Organizational development process is based on the action research model which starts with identifying a problem or need for change. This process involves assessment, planning of an intervention, implementation of the intervention, and determining if satisfactory progress has been made or there is need for further intervention. It is a continuous and cyclical process and ends when the desired developmental results are attained. This article provides light upon the coverage and the steps involved in Organizational Development Process.
The need for Organizational Development
The Organizational Development Process helps an organization recognize that a problem exists which has an impact on the mission or health of the organization, thus making a change in work processes as desired. It can also begin when leaders have a vision of a better way and wants to improve the organization. An organization does not always have to be in trouble for it to implement organization development activities. It can do the same in order to restore or enhance competitive advantage, or even to cope up with the ever-changing working environment.
Steps in Organizational Development Process:
- Initial Diagnosis of the Problem: In the first step, the management should try to find out an overall view of the situation to find the real problem and evaluate the degree of change needed to meet the requirements. Top management should meet management consultants and experts to determine the type of programme that is needed. In the first stage only, the consultants will meet various persons in the organisation and interact with them to collect some information. These interactions can be supplemented by methods such as Interviews, questionnaires and even observation of the work processes by the experts.
- Data Collection: In this stage, the consultant will make the surveys through various methods to determine the climate of the organisation and the behavioural problems of the employees. A critical assessment of the internal controls of the organisation is also carried out by the consultant. The consultant will meet groups of people away from their work environment to get some answers to questions such as:
- What specific job environment contributes most to their job effectiveness?
- What kind of work conditions interferes with their job effectiveness?
- What changes would they like to make in the working process of the organisation?
- Data Feedback and Confrontation: The data which has been collected in the second step of Organizational Development Process will be given to the work groups, who will be assigned the job of reviewing the data. Any areas of disagreement or conflicts will be mediated among themselves only and priorities will be established for change.
- Planning Strategy for Change: In this stage, the consultant will recommend the strategy for change. The attempt will be to transform diagnosis of the problem into a proper action plan involving the overall goals for change, determination of basic approach for achieving these goals and the sequence of detailed steps for implementing the approach.
- Intervening in the System: Intervening in the system refers to the planned programmed activities during an Organizational Development Process. These planned activities bring certain changes in the system, which is the basic objective of Organizational Development Process. There may be various ways through which external consultant intervene in the system such as education and laboratory training, process consultation, team development etc.
- Team Building: During the entire Organizational Development Process, the consultant encourages the groups to examine how they work together. The consultant will educate them about the value of free communication and trust as essentials, for group functioning as well as problem solving methodology. The consultant can have team managers and their subordinates to work together as a team in Organizational Development sessions to further encourage team building. Following the development of small groups, there may be development among larger groups comprising several teams with diverse work profiles.
- Evaluation: Organizational Development is a very long process. So, there is a great need for careful monitoring to get precise feedback regarding what is going on after the programme starts. This will help in making suitable adjustments whenever necessary. For evaluation of Organizational Development programme, the use of critique sessions, appraisal of change efforts and comparison of pre and post training behavioural patterns are quite effective.
The steps in Organizational Development are part of a whole process, so all of them need to be applied if a firm expects to get the full benefits of Organisation Development. An organisation which applies only a few steps and then leaves halfway will be disappointed with the results. A properly designed Organizational Development Process can help an organisation prosper and grow even in today’s competitive business conditions. Not only does the Organizational Development Process enhance the workflow and the efficiency of the employees, but more importantly it helps dwell a good Organizational culture that enables the organisation to grow and compete in the long-term as well.