Implementing Analytics | Change Management | Management Style

Change Management aspects of the implementation of Analytics

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Passionned Group is a leading analyst and consultancy firm specialized in Business Analytics and Business Intelligence. Our passionate advisors assist many organizations in selecting the best Business Analytics Software and applications. Every two years we organize the election of the smartest company.

Business analytics improves the process of value creation in organizations in two ways:

  1. There are managers who use business analytics to achieve strategic goals or solve vital problems of their organization.
  2. Other managers involve business analytics specifically to create new opportunities for their organizations, by encouraging necessary innovations through Big Data and necessary changes made in time.

Importance of Business Analytics

However important the value creation may be, business analytics leaves it far behind. Business analytics proves to be the key; it increases the performance behavior of people, since much of value is created for these people. That is precisely the reason why the change management aspects take such an important place in our implementation schedule. Business analytics under the intelligent organization┬áconcept is both effective and people-oriented. It is “the art of getting things done.” The chosen management style (be it top-down or bottom-up) and motivating management behavior are crucial for things to get done. See also: The importance of Business Analytics.

What do you achieve by ownership?

These factors determine whether people want to strive for the goals of the organization or, in modern terms, whether they are committed. For this purpose, ownership of KPI’s is one of the three guiding principles behind the intelligent organization. The scope of ownership is the philosophy behind discussing the management style and management behavior. In the next series of articles, we will try to reveal what it takes for the employees to associate or identify with the goals of the organization. A classic problem that still exists attracts much interest.

How do the leaders spark the employees?

If we think about this issue, the questions will start bubbling automatically. How do we achieve this? Do we ever achieve this? How can leaders spark employees and get them moving? How do leaders achieve that organizational goals do not conflict with personal ambitions of employees? How can leaders cope with resistance arising during the implementation? Or even better: how to prevent emerging of resistance? The questions show that identifying with the goals of the organization is a complex problem.

The answer that we have formulated on this issue is that identification and commitment will only take place if new internal rules are created during the implementation process. By new internal rules we mean informal rules actually applied for determining, allocating and evaluating expected staff performance. Introducing business analytics results in the change of old familiar rules. So we need to ensure that the new jacket fits well, too.

Change Management Aspects of the Management Style

The management style is the way for the leadership of an organization to guide their employees to achieve organizational goals. The management entails organizational goals reducing to lower levels goals. Is it top-down or bottom-up? For employees, the game rules are ever changing: what should I do next, how much freedom do I have to do things and who can I rely upon in case of doubt?

There is a lot of freedom left to employees, the problems arise when it comes to coordination and focus on the organization’s goal. In organizations with a well-thought and arranged uniform management, problems with motivation and feedback are easily identified. In modern organizations, employees get more autonomy and, at the same time, measures to improve situation are taken among themselves. That’s where a balance has to be found. Finding a good balance, especially in knowledge-intensive services, is not always an easy deal, as evidenced by the following case.

Staff Transfer Practice Case

Staff Transfer consultancy agency specializes in outplacement and career counseling. The agency is well-known in the industry. The advisers have a lot of independence and support from administrative staff. After a quality day, advisers and administrators spontaneously decide to start a quality project. They would divide into small groups to develop ideas on providing better service, improving their work with clients and faster completing the routes.

Agreements on the Activities

They agreed to gather together one evening each month in order to keep everyone involved in the activities. All of a sudden, the management team (MT) took up this quality initiative and came with its own plan on business analytics. They would like to measure quality and visualize the performance. Since the quality measurement from the management team’s point of view should become the basis for all the agency’s actions, it would be forwarded to only one project group’s formation. The project group comprises four administrative assistants, two advisers, a representative of the Works Council and a member of the management team, who would supervise the group.

Disagreements About the Way to Go

Certain disagreements over the direction to follow quickly arose within the project group. The MT member prefers a smooth start with an elaborate system of indicators for the entire organization. The MT has already prepared the blueprint for that. Administrators would feel especially robbed by such a decision. They would like, first of all, to make all the details of the new plan completely clear, to ensure that the plan has no unforeseen consequences. This results in much time spent for describing and discussing the suggested way of performance measurement.

Loss of Interest

This makes advisers and administrators lose interest. They did not recover much of the original ideas on quality. An advisor would give a remark: “I’m not going to be involved if they turn a blind eye to me.” The monthly meetings for all staff would get attended less frequently. After the summer holidays, new meetings would get neglected even more. A year later, no plans would ever get implemented. See also our article: ‘Do they hear me?’

Uncertainty in the Management Style

In the case of Staff Transfer, it is easy to identify issues with control. We are going to examine them. Uncertainty in the management style has led employees to assume they were entitled to take a quality initiative. Apparently, that was not the case. The management team quickly stifled initiative and tried to force itself back to the leadership position. This approach resulted in a lukewarm reception of the plans in the organization, and also in employees’ distrust against the ‘new instrument of control from above’. In this case, the top-down/bottom-up tensions disastrously affected understanding and communication within the organization.

Employee Motivation

The motivation of the employees has been compromised. Which has definitely nothing to do with business analytics. We would like to remind the reader that determining the search field depends on the strategic or operational plan. For each of these search field methods, it can be said that choosing either of them may affect the change management approach. This gives enough reasons to check the next article for choosing top-down or bottom-up style in more detail.

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Daan van Beek, Managing Director

DAAN VAN BEEK MSc

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