Pfeifer et al (2005 in MBA Material) provide a framework to examine barriers to change implementation. The following is an adaptation of this to evaluate the change described in section 1.
The management barrier
This barrier reflects on the problem that managerial focus is on business as usual and not on new strategies. The big bang approach of this change combined with a short implementation period meant that the managerial focus in both organisations was on business as usual and they were not prepared for this change. New duties and reporting lines were not clearly defined and the organisations struggled to maintain the existing levels of customer service.
In determining the readiness for this change the energy / engagement of the change recipients is examined. Figure 2 1 represents the energy levels of both departments in relation to the change in terms of intensity and quality (Bruch and Vogel, 2011). The CS Department have
Figure 2 1 Energy Levels Comparisons (adapted from Bruch and Vogel, 2011)
traditionally been sheltered from change programs and the need for this change would not have been obvious to them. These have been rated by the Author as in the Comfortable Energy zone. The PS Department are aware of the over-all strategy of setting up areas of expertise in Esri Ireland and would have been more
familiar with change and the need and motivation for this change. These have been rated by the Author as in the Productive Energy zone.
More focus creating, and communicating, a vision/ strategy would have increased support and buy-in from all of the stakeholders. This would move the CS Department in to the Productive Energy zone and result in a smoother implementation with less unease and confusion, and a more successful embedding of the change (Kotter, 1995).
Additional time for training and induction would have ensured that it was possible to maintain existing service levels while implementing the change. Short-term costs would have increased but the improved results would reduce the costs long term.
The vision barrier
This barrier is in relation to the communication of the vision or strategy associated with the change. The immediate nature and the leadership style did not allow scope for building and communicating a vision for the change. Instead, the focus was on a fast implementation that would bring immediate results.
In the short term, the style and leadership meant that the leader’s power overcame any obstacles that arose and ensured the implementation. In the long term, the Author has observed issues with how embedded the change is. Recent interviews by the Author show that PS Department staff still look at this as a temporary change and that it is not really “work that is in their remit”. Also, the CS Department Management, initially opposed to the change, is still concerned over lack of control over remote resources.
Again, spending time creating, and commutating, a vision would help...