Well managed organizational change is key to success

The Imperative of Organizational Change

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Project Output vs. Project Outcome

Leveraging tools to aid adoption

Agile, DevOps, LeanIT, ITSM, CyberSecurity, Big Data – these are just some of the practices that have burst on to the scene as ‘buzzwords’ over the past several years. These are now some of the biggest drivers of corporate IT initiatives. What they have in common is that they all have significant dependence on changing the organizational culture in order to succeed.

Adoption comes only with fundamental shifts to how everyone within the organization works, and sees their contribution to end goals. Introducing tools and technologies to help with these implementations can actually have a negative impact on the cultural transformation associated with the adoption.

Planning is critical to successful organizational change

Recognizing that technology implementations can have these effects is important, so that you can plan for them. A lack of planning will hinder or possibly even be the cause of its failure. Planning accordingly and executing to this plan however could be the difference between simply completing a project and delivering exceptional value via an initiative that is viewed by everyone as immensely successful. Planning is not limited to the project plan which is important, but has more to do with communications, buy-in and training. These are the components that will determine success or failure.

Communicating the impact these initiatives will have on everyone’s daily activities, ahead of time, will ease the stress that naturally occurs with change. Utilizing well-understood and already adopted tools, such as service management platforms, for dissemination of newly acquired information about IT operations, makes the adoption that much easier.

Rather than taking on a new tool with different user interfaces, procedures, and usability requirements, they can simply continue to leverage the tool that they are already using for their Operational processes such as Change and Incident Management, but now with enhanced data from the external source that is now aggregated and normalized.

Change is easier when it is wanted

Mandates and forced change can sometimes work, but not without a massive amount of effort and, even then, generally only for short periods of time. If, however, you get individuals to buy in to the organizational transformation, the likelihood of success is far greater and will be achieved with less effort and typically will outlast the inevitable leadership changes.

Humans want to feel as though they are contributing to a greater good, whatever that may be. When they are not part of the solution, there will always be some resistance. Working with individuals so that they recognize the value you’re trying to deliver will lead them to be advocates for your effort.

Reducing resistance

Cultural transformations succeed when there are advocates throughout the organization to help keep resistance to a minimum while still not seeming to be dictatorial. When integrating, for example, contents from new data sources, it is important that the advocates of the established platform become advocates of your integration efforts. If they don’t, everyone who looks to them for guidance and leadership will see that they are not on board and it is very likely that they will also not support the change.

Organizational change is difficult, but that is what the latest practices require to truly reach their potential value. Tools alone are merely vehicles to an end, which may or may not be fully understood. But when paired with the appropriate organizational change mechanisms, they not only succeed from a technological perspective, they are also significant factors in enhancing how the organization operates, and how employees feel about fulfilling their roles and delivering value.

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Carlos Casanova is an internationally known speaker, IT architect, leadership advisor and the co-author of “The CMDB Imperative”. He has over two decades of hands on experience guiding CIOs and Sr. Leadership to achieve effective IT operations and improve ROI from infrastructure investments. His expansive experience enables him to quickly assess their true needs and achieve better business outcomes. He takes the complexity out of today's cluttered IT and business environments to simplify their goals in order to accelerate achievement and success.