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Managing Change

"There is nothing permanent except change" - Heraclitus (540-475 B.C.)
"The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken" - Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

Change Management is a relatively new concept which has developed to aid the understanding of an age old problem. Change has always happened, has invariably been resisted and has not always been succesful. The aim of change management is to inspire and maintain a culture which instigates and embraces continuous progressive change.

In order to promote change, a company must first know what it is currently doing and why. This is not as simple as it seems and will be greatly assisted by the use of documented business processes. Any company with a quality system in place will already have documented business processes and a system for identifying the performance of these processes. This is very often the first indication of the need for change. Having established a need for change, a company must grant power to change leaders and change teams which must be representative of all stakeholders and which should have challenging, achievable targets. Having granted power to change teams, they must be supported by the senior management - even when this means a challenge to the boardroom culture!.

There are two ways to implement change - Big Bang or Progressive Change. The method chosen will depend on the situation which exists at the time and the scope of change needed. During the 1980s, many British companies were in need of major overhall and aggresive surgery. The situation was in some cases so bad that interruptions to production were acceptable, indeed they may not have been noticed amidst the mass of strikes occurring at the time. It is during this period that Business Process Redesign became fashionable and effective. For some it is still relevant today and can also be modified to assist in modernised businesses if used sensibly.

About BPR

For those companies that have been through a radical change programme or are looking to develop rather than be re-born, a less forhtright system is appropriate and should be implemented via a quality system using Process Improvement Teams (PITs)

About PITs





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