Case Study “Pursuing Information Systems Technology”
CASE STUDY: PURSUING INFORMATION SYSTEMS TECHNOLOGY 7
The case is an explanation of the issues faced by the city ofMontreal as it endeavors to adopt new information systems technology.The public enterprise was in urgent need of a turnaround in dealingwith the technology lag. This would change the entire organization’smethods of operation via a technological conversion. The conversiondespite kicking off well depicts signs of failure, which isattributed to poor organizational strategy for managing the change.
Change management involves calculated planning, as well as sensitiveimplementation. Most important is the engagement of the individualsimpacted by the changes (Kotter & Schlesinger, 2008). When changeis forced on people, problems cannot be avoided. Change ought to bereal, attainable and assessable. These factors are specificallyapplicable in managing personnel change. It is necessary to questionthe objectives of the change, those affected and their reactions, thelevel of change that is achievable and sections of change thatrequire assistance, prior to commencing with any organizationalchange (Kotter & Schlesinger, 2008). When coping with themanagers’ apprehensions concerning changing technology, theresponse strategy ought to include the factors discussed above.
The response strategy involves communicating the change to managersin a clear and understandable approach. The director needs to convenea meeting with all managers and inform them of the decision toimplement technology change. This involves discussing why the changeis important, how it will improve the organization, the changes thatmanagers should expect. This way, the managers are certain about howthe technology will work and feel at ease with its introduction. Theresponse strategy involves getting feedback from managers on how theysuppose the new technology should be implemented. The strategy workstowards engaging the managers with the change. By becoming part ofthe change plan, they are able to feel more comfortable with itsimplementation. Since most of the managers are not computer literate,the director needs to communicate how their roles will change andwhat measures will be implemented to ensure they adapt to changingtechnology. This reassures managers that they do not need to beafraid of the changing technology.
Handling fear of job loss
Communication is paramount when implementing any change (Wenderoth,2009). Theintroduction of new technology creates fear of jobs loss in manyways. First, managers that are not computer literate becomeapprehensive of losing their jobs, because of updated job roles thatrequire them to manage computer literate personnel. Second, fear oflosing jobs that are replaced by the new technology. The directormust communicate with all personnel and reassure them that thetechnology conversion aims at improving Montreal’s administrativefunctions. Hence, their jobs are secure. The director should as wellinform on how their jobs will become integrated with the newtechnology.
Concerns on learning computer skills
Apparently, most of the employees from the case study are notcomputer literate. Prior to the technology conversion, the directorshould have thought of the significance of ensuring that personnelare computer literate. Computer literate personnel will result in theeffectiveness of the conversion, as they are competent to use newcomputers. Managers cannot manage personnel using computers when theythemselves lack computer skills. The director should begin bycommencing computer-learning programs all through the organization.The training program may begin with managers and commence to otherjunior employees. The program reassures personnel that management isaware of the need to learn computer skills hence, all employees willbe able to use the new technology.
Coordination of Information
The director has already created an information services unit, whichis an important step in ensuring effective organization ofinformation. However, the unit seems to focus on coordination towardstechnology conversion. As the director, it is necessary to create an“Information Systems Technology” unit within the organization.The unit will handle any information regarding the new technology.Under the unit, it becomes possible to communicate to personnel atevery stage of technology implementation, the role of the technologyand expected changes. This makes it easy to transition through thedifferent change stages, as employees are informed in advance of thechanges and already anticipate what will happen. The change does nothappen as a surprise.
Municipal Information Services Unit Roles
The major function of the unit is to support technology conversion byhandling information exchange amid the different department of themunicipal. During the technology conversion, several informationsystems advisers were employed to assist in validating needs,creating in-house systems and capitalize on microcomputer uses (LeCompte, 2010). The advisers can work under the information servicesunit, introducing a different role of coordination of activities andcommunication amid the many advisers. The unit also works towardsassisting managers unaware of computer technology within theirdepartments. This involves orienting managers to their new duties andaccountabilities. The unit also assists all users of the newtechnology. The role entails responding to questions, which rangefrom how to use technology, calls for assistance among others. Theunit is responsible for the decentralization of systems developmentaimed at ensuring more user involvement, as a factor of success inchange management.
The case study notes that few top ranking or functional managersdepicted a valid interest in the operations of information systems(Le Compte, 2010). It is also apparent that the administrativereforms have been performed fast, creating minimal room forconsultation between the managers and change management.Technological conversion set advent rules, which were to be adoptedby the players. The case study depicts various problems apparent inthe introduction of new technology (Le Compte, 2010). These are, thedirector does not involve the managers, training of computer skills,which should have been a priority happens after new informationsystems have been introduced, and the technology conversion has beenhastened (Le Compte, 2010).
To guarantee change management is effective, change managementapproaches must be in place. Managers faced with the similar problemsduring change management should make use of change managementapproaches. These include effective communication, proper changecoordination and involvement of all affected persons. Communicationensures that all members of an organization are informed in advanceabout the change (Samson& Bevington, 2012).As a result, resistance to change reduces. Research depicts thatindividuals do not resist change, rather change factors, which have apersonal impact on them like fear of what unknown. Such issues areproperly managed from the start through communication. Because thechange affects all personnel, they need to be informed prior tochange implementation (Samson& Bevington, 2012).Thus, they are able to adapt to any changes that may occur. They alsobecome prepared for the new changes, which reduces changeimplementation failure as well as resistance. This especially appliesto managers, who have influential roles in the organization.
Kotter, J. P & Schlesinger, L. A. (2008). Choosing strategies forchange. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from:https://hbr.org/2008/07/choosing-strategies-for-change/ar/1
Le Compte, R. (2010). Pursuing Information Systems Technology. IPACCase Series.
Samson, D., & Bevington, T.(2012). Implementingstrategic change: Managing processes and interfacesto develop a highly productive organization.London: Kogan Page.
Wenderoth, M. (2009). ChangeManagement Strategy for Implementing Shared Services. München:GRIN Verlag GmbH.