Change curve or J-Curve

The switch to the IT service management is inextricably connected with a number of organizational problems. Understanding the problems caused by the organizational changes helps to choose the most efficient solution.
There are a number of methods and approaches to change management that has proved their effectiveness. Their implementation contributes to the work organization improvement and increases the quality of changes.
In the article, we are going to review how the change curve can help to control the changes at different hierarchical levels of organizational changes.

Curves of change
The organizational structure of any company can be divided into three hierarchical levels: personal (certain employees), team (departments) and organizational (the company in general). Below you will find the change curves for each of them. They reflect the stages of perception and response to organizational changes and show the employee, team or organization productivity fluctuations during these periods.

The personal level is characterized by the following stages:
Rejection. “Why to change anything if all is well? How to respond?” — questions asked by employees at the beginning of the changes implementation, especially when the motives and goals are not clear and often are considered as a threat.
Resistance. “Everything was much better before!”. In search of certainty and stability, employees negatively look at the changes, not understanding what they will eventually result in, and fearing that they will lead them out of the comfort zone. Therefore, employees try to prove that the old working methods were much more effective and there is no sense in making changes.
Analysis. “How to live with this and what to do next?” When the employees are in a low mood, but at the same time there comes an understanding of the inevitability of change, they thoughtfully analyze the situation. Employees understand what is required of them now and how to achieve it.
Interest. “Perhaps it will be useful.” Once employees understand the inevitability of change, as well as their place and responsibilities in the new environment, they begin to look for ways to benefit themselves.
Adoption. “All the changes for the better!”. The workers understand that the current situation is not worse than the previous one, it is possible to work and develop further, the given changes let be successful and more efficiently to solve working tasks.

The team level is divided into the following stages:
Questions. While employees are trying to determine how to understand the change, the team actively discuss the situation. There are a number of questions: what to strive for, whom to obey, what to do, how to work?
Answers. The team tries to answer the questions. Gradually, the discussion may cause the controversy and disagreement. There may be conflicts associated with the redistribution of roles and responsibilities.
Analysis. Having formed the team structure, and when the team members solve all the controversies, each member deeply analyzes his role. This phase alternates with the previous one until the team accepts the new position.
Interaction. Formed teams recognize themselves as part of the large organization. They are not limited to internal interaction. Gradually, they build a cooperation, understand the common goals and the role of each group of employees on the way to their success.

The change curve at the organizational level can be represented in the form of three main stages. They are the following:
Defrosting. The need for change is thought over and planned.
Change. The changes implementation. It may cause a loss of efficiency due to the potential difficulties.
Freezing. The third stage is the most difficult, laborious and painful for the company — a rejection of the previous work process, fighting the habits, developing and freezing new practices.

Thus, understanding the nature and phases of organizational changes minimize the loss of efficiency.

— Slimane Zouggari