With the improvement in technology, it has become imperative for organizations to incorporate modern technology in their processes. In order to successfully introduce technology, organizations need to consider a number of factors. This paper explains how the organization can apply to purchase and adopt technology. These topics include communication change, contingent leadership, agile technology, planned vs. emergent change, resistance to change as well as the role of IT people in business.
- Communication change
The introduction of technology will affect almost all business processes and individuals in the organization. Therefore, a company must communicate such changes with the people affected. According to Proctor and Doukakis (2003, p. 270), an organization can only achieve a successful implementation of change through effective communication. The management of the organization must inform all employees affected of the planned change. Elving (2005, p. 130) reiterates the importance of communication in preventing resistance to organizational change.
The project team should develop a communication plan for this project. The management should explain the need for the introduction of technology in the organization. It should also include the effects of the technology on employees and an explanation of how the organization will resolve adverse effects, if any. For purposes of credibility and authenticity, the firm should structure its communication such that every employee receives the information from the immediate superior (Elving, 2005, p. 131). In addition, there should be a two-way communication between the employees and the managers of the business. Two-way communication ensures that employees get a chance to express their opinions of the new technology. Finally, the management should inform the employees of the change well enough before rumours start spreading as this may increase resistance.
- Contingent leadership
Leadership style has a great impact on organizational learning. Organizational change is readily accepted by employees if managers practice the appropriate leadership style. Contingent leadership approach argues that there is no best leadership style. The success of any leader rests on his ability to adjust his leadership style to suit the situation. According to Vera & Crossan (2004, p. 237), both transactional and transformational leadership approaches are necessary for organizational learning.
The management should constitute a group to undertake this project. The top management must delegate the appropriate authority to the project team. During the initial phases of this project, consultation with the relevant stakeholders is paramount (Vera & Crossan, 2004, p. 240). The project team must communicate this plan to the employees. In this case, the project manager should apply a transformational approach and place more emphasis on the relationship with employees. An organic structure is necessary to allow employees express their concerns and views on the technology. It will enhance creativity as employees are motivated to develop innovative ideas.
During the actual implementation, the project manager must take a transactional approach to avoid adverse deviations from the plan. Focus should be on the results hence tight controls are necessary. Managers should adopt a mechanistic structure to ensure that everyone strictly follow the implementation guidelines; rules and regulations (Vera & Crossan, 2004, p. 241). Therefore, managers should use leadership styles that best suits the situation. After the introduction of the technology, there will be alterations in communication, among other business processes. Managers can only embrace these changes when they apply a contingent leadership approach.
- Agile technology
Agile technology is a flexible approach to software development. The organization should adopt this approach in its plan to purchase technology for a number of reasons. Firstly, agile technology requires the management of the business to empower the project team (Shahrbanoo, 2012, p. 240). It, therefore, enables project team members to take initiative actions thereby leading to creativity and innovation. On the most critical aspects of agile technology, is active user participation. If the project team actively involves the users of the technology, it will reduce expected resistance from the users. In addition, it allows the team to identify challenges facing the users and address them in a timely manner.
In agile methodologies, the project team carries out regular tests throughout the project. The business environment is extremely dynamic, and the organization is likely to experience frequent changes. Continuous testing will allow the firm to adapt to environmental changes. Furthermore, it will enable the team to identify new challenges of the technology that it did not articulate at the planning phase (Vijayasarathy & Turk, 2012, p. 143). Therefore, the team will be able to solve these problems before they aggravate. The 80/20 rule that agile technology applies will facilitate the completion of the project within the shortest possible time. Moreover, agile technology allows for evolution of requirements without affecting the timescale. Therefore, the technology will incorporate new business requirements within the stipulated time frame.
- Planned vs. emergent change
Planned change requires the use of a set of pre-prescribed steps for modifying organizational and individual behavior. Kurt Lewin developed three steps for implementing planned change (as cited in Liebhart & Garcia-Lorenzo, 2010, p. 217). They include unfreezing, moving, which involves trial and error, and refreezing. All changes under planned change are implemented using the change framework. The main disadvantage of planned change is that is time-consuming hence it is only appropriate for stable conditions. In addition, it makes it difficult for an organization to respond to changes in environment factors that are not consistent with the change framework. On the other hand, emergent change is unpredictable and unintentional. It allows a firm to respond to rapid changes by continuously re-aligning itself with the environment (Liebhart & Garcia-Lorenzo, 2010, p. 220). The current environment is highly dynamic hence the business should embrace emergent change approach in order to react to changes promptly.
- Resistance to change
Although change may be inevitable in some circumstances, resistance is always natural. The organization should expect resistance to the introduction of the technology from some stakeholders. The project team and the top management must, therefore, take appropriate measures to reduce resistance for the project to be successful. Sources of resistance include parochial self-interest, lack of understanding and intolerance to change.
In order to reduce resistance, the project team should educate and communicate with the relevant stakeholders. It involves informing the stakeholders the need for change and that the change is beneficial to the organization as a whole. Through education and communication, the team will minimise resistance resulting from lack of understanding. In addition, the team should establish a structure through which the relevant stakeholders participate in the process (Rune, 2004, p. 200). For instance, the team may include representatives of various stakeholder groups.
In addition, resistance can be minimised through facilitation and support. The management should ensure the project team is allocated adequate time and resources to implement the project. In addition, employees should be facilitated through training to enable them adapt to the future technology. It will reduce resistance resulting from employees’ fear of losing jobs due to lack of skills required by the technology. Finally, the business should apply organizational development techniques to ensure continuous change by creating and maintaining a climate of change in the organization.
- Need for influential IT people in business.
Advancements in information technology have substantially shaped business activities. Many companies apply IT in their operations such as Ee-commerce, electronic funds transfer, among other features. Through IT, organizations can enhance communication with clients through the internet (Cumps, Viaene & Dedene, 2010, p. 41). It has helped companies in reducing operational and other costs and such as marketing, as well as communication within the firms. In addition, IT has enhanced efficiency of business activities and promotes innovation. Furthermore, firms in many industries face stiff competition hence response to market changes is vital. It helps organizations to gather information on market changes, competitors’ strategies, among others (Cumps, Viaene & Dedene, 2010, p. 43). It, therefore, enables businesses to develop effect competitive strategies and improve their response to consumer needs.
IT professionals are necessary for business to ensure companies adopt appropriate technology. They help enterprises to develop appropriate IT policies that ensure they respond adequately to changes in IT. In this case, the project team should include IT professionals to guide its implementation. They will advise the organization on the appropriate technology to acquire and the best supplier. In addition, IT experts assist in planning the implementation, training users and marinating the technology after its installation (Cumps, Viaene & Dedene, 2010, p. 47). They also solve problems that may arise during and after implementation.
The management of the organization needs to establish a well-experienced team to implement this project. Effective communication with relevant stakeholders is critical to the success of this plan. The project manager should use different leadership styles to different situations. The team should apply the principles of agile technology to enhance the efficiency of this project. It should also take measures such as education, communication, involvement and facilitation to reduce resistance by stakeholders. Finally, the organization must employ the services of IT professionals in this project.
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