|Matrix of Change|
Introducing the Matrix of Change
One of the key advantages of information technology is its ability to support new organizational forms. The task of shifting between old and new forms, however, can be a difficult, time consuming, and haphazard process. Interactions among various work practices can lead to numerous unanticipated side-effects as mangers alter individual practices without considering whole systems of work. We present here recent developments in providing support tools for change management and explain how they have been effectively used for teaching students about IT-enabled change management in the core IT classes at MIT. It will also demonstrate new software for use in both the teaching and practice of business process re-engineering.
The core of the new teaching sequence is a new tool, the Matrix of Change, which helps to characterize such change management features as the feasibility of proposed changes, the preferred speed of execution, and the best sequence of changes. It works by identifying complementary and interfering work practices. Complementary practices reinforce one another. Doing more of one complement increases returns to another. Narrow job functions, for example, increase a firm's ability to offer piece rate pay so these practices are complementary. In contrast, interfering practices work at cross-purposes. A flatter managerial hierarchy, for example, shifts more strategic decisions to workers, decreasing a firm's ability to offer piece rate pay.