D-ICE for Change: Applying Organisational Development Guidance to IT Projects #ALTC2011

http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1256359SHORT PAPER ABSTRACT ALTC-11 (Revised Submission)

Theme: Making It Happen

Submitted with Andy Wilson, University of Loughborough

This paper reports from the recent cross-institutional JISC-funded project ‘BODGIT’ (Bringing Organisational Development Guidance into IT), which was part of the larger EMBED IT project hosted by SEDA.[1] The implementation of new IT platforms or software is rarely regarded as a change project, but this workshop will encourage delegates to consider the application of Organisational Development strategies when undertaking such implementations.

All change projects involve people, and commonly heard phrases when attempting to implement new systems are: ‘… but this is the way we’ve always done it’, ‘but it was a good deal…’, ‘why do I have to change?’, ‘why is the change not faster?’, and ‘what are the benefits?’.  Often new schemes are tainted by previous failed ‘initiatives’ because a strategic and overarching policy approach has not been taken. With IT initiatives particularly, software systems are often implemented without strategy, policy or detailed project planning. Using the case study of a software implementation which was proving difficult, three universities were involved in discussions and workshops investigating opportunities to apply Organisational Development principles.

This paper will draw out the general findings from across the institutions. Different change models were discussed, including the PESTLE and MORTAR and DICE models.  Of key importance when undertaking any change project is the need to undertake a stakeholder analysis, whether those stakeholders be institutional, personal, or corporate. We will demonstrate the ‘Stakeholder Straplines’ exercise, drawing upon discussions from the workshops, and consider the differing approaches/tactics that need to be undertaken with different kinds of users: enthusiasts, pragmatists, traditionalists and New Luddites, especially with the current pressures upon staffing time.


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