November 17, 2013

Issues surrounding change management – PMI

Our group work ahead of Monday's presentation on issues surrounding change management when using Six Sigma and commiting to a process improvement programme led to some interesting discussion on the issues that can occur, why they occur and how to attempt to create situation where these issues do not occur. From our discussions on the work, we determined and established that in order to prevent any problems that occur with change, such as conflict, a loss of motivation, fear over new processes, a loss of job security, negative pre judgements, the following processes need to be looked at and implemented.

Management obviously needs to be commited to the change, to buy into the ideas and be able to positively portray this across to individual employees within the organisation. If senior management doesn't buy into the new ideas, why will employees? Furthermore, understanding the cultural change that needs to happen to ensure new processes and policies are embraced needs to occur. Communication needs to be open, flexible and easily accessible, so people at all levels are informed of the changes and if any people or department suffer problems, that they can express these issues. There needs to be an environment where employees are able to contribute and develop these new work processes and solutions to problems, and to understand the reasons as to why the change is occuring. The relevent training that is required needs to be implemented, with the organisation potetntially being restructered to avoid any departments or individuals becomming overworked if productivity increases. Perhaps most importantly (and briefly touched upon) is employee involvement. If employees are seperated from the processes when they are designed, and subsequently don't understand why they need to be implemented, they are a lot less likely to buy into the new ideas. If an employee/department helps design and/or refine a new process, they are much more likely to be motivated and committed towards helping to successfully implement the new process.

If these processes occur, change can successfully occur. This is outlined in the PMI improvment cycle which aims to ensure these problems and challenges are overcome. Essentially key problems needs to be addressed, with the gains understood by all in the organisation aiming to solve these problems. Then the gains need to be secured with the organisation repositioning itself which leads to the system as whole (as opposed to individual departments) being optimised.

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