors across the globe keep changing thereby forcing organisations to remain updated. As a result, the relevance of change management has emerged in the modern ages. Modern organisations are shedding old ideologies and becoming more practice-oriented. They involve staff members in strategic decision processes thereby rendering practicality and viability to the decision. HR landscapes sometimes complicate the diverse backgrounds of a team resulting in cross-cultural challenges for management. Organisations consider these as a change management procedure where they are required to meet with the changing needs of staff members. Technology helps an organisation to make concurrent changes in order to deal with the competitive environment. Modern businesses are required to stand with all-round cyclical changes of social and economic changes in the environment. Change management is, therefore, an essential and indispensable aspect of the organisational operation.
Challenges in application of Change Management
Change management, though important, is not an easy task to handle. The entire process beginning with identification of the need for change to implementing the actions of change management is a long and hard-earned process. In the course of this process, organisations face several challenges. Some of them are:
Management of multiple teams including device manufacturers, regulatory staff and document investigators becomes difficult for the management
Arranging essential documents for change process within a short time is a considerable challenge towards change management
Communication failure in case of major changes like merger acquisition or downsizing creates fears and rumours in the organisation. As opined by Thomas (2014), this feeling of uncertainty disrupts work process and employees feel they are not valued.
Employee resistance is another major challenge faced while managing change. Often, employees do not want to participate in change and help the organisation for transition.
Lack of visibility makes the change process problematic. If an organisation is unable to visualise the outcomes of the change or its required components, it results in disruption of operations.
Organisations are frequently required to adapt to change their processes in order to maintain sustainability and keep up with industry procedures. Organisations must follow certain steps to implement effective change management.
Organisations must acknowledge the need for change and divide the process into different sectors. A single team should be employed for each sector for effective handling
A cause and influence map must be created in order to understand the process of change and complexities involved in it.
Employees must be kept regularly updated regarding the progress and plans for change implementation. All employees should be involved in brainstorming or meeting sessions.
A roadmap and evaluating process must be created so that each person involved in the process gains a clear visibility about the change process. Evaluation will also help in identifying any modification required by the process.
To conclude with the assessment, it must be stated that change management in modern organisations is an indispensable process. The entire process of remaining competitive and enhancing sustainability involves change management principles. The report suggests that organisation mostly implement Lewin’s three-step model and Kotter’s eight-step model for making the change procedures. Change management helps organisations to survive in a competitive world, delivers project success, assesses the dynamic of surrounding factors and rings together requirements and results. As the report suggests, modern organisations are now deviating from traditional approaches and implementing new processes of change management. Though faced by several challenges, organisation can successfully implement change procedures through creation of a clear roadmap, effective communication to employees and accurate identification of the need for change. From the report, it can be concluded that change management is an ever-delivering procedure contributing to organisational success.
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