Too often enterprises (businesses, governments, service organisations, …) constrain change to only being responsive to outside influences.
Rather than being proactive and having control over their future they are reactive, consequently abrogating their control and the benefits it brings.
Ideally an enterprise knows where it wants to go and what it needs to achieve. By having a vision with defined goals and objectives it can efficiently and effectively manage the change it needs to progress. Establishing a strategic plan aligned with its vision the enterprise is better able to manage needed change.
Knowledge of where the enterprise is going, what it wants to achieve and what resources it has available to it coupled with an understanding of both internal and external influences provides a foundation upon which good change can be applied.
Many years ago I was advised to think of attacking any problem by reaching into a hypothetical ‘bag of beads’. The beads equated to tools such as knowledge repositories, methodologies and frameworks, modeling tools and languages that could be used used to attack problems of varying complexity.
Selecting relevant beads to suit the particular problem would assist in its resolution.
With that in mind, as an architect, I have always been mindful of the ‘bigger picture’. Supporting this, knowledge of the current state and target states allowed for the development of a strategic change management regime. This would encompass
- what needs to change,
- what constraints need to be applied,
- what are the dependencies;
- how the change will progress,
- when will the change occur and
- who will carry it out.
Consistently selecting suitable ‘beads’ from the ‘bag’ better enabled ‘correct’ decisions about needed changes to be made.
Proactive change ensures that an enterprise is able to steer a safer course towards its intended target. Navigating obstacles becomes easier when appropriate tools are brought to bear. Responsive change often leads to unexpected detours and the possibility that the desired end state may never be reached.