Towards a Federated Architecture for Change Management

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In the past, federated concepts have proven successful for coping with key business challenges such as quality management, customer relationship management, performance management and talent management. All these management disciplines show several common characteristics: (1) They focus on core business objects (i.e. quality, customer relations, performance, talent, etc.) that are, (2) socially influenced, abstract, multi-dimensional and thus hard to measure, and they (3) do not belong to a single (vertical) business line but instead, (4) have many (horizontal) instances, and (5) the strategic relevance is widely accepted. The same is true for change management! This paper will therefore explain how the institutionalization of change management can benefit from the above listed concepts, technologies and experiences. Particularly common management myths will be discussed. Consequently, this paper proposes a federated framework for managing change. The federated approach implies an open and modular “community of change” whereby the members maintain autonomy whilst being part of the federation. Since federation in contrast to integration accepts existing political, cultural, organizational and technical boundaries, the outlined concept does not require a big bang or sophisticated feasibility study, it can start directly, driven by local business needs and urgent challenges.