Skip to main content

Organizational Change Management

One of the most important yet often less fully considered aspects of using Service Management is Organizational Change Management. When it comes down to it, Service Management is about people—as customers, users, providers, maintainers, supporters and a myriad of other roles. So while we get caught up in getting effective, efficient and economical services, processes and technologies in place to provide value, we must not push aside the importance of attitude, behavior and culture.

We have all encountered new situations, changes in process or work flow, new technologies and other unfamiliar situations. Most people recognized from experience that different people deal with change in different manners. But we do not have to rely simply on hearsay or belief or personal experience. We can turn to experts in the field of Organizational Change Management for a way to work through the adoption of new ideas, approaches and technologies.

In 1962 in his work Diffusion of Innovations, Everett Rogers laid out a theory as to how new technologies, ideas and changes are introduced, accepted and institutionalized in an organization. Rogers’ Adoption Theory, as it has become known, proved highly important in helping to establish the field of Organizational Change Management. We can apply this theory to Service Management and our efforts to effectively and efficiently implement new processes, services and technologies.

Rogers spoke of five categories of individuals in relationship to adoption of new ideas and technologies. Each of these groups takes a different view of change and innovation and reacts differently.
  • Innovators—these individuals accept change often for the sake of change. These types should be identified early in an OCM effort and used as change agents to help convince others
  • Early Adopters—These individuals take some convincing, but when shown the benefits of the change will become some of your strongest supporters
  • Early Majority—These individuals represent the bulk of people in your organization and require a fair amount of convincing and evidence of the benefits of the change
  • Late Majority—These individuals take a large amount of convincing and are among your most skeptical people with regard to the benefits of the change
  • Laggards—these individuals may never be convinced and will often dislike change for the sake of disliking change
I suggest you begin by identifying people who fit in each category. Focus first on getting the Innovators to serve as agents of change by becoming bearers of the messages you want people to hear. Then you can approach each group in turn. As you secure the support and buy-in from that group use the group to help convince the others. The number of people who support the change in process or approach will outnumber those who are against it. The tide of change and support and favoritism will be on your side. Any Laggards or others who still resist must be then shown that their resistance is doing more harm to the organization than good.
If we can learn to leverage the ideas of Everett Rogers, we can create an advantage for ourselves in terms of people accepting new ideas, technologies and ways of doing things in our organizations. Rather than let people embrace resistance to change, use Rogers’ Adoption Theory to get people to embrace innovation.


Popular posts from this blog

What is the difference between Process Owner, Process Manager and Process Practitioner?

I was recently asked to clarify the roles of the Process Owner, Process Manager and Process Practitioner and wanted to share this with you. Roles and Responsibilities: Process Owner – this individual is “Accountable” for the process. They are the goto person and represent this process across the entire organization. They will ensure that the process is clearly defined, designed and documented. They will ensure that the process has a set of Policies for governance. Example: The process owner for Incident management will ensure that all of the activities to Identify, Record, Categorize, Investigate, … all the way to closing the incident are defined and documented with clearly defined roles, responsibilities, handoffs, and deliverables.  An example of a policy in could be… “All Incidents must be logged”. Policies are rules that govern the process. Process Owner ensures that all Process activities, (what to do), Procedures (details on how to perform the activity) and the

How Does ITIL Help in the Management of the SDLC?

I was recently asked how ITIL helps in the management of the SDLC (Software Development Lifecycle).  Simply put... SDLC is a Lifecycle approach to produce the software or the "product".  ITIL is a Lifecycle approach that focuses on the "service". I’ll start by reviewing both SDLC and ITIL Lifecycles and then summarize: SDLC  -  The intent of an SDLC process is to help produce a product that is cost-efficient, effective and of high quality. Once an application is created, the SDLC maps the proper deployment of the software into the live environment. The SDLC methodology usually contains the following stages: Analysis (requirements and design), construction, testing, release and maintenance.  The focus here is on the Software.  Most organizations will use an Agile or Waterfall approach to implement the software through the Software Development Lifecycle. ITIL  -  is a best practice for IT service management (ITSM) that focuses on aligning IT services with

Four Service Characteristics

Recently I came across several articles by researchers and experts that laid out definitions and characteristics of services. ITIL provides us with a definition that can help drive the creation of value-laden services: A means of delivering value to customers by facilitating outcomes customers want to achieve without the ownership of specific costs and risks. An area that ITIL is not so clear is in terms of service characteristics. Several researchers and experts put forth that services have four basic characteristics (IHIP): ·          Intangibility—Services are the results of actions not things. They have no physical presence and represent a logical set of elements. One way to think of service is “work done for others.” ·          Heterogeneity—Also known as “variability”; services are unique items because of the mechanisms used to deliver services-that is people. Because the people element adds variability, the service is variable. This holds true especially for th