Change Reality: How Resistance Impact On Implementation?

Nearly a month I am engaged as a consultant for the implementation of software (technology change) in a very bureaucratic organizational system. The software is something that is a huge step forward for that organization. This means a significant improvement of productivity and efficiency in the work. But, as always when it comes to implementing something new there is always resistance to that new.

It is clear to everyone that technology changes cause other organizational changes too, and this is proven by Joan Woodward’s analysis that presents the close connection of technology with the structure and people. This means that with the application of the new software that is technology change, there will be a need for changes in the structure and also in the people – the employees.

I’ve already have written about my research of the factors that cause resistance to change, but here I want to emphasize some of them that I think can be terrible for the implementation of the new system.

1. Threat of Comfort

Many things that were not monitored until now will be monitored with the new system, and this will decrease the level of the comfort of employees on all levels. On the other hand, new techniques and skills must be applied on all levels and following this, everyone who feels comfortable with their existent knowledge is against these changes. This is because their present knowledge will not be valid for the new system.

As a possible solution, it is necessary to determine all workplaces that would be influenced by this resistance factor. After this, there must be prepared a strategy for elimination or decreasing the existent resistance.

2. Power

Specific power centers exist on all levels, and that will lose some part of their current power. Logically, for them, this will provoke resistance towards the new system.

As a possible solution, it is necessary to define the potential power centers that will lose part of the current power. Next, we will need to establish a strategy how to eliminate or decrease the resistance.

3. Fear of Unknown

This was noticed as one of the most significant resistance sources. Each employee is familiar with the operations of the old system, and therefore, there is a big fear of how will he/she manage the new system.

As a possible solution for eliminating this fear can be used proper education and communication as well as with appropriate participation.

4. Routine

With the new system, many of the today’s routines should be changed. It is in human nature to reject changes that ask a change in our working habits.

As a possible solution for eliminating this kind of resistance, there is a for proper education and communication as well as with appropriate participation.

5. Mistrust to Initiator of Change Process

This factor arises because the employees don’t have a precise definition of who might be the initiator of these changes. Simply, they see that initiator is the supplier of the software.

This requires proper education of the employees that the organizational system of which they are part of is the initiator of the changes.

6. Short Implementation Time

Because of an unreal implementation time frame, it is very short time for these changes and employees from all levels are under a tremendous amount of pressure.

There is a need for total reorganization of implementation schedules so that they can be more efficient. Furthermore, I can see the lack of knowledge about two different terms: acceptance and official system start-up.

7. Limited Resources

There is a distinct limitation of recourses in the organizational system. A large part of employee works on their current work assignments and obligations as well, and with this their real contribution to the work on the implementation of the new system is decreased.

8. Bureaucratic Inertia as a Resistance to Change

And of course, in this kind of organizational systems where the administrative role on all levels is highly emphasized, it causes bureaucratic inertia of the whole system.

These are only eight factors, although there are many more. But, I think that these resistance factors have a big influence on the successful implementation of the system.

Dragan Sutevski

Posted by Dragan Sutevski

Dragan Sutevski is a founder and CEO of Sutevski Consulting, creating business excellence through innovative thinking. Get more from Dragan on Twitter. Contact Dragan