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MANAGING A CHANGE case study solution (Code: c2)

MANAGING A CHANGE  case study solution
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Akbar finished his MBA in May 1990 and was selected by BEW Ltd.,Mumbai, in June. He worked in the corporate office in the Finance Department with a small group of newly hired professionals who were Knowledgeable about accounting, systems and computers. The group was given the assignment of converting the accounting groups located in the various plants to a new companywide computerised cost system.


Damodar Joshi was head of the Finance Department. Joshi had a pretty good reputation in the company although he had little formal accounting education. He had been appointed twenty-five years ago as a clerk and gradually got promoted as Deputy General Manager (Finance). Akbar had doubts about Joshi's abilities

When he came to discuss the accounts of the Ranchi plant. Akbar had felt that entire Ranchi system had to be changed, and he had thought of making substantial change. These thoughts used to be discussed with Joshi.


Akbar had carefully prepared his presentation. When he finished the presentation Joshi merely thanked him; no appreciation, no comments. Akbar faced all sorts of problems, in other parts of the corporate accounting procedures. Without giving up his efforts Akbar continued his efforts and proposed to cut down on the amount of time-sharing we would require in the new computer set-up. He presented these ideas to Joshi at various times. Each time he was polite, but there was little appreciation.


Anyhow Akbar was anxious to get out to the field. The biggest job was at Ranchi. It was an old plant. His first job was to dig out information about the relevance of their accounting systems to production, inventory and despatches. Rajendra Sinha was head of the finance wing of the Ranchi plant.


When Akbar met him he explained that the corporate computerised set-up look after a good deal of his work-load as soon as he was aware of the needs of corporate finance department. He said he would be happy to help Sinha in installing the new system. Akbar experienced a good deal of difficulty getting relevant data. It was like `dragging it out of them'. He discovered that it was easier to spend time collecting the data himself

rather than trying to get Sinha or his staff to help him. He stayed there nearly a month, wading through old records over five years. At long last, his recommendations were accepted and incorporated in the new system. It was time to begin testing and debugging the programme. It was decided that for some months there would be parallel accounts at corporate office (with the computer) and at the plants (with their manual

methods). Both corporate office and plants would then be able to evaluate

how the new system worked.


When the Ranchi office got the printouts, they were very unhappy. They said a number of key parameters had been ignored, they didn't understand it at all, and the computer-processed data were useless. Joshi called them and said that problems were to be expected, Akber was called to explain. At his presentation meeting Akbar presented the rationale behined the whole programme which was expected to accomplish better control by centralising this data analysis. Sinha said it would never work at Ranchi,

and got into a long, emotional argument over how different Ranchi was from

the other plants.


Akber got back to Mumbai, he made a number of modifications based on what he had learned. However, the following week Ranchi Plant once again remarked that the new system was not providing a true picture of their operations. However, Joshi was satisfied about the new system.

Joshi decided to push the work ahead at other locations and let Ranchi lag behind. Over the next few months the installation was completed at the other three plants but was not finished at Ranchi. When Akber decided to leave for another job, Ranchi was still left out of the system.A good deal of blame can be placed on Joshi—he is too easy going and not forceful enough—and on Sinha. Sinha just made up his mind it wouldn't work. And being stubborn, he wouldn't change his mind.


Questions :

1. Comment on Akber's view of this job and its problems.

2. What are the processes at work in re-design of the system?

3. What Akber could have done in the situation?

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