The Role of Instructional Technology in Change Management
Businesses change processes and personnel to remain competitive. Essentially their bottom line is profit and efficiency. Change management can be described as implementing new ideas and processes by maximizing the positive components and minimizing the negative to management, employees, and customers (Anonymous, 1999, p. 76). There are many variables to consider when implementing a new process to an organization. This paper will focus on successful change management strategies and its significance to instructional technology.
A majority of all change management projects are systems driven. "Aggressive companies are accelerating deployment of strategic business applications to achieve market dominance" (Fournier, 1999, p. a10). For example, an organization develops a new computer interface in order to help serve customers more effectively and efficiently. With the new system, employees have access to more account information that, in turn, requires less follow up time, and the customers’ request is handled faster. Furthermore, this new system will support new business initiatives that are scheduled in the near future. Change and configuration management strategies are necessary "…to ensure system reliability" (Fournier, 1999, p. a10). Configuration management is defined as "…the IT process concerned with identifying, documenting, controlling, and tracking the configuration of interrelated IT components, at discrete points in time, throughout the development or maintenance life cycles" (Fournier, 1999, p. a10). Moreover IT components are also known as configuration items, comprise "…a variety of interdependent software, hardware, and networking components" (Fournier, 1999, p. a10).
There are four components of configuration management: configuration identification, configuration control, configuration auditing, and status accounting. Configuration identification allows, "…IT establish a baseline from which system changes are made" (Fournier, 1999, p. a10). The initial step in developing a sound configuration-management plan is to account for the products under IT’s authority. Next, configuration control records and evaluates any system changes. "The third step in this four-phase process is configuration auditing, which verifies that the set of configuration items that defines the structure or bill of material of a product is complete" (Fournier, 1999, p. a11). Configuration audits are done randomly to verify that associates, who are participating in the configuration process, follow the written configuration-and change-management procedures. Additionally configuration auditing validates the effectiveness of configuration-and-change management policies over a period of time. If changes need to be made, processes are modified to meet "…evolving development and maintenance best practices" (Fournier, 1999, p. a11). Lastly, status accounting entails documenting and maintaining a...