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Organization and Technology Change Management


The implementation of Enterprise Architecture (EA) initiatives requires application of a diverse set of management techniques, organizational resources, and skills. The challenge associated with transitioning an organization's current "as-is" environment to the "to-be" environment requires change to the IT infrastructure, support organization and culture. The Government is faced with the challenge of maintaining and supporting its legacy systems while at the same time operationalizing its EA strategy that may well include implementing its e-Government initiatives. This challenge is compounded when older systems are maintained with a traditional organizational infrastructure while new systems are being developed and/or reengineered within the framework of EA. In addition, while advanced software and hardware are the most obvious building blocks for the EA strategy, Government and contractor support personnel play an equally important role in effecting IT change initiatives. A variety of people issues must therefore be addressed to effectively manage the Government's migration to a new service delivery model. In response to these considerations, new management techniques and even new organizational structures need to evolve constantly throughout migration to an Enterprise Architecture.

Organizational Change Management Program

The underlying strategy of the Government's move to an EA architecture and preparation for e-Government will, in and of itself, stimulate change. In this regard, there are three dynamics at work:

  • Technology push to implement IT Infrastructure Improvement Projects

  • Demand pull from the Agency's business-oriented organization(s) to realize cost savings through Process Improvement and Infrastructure Consolidation Projects

  • OMB mandates and policy that compel the CIO to deliver reliable, high performance, cost effective IT system services.

AITS's experience has been to address these convergent factors through a multi-dimensional, Organizational Change Management Program (OCM). The role of OCM is to ensure that Government's structure and culture will successfully assimilate the planned organizational and technology changes.

Structural change management deals with the way a functional unit is organized to carry out its work responsibilities. Government-wide help desk consolidation initiatives are rich targets of opportunity to improve the effectiveness of multiple help desk operations by combining resources across multiple programs. The centralization of an Agency's help desk resources requires a variety of changes- policy and procedure, management and staffing, facilities and equipment, and human resource practices. Thus, structural change management has to do with things, IT assets or facilities.

Cultural change management is concerned with the way people interact with each other, both in peer relationships and superior/subordinate relationships. Cultural change management has to do with people, and is therefore the more difficult challenge the Government faces.

People and culture - the human systems of the Governments enterprise - critical to any technology change, must be comprehensively addressed by the Agency's stakeholders in any change management strategy. AITS's experience with implementing an OCM strategy is built around the following general principles that have been successfully employed in other organizational change management programs:

  • Management hierarchies must be flattened to make the organization more flexible and responsive to changing conditions

  • Work should be organized around cross-functional teams (work groups) who have responsibility for cost, quality, and cycle time performance (baseline for contract SOP's and SLA's)

  • Stakeholders should be involved in decision making and empowered to act on behalf of internal and external customers

  • Continuous and just-in-time learning practices should be implemented to facilitate skill development, cross-functional cooperation, and work group collaboration

  • New values of commitment, teamwork, performance, and accomplishment need to be instilled in the Government's culture

  • Rewards and recognition must be aligned with team accomplishment of process performance goals and individual skill and performance

These overarching principles help guide in building a partnership with all stakeholders to effectively address both functional and process management changes. Central to the OCM strategy are the feedback measures to assess performance with benefits as the Government migrates to its "to-be" environment. As improvement projects move through enterprise engineering and execution phase, the OCM team coordinates change management actions with process improvement. We have to institutionalize this experience and knowledge by deploying Integrated Services Delivery Teams (ISDs) to establish and document standard practices and operating procedures for services delivery functions. These standard practices, evolving over time, are incorporated into Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and provide the basis for achieving cost efficiencies, quality, and productivity.

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