Change management

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Change management expresses itself in all actions of inventing and implementing different states or processes in organization (system) or object. It is determined in a given period of time and due to the adopted basis for comparison. The changes can be divided into quantitative and qualitative.

  • Quantitative changes relate to the differences in the size of one or more parameters. With regard to the quantitative changes we can speak of: growth, organizational complexity, size, etc. These changes are measurable: i.e. number of employees, size of the organization, rate of labor ratio as an example of organizational growth rate.
  • Qualitative changes point to the new properties or behavior of particular system. Qualitative often involve: invention (design, inventor), Innovation (ideas, concepts), administrative changes (e.g. new ratings system), cultural, regulatory, structural changes.

Relations between change and development

Both change and development are the key highlights of today's changes taking place in the whole economy. Their main function is adaptation, of organization to environment and active impact on the environment. These are the processes necessary for the firm to compete effectively with others, to neutralize the threat of the environment and problems within the organization.

The change management may relate to various aspects of the company. The change is not a single event with immediate visible results. It is not a one-time event, after which the solutions are applied suddenly. The change must be part of the company, penetrate into its structure. It is important to realize the fact that the place in the environment is not granted permanently. Law of entropy tells that all systems have a natural tendency to fall. In this case change is needed, understood as a struggle against entropy, and aimed at improving of company's position.

Increasingly, managers are not only see change as an opportunity, but rather recognize its inevitability.. Organizational changes can be divided into quantitative and qualitative. The first point to differences in the size of one or more parameters, the other point to the new behaviour, properties and reactions of the system highlighted. Development is treated in terms of positive changes aimed at particular goal.

Reactive and proactive change management

Changes can also be divided into reactive and proactive. Reactive changes are carried out by the analysis and diagnosis. To find the best solution one must first recognize the current state and possible weaknesses of the organization. The speed and relatively low cost, are key advantages of reactive changes. Unfortunately, it was noted that as the need for change becomes more apparent, cost of response are increasing. Managers should take care of the time to make changes, because the longer they wait, the effectiveness of changes decreases. With proactive changes search for the optimal solution is preceded by constructing a model based on synthesis. This model is a forecast, it is not a reflection of a particular object. This is the result of creative thinking, research and development. So it is a heuristic process. To a limited extent managers can take as a basis for analysis existing objects or methods.

Scope of change management process

Change management may have a various scope. From continuous improvement, including a small ongoing changes, up to a radical and fundamental changes, including building of new organizational strategy. Managing change can be reactive or proactive. Change can be caused by factors in the external environment of organization or by something related to internal processes, structures, people or events. It can also be introduced as a remedy, for example, in anticipation of future adverse economic circumstances. The management of change usually consist of following steps:

  • Identify the reasons pointing to the need for change,
  • Specify an endpoint or "where we want to be in the future"
  • Planning to carry out changes,
  • Implementation of the changes,
  • Ensure that the changes will be permanent.

Effective management of change includes changes on the personal level, for example, changes in mood or procedures. Hence to make effective change management managers should have proper motivation skills. Other factors which have an important impact on the success in managing change is a style of leadership, communication, and consistent positive attitude to change among employees. The restructuring of the business process is one of the types of change management. It includes processes of transformation of the organization to improve operational effectiveness. Promoters of change are persons in the organization who are leaders and champions of the change process.

See also:

Examples of Change management

  • Strategic Change - This is the process of transforming an organization in order to better meet its goals and objectives. It involves the introduction of new strategies, processes, structures, and/or technologies. Examples of strategic change include restructuring a company’s operations, introducing new products or services, and changing the company’s overall direction.
  • Organizational Change - This is the process of transforming an organization in order to better meet its goals and objectives. It involves introducing new practices, policies, and/or procedures. Examples of organizational change include implementing a new management system, creating new teams, and introducing new job roles.
  • Cultural Change - This is the process of transforming an organization’s culture in order to better align with its mission, vision, and values. It involves introducing new practices, beliefs, and/or behaviors. Examples of cultural change include introducing new values and norms, creating a more collaborative work environment, and encouraging more open communication.
  • Technological Change - This is the process of introducing new technologies in order to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of an organization. It involves introducing new systems, processes, and/or tools. Examples of technological change include implementing new software systems, automating certain processes, and introducing new communication technologies.

Advantages of Change management

Change management offers many benefits to organizations, helping them to become more effective and efficient. Here are some of the key advantages of change management:

  • Increased Efficiency: Change management helps organizations to identify areas of improvement and develop more efficient processes. This can help reduce costs and improve productivity.
  • Improved Communication: Change management helps to ensure that all stakeholders are informed and involved in the process. This helps to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that everyone is aware of the changes.
  • Improved Employee Engagement: Change management also helps to foster a culture of continuous improvement and employee engagement. Employees feel more valued and motivated, as they are involved in the change process and can provide feedback.
  • Improved Risk Management: Change management helps to identify potential risks and develop strategies to mitigate them. This helps to ensure that the organization is prepared for any unexpected issues that may arise during the process.
  • Improved Adaptability: Change management helps organizations to be more responsive to changing market conditions and customer needs. This helps to ensure that the organization remains competitive and able to quickly adapt to new situations.

Limitations of Change management

Change management is not without its limitations. The following are some of the most commonly cited limitations of change management:

  • Resistance to Change - the most common limitation of change management is the resistance of employees, stakeholders, and customers to the change. This resistance can take many forms, such as expressing opposition, expressing skepticism, or simply refusing to accept or implement the change.
  • Lack of Resources - if an organization does not have the necessary resources to implement a change, the change process can be slow and difficult. This may include a lack of skilled personnel, funds, or technology to implement the change.
  • Poor Communication - inadequate communication can be a major barrier to successful change management. Without proper communication, stakeholders may not be aware of the change or be adequately informed of the impact it will have on their operations.
  • Unclear Goals - if the goals of the change process are not clearly defined, it can be difficult to measure progress and success. This can lead to confusion and frustration among stakeholders.
  • Poor Planning - if the change process is not planned properly, the process can become disorganized and inefficient. Poor planning can lead to missed deadlines, delays, and confusion.
  • Unrealistic Timeframes - if the timeframe for implementing the change is unrealistic, it can put undue stress on the organization and lead to frustration and burnout. This can also have an impact on the quality of the process and the results.

Other approaches related to Change management

  • Strategic change management - this approach is focused on understanding the need for change in an organization, which will help to make the right decisions and plan the processes involved.
  • Organizational development - this approach emphasizes the need for an individual and collective approach to change. It focuses on how individuals, groups, and teams can contribute to successful organizational change.
  • Agile change management - this approach is based on the principles of agile software development and emphasizes the need for continuous feedback and learning in the process of change.
  • Cultural change management - this approach focuses on understanding and adapting to the culture of an organization in order to facilitate change.
  • Technology-enabled change management - this approach emphasizes the use of technology to facilitate and support change.

In summary, change management is a complex process that involves understanding the need for change, planning the processes involved, taking an individual and collective approach, adapting to the culture of an organization, and using technology to facilitate and support change.

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Author: Krzysztof Wozniak