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Project Manager : Project Manager Oct Nov 2012
www.aipm.com.au Project Manager 15 a single craftsman, so Ford's concept would completely revolutionise the industry and heavily impact the organisational culture. Initially, employees resisted this change due to such a large cultural shift, and some even left the organisation. But the results of this technique were so great that an increase in production occurred of almost eight to one. Industries more susceptible to technological, social and economic change must constantly re-evaluate their internal processes. e automotive industry is no exception, with leading manufacturers in the current environment competing heavily in order to develop change. Increased operational efficiency and cost reduction are top of the list for many modern day manufacturers, and are considered essential in order to develop a competitive advantage over rivals. Clearly communicating the 'why' of the change program meant that the majority of stakeholders, whether liking the change or not, accepted it as an inevitable and essential survival mechanism. Success is also dependent upon whether a project manager chooses the right methodology to implement change, especially as change management methodologies are as varied as change projects. Tr y ing to retro- t a method to a project can lead to many failures associated, according to Smithson, who has seen projects in which a number of large, strategically important change programs are adopted by only two to 32 per cent of a business. "It's very expensive and time consuming to extend these projects to achieve a higher utilisation rate," she explains, adding that investing in change management at the front end is more cost e ective. Long term, ensuring the failures are few and far between means change management and e ective communication must be injected into an organisation's DNA -- a development that is slowly happening with the emergence of enterprise change management, Smithson says. is approach deploys change management skills and competencies throughout an organisation to increase its capacity for change and the value recovered from change projects. " is means taking change management beyond individual projects, into the organisation as a whole" she adds. O'Tarpey agrees with Smithson's view, re ecting a growing acknowledgement at C-Level that a culture that embraces change has many operational and fnancial benefts. • •• DEALING WITH RESISTANCE EDUCATION AND COMMUNICATION Where there is a lack of information or inaccurate information and analysis, one of the best ways to overcome resistance to change is to inform and educate people about the change effort beforehand, or the case for change. This helps employees see the logic and reduces rumours. PARTICIPATION AND INVOLVEMENT Where the initiators do not have all the necessary information to design the change and where others have considerable power to resist, it is important to involve others. When employees are involved in the change effort they are less likely to resist it. FACILITATION AND SUPPORT Where people are resisting change because of adjustment problems, they may need more support. The basis of resistance is likely the perception of detrimental effect occasioned by the change, so managerial support helping employees deal with fear and anxiety may prevent resistance. NEGOTIATION AND AGREEMENT Where someone or a group may lose out because of a change, and where that individual or group has considerable power to resist, managers can combat resistance by offering incentives. People who are resisting the change may be allowed to veto certain elements of change that are threatening, or the people who are resisting the change can be offered incentives to leave the company. MANIPULATION AND CO-OPTATION Where other tactics will not work or are too expensive, Kotter and Schlesinger suggest co-opting people who are resisting. Co-optation involves bringing leaders of the people who are resisting into a change management planning group for the sake of appearances rather than their substantive contribution. These leaders can be given a symbolic role in decision-making without threatening the change effort. If they feel that they are being tricked though, they may push resistance even further than if they were never included. EXPLICIT AND IMPLICIT COERCION Where speed is essential, and only as a last resort, managers can explicitly or implicitly force employees into accepting change by making clear that resistance can lead to jobs losses, dismissals, employee transfers or non-promotion periods. Source: Kotter, J and L Schlesinger (1979). 'Choosing strategies for change'. Harvard Business Review, 57, pp 106-114. Time for the heavy lifting Reshaping an organisation's culture to be more conducive to change requires more work than most project managers realise, as well as a team working together.
Project Manager Aug Sept 2012
Project Manager Dec Jan 2013