|Matrix of Change
|Table of contents
|Building the matrix
|Interpreting the matrix
Step 3: Identifying Transition Interactions
Next, the team constructs the Transition Matrix - a square matrix combining the horizontal and vertical matrices which helps determine the degree of difficulty in shifting from existing to target practices.
The advantage of the transition matrix is that it shows the interactions involved in moving from existing practices to a clean slate. Simply starting with a clean slate tells a team nothing about the difficulty of a transition (Harrison and Loch) while using a "blank sheet of paper" for design can implicitly assumes a "blank check" is available to cover implementation costs (Davenport and Stoddard). The transition matrix can show how important interactions between proposed changes may play out. A subset of the transition matrix may be opposing between the existing and target processes. This may indicate that it is best to phase out the old completely before beginning the new. If a there exists a large amount of competing practices it may be best to start fresh in a green field site.
The transition matrix, emerging from the combination between the horizontal and the vertical matrices, helps determine the degree of difficulty in shifting from the current state to the future state. The percentage of positive and negative signs in the transition matrix indicates how disruptive the change process will be. A transition matrix with a comparatively large number of complementary practices and few conflicting practices indicates that the change will be relatively incremental and non-disruptive. In the case of UPS the transition matrix is very complementary indicating that the transition contains many complementary practices.
Likewise, a large number of conflicting practices indicate that the change will be disruptive; therefore the location and timing to implement the change become critical. A fairly negative transition matrix also signals the importance to take into consideration alternative practices or, in other words, a different business model.
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