When an organization implements new IT based solutions e.g., Information Systems then it is likely that the organization has to adapt the technology before the system can be made use of.
The adaption process of the innovation includes how the people in the organization relates to the innovation (in this case the information system or IT based solution). This means that the organization has to alter its business processes so they align with technology to gain an advantage by using the technology.
Leavitt’s diamond is a model which can identify how the organizational systems will be influenced by the implementation.
The model make use of four different perspectives:
- People: These are the employees of the organization. They are usually organized in teams/groups, departments or divisions.
- Tasks: These are the problems or situations of which the processes are designed to handle.
- Technology: This deals with IT (hardware, software, network) and machinery.
- Structure: This deals with the organization structure.
The above mentioned perspectives are interlinked (see the illustration) which means when e.g., a new software based information system is implemented then it will effect the structure, the employees (people) and the tasks (processes).
If we assume that an information system is implemented then it is possible it was implemented to cope with a problem the organization has encountered.
This problem might be that the organization wants to become more flexible when it comes to cost reduction or production. We can therefore assume that the Coherency Architect has collaborated with the CIO (and in mature organizations also a governance committee) and has articulated a business case which support the “purchase” of the software or the hardware and the Coherency Architect should therefore be able to articulate a strategy for how the organization structure (and which is supposed to aid the architecture) is supposed to be implemented. This would include the process design to support the new and smarter way the organization will work.
Likewise is it assumable that the organization wants to achieve its goal in a smarter way and that leads to the change in organization. As mentioned in “Coherency Management and Organizations” then the managers and the employees have a great impact on if they adapt the information system (the change) or if they choose to fight it. A key method to avoid the management and employee confrontations is to involve both parties in the development process which needs to be a part of the Systems Development Life Cycle and System Life Cycle.
When the structure of the organization is changed, then the constellation of the employees will change, then the tasks would change as well. The changes will lead to a need to change the technology in the organization it supports the new processes if not obliterate them and forces the managers and employees to work smarter.
As you might have noted then the processes have to be altered significantly to make the organization gain any advantages. This can be done by automizing of highly manual processes and thereby free the managers and the employees to work on more profitable tasks and thereby make them use their skills to achieve the goals of the organization in a smarter way. This will in the long run enable a competitive advantage.
It is therefore a necessity to take care of the processes, structure and tasks when technology is about to be implemented in the organization.