Change Project a Variety of Technical and Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Change Project

A variety of technical and management issues arise during the implementation and operation of any change process. Change management in technology projects is essential to implement and monitor mechanisms to support and control users, business, and technology (Yarberry, 2007). There are different change project modules used at any stage of a project development. These include the change curve, Lewin's change management model, and Beckhard and Harris change model used in the understanding phase. The project-planning phase uses the impact analysis, Burke-Litwin, McKinsey 7s framework, Leavitt's diamond, organization design, and SIPOC diagrams. The implementation stage uses Kotter's 8-step change model, training needs assessment, while the communication change uses stakeholder analysis, stakeholder management, mission statement, and vision statements. In this analysis, the Leavitt's Diamond, the Kotter's 8-step change model, and Leavitt's model for organizational change is concerned with the interdependence of four main factors, including structure, people, technology, and task. The model is used in the planning phase of the project change process, since it illustrates the importance of aligning structure, task, technology, and people to bring about change. The model also offers managers the framework for starting the thinking phase of the project (Sharma, 2007). In this phase, the model assist managers to fit the components required for the project together to the best of their knowledge. The model is based on the theory that a change in one component leads to a change in others. The implementation of the model in a project involving the change of technology, involves change in technology which affects the tasks of stakeholders to employees performance and which requires people to adopt new responsibilities or roles. Effective management of change is a key success factor in technological change project implementation (Targowski, & Tarn, 2007). Leavitt's model identifies in this change process, it is necessary to involve people to accept the changes and allow the change to happen.

Leavitt's diamond-change model requires the identification of the four components of a project as technology, people, task, and structure. People are those who carry out tasks in the project change phase. If a project is occurring in an organization or project team, the people component are those carrying out tasks associated with the project (Sharma, 2007). In an organization, people are employees of the organization. Leavitt's model requires the project manager to look at people in terms of their knowledge, skills, and productivity not as accountants, managers, or receptionists.

Leavitt's model requires the project manager changes or modifies the people component with respect to the other three components. This implies that change of people in tasks involves changes in the manner things are done in the project. Therefore, if the project manager makes changes to tasks, the employees will require education and training to familiarize them with the new methods (Sharma, 2007). Change in people in structure involves a change in job role, and will require that employees be trained on their new duties and responsibilities. Lastly, the change in people in technology involves shifts to new technology (Targowski, & Tarn, 2007). This also requires intensive training for the employee to manage the new technology efficiently and effectively. In this phase, the project manager may be required to hire new and skilled employees to manage the new technology if it is advanced for the organization.

The second component in Leavitt's change module is tasks. The model requires that in this component the project manager also include goals along with tasks. In this component, the project manager will require to analyze two things, which include what they are seeking to achieve and how things will be done in the change process (Targowski, & Tarn, 2007). This component requires the project manager to focus on qualitative aspects of goals and tasks instead of the actual goals and tasks. This implies that the project manager leads the team to look at tasks and think about their benefits and relevance, and look at goals in terms of their productivity and yield (Sharma, 2007). Changes in tasks are affected by change in people, structure, and technology in Leavitt's model. This implies that a change in people like the change in manpower requires a change in the goals and tasks for the project manager to make maximum use of their knowledge and skills. Change in structure of the organization or project involving a shift from a hierarchical setup to a flat organization will also require an alteration to the processes, tasks, and goals (Sharma, 2007). Therefore, a project that requires the merging of organizational departments will require a change to the project goals and tasks assigned to people. Lastly, a change in technology where the project manager shifts to new technology requires a change in how things are done. Therefore, a project that uses technology, must raise its goals to reap the highest benefits and cover costs of installing new technology.

The third component is structure, which includes the hierarchical structure of the organization and the relationships, coordination between management, employees, and departments, and communication patters. Structure also includes responsibility and authority flowing through the organization or project (Targowski, & Tarn, 2007). Changes in the structure of a project must be matched by changes to other components. Leavitt's models requires that changes in people like hiring more qualified and skilled employees, requires different supervisory skills as compared to those used on less qualified and skilled employees. Changes like empowering employees or project team through training and workshops, leads to the cutting down of supervisory and management posts and leading to a more flat organizational structure. Changes in tasks like the creating of a new department or role in a project requires more people to carry out the additional tasks.

Lastly, the Leavitt's model recognizes the role of technology in the change process. Technology is the tools that aid or facilitate people to carry out their tasks like software applications and computers. In the Leavitt's model, technology changes with changes to other components. Changes in people like hiring computer literature workers like engineers, in this model drives the project manager to take full advantage of the skilled manpower (Targowski, & Tarn, 2007). Therefore, technology changes with the change in qualifications, skills, and knowledge of the workforce. Changes in tasks and goals also require a change in technology to handle the additional processes integrated into a project from goal changes. Lastly, a change in structure like the reduction of employees in a project may drive the project manager to automate some tasks. Therefore, Leavitt's model of change requires that change management of any project not to be viewed as a set of soft factors but like a business process like other organizational business processes. The goal of the model is to lead project managers towards change management that is planned, managed and uses rational strategies.

Kotter's eight-step change model, is useful and practical in implementing, planning, and sustaining the change process. This is because Kotter breaks down the change process into eight steps involving the establishment of sense urgency, creation of guiding coalition, development of strategy and vision for specific change, and communication of vision and strategy (Cameron & Green, 2012). This also includes the empowerment of employees' actions, generation of short-term wins, and the consolidation of gains and produce more change, and the anchoring of new change in culture.

The first step, is the establishment of sense urgency. The role of this step is to lead project managers in creating a sense of urgency in the organization, especially among top management. This is because top management is responsible for initiating and motivating change in the organization. A higher sense of urgency assists in gathering a project team together with the credibility and power to guide change efforts (Cameron & Green, 2012). This group is also responsible for convincing key stakeholders the necessity of investing their time and efforts in the change plan. The goal is to create a need in top management and cause them to communicate the vision of change to the employees. Kotter (1996) identifies that a sense of urgency eliminates complacency in the change process by avoiding issues like denial of problems, lack of feedback between stakeholders, measuring the wrong performance metrics. In the change process, to raise urgency can make use of visuals of what will happen to the organization without the change, establish goals for everyone, create cross-sectional teams, evaluate methods of measuring success, reward, and openly discuss organizational weaknesses.

The second step is the creation of a guiding coalition. The project manager and management must create a strong coalition of leaders in the organization to guide the project change effort. The goal is for the management to achieve buy-in among key stakeholders (Cameron & Green, 2012). Kotter (1996) identifies that those that buy-in or in the coalition must have position power like board members, diversity, and expertise to make intelligent and informed decisions, leadership from proven leaders, and credibility based on the reputation of the members. Kotter (1996) recommends change managers to eliminate "snakes" and "egos" for…

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