Change Management: SIM and Change Management

By BTM Institute Staff Writer  |  Posted 2008-11-04 Print this article Print

The BTM Institute interviews Robert Keefe, CIO of Mueller Water Products and member of the Society for Information Management (SIM) to get some perspective on effectively handling technology-related change management and organizational change management.

Q. What do SIM members have to say about handling change management?

Our members feel the pressure of being a change agent for their organization. They work hard to improve processes and to gain compliance where necessary. This's why our annual survey always shows change management as an important concern for our members.

SIM members talk a lot about motivating and training people in the new wave of doing things, whether it's an ERP system or a CRM. During the past five years, SIM members have expressed interest to how to get people to document things that they didn't document before.  This scenario gets back to how do you keep the training ongoing for people who do something on a casual basis.

Each year, the various SIM chapters will have someone speak about change management. We encourage the chapters to talk to its members about the importance of nurturing and monitoring any changes so they are efficient as they can be. After all, you can't put a major change process to bed for quite a while.

Q. What is the biggest mistake that technology professionals make in the change management process?

They’ll put in a new call center system, train everyone how to use it, and then walk away leaving supervisors to do more handholding and retraining than they anticipated.  It's both a budgetary dilemma and attitude dilemma on their part. We approach a project that requires much change with the idea of beginning the project on a certain date and wrapping in up by certain date. I've fought against this mindset for many reasons. If people have been using one system for 10 years or 15 years, you need to allow for a reasonable timeframe for them to get comfortable with a new system. Let me stress that you must factor this training component into the departmental budget. More importantly, you need to emphasize that the training and mentoring could go on for several months or several years after the system implementation. This training is part of the ROI.

Q. How do you measure the effectiveness of change management?

I use the soft measurement of what degree do people continue to engage in the process. Have they made strives and headway or are they frustrated and saying: ‘Look, I'm doing my best?’ I also look at the reasonable success of the project. How close did it come to being on time and on budget?  

© 2008 BTM Institute. All rights reserved. The above material is copyrighted by the BTM Institute and may not be reproduced without written consent from the institute.

The BTM Institute (www.btminstitute.org) brings together the academic, corporate, government and thought-leadership communities as a multi-disciplinary research think tank to address the need to integrate business and technology.

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