Matrix of Change

The first change model is the Matrix of Change. The matrix is more of a practical tool for managers to use when planning and assessing change processes. It has the appearance of a mathematical matrix closely aligned to a decision-oriented approach to considering a change. Even a cursory review of the matrix will indicate that a user must have a thorough understanding of the organization for this model to be of value. The subjective assessment of processes requires an in-depth understanding of success.

The matrix is a powerful tool to accomplish a change initiative. However, it is not a simple approach to pick up and use with confidence. The Matrix of Change is highly detailed-oriented and relatively complex because of the necessary detail. As shown in Figures 2.1 and 2.2, there is a great deal of cross-referencing and complex identification of processes and problems. The forecasting of practice value and cross-referenced relationships requires careful thought and a thorough understanding of the organization. That is not unusual for a complex change initiative. However, it is something that professionals must appreciate when considering this model for an initiative.

An exciting aspect of this model is the identification of the interaction of processes, as indicated in Figure 2.1. The positive and negative symbols relate to the level of complimentary, weak, or no interaction between the processes (Brynjoifsson, Renshaw, & Van Alstyne, 1997). The relationship indicates an insightful aspect of the model in that the processes of the system are some of the most potent components of the system. Failing to consider these relationships will likely have negative implications for any change initiative.

As shown in Figures 2.1 and 2.2, the Matrix of Change model reflects the complex nature of organizations with an acknowledgment of existing primary and sub-processes, relative to the target practices with a numeric assessment of the interaction (Brynjoifsson, Renshaw, & Van Alstyne, 1997). For this model to be of value, it is necessary to thoroughly understand the business unit (a sub-unit or the whole organization) so that meaningful information can be used in the model matrix. The more detailed and accurate the matrix's information, the more accurate the outcome of the model's change process. Note the positive and negative numbers in Figure 2.1;

Matrix of Change Model-Completed Form (Adapted from Brvnjoifsson et al. (1997))

Figure 2.1 Matrix of Change Model-Completed Form (Adapted from Brvnjoifsson et al. (1997)).

they are subjective assessments of the importance of the practices identified in the matrix. These assessments require an excellent understanding of the organization and the processes being assessed. It is appropriate to note that failure to understand the implications of the subjective determination of the importance of the processes may likely have undesirable consequences for the model's usefulness.

Understanding the organization to use a particular model is not unique; it is necessary to thoroughly understand the organization when assessing a change initiative. When conducting any assessment, it is a standard requirement that the organization must be thoroughly understood to make the correct recommendations and adjustments to a change initiative.

Matrix of Change Model - Blank Form (Adapted from Brynjoifsson et al. (1997))

Figure 2.2 Matrix of Change Model - Blank Form (Adapted from Brynjoifsson et al. (1997)).

Change Intervention Usability

The Matrix of Change model appears to be best considered for smaller- sized projects due to the level of detail necessary for the completion of the matrix. Attempting to document an entire organization with this matrix seems more complicated than warranted and likely to fail because of an inability to manage the complex relationships. Using the matrix repeatedly throughout the organization may be possible. However, again the difficulty in managing the complex nature of process relationships will increase the likelihood of failure. Consider Figure 2.2 and the necessary identification of an organization's processes and identifying the interacting processes; the accurate documentation of the relationships is often unmanageable for a large-scale organizational change.

This model is much more applicable for a small-scale change initiative because of the opportunity to detail the minute relationships that impact the interrelatedness of the processes and the sub-processes. This model can take advantage of the highly detail-oriented nature of sophisticated system design. The collection of detailed information on the processes must be obtained by a person familiar with the business unit being assessed. The association of current practice and future (change initiative) practice will again require people familiar with the change processes. Taking an inclusive approach to the change initiative is commonplace and logical, especially when it is valuable to obtain a comprehensive view of the processes to ensure nothing is missed.

The decision to use this model is grounded in the model's fundamental aspects and the information necessary to bring value to the model. Small projects will benefit best from the model because of the ability to detail the processes' interrelatedness. This model will be challenging to use on large projects that involve large business units with highly complex processes. The change practitioner will be expected to determine the appropriate model for a change initiative.

 
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