Technology and Organizational Change Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Technological and Organizational Change

Advances in Computer-Based Technology and Advanced Manufacturing Technology have created a business environment driven by a need to deliver quality products and services, faster. And, in its wake pushed up fresh challenges to exploit new services and technologies faster and prospect of new markets. The seamless access to technological change is constrained by international and host government laws, political environment, and intellectual property right, which are significant issue.

Clearly, in a scenario that is characterized by such a heightened sense of urgency, organizations must understand, adopt, adapt, innovate, and drive the change. The technological changes lead to organizational change but conversely; organizational changes do not automatically imply inclusion of technological change.

Contextual Critique of Adoption and Change

There is a growing sense of discomfort with the traditional theory of adoption and diffusion. Primarily because, these theories in practice do not provide sufficient insight into complex adoption process and tend to gloss over the value implication of people and groups undergoing significant change.

The technological changeovers, necessarily involve separation from the original state and viewing from outside. This should be seen in the perspective that healthy organization has self-organizing and continuous-learning abilities. And, therefore, the change cannot be simply mandated without larger repercussions. In this context, the Top-down control at best is an illusion and the people need to be brought in and listened to.

The Theory and Knowledge is useful but at the same time they serve up as road blockers and get restrictive. The change agent needs to make best use of theory by keeping an eye out for unexplained and unaccounted by these theories. The golden mean is to combining the best theory with tacit knowledge.

Components of Technological and Organizational change

Leadership and Skill search

The top executive down to the operating executive- leadership is catalyst for driving and sustaining change- must have a demonstrated commitment, persistence, conviction, and the ability to guide the organization through unwalked territory. Leaders need to ensure that stakeholders have a sense of urgency about implementing the prescribed plan and responding to new demands. In addition to the latest technology skills, project management, leadership, vision, interpersonal skills, are key.

Vision and Planning

The plan should be abstract enough to allow the organization to adapt to changing environments but precise enough to produce desired results in the early phases. The plan and vision document should also identify key dependencies and risk factors. The best-laid plans have a way go askew, when least expected and therefore, the organizations should identify and examine alternatives within fixed constraints -- the budgets, deadline, needs vs. wants.

Legal, Political and International Property right

The legal, political, and security concerns in the context of Internet and Web technologies. These need to be addressed squarely, at the plan and vision stage, since they could put to naught all the best plans, schedules, and projected capital outlay and revenue plans.

Technology acquisition

This is the most critical part of change. A well etched out road map to know where you want it to be and where it is today. Next, specifying the time frame, budget, and head count from cross-functional areas required to support the change. Concurrently, verify that the new technology will allow the organization to scale and adapt to changing environments. And finally, quantify the return on investment.

Technological and Organizational change in any organization requires exhaustive planning, coordination, and management. Both the plan and process for adoption and change need be scalable and tailored to meet the specific demands of the organization. The approaches differ. But common essentials - drawn from corporations that have managed the transition with success- of best practice emerge which are consistent in reducing the risk and driving the change. These are discussed below, though not a final word but certainly indicative:

1. Identify and agree on key change drivers.

Organizational change should be driven by a key business concern that is significant, well understood, and articulated throughout the organization. The support to your change initiative will flow in when the partners in the change understand issues and opportunities.

2. Exercise consistent leadership and communication practices.

The lack of leadership and vision will cause the change effort to stall and lose credibility. While the changes to the plan are inevitable, it is critical the team members are informed about when and why the changes are being made. It is vital for the management team to communicate in all directions and to behave as a cohesive unit with a consistent message. A consistent regime of talking openly, sharing information, and helping others understand the common vision will ensure cohesiveness across the organization.

3. Continually update and fine-tune the vision and project plan.

In the initial planning phase, creating the vision and project plan helps the change agents to identify key issues and risks, establish good communication and strong relationships among stakeholders, and fix a starting point that everyone can agree on. The legal, political and intellectual property rights needs to be evaluated in all its shades must be resolved at the very beginning of change. The vision and project plan are living artifacts, not static documents. They provide a roadmap for change, but it will be necessary to correct the course and validate the direction throughout the implementation. Also, as new employees and teammates come on board, it is important that they understand and adopt the vision and plan.

4. Achieve incremental, demonstrable success.

Nothing can stall an effort like starting with an overly ambitious plan that tries to address every issue or project at one go. The best strategy is to strive for incremental, demonstrable success as you implement the plan in stages. This will help to stabilize and build confidence, credibility, and gain experience needed at each phase for sustained performance. The same approach works well for adopting a new process, too. Begin with a few key areas and add more as the organization's confidence and capability evolve. For initial success, it's strategically important to choose a fairly complex task set that management regards as important. In the course of such a project, you can identify dependencies, risks, and unforeseen problems up front. This approach has another edge: involving top players will not only increase the project's chances for success but also ensure more management attention and support.

5. Find champions for your solutions at all levels.

Early on, it helps to identify champions at all levels that support your solutions and can get the change process moving forward on the right track. These people can also provide valuable insights on the working environment and team morale. The potential champions need more effort than you think, but it is important to zero-down on right people.

6. Acquire and develop new employee skill sets.

Change creates demand for modern techniques, skills, and mindsets. As you formulate a vision and plan, it's important to identify what new skills will be required to facilitate change and operate in the new environment. The training program keeps the skills current and future employees up-to-date. In addition to strong technical skills, you'll need top-level project, business, and personnel management skills.

7. Establish a collaborative environment.

At the outset of any change initiative, it is essential to establish a collaborative working environment among all stakeholders and partners. Successful organizational change requires risk sharing, a collective sense of ownership, and the ability to leverage the knowledge and skill sets of people across the organization. Technical change requires bilateral knowledge transfer from complementary disciplines and throughout project cycle, the teams should strive to maintain a high-trust environment that fosters collaboration. Make sure, the staff employees retain ownership of the change process, when on-site contract becomes a necessity.

8. Collect and use metrics to monitor progress.

Organization spend an enormous amount of time planning how they are going to…

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