A change management plan is created for a possible information technology (IT) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) upgrade at a high-level medical technology firm. These changes are the result of a recent downturn in employee morale and productivity stemming from a recent economic recession. However, the upgrade is intended to provide a suitable means for productivity to be further streamlined and increase worker morale, using a number of change management strategies to implement the change. Resistance to change is addressed, and strategies include Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model, Lewin’s change model, the technology acceptance model, and others. The result is a successful and soundly-created change management plan that should ideally lead to positive outcomes for the firm in question.
Describe the organization in terms of industry, size, and history.
MedCorp is a globally-leading organization in the field of medical technology, with a large corporate headquarters based in Baltimore and several branches throughout the country. The overall purpose and goal of MedCorp is to research, development and market medical devices and technologies to the public and private hospital sector, innovating products such as respirators, mammography technology and MRI-related devices. They are staffed by thousands of employees, and have existed successfully for the past 35 years since their incorporation in the early 1980s. The organization is hierarchical in structure, with top-down management performed through a series of executives, managers and middle managers. In recent years, the economic downturn has led to reduced sales, which has in turn led to lax business practices and a certain loss of accountability and fiscal responsibility. As a result, efforts must be made to address these newfound weaknesses in the company’s overall strength.
Describe how the HR program /policy / process / procedure / initiative that has been proposed should be changed.
In order to address these problems, an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) program has been suggested, in which a number of integrated applications can be made to automate back office functions and provide more operational integration (Aladwani, 2001). As proposed, with this ERP software, every part of an operation (such as sales, marketing, manufacturing, development and product planning) would be automated, thus providing a certain amount of course correction and change that would limit the number of mistakes being made by staff. However, there are many areas of resistance that are currently present within this situation, including the lack of perception of a problem by many of the employees and managers within MedCorp.
Describe three (3) reasons why this change is important to make.
Making this change is important for many reasons. First, MedCorp is an industry leader, meaning that it needs to maintain its foothold over the medical technology industry lest it allow other companies to take their business and allow them to lose profitability. Above all else, MedCorp’s continued survival and success is dependent on it maintaining its existing reputation, which is currently being threatened by these inefficiencies. Fixing these problems through these changes will allow MedCorp to keep its status as a desirable organization.
Secondly, the change of resource allocation is important to maintain MedCorp’s viability and fiscal responsibility, as resources and man-hours are currently being wasted in inefficient practices and a lack of initiative from many employees. The current dip in sales is leading to a large deficit in morale, which is currently eroding employee investment in the company’s success and their future. Making these changes should both place less responsibility on the employees to carry as many tasks and improve their
Thirdly, MedCorp must find a way to properly update its IT technology, which is currently outdated and in serious need of proper change. Currently, the company itself lacks an efficient ability to share, network and formulate data on the company’s operations and efficiency, making it difficult to engage in profitable strategies and maintain their sense of market viability.
Describe the recommended change.
In order to best update this IT technology and the best sense of ERP software and programs to further maximize the company’s productivity and make tasks easier for employees, a modern networking and computer standard will be proposed for all computers and networking hardware used for MedCorp employees and in all MedCorp buildings, particularly their Baltimore headquarters. This standard will then be implemented company-wide, offering all employees upgraded desktop workstations with current operating systems. This will also come with file-sharing and network capabilities using an intranet; this will also make sure that copying, printing and faxing can be networked.
This change will be implemented over the course of six months, starting by surveying employees to develop three possible options for new systems that employees would be willing to work with. Next, the preferred option would be selected and equipment would be priced and installed. Preliminary training would be given to IT personnel to allow them to maintain and operate these new computer networking systems. Then, a small pilot program would be performed in one area of the headquarters to determine worker response, revising as need be. Eventually, the IT system would be fully up and running, with all workers fully trained in its respective components.
Develop a strategy that illustrates how you would address each of the eight (8) Stages of Change (Establishing a sense of urgency; creating coalition; developing vision and strategy; communicating the vision; empowering broad-based action; generating short term wins; consolidating gains and producing more change; anchoring new approaches into the culture).
In order to address Kotter’s Eight Stages of Change, this new strategy would be implemented: First, a sense of urgency would be established by informing the workforce that they have the ability and opportunity to upgrade their computers in a collective manner if they participate in this new program, giving them the chance to involve themselves in the selection process. Next, a small guiding coalition would be created among several middle managers and interested, expert employees in specific departments to convey their needs to management regarding the upgrade. After that, management would finalize and further cultivate their vision to develop strategic initiatives based on the findings from said coalition. With the prospect of upgrading their equipment and making their job easier, it should be simple for managers to excite their workforce to commit themselves to the change that has been recommended.
In order to remove obstacles to change, such as worker disinterest or possibly prohibitive costs, the coalition will engage in a rigorous selection process to find the most affordable option to integrate and update the computer hardware and software of the company. Disinterested workers will simply receive the default changes selected by the coalition. Short-term wins will be celebrated with each completed step of the process, such as the receipt of the equipment, the installation and the completion of worker training. Gains will be consolidated by celebrating and promoting change leaders within the organization (i.e. employees who are instrumental in implementing the new systems and teaching them to others). Finally, change will be instituted by connecting productivity and morale changes to the implementation of the new system.
Identify potential resistance to change and describe how the resistance would be managed.
Despite the arguably comprehensive benefits of such a change, there may be a few aforementioned sources of change resistance. First, there are workers who will either be disinterested in upgraded technology or actively against it, having already committed themselves to the existing system. Furthermore, management may be wary of spending money to implement such a comprehensive system upgrade, particularly as IT costs are often high. However, this resistance would be managed as stated in the previous assessment of the 8-Step Kotter Process; disinterested workers would simply be forced to implement the new system while being properly trained, as the majority of the other workers will have already selected the process. HR representatives and IT personnel will be on hand to answer any extra questions or concerns they have about the new system. As for management’s concerns about added costs, the potential benefits of the full system upgrade on productivity (using the pilot program’s results to bolster confidence) should alleviate those worries.
Propose two (2) diagnostic tools to identify the changes that need to be made in organization.
The most prominent diagnostic tool for identifying changes in the organization will be Lewin’s model of change, which chiefly involves identifying what significant unfreezing events made people wish to bring about change (Levasseur, 2001). By tracking the major events that led to the loss of morale and productivity, it may be easier to demonstrate exactly how upgraded technology will work to solve those problems. The technology acceptance model (TAM) will also be used to determine the perceived usefulness and ease-of-use of the existing technology at hand, as well as the upgraded technology (Legris, Ingham & Collerette, 2003).
Recommend two (2) strategies for sustaining the change.
Sustaining this organizational change involves invoking two specific strategies. The first is based on Six Sigma’s SUCCESS model, which involves finding ways to define what ‘success’ means to the company and working to fulfill those definitions (Kettinger & Grover, 1995). Secondly, collaboration will be heavily emphasized throughout the change management process, ensuring that most, if not all, employees will have at least some say in the process, thus minimizing resentment and miscommunication and the need for further revisions.
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