Change management is a term that is broadly used in the Information Technology realm. It’s also a concept that often drives an organization, a group of people or a process from one stage to the next. In order to comprehend the complexities of change management, the concept of change must first be understood. Change is a period of inconsistency that reflects on the realm of evolution.
Change is human nature, it occurs in all environments-professional, personal, political, and emotional. Change is an inevitable part of life. Therefore, there is a need for structure that will organize and categorize the vital processes of change that must take place.
In the business world, project managers are often tasked with the implementation of change management. Answering the questions- How will change be implemented? Who should be involved with the change? What critical changes are taking place? When will this change occur? Lastly, who will be directly impacted by the change?
From a psychological perspective, change can be perceived as a positive or negative mode of thinking, a mandatory adoption from a business perspective or the determining factor in the completion of an engineering methodology. Despite the varying perspectives for the concept of change, in order for it to take place in any environment, it must be managed; henceforth the term ‘change -management’.
At the start of most project environments, a project manager is designated to oversee the totality of the project from start to finish. The beginning stages of the project are at times outlined with milestones, deadlines, needed accomplishments, number of staff members assigned , and other information vital to reaching the project’s success. Although this occurs in many organizations, there are some cases in which the finite details are not outlined. The Complexity Theory defines the methodology of how structure is implemented, when change management is not clearly defined (Flum, & Grohe, 2006).
The Complexity Theory is described as a conceptual study of how order and structure are achieved after the occurrence of chaotic phenomena (Flum, & Grohe, 2006). The Complexity Theory was utilized and enhanced by the leaders involved in the task management of the horrific events of 9-11 (Curlee & Gordon, 2011). On a day of mass chaos, various leaders were called to order when the first airplane collided into the Twin Towers of New York City, NY. In a collaborative effort, all in flight airplanes were forced to land at their nearest hub, due to the uncertainties of this terror attack. As various organizations scrambled to derive what was going on and how to effectively and efficiently handle the situation at hand, a theory evolved in order to bring structure and allegiance to this chaotic series of events nationwide (Curlee & Gordon, 2011).
Just as the leaders of the 9-11 attacks responded to their individual tragedies, bringing stability and direction to the many teams of firemen, police officers, air traffic controllers, and other personnel – as project managers, team leaders, consultants, and IT team members – we have a responsibility to one another to direct, structure and embrace the change that we face daily in our professional and personal lives. The blueprint to our ever changing lives and projects may not always be mapped out for us- with the right perception and attitude, managing change can be a gift, rather than a challenge.
Curlee, W. & Gordon, R.L. (2011). Complexity theory and project management. Hoboken, NJ: Jon Wiley & Sons.
Flum, J. & Grohe, M. (2006). Parameterized complexity theory. Editors: W. Brauer, G. Rozenberg, and A. Salomaa. Heidelberg, Germany: Springer.