Managing Technology projects effectively


Stability Management

Whilst some effort and attention has been given to the area of change management, it sometimes helps to think about managing the corollary – stability management. That is, users go through deep change management transitions when new systems and work roles are in, so it helps that the design and functioning of the newly implemented systems and roles are stable for a while, rather than chasing the latest and greatest tools all the time. The cost of course is possible loss of efficiencies and benefits from latest designs, but this is outweighed by the benefits that can be accrued due to proficient use of, and streamlined/synergised business processes based on stable system architectures. Stabilising the technology and roles helps from the following angles:
  • It awards time for experiential learning and adjustments to the new design, and this is highly dependent on the general appetite, capacity and motivation of the users rather than lack of technical functionalities of the systems
  • It allows management to focus and unearth any deficiencies or opportunities in business processes and/or competencies of the end users

No Baggage

Sometimes the best way to shock a system that is stuck in an equilibrium of age-old established practices is to bring in new faces. There are 2 areas: either the users themselves or new facilitators.

New faces at the user end act as powerful change agents, especially if they are proficient at existing job function, and better still if they are experienced with the new systems. If not, the change process will be much easier considering that they do not have paradigms to forget. For the existing users, the ‘new kid on the block’ often may be seen as a source of competition (or even a threat) with their abounding ambition and energy. This will serve to catalyze the change process.

Implementation teams tend to get ‘close’ to end users during the development or deployment stage and it is oft the case that necessary ‘hard’ change management cannot be objectively and effectively managed by the same team. It helps to bring in new faces, even temporary external consultancy, as another perceptual change icon. When bringing in new talent altogether is too expensive an option, an easier way to diffuse the change effect of new systems is to enact job rotation programs at the same time. In this way, the users in their new roles are hardly locked in to the old ways of working and of course less sensitised to the change of new tools and/or processes in the job function.