Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Change management

I have been reading "Change management in a week" by Mike Bourne and Pippa Bourne under the Chartered Management Institute. I found it quite a good, brief guide to the issues of change management. The "in a week" format is pretty pointless, but never mind.

The book points out that you can take a 'hard' systems view of change by asking:
  • What is the problem?
  • What are the alternatives?
  • Which alternative gives the best solution?
But that this does not overcome the 'soft' aspects of change, which are the reasons why most changes fail.

Some changes are 'harder category whilst others are softer. For hard changes timescales are clearly defined and relatively short, resources and objectives are clearlyn identified, everyone perceives the change in the same way, a relatively small group of easily identifiable people are affected, and the management of the change can be restricted to a small defined group. However, for soft changes it is difficult to define timescales, resource needs and objectives; people have different perceptions about the change and many may be affected and so control is distributed more widely. For hard changes and problems originate internally whilst soft changes it is externally.

Gleicher of Arthur D Little proposed the following formula

K x D x V > C
K = knowledge of what needs to be done
D = dissatisfaction with status quo
V = desirability of vision of the future
C = cost in both material and psychological

No comments: