Locating Change In The Change Spectrum Information Technology Essay

Published: 2021-07-25 19:35:06
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INTRODUCTION
This assignment tries to identify a change situation in Andreas Pakkoutis Ltd and the design of a strategy to effectively manage this situation. Andreas Pakkoutis Ltd (here after referred to as company) was established in 1980 as a limited liability company selling gifts, kitchenware toys and children clothes. The Company has a very successful growth rate for the years that followed and today sales a wide range of product in a privately-owned shop 300m². In the last decade the company expand its activities in other two areas. It’s importing fertilisers from UK and built in an area of 10.000 square meters nurseries in order to produce and sales outdoor plants.
The Company is co – owned by its two Directors and employs eight permanent staff. The eight permanent staff performs the company’s routine operation executing customer’s instructions with occasional consultancy.
The company is a traditional family company where the Directors being the central power source. In addition due to the age of Directors (over 55) there isn’t any information systems applied in the company. The first years when customers and sales were not as large in volume, the company ran smoothly without any problems. But over the years, both sales and customers were increased. Paper – based agreements of such magnitude are difficult to manage. The complexity comes from the different prices agreements with the customers. Thus a small nursery would purchase the same plant at different prices from a big nursery. In addition the sales force needed to know about new products releases and availability of existing products which was not going to the customers accurately. The end result is a confused customer and sales team.
DEFININIG THE CHANGE
Now the company comes to an end point and the directors decided to take the appropriate actions. They will implement a CRM system. The company will benefit since data and sales will complete faster by bringing closer the decisions made in sales and production or purchase of products. As a result the profitability of the company will increase and operational cost will be reduced.
But this will be a major change for the company. Managers as owners of the problem must be directly involved in the change process. In addition all the human capital of the company must have involvement in the change.
LOCATING CHANGE IN THE CHANGE SPECTRUM
In order to identify the nature of change we are going to use various models. The first model that we are going to use is the change spectrum. With change spectrum we can identified the nature of change and how much of the change is technical oriented and how much is people oriented.
1100% Soft/Complex
A.Pakkoutis Ltd
Flexi/grey
Hard / Mechanistic
0% 100%
Figure 1 The Change Spectrum
As we can see from the figure 1 the change in the company is between Flexi/Grey and Soft Complex. This is because the company will implement new software that has purely technical nature but it will have major impact in the way that the employees make their jobs. In addition this scale of change will not affect in any way the management structure of the company. But is expected to cause significant concern to human resources of the company.
THE TROPICS TEST
With the TROPICS test the directors will represent the general framework of the change process as specific steps. They will be able to determing the most appropriate methodology for the implementation of CRM.
Consideration
Hard, well defined issues
Soft, people focused issues
Timescale
CRM project is clearly time constrained
Recourses
Currently not clearly defined and open to suggestions from employees and the external associates in the project
Objectives
Clear & Quantifiable Objectives – Quality, Cost & Output
Perceptions
Consensus – in terms of problem and solution
Interests
Clearly defines
Control
Overall project management needs to be defined and agreed with external associates
Source
Originates Externally
TABLE A: THE TROPICS TEST
As shown in Table A at this point there are issues that are still unresolved and the management team should be cleared immediately. Thecompany will employ a commercially available software package that will be selected by evaluating the following factors ( Bocij,R et al, 2003):
Ease of Use
For both end – users and administration
Functionality
To address all business requirements
Interoperability
/Integrate – ability with existing systems
The company wants to retain its existing office automation software, as well as its accounting package.
Security
In particular the ability of the package to define user roles and restrict information access accordingly.
Local support
Being in different time zone from the common software reducing countries (U.S or U.K), it is essential that local support is available should any problems arise.
Product stability / maturity
Avoid early versions of package – opt for more mature products with (hopefully) fewer bugs.
Extensibility
Features that will cater for the company’s future needs.
Product lifetime – long term future
Although difficult to judge, the supplier’s future commitment to a product can be guessed by looking at its overall strategic directions.
Performance
Although, high performance is not critical success factor, performance must be within acceptable parameters
TABLE B: EVALUATION FACTORS
FORCE FIELD ANALYSIS: A POSITIONING TOOL
With Force Field Analysis we can make decisions by identifying the forces for and against the change and it is going to be a useful instrument to communicate the reasoning behind our decision.  
Forces FOR change
Score
Change proposal
Implementation of a CRM system
Change proposal
Forces AGAINST
change
Score
Management Team
5
Employees resistance to change
4
Increased Customer Satisfaction
3
Limited Time
2
Minimized Cost
3
Limited Resources
2
Cost
2
TOTAL
11
TOTAL
10
TABLE C: FORCE FIELD ANALYSIS
From the implementation of the model we find that there are significant forces against the change. The project owners must find ways that the forces resisting change to fade, so that the change is more successful.
They can introduce some actions prior of the implementation of the project as follow:
Train staff ("Cost" +1) to minimize the fear of technology and as a consequent the employees resistance to change ("Employees resistance to change " -2).
Show to employees that change is necessary for business survival (new force that supports the change, +1).
Show to employees that the new system will make their jobs easier (new force that supports the change, +1).
These actions would change the score from 11:10 to 13:9.
LEAVITT ‘S MODEL
This model does not define specific variables within organizations, despite the driving forces; These variables include: task variables, structure variables, technological variables, and human variables (Burke, in Howard, 1994;Leavitt, 1965).
http://psychologyface.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Leavitt%E2%80%99s-Model.gif
FIGURE 2: LEAVITT’S MODEL
The structure refers to the systems principle, communication systems, and workflow within the organization. Technology includes all the equipment and software required in the organization. The variable task refers to all the tasks and subtasks involved in providing products and services. Finally, the person refers to human capital of the organization. The model is emphasizing the interdependence between the four variables. Leavitt has been assumed that a change in one variable affect other variables.
In our case the planned change in technology will result a domino effects on the other variables, one or more variables will be affected. The change will lead to improvement of service quality (Task Variable) and will also improve employees moral(People Variable). Another factor that may be improved through the new technology is communication (Structure Variable).
MAPPING THE CHANGE
Call sales represent by phone
to order
Cascade order to supervisor
Send order manually to warehouse
consultants and to accountant
Send order by track and
customer receipt.
Accountant
Fertilizers shops
Nurseries
Customers of shop
Shop
Suppliers
Cascade info sales repress
to collect money
Current Process
FIGURE 3: PAKKOUTIS CURRENT PROCESS
CRM
Accounting
Warehouse
Fertilizers shops
Nurseries
Customers of shop
Faxes
Scanned Paper documents
E – Documents storage
Notes from telephone conversation
Internet
Emails
Emails attachments
Invoices
Customers balances
Pc
Process after the Change
FIGURE 4: PAKKOUTIS FUTURE PROCESS
FIGURE 2: CURRENT PROCESS OF A.PAKKOUTIS LTDAs we can see from the charts, the whole process after applying the changes will be automated and simultaneously will be simplified. This will result bettter customer service and minimization of cost. It is of prime importance, the correct design of the team, that will lead the change process. They should also included in change team except from the director of the company and external asociates and employees from the lower layers.
DESIGNING THE CHANGE STRATEGY
CHANGE AGENT
A key question to be answered is 'who is going to be the change agent;’ In our case it should be one of the two directors of the company. Of course because it has no technical background there should be an external consultant from the company who will do the design and installation of the system. It must be existed a clear division of responsibilities between them in order to effect the change faster and gain the acceptance of the rest employees.
A second question to be answered ‘Why the director is going to be the change agent;’ here the answer is easy. Because management model which is ‘one man show’, leaves no room for another person to be used as a change agent. All major decisions are taken by the Director and all the other staff has limited responsibilities.
PERPETUAL TRANSITION MODEL
The first model we are going to use in order to design the change strategy is the Perpetual Transition Model of Buchannan & McCalman (1989). Buchannan & McCalman (1989, p.198) suggest that this process consist of four interlocking subprocesses as illustrated in figure 1.
Trigger Layer
Opportunity, Threat, Crisis, Clarify, Express, Communicate
Vision Layer
Define the Future(including Structure) Challenges, Excitement, Innovation
Conversion Layer
Persuade, Recrui Disciples Detail the Structure
Maintenance and Renewal Layer
Sustain and Enhance, Belief Reinforce and Justify Regression Advance (Ritual)
TABLE D: Perpetual Transition Model, Buchanan and McCalman (1998) High Performance Work Systems: The Digital Experience, Routledge
Stage 1: Identify current situation and develop a vision for change
At this stage will use an analysis known as PESTLE (Political, Social, Economical, Technical, Legal and Enviromental) so it is going to give a diagnosis based on many factors in both the internal and external environments of the company. Efficient understanding of what happens in the company must change the result through the processes of organizational diagnosis and creative thinking. Thus, the current phase is to identify the needs of the individuals in the form of the company and put them in the future
Stage 2 : Gain commitment to the vision
In the second stage, is crucial to receive feedback for the results obtained in stage 1. In any event, the commitment of individual’s access to the process of change is very difficult job. So the management team must deliver the new vision of the company and the need for change.
Stage 3: Develop an action plan
In this stage we will proceed to the development of an implementation plan to work. This is the sequel of a commitment to working with the vision of the future, although focusing on how the company would be able to achieve that vision. The process of developing a plan of action for the required change must involve the employees affected and to communicate to them the need for change.
Stage 4: Implement the Change
The last stage includes research on organizational development OD as a method of change, the details of various techniques and methods for change. There are many ways to achieve this goal, which varies according to different organizational levels, and must show each time the analysis is conducted, according to each management level; these activities vary depending on the area covered by the change.
MODEL OF CHANGE
There are various theories about change and as a criteria of which is going to use, is the change spectrum (Figure 1). To be more specific is at what point of the line is the proposed change. Change in situations that are characterised by hard / mechanistic complexity is usually easier to achieve. From the other site change in situations of soft complexity, where issues are contentious and there is a high level of emotional involvement among stakeholders is usually less easy to achieve.
As we have identified in the early stages of our study, the proposed change is above the middle of the line, so we will use a combination of System approach and OD model.
Organisation development (OD) is a long term effort, led and supported by top management, to improve an organisation’s visioning, empowerment, learning, and problem-solving processes, through an ongoing, collaborative management of the organisation culture — with special emphasis on the culture of intact work teams and other team configurations — utilizing the consultant-facilitator role and the theory and technology of applied behavioral science, including action research (Buchanan, D. and McCalman, J. 1989).
A system approach provides clarity, understanding and sense of direction. More importantly, it also provides a means of tackling knowledge management related change events and gets thinks started (McLaughlin et al., 2006).
Phase 1
In Phase 1 the Director/problem owner will choose the appropriate external partner whose system will be installed, based on the peculiarities of his business. Both the organization and the consultant must understand the situation and the change must be specified in systems terms.
Phase 2
In this phase the Director/problem owner and the consultant will enter in a negotiation to prepare the contract. The contract will setting out the objectives and the technical features of the program. It will also clearly state what things should be done by the consultant and from what from the company. An important aspect is the time of completion the change and the cost. Before agreeing the terms the Director must discussed the contract with its key employees.
Phase 3
After the successful negotiation of the contract the consultant must start the diagnosis phase. A PESTLE analysis must conducted to give a diagnosis based on many factors in both the internal and external environments of the company. There should also be explored the following aspects in more detail:
How motivated are the employees and their commitment to their work.
How company recruit employees and what opportunities are available to individuals in terms of career advancement.
Leadership style
The extent of training and development of employees.
Internal relations between individuals and organizational culture.
Phase 4
After collecting all data, the consultant should proceed in their analysis. This will form the proposed change and stages of implementation. It is important to take into account any concerns of staff and the proposed project is in a simple form in order to be fully understood by all. Upon completion of the plan, should be released a preliminary draft to all staff which would notice of proposed changes and asking for their opinion. If it was a large organization this would be time consuming, but in our case it will not take considerable time. After he receives the feedback from the staff, the consultant will have to discuss with the Director, so that the proposed changes to have his own approval.
Phase 5
This phase can be regarded as the beginning stage of managing the transition from the present situation to the desire future status. This is the stage where you focus on how the company would achieve the change. Here is going to decide who is going to be the change agent? What is going to change in order to achieve the desire results? It is one of the most important processes, because a mistake in the design will have consequences that might not be able to be reversed.
Phase 6
At this stage the company has decided what will be the actions and changes would be made. It is the moment in which we should make that change. Because of the size of the company, the change should be a big bang and will involve all employees. The consultant should have an important role in the implementation. The director as a change agent of the project must be the leader in order to follow and the rest employees.
To ensure the successful implementation of change the following key success factors must be adhered:
Proper training of the end users prior the implementation
Participation of those affected is crucial
Visible and tangible support senior management support is essential.
Phase 7
The change in the company is hard and complex but we have not finished yet. In order to maximize the probability of success and acceptance the director / change agent must monitor the new system. The people will resist and complain about the new system and procedures, until they get familiar with them. In addition bugs of the system will arise and the consultant should be able to deal with them. There must be a continuous monitoring of the system as well as use of quantitative benchmarks to measure performance makes this process simple and direct.
CONCLUSION
We have followed a process that will lead the company to change and progress. The company is not a static but a living organism which acts in a constantly changing environment. If it is not continuously improved then there will come a time when it will cease to exist. The change itself is something unknown and this has resulted in people causes resistance to change, which is why the management of the companies must find ways to overcome these difficulties.
Through the various models that we looked we saw how to recognize the changes that must be made to an organization and the various methods to be used. But no model can guarantee the success of the change unless the following conditions apply:
The true commitment of the management team for the change
Proper and thorough planning of change
Involving as many people as possible of those affected by the change.

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