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Change Management for IT Professionals

written by: SparkKD • edited by: Jean Scheid • updated: 7/6/2011

Nowadays, change management is a term which is often heard in most professional environments. • What is this change management? • Why is it required? • Whom does it affect? • How to handle it? All these questions are addressed here.

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    What is Change Management:

    Change management can be understood literally as “How to manage change”, but that would be too simplistic. To make it more specific, change management can be defined as an approach / methodology / philosophy by which individuals and organizations deal with change (which is inevitable).

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    “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.”

    So why would anyone change a successful system or process or organization?

    1. Everything is constantly evolving, be it the universe itself, the human mind, technology or modern business.

    2. To keep up with this, one needs to change or evolve.

    Thus the key driver of change is the underlying motivation to sustain a position of current success or to develop a competitive advantage in future.

    Managing change effectively has the following advantages and disadvantages .

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    Which Industries are More Prone to Change and Why?

    In a professional sense, change management is more applicable to some professions than others. An industry which has been around for a very long time like the automobile industry is unlikely to see sweeping changes due to the stabilization it has had over time. On the other hand, industries in the nascent or growth stages are likely to see a very high pace of change because they have not reached a state of stabilization yet. The IT industry is a prime example of one such industry.

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    The IT Industry is Constantly Evolving

    This can be attributed to

    • the advances in technology,
    • the explosion of the internet and
    • the onset of outsourcing
    • changing nature of projects in IT

    These reasons have been synergistic to each other and have resulted in the industry growing exponentially. However with the sub-prime crisis and the global meltdown, things have slowed drastically. This had occurred once before in the IT industry with the Dot Com Bubble Burst of 2000 and as such industry professionals have learned to be a bit more wary.

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    Change Management for the IT Professional

    · For individual projects, always have buffer time planned to handle unexpected changes in the project.

    · Many activities in IT projects are client dependent and are therefore subject to change.

    · Be highly informed about the latest technological developments in the industry.

    · Constantly update one’s skill-set; i.e. learn the latest languages, etc.

    · Be informed about the business trends such as outsourcing to India, China and other global locations.

    · Prepare for a recessionary period; example have a Plan B to fall back on.

    · This may be clichéd but “Hope for the best, prepare for the worst and take whatever comes in your stride”.