Communication Best Practices in Change Management
Change is an integral part of life for both organizations and human beings. However, human beings will naturally resist change particularly because of the uncertainty it brings. In order to make their change initiatives successful, therefore, a leader ought to engage his employees and provide ample platforms for facilitating their navigation through change. This is referred to as change management (Lawler, 2006). Simply stated, change management is the management of "people in a changing environment so that business [and organizational] changes are successful and the desired business [or organizational] results are realized" (Berns et al., 2007). This definition places people at the center of change initiatives and suggests that the success or failure of any such initiative depends primarily on the leader's ability to move and manage their human resources. This text identifies the components of effective change management and provides suggestions for incorporating the same into an organization's approaches to, and processes of change. It does this by examining a recent change initiative at the researcher's current workplace, where it reviews among other things, how the change was implemented, what the expected outcomes were, and how it was communicated to the employees. The researcher believes that by implementing the proposed best practices of change management, the organization could increase its chances of success in the management of change initiatives in future.
The Change Initiative: Overview
Globalization has pushed finance organizations on the path to transform their operations and locate services and goods in low-cost markets. In a bid to combat the effects of globalization, organizations have had to among other things transform their business functions and operations to a more standardized and centralized approach so as to cut down on costs and increase overall competitiveness. Finance is one...
As an intern in the finance department of ABC Company, I had an opportunity to interact directly with the unsupported computer-based financial accounting system that the organization had been using since its establishment, but which had since proven ineffective amidst the rapid growth, and was supposed to by a more effective alternative.
Under the old arrangement, financial accounting processes were decentralized, with each department having the discretion to calculate its own financial data using its own processes. This made it rather difficult for departmental heads to compare the financial performance of their departments with against those of other departments and take corrective action if need be. An internal audit ordered by the company's management to investigate the effectiveness of the organization's internal controls in the wake of poor performance revealed that the computer-based financial system had become increasingly ineffective as the organization increased in size; it needed to be replaced with a more effective financial accounting system in order for the organization to spring back to its initial level of competitiveness.
Owing to this revelation, an in-house initiative was launched to change from the old financial accounting system to the more efficient PeopleSoft Financial system, which integrates all the accounting functions of the organization, allowing for easy inter-departmental performance comparisons and evaluations (Anderson, 2006). The system change was, therefore, basically geared at integrating, standardizing, and centralizing company-wide administrative systems to reduce costs. All users would have web-based access to the now-centralized system. One of my core duties, for instance, as an intern was to issue materials received from suppliers to various departments (Anderson, 206). Initially, I was doing the calculations manually and had to also manually develop the accounting records thereof. With the introduction of PeopleSoft, however, I shifted to using the eProcurement online program, where all I had to do was feed the data and let the machine make all relevant calculations.
Among the key benefits that the organization intended to reap from the change were:
i) Enhanced administrative and customer service practices and improved end-user productivity. PeopleSoft incorporates speed-enhancement features and Web 2.0 elements that reduce the time required for accounting data entry, allowing employees to do more in less time. In the end, customer orders are implemented in time and overall efficiency is increased (Anderson, 206)
ii) Increased flexibility in financial reporting. PeopleSoft provides mechanisms for identifying a transaction as either IFRS or GAAP, and this would help to ensure consistency in accounting data across the organization (Anderson, 2006)
iii) Reduced costs and increased profitability. PeopleSoft reduces the costs of redundant work, and at the same…
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