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Applying Change Management to Process

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Week 6 Application:

Applying Change Management to Process

Byson Sabola

Applying Change Management to Process


This case describes a situation that requires implementation of change process to improve efficiency and effectiveness of organizational procedures. I work as training officer and head of training for an intergovernmental organization that deals with intellectual property in Africa. When I joined the organization in October 2010, there was a backlog of patent application files that required examination. This negatively impacted on the organization's inflow of cash because over 90 % of its income comes from examination of patent application files. The organization has four patent examiners, two of whom are senior examiners who are involved in a lot of external travel. The patent application files increase every month and there seems no way out to clear the backlog.

Change process

The organization holds monthly management meetings where heads of departments report work progress. Progress reports are circulated one week before the meeting. A progress report has just been circulated by the head of patent examination department. The report indicates that there is an increasing inflow of patent application files but contains no suggested solutions to clear the backlog of patent application files that required examination.

During the upcoming meeting, I will suggest the need for recruitment of more patent examiners, and for allocation of monthly targets for every examiner considering that examination of patent application files is the main source of income for the organization's operations. Such an approach, according to Dubrin (2007) creates a discussion in which "managers (Director General) and workers (heads of departments) are free to discuss their feelings about the changes" (p. 85). I will further propose that the external travel of the examiners need to be reduced as it also has contributed to the growing backlog. This is what Schein (2002) calls unfreezing, a stage of the change process during which the concerned employees or leader are made ware of the disconfirmation of the prevailing situation is and that the organization's operations will not be sustained if the cash inflow is poor.

If these change proposals are agreed by the management committee and successfully implemented, they will promote a culture of hard work and creativity on problem solving which will help the organization sustain its operations. This



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