"Because people hate change" and why change management is so frustrating

By Daniel O'Leary posted 10-15-2010 12:24


I was researching an article on why kicking off a capture or ECM project is so challenging, and I got to talking with one of my friends who is an IT analyst with the state of California. His name has been omitted but I swear on my iPhone this is true. Here is the exact chat we had this morning on why change management is so hard. See if you relate.

“I’m working on an article about replacing legacy systems and processes, any advice from the trenches?” I asked. He replied quickly “People hate change. End of article.” I laughed and took stock of his brutally honest response.
He continued at a rapid pace, “I'm hoping that fear of change lessons as a younger generation becomes a larger part of the Information Systems world. We're also the generation that won't accept crappy software on the basis that ‘it's been working for ten years, why change it?’ The state is full of bloated, cryptic, barely functioning proprietary software that's never been replaced because nobody is willing to put in the effort. And why change things when you're retiring in 5-8 years? So we have whole groups of people devoted to maintaining ancient main frame databases. It just doesn’t make sense.”


Clearly, this is universal not just to capture, or ECM, or really any software, but to technology as a whole. There is a huge generational shift as people from Generation Y (like me) enter the work force. We expect different things, and more accountability. We continued to chat about the day to day life of change management.
“For the last 6 months I've been working on replacing our ancient system. During the process I have to figure out how everything works, which is nearly impossible. People aren't willing to tell me what they actually do every day.My guess is because they do very little and know that everything they do could be automated if the system wasn't 25 years old.”
So what does this all mean? Clearly, many of you will identify with this situation either in your own organization, or with customers that you work with. As AIIM community members we have to demand more from ourselves, our teams, and our organizations to not be complacent with the status quo of IT and ECM. Broken systems and broken processes are just a problem waiting for a solution! My advice would be to start with small projects and achievable goals, and use the momentum to tackle larger problems.
What do you think? Is your organization resistant to change? Do you identify with my friends comments? Please let me know in the comments, or send atweet or homing pigeon.

#ECM #end-users #government #generationnext #Capture #ScanningandCapture #digitalnatives #Consulting #changemanagement