What is Change Management

What is Change Management?

The challenge of change is:

How do you manage change in a process that involves both people and machines?

Sometime it could be easy to modify a layout or improve the material flow.

On the other hand, manage the change of people involved in a process could be the hardest part.

Both manufacturing and services are systems where humans and equipment need to work in harmony to get the results.

To implement change is necessary to align this social and techno system towards the same goals.

The model to keep in mind is that the manufacturing or service system is based on 3 sub-systems that have constant interaction.

  • Equipment
  • People
  • Technology

When some change is needed to one of these 3 subsystems it is crucial to take care of the other 2, otherwise, the change effort will fail.

For example, if a new MRP has to be implemented, you have to take care of the training of people and PC-Update.

If you push the new MRP without any training, people could not embrace the new system and be the constraint of the implementation.

In some cases, people could even sabotage the new system.

So, how to manage this complexity?

A clear work organization. How are the people grouped together? Who is subordinated to whom?
Roles and Responsibilities. I suggest using the RACI Table.
Clear KPIs and reward plan. People play differently when they know the score. So give people a clear goal and reward them for their success.

Remember, if you do not invest the right amount of time & resources on the 3 subsystems your effectiveness of change can be very low.

Let me close with 2 aphorisms of Deming about Change Management.

“Two basic rules of life are: 1) Change is inevitable. 2) Everybody resists change.”

“Put a good person in a bad system and the bad system wins, no contest.”

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