sábado, 2 de noviembre de 2013

Old guard's guys who didn't want to change, blame others about losing past opportunities when change is a reality overwhelming

One day, I had a working meeting with a Senior Civil Servant in a city council. The subject of the meeting that took place in his office, was the analysis of the potential electronic services of his department and its procedures.

The matter of fact is that he was nearly to retire and maybe that was the reason which he spoke more than other times. He blamed directly to me about the lack of development of electronic procedures in his department, due to the fact of a fewer time dedicated by me to them. This would be hilarious if it weren't so unfair.

This person, six years ago he was in charge of a Service (integrated by several departments) and I was a technician in charge of the workflow's system implementation project in that Service.
From the very first stages of the project his resistances to the implementation were enormous. He and the officers under his command didn't want to change their procedures based in premises written laws fifty-year ago and they also didn't want to write their reports directly in the computer. Until that moment those tasks corresponded to secretaries that they were all women as so the officers were male in correlation with the machismo in older administration culture.

I tried everything to deal with change management, I picked up evidences about the disfunctions, identified bottle necks, did training for everyone in the new system, deliver presentations when we got the first results, etc, but even then he didn't attend to any of the modernization courses that I was delivering and we could see him all days dictating reports to his secretary and that seemed to me a 19th century public administration.

Even we delivered personal private lesson in computers to the senior officers (volunteered) to aim them to achieve the average level of IT in our the organisation.

The resistances were too much, and the councillor of these issues decided to quit apart to him as a chief of service from his responsibilities and put other senior officer more enthusiastic with the necessary changes and the project. He thought I have some blame in this decision, nevertheless I was three level under his position so it had would been difficult to me to mine his position. But everyone could see that if he had continued in charge of the department, the project wouldn't have become success.

On my opinion there are two factors of success in these kind of projects of modernisation: engagement of senior officers and the training. Would I had to find him and try with more encouragement and convinced him to the benefits of computerización and quality management? or, are the modernization and impulse a core competences of these senior job positions?