Managing Change – Case Study of Abu Dhabi System and information centre (ADSIC)

Managing Change – Case Study of Abu Dhabi System and information centre (ADSIC)

Introduction

Before the end of 2005, the Abu Dhabi government through the guidance of Sheikh Mohammed, the Prince, deputy commandant of the United Arab Emirates soldiers, and the head of Abu Dhabi Executive Council started operating on an extensive service improvement system that could influence every government department, administration, and authority. The system was set to ensure that the government becomes more efficient and successful in the provision of services to the residents and clientele along a range of delivery approaches. In this regard, the Abu Dhabi Systems and Information Centre (ADSIC) were formed to create, propel, and back the different initiatives within the government (ADSIC 2016). ADSIC acts as the governmental unit that holds the IT objectives of the Emirates and has the power to monitor the execution of the e-Government plan in Abu Dhabi. ADSIC recommends strategies and technological values for the government and relevant bodies to realize a comprehensive quality in attaining the utmost rates of effectiveness, discretion, and welfare in the e-Government plans. Moreover, ADSIC presents regulations and directives concerning the execution of the Information Technology strategies and the technological requirements, and conveys them to the government agencies. The command of the ADSIC is evident in the performance improvement, practice simplification, and application of IT. The methodology carried out in this study entailed interviewing and presentation of questionnaires to the deputy director general of ADSIC, research and development manager, and four junior employees in the department of operations and maintenance. The study was undertaken in late February 2016 at the head offices in Madinat Zayed, Abu Dhabi. The participants affirmed that ADSIC had recently undertaken a major change by adopting a new process model. The outcomes of the interview are as presented in the subsequent sections.

Reason for Implementing the Change

A detailed evaluation of the growing implementation of information systems by the research and development department in ADSIC demonstrated that they have progressively extended to every organizational level. Every nature of business management process influenced a vast majority of users in dissimilar managerial ranks in ADSIC. The international development of information systems has been obligated by the enhanced operational practices and endeavors in organizations around the world. Every process in ADSIC was noted to have been developing on its own use, which resulted in different systems to exist within the organization devoid of any interrelations. This caused the emergence of informational fragmentation, also known as the condition of “functional silos” where there was a summation of malfunction, redundancy, and devastation in the application of information systems. There was an immense demand for the incorporation of an advanced model in ADSIC, which resulted in the desire to manage information regarding competition, clients, markets, commodities, and technical advancements. The Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system has recently been implemented by the organization in response to the arising need (Davidson 2007). The new process model, ERP, functions as an incorporated software package that manages the resources and practices in ADSIC. Through the integration of all the operations and departments in ADSIC into a single system, the new processes model satisfies the needs of the dissimilar departments. ERP system has offered ADSIC diverse achievements, for instance, considerable tangible gains such as data combination, inventory reduction, the requirement of fewer personnel, and decreased information technology expenses. Some of the intangible gains encompass the enhancement of the internal practices, facilitated customer service, and strategic improvement. The adoption of the ERP system occurred as a major goal of change with respect to the establishment of a contemporary, effective, and citizen-centered government policy to equal the most excellent across the globe.

One of the reasons for ADSIC implementing the change is that when a client called to ask regarding an issue, he/she had to be bounced back and forth in the numerous departments since a single department or representative could not get all the responses due to lack of a system that could incorporate all the operations. When ADSIC had not implemented the ERP system and instead used numerous, separate systems for its operations, the company was not operating at its full capacity. Sometimes information had to be compromised as it was stored in different locations, and it was difficult for a user to know the most up to date data. The comprehensive storage of data facilitated by the ERP process model will permit the personnel in ADSIC to get any information when needed (Amid 2014). The application of the new model will give room for a single version of data to be applied across all the departments. Another reason that necessitated change is the occurrence of data redundancy, a matter that has been eliminated by the new model, as now the information is stored in a single location where all the personnel can easily access it. Before the adoption of the new process model, data redundancy arose the moment a given data was stored in numerous, separate systems. Moreover, when information was updated, there was no guarantee that it would be revised correctly in all the storage points. For instance, in a case where a client required changing the shipping address, since the company employed numerous systems in each department, the address had to be revised in all the systems where it initially featured, which created chances for mistakes and inaccuracies. In this regard, the workers could fail to find the correct shipping address as the concerned department could have given mistyped or incorrect details. Therefore, the provision of a central storage point by the new process model decreased the possibility of errors and failure to use the correct details in future dealings. The application of a central data storage point in the ERP system will lead to an incorporated database for diverse operations and departments thus ensuring that the management has direct availability of real-time data for accurate handling of business processes.

The Process of Change

Successful implementation of the new process model, ERP, in ADSIC entailed the application of Kurt Lewin’s change management model. Kurt Lewin’s change management model states that a set of manners at any position are a result of two conflicting ideas, the one struggling to keep the status quo and the other embracing the execution of change. It also reveals that varying the state of affairs encounters resistance from mounting forces against transformation, and necessitates a greatly successful change approach. Kurt Lewin’s change management model ascertains that thriving change demands a three-phase progression that involves unfreezing, changing, and refreezing (Hornstein 2015).

Consistent with Hornstein (2015), the state of unfreezing entails the decrease of resisting forces that fight to uphold the initial situation. In this regard, the executives of ADSIC formed a change management committee to focus on the generation of enthusiasm to change that would lead to the workers supporting the change endeavors. The change management committee alongside the executives of the organization embarked on the practice of psychological disconfirmation, which sought to instigate details that showed discrepancies concerning the acceptance and rejection of the application of the new process model. The plan of this phase was for the idea of change to be made apparent. The process of benchmarking was as well carried out in the unfreezing phase. It involved a progression through which the change management committee compared the progression to the change with that of another successful organization (Botelho, Kowalski & Bartlett 2013). In this process, the committee came to a comprehension of the manner in which the other organization realized success and used that as a standard to enhance their implementation of change.

The changing phase entailed the transformation of the initial model and the application of the ERP model as evident from the benchmarking process (Hornstein 2015). In the changing/moving stage, the change management committee and the executives of ADSIC sought to develop the necessary conducts, attitudes, and opinions of the employees through the transformation of organizational measures and processes that entailed the sacking of ten employees whose roles were to be handled by the new model. It was vital to make all the stakeholders aware that the change would be a continuous progression and not just a one-time incident.

Under the refreezing phase, the change management committee in conjunction with the executive directors of ADSIC made efforts to stabilize the application of the new process model by setting up support systems to reinforce the new culture, strategies, structures, and practices. The idea behind the refreezing stage was to help all the employees to integrate the changed conduct, approaches, and processes into their usual way of performance (Botelho, Kowalski & Bartlett 2013).

Resistance

When the information of the implementation of a new process model that could lead to sacking of some employees reached the junior workers of all departments in ADSIC, most of them resorted to resistance in fear that they would be among the ones to be laid off. The employees opposed to the implementation of the ERP process model were also worried that its execution would influence the working environment, their wages, and the conditions negatively. In this regard, there was a need to manage resistance to change by the workers because if it happened to get a foothold on a large scale; it would have threatened to affect even the most beneficial change attempts. Therefore, the change management committee employed strategies intended to offset the discouraging forces of resistance (Lozano, Ceulemans & Seatter 2015).

The use of the strategies of managing resistance to change was employed in the advancement of action plans that would guarantee thriving application of the new process model. Enhanced awareness and communication were undertaken by the change management committee in a bid to deal with resistance to change through explaining change plans to the employees beforehand. This helped in decreasing unsubstantiated and mistaken rumors concerning the impact of the change in the organization. Open communication and sharing of information aids workers to see sense in the change practices (Lozano, Ceulemans & Seatter 2015). The involvement of the employees also minimized the force of resistance. If employees are actively involved in the change progression and knowledgeable of the impact, they develop a high probability of supporting it. This approach is probable of reducing resistance rather than just supposing that the workers will cheerfully abide by the change. The executive directors of the organization addressed resistance through supporting workers in perplexity or those that could have any query about the impact of the change. The support from the executives made the employees manage panic and worry in the course of the change practice. The application of ERP process model also necessitated the provision of guidance, counseling, and reaction to difficulties.

The change management committee also suggested dealing with resistance through offering incentives to every employee as motivation to better their performance, which resulted in their accepting change (Cinite, Duxbury & Higgins 2009). It was also worth permitting the workers opposed to change to assess the planned transformation and offer their recommendations; this was appropriate as a few of the employees opposing the change were holding positions of authority in the organization. The committee also embarked on co-optation, which involved incorporating some of the employees resisting change into the committee just for their presence and not considerable contribution. This acted as a means of thwarting their resistance as they ended up playing a symbolic role in decision-making rather than jeopardizing the change efforts. In severe cases, the executive directors of the organization both directly or indirectly forced some of the workers opposed to change to accept it through declaring that their resistance would lead to their being sacked or lack of promotion opportunities.

Critical Success Factors of Change Management

One critical success factor of change management is satisfying customers. Through the adoption of the new process model in ADSIC, processes have become swifter and more effective, expenses have reduced, customer satisfaction and positive client response have been ensured, and the compliance by the government is opportune. The company is now able to handle huge amounts of transactions, at times of even millions of dollars, within a very short time. The use of the ERP system does not just influence the company alone, but as well the entire supply chain encompassing external operations involving clients and suppliers. The ERP system has resulted in important success aspects of change management as it has facilitated the understanding of the overall business operations (Zeng & Skibniewski 2013). Due to the access of all information from one location, one representative is able to address any question from the clients and give feedback rather than having to refer the customer from one department to another. All the information in ADSIC is now sent from the different operational sections to the frontline; that is, to the customer representatives that the clients will first meet for queries or transactions with the organization. Attributable to the adoption of the ERP process model, the significance of the suitable personnel having all the necessary information has become vital to the delivery of outstanding customer service and consequently serving the clients in the most efficient possible manner.

Another critical success aspect of change management is communicating organization’s goals and directions to support the organization. The application of the ERP system has boosted the overall productivity of the organization because of the access to different functional sections from one point and the capacity to issue any report needed (Shaul & Tauber 2013). In this regard, the managers and other executives are in a position of easily formulating improved business ideas due to all the information being readily accessible. This way, business operations are carried out efficiently because the ERP system incorporates business practices that cut across diverse business units and geographical positions simultaneously. In line with the change management, the organization has benefited through overcoming resistance; the ERP system has offered the organization the capacity to deal with potential developments, future e-trade, and e-supply chain ventures.

When evaluating the significance of the ERP systems, it is evident that venturing in expertise is just half of what is necessary to acquire its benefits (Shaul & Tauber 2013). By venturing in IT and facilitating management endeavors and governance, ADSIC will gain from sustainable outcomes in enhanced value and boosted productivity, in most occurrences as much as above twenty percent advancement. Studies have established a circular sequence where a single IT achievement creates the likelihood of yet another more approving one. The sequence typically begins with venture in the ERP system improvement to generate a standardized and incorporated platform. The moment the ERP system generates suitable operational performance, ventures to boost value such as in customer relationship arise.

Through communicating organization’s goals and directions to support the organization, ADSIC can achieve considerable benefits through the reduction of the overall monetary expenditures, facilitating enhanced collaboration with clients and suppliers, and reorganizing functions to decrease resource use. The communication of organizational goals and directions assists ADSIC to focus on the opportunities of reallocating funds to programs that have a proven positive influence and place resources where they are mostly helpful in the maximization of the organization’s value. Monetary operations in the ERP system will assist ADSIC in coming up with smart ideas because of the ability to proactively assess and regulate interest rate disclosure and currency while abiding by the internal risk strategies. Furthermore, the accessibility of real-time information allows ADSIC to make well-informed investment and borrowing resolutions on a timely basis (Shaul & Tauber 2013).

The third critical factor of change management is empowering employees. Through empowering of the workers, ADSIC has not only created the opportunity for value prevalence in ERP system, but has also gained the ability to sustain business triumph (Shaul & Tauber 2013). For instance, through the management of change, the ERP system has assisted in aligning the organization’s business policy. This occurred through the provision of incorporated practices, as well as reporting, the management of the personnel by positioning them in their rightful positions, creating, and rewarding excellent performers, sustaining major talents for longer periods, and boosting effectiveness and performance across the whole organization. The adoption of the new process model will make it possible for ADSIC to obtain return on investment swiftly because of the decreased operation outlays and facilitated efficiency. The ERP model interlinks the workers and the executives, and stimulates their delivery of successful practices by automating common functions and leveraging excellent practices.

The fourth critical factor of change management is teamwork. The ERP process model provides the organization with collective service capacities that could reduce the organizational outlay through unifying, computerizing, and standardizing the entire transactional practices (Hoch & Dulebohn 2013). For internal logistics, ERP system offers enhanced communication and interaction with suppliers, easy delivery of commodities, and value-added control of accounts payables. Through enhanced teamwork, the process model ensures transparency across the organizational purchasing progression, including facilitated monitoring of raw materials, advanced inventory supervision, and corresponding process documentation. In the ERP process model, the accounts payables have automated instruments for processing vendor fees speedily. Since all the department are able to operate in teamwork without each acting independently, the capacity of the ERP process model to offer similar up to date and correct data across dissimilar roles will ensure that ADSIC benefits greatly. For example, before the adoption of the ERP system, pursuing the progress of an issue from one department to another the moment a customer initiated a transaction or raised some concerns was challenging, with details of such processes being entered and re-entered into the systems of the numerous departments. Such a manual progression was also susceptible to mistakes and unnecessary delays; up to the moment the processed order request was issued to the relevant department, the commodities could not be released for shipment.

Attributable to teamwork amid the departments, the application of the ERP process model ensures that the orders from clients are entered once, processed quickly, and the issuance request reflects in the relevant departments with no delay (Mitchell 2013). The moment the order is entered, the system confirms the availability of the required commodities and they are immediately made ready for delivery. The single perspective of request and delivery allows ADSIC to suitably comprehend the demands of the clients, and expect their future needs. On this note, the system assists in shortening lead time, decreases the total outlay of operations, and client satisfaction is guaranteed. Through such teamwork, personnel in all the departments have access to the same information, which is applicable and automatically updated. Once a given department completes its task on a given transaction, the process model proceeds to the subsequent department as outlined in the workflow. Everyone in the organization can easily login to the ERP system with the intention of understanding the condition of a given transaction.

Because of the facilitated teamwork, the ERP process model assembles the organizational practices and information together in an integrated approach that considerably easies business processes. Though the execution of the ERP system was expensive and necessitated spending of the organizational resources with a high risk and improbability rate, its adoption has proven matchless to ADSIC as the organization previously depended on inefficient and disparate systems that were not interlinked across all the departments. Teamwork has ensured the provision of fully interconnected data, improved information storage, accessibility, and accurateness of the database. ERP systems ensure standardized progressions for carrying out most of the business transactions with the help of best practices (Hoch & Dulebohn 2013). ERP process model is so broadly diffused that it is usually depicted as the de facto scheme for substitution of legacy arrangements in nearly all organizations. When the deputy director general of ADSIC, the research and development manager, and four junior employees in the department of operations and maintenance were asked concerning the significance and influence of the adoption of the ERP process model, they were quick to affirm that it is impractical to operate successfully devoid of an ERP system.

Summary

ADSIC presents instructions and directives concerning the execution of the Information Technology practices and technological requirements, and conveys them to the government departments. Interviews and presentation of questionnaires to the deputy director general of ADSIC, the research and development manager, and four employees in the department of operations and maintenance were done. The participants asserted that ADSIC had recently undertaken a fundamental change through the adoption of ERP process model. ERP systems have offered the organization diverse gains such as data combination, inventory lessening, fewer personnel, and decreased expenses. Successful execution of the new process model entailed the application of Kurt Lewin’s change management model. The change management committee utilized a set of strategies intended to offset the forces of resistance. Application of the ERP model has boosted the overall productivity of the organization due to access to different functional sections from one position and the capacity to issue any information needed.

References

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