Regardless of if we are changing the delivery route for our goods or changing the application used by our employees or users every change of business process has to comply with the process of change. Process is needed even we have smallest business and really small impacting change. Process should be trimmed to really simple one (especially if we follow lean principles).  There are few phases before we start with a change:

  1. detect, describe and understand a need for change
  2. create an idea about what has to be changed
  3. create a plan in steps to introduce the change
  4. create a measurement tools of success for every step
  5. describe and understand potential risks during change

A need for change. Before we do any change, we have to first declare that some change is needed and to describe why. If we do not have this, first phase any move forward will lead us to change of status that is risky and that doesn’t have verifiable outcome. That is definitely not wanted scenario for any business regardless of size of business or size of change.

What to change. If we know what has to be changed, we have to use professional capacity of our team members to create the best idea about what is needed to be changed. Change is very often process and it creates new value for the business. To have the best performance in change, top businesses are investing a lot into creating of teams of diverse players. Diversity promotes ideas and in the end makes business benefit more than if we have group of similar thinkers.

Plan in steps. Never do change in large moves. Large moves have large risk for business. Because we have to try to keep risk in controllable state we cannot allow escalation of size of change steps. Doing change in steps does not mean that change will be slower, but that in the end it should have better stability in the end. Steps allow us to plan much better and to detect any deviation from the original plan.

Measuring of success. Continuing from previous section, every move have to be able to be measurable. All people that are executing the change are somehow biased about the change. For that reason, business needs to develop some system that will allow more or less independent measuring of the success of change. Sometimes it is done by the same team members where we have to focus on numbers that are not easy to misinterpret. In perfect world it should be done by independent peer review where we remove bias. It is more expensive measurement, but creates much more precise data. Decision should be based on impact of change and potential risks.

Risk of change. Every change, even tiniest one has its risks. In many businesses you will see groups of people unable to move anywhere because of ultimate fear to introduce any change. If that is paired with disoriented management you have more and more intensive issues with business performance and in the end business tends to fail. Thinking about that, we have to put all risks in the equation and understand that sometimes change with more risk will remove risk that will accumulate and destroy our business. The complete concept of lean business is partly answering this problem with proper dosing of intensity and complexity of the procedure. Generally there is more risk of business failure because of not having the ability to change or to be adaptable/responsible enough than of risks emerged during the change. As managers, you have to keep in mind that there are always quicker and more responsive business and because we are operating in the free market we cannot afford bad business practices.

Conclusion. Business management, especially management of IT is sensitive because it impacts whole enterprise. We have to understand the procedure, understand majority of principles of good management and do intelligent moves in proper time. Even managing is complex activity, that doesn’t mean that it cannot be done well and better and better every day. After you complete some task, do retrospective and try to make it better in the future. Grow in knowledge and easy adapt.

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