Effective technology change management ensures that changes to a system or product are introduced in a properly controlled and coordinated manner. It ensures that the negative effects of changes to IT systems are minimized by making available, a standardized process to govern the Information Technology system in the company. Obviously, some changes in the Information Technology department are not optional, they are mandatory. For instance, the changes in bar code standards mean that a business must adapt to these changes. If the standard tax withholding structure changes, there must be a change too in your business.
Advancement in technology has obviously had a significant impact on every aspect of modern life. Almost every industry has been affected by these changes. To be precise, the modern technology plays a big role in keeping things on track. Technology that powers all industries is constantly evolving.
Hundreds of software, system, gadgets, technological equipment and programs are released in the market each year. Some systems and software are completely changing the way people do business today. Technology has gone a long way to make business activities easy in different industries and firms. Order Management, Customer Relationship Management and Customer Support Systems, for instance, have made it possible for businesses to serve customer with ease and operate efficiently on a regular basis.
It is more likely that in the days to come, your business is going to face a challenge that can strike fear into the hearts of those in the business including the management department. The challenge is implementing a new technology in the workplace. Whether you are in shipping and delivery business, hospitality industry, running a reservation system that provide bed and breakfast, running an import and export business or are establishing a new technology firm, technology change management can be quite a daunting task. Obviously, if you make changes to a system or part of or an entire procedure without an oversight, chances are high that your change implementations will fail.
Now, the idea for change has to originate from the senior management. The idea must then be passed down to all other members in the company without any exception. The change management must involve everyone, or it will be a useless waste of precious time and valuable money. Allowing every person to b part of the change process makes it easy to backup the change at its highest level. Proper backing from every person in the team will definitely save your company from very costly errors. Here are strategies that can help your team to survive and thrive during the change process.
Technology Change Management Process Guide
Developing a request for change
The first step for a successful technology change management is to develop a request for change in the business. A request for change can originate from a series of issues within the management. Once these issues are identified, mitigating change will be necessary to prevent any negative effects in the future. A Request for Change can also arise from a business decision that required modification to support technology in the business. Government regulations or changes made by external business partners may also lead to developing Request for Change.
Obtaining change acceptance
Now, you need to remember that the decision to implement or make technical change is not the job of the Information Technology Department. It is an overall business decision where cost versus benefits must be weighed properly. Even if the change is infrastructure oriented, the decision to spend money on the change strictly resides with the business. Even in situations where procedures are developed in advance to pre-authorize change, the decision to implement the change resides within the business management so consultation must be made from the business, not the IT department, before implementing the change.
Initiating the development project
A technology change is an IT-guided function. A collaborative effort must be made between the business users and the IT team in the event of an emergency. A collaborative effort also has to be made when a new system is to be developed. Here is the thing; the system is designed by the Information Technology department. This design must be approved by the business partners before the IT department can develop it. Once the system is developed, the IT department and the users combine efforts to test and approve the final product. After approval of the new system, the users and the IT department give a careful attention to the effect the new changes will have on the existing system.
Passing the change to the management gate
All changes must be reviewed before they can be put into production. The review process is done by the Change Advisory Board, a group of people with different areas of expertise, backgrounds and perspectives. Their main function is to review the change and ensure that all the risks have been identified and mitigated. The board will also check to ensure that compensatory techniques are in place for anything that could go wrong in the process. This team is not responsible for determining if the changes to be made are appropriate. It is not also responsible for determining whether the change is cost effective. Their focus is to evaluate risks and assess change implementation strategies.
Implementing the change
Implementation should be scheduled once the Change Advisory Board has approved the change. The checklist and steps and how the change is to be implemented are predefined and approved by the Change Advisory Board. The Change Advisory Board cannot take part in the change implementation stage. If they have to be present, they will not be regarded as CAB experts but as Subject Matter Experts. The whole of the implementation process must be properly documented and the CAB approved processes be followed for implementing the change.
Report the results
The results of the change have to be reported as soon as possible. These results should be documented and returned to the Change Advisory Board who then distributes the information to the stakeholders and storing and maintaining the results of the change as clearly documented.
Your technology change management process will need to involve all employees in order to successfully evolve your business and bring about a smooth transition.
Chris is the Lead Author & Editor of Change Blog. Chris established the Change blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Change Management.