Change Management

By Russ Levanway, CEO

Change is Here to Stay

If you’re part of a growing organization, you know that change is inevitable. What works at your current size and situation won’t necessarily work in a few years or perhaps even a few months. So how do you implement must needed changes, both small and large?

At TekTegrity, we’ve experienced enough regular, consistent change to develop a cadence, a philosophy of change management. To explain what I mean by this, let’s look at software versioning as an analogy.

In software development, a minor version improvement is like going from version 2.3 to a 2.4. On the surface, the improvements aren’t always obvious, but they’re nonetheless critical to the support of a program’s performance, reliability, and stability. Tweaks to a minor version have a hard stop: improvements can only change the whole program to a certain degree. At TekTegrity, department heads manage minor version changes in their department. They operate within clear boundaries, tweaking and making improvements within their division.

Change 2.0

A major version change, however, is much broader, like going from Version 2.0 to Version 3.0. With these improvements comes a completely different look and feel, a new workflow and/or a new method. It’s a major revamp. At TekTegrity these changes come from leadership and executives with cross-departmental vision to manage major version changes. This is critical because, most of the time (but not all of the time), major versions impact multiple departments. For example, the project team intersects with maintenance, which intersects with sales. Someone beyond each department has to bolt together any major version changes: someone with a wide perspective like a COO or CEO.

Picture a CEO holding unrealistic expectations of a department head, asking them to transform a major system within their department from Version 2.0 to Version 3.0 without any help. According to TekTegrity’s protocol, this CEO would be asking the department head to overstep his or her boundaries. Alternatively, imagine that CEO getting too deep into a department head’s minor version upgrade from 2.1 to 2.2, and micromanaging the details of it. Again, according to our process, the CEO would not be respecting the boundaries of his or her purview.

We’ve learned that healthy growth can only occur when there are rules around the management of both minor and major version changes in our systems and processes. In general, we try to adhere to our change management philosophy to avoid misaligned expectations and/or micromanagement. Coming to this philosophy wasn’t an aha! moment; rather it was learned by trial and error over the course of several years.

How do you prepare and plan for change?

Russ Levanway, CEO
// Russ is a sought-after public speaker, technology expert, and community leader. As the CEO of an ever-growing managed services provider with offices in both San Luis Obispo and Fresno, Russ’s goal is to sustain and grow an IT company that provides incredible value for clients, and a great workplace for his team. When not charting out the future for TekTegrity, Russ serves on several non-profit boards, volunteers at the People’s Kitchen and travels the world with his wife and two daughters. More on Russ>>