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Kurt Lewin

’s Change Model Essay, Research Paper

Kurt Lewin s Model for Organizational Change breaks down the change process into three distinct parts. Unfreezing occurs as the organization prepares for change; no changes have been implemented but people know about the change and preparations are being made to accommodate the new situation. Lewin describes Moving as the process when changes are implemented and the organization is experiencing the most upheaval. Managers must plan for a drop in productivity as workers become accustomed to the new work environment. Re-freezing describes the process of workers becoming comfortable with the new situation and accepting the new order as the way to do business. As the changes become established and processes normalize, productivity increases to a point beyond prior levels and eventually plateaus. Once productivity has reached its growth potential, the process begins over and the organization moves into the Unfreezing stage in preparation for a new change. While Lewin s model more broadly describes the change process, the Transitional Model of Organizational Change focuses clearly on the attitudes that pervade each phase of the change process.The Transition Change Model describes organizational change in four phases: Denial, Resistance, Exploration, and Commitment. An analysis of the four phases of the Transition Change Model demonstrates that each phase coincides with a stage in Lewin s change model. During the Denial phase of the Transition Change Model, workers focus on the way things are in the present and deny that any change is coming. This denial occurs early in the unfreezing stage of Lewin’s model, when the change is still on the drawing board and far from implementation. During the Unfreezing stage, workers will move from Denial to Resistance as they come to realize that change is on the horizon and is indeed going to occur. The worker s focus during the Resistance phase is on how each feels the change will affect them personally. As Lewin s model transitions from Unfreezing to Moving, the Transitional Change Model moves into the Exploration phase. The change that is implemented affects workers, and their focus now becomes how they can make the change work in their favor. Workers begin to accept the change and look to the future to see how the new order will benefit them and the organization. Once the workers begin to see the benefits of the change and accept the new order, the organization moves into the Commitment phase of the Transition Change Model. Like Lewin s Re-freezing stage, the Commitment phase is characterized by a ground swell of acceptance of the new order as the status quo. Productivity increases as workers embrace the new policies as standard operating procedure, until the organization reaches its potential under the given set of circumstances and a new cycle of change is initiated. The Marine Telecommunication Center s (MTCC) transition from the Automatic Digital Network (AUTODIN) to the Defense Messaging System (DMS) demonstrates how Lewin s Model of Organizational Change and the Transitional Model of Organizational Change relate to one another in a real world scenario.The present mission of the MTCC is to transmit, receive, record, and relay all General Service (GENSER) messages sent from or received by serviced commands (Marine Corps East) and Message Distribution Terminal (MDT) sites. The MTCC is linked to AUTODIN directly through an AUTODIN Switching Center (ASC) at the Naval Telecommunications Center (NAVCOMTELCENT), Jacksonville, FL and via a secure phone dial-in server connection with Naval Computer and Telecommunications Master Station Atlantic (NCTMSLANT), Norfolk, VA. The MTCC is responsible for actively routing all outgoing message traffic sent by II MEF, 2nd MarDiv, 2nd FSSG, MCB Camp Lejeune, and New River Air Station, as well as serving as the MDT Hub for MCRD Parris Island, MCAS Cherry Point, MCAS Beaufort, and MCB Albany, GA. The MTCC processed 4906 outgoing and 54880 incoming messages through the MDT Hub in November. MTCC personnel manually processed 2370 outgoing messages with an overall error rate of 1.13%. With all of its high tech communications equipment, the MTCC is still a very labor-intensive activity.The MTCC is staffed by 26 Marines and 11 civilians who are divided between three operational watches, a DMS section, a cryptologic/ security section, a traffic analysis section, and a headquarters element. Each watch is composed of a Chief Watch Supervisor (CWS), an Assistant Chief Watch Supervisor (ACWS), and five to seven Comm Center Operators. Each watch stands duty for eight hours, with the watches rotating through day, evening, and midnight watches on a two-week cycle. These watches, which operate and maintain the MDT Hub and manually route outgoing message traffic, have been the focus of MTCC operations. The DMS section was created two years ago when the Department of Defense announced that it would begin to phase out an antiquated AUTODIN system and begin to bring the new Defense Messaging System on line. The DMS section is comprised of a DMS Chief, a DMS system administrator, a Certification Authority Workstation (CAW) Operator and 5 small-computer system specialists. Until the DMS hardware was installed on site in February of 1999, the DMS section spent the majority of its time as technical hardware and software support for the watches and serviced commands. For one to understand how these two sections function and relate to one another, it is vital to understand how each system operates and the roles played by the personnel who man them.The MDT Hub operated by the MTCC routes GENSER message traffic for Marine Corps commands on the East Coast. Incoming Unclassified (UNCLASS) messages to tenant commands aboard Camp Lejeune are routed through the MDT Hub to a MDT specific to the unit for which the message is addressed. The message then passes through a Gateguard software suite that decrypts and authenticates the message. Once it has cleared the Gateguard, the message moves to the Message Routing System (MRS) suite, and the Plain Language Addresses (PLAs) are broken out of the routing indicators. Finally, the message moves into the Message Distribution Subsystem (MDS), and is delivered electronically into each addressees shared mailbox (SMB) or organizational mailbox (OMB). Classified (SECRT, TPSECRT) incoming messages arrive to a secure server via the Secure Internet Protocol Routed Network (SIPRNET) and are down loaded daily to each command via Secure Dial-in Device (SDD) and STU-III secure telephone. Only incoming messages requiring special handling (Personal For, White Pinnacle) are manually processed by MTCC personnel. Outgoing traffic follows the same path in reverse, but must be manually fed into the system. Comm Center operators receive outgoing UNCLASS messages as attachments to e-mail sent over the local area network (LAN). Messages are checked for proper format and are loaded onto the MDT using a 3.5-inch floppy disk. Classified messages must be delivered in person by personnel authorized to release a message, and are sent out via the SIPRNET. The majority of time and effort spent by the MTCC is involved in processing messages and maintaining the system. The government lease of the AUTODIN system expired in 1996, but has been extended on an annual basis at the cost of $20 million per year. DMS would have to come on line much sooner than the anticipated 2005 deadline.The Defense Messaging System provides X.400 based messaging, global X.500 directory services, and a security management capability, each contributing to provide secure, reliable, accountable, writer-to-reader messaging for users. Comprised of an entire suite of UNIX and Windows NT based applications, DMS uses commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware and software with standardized interfaces to accomplish organizational and individual messaging services. A Directory Information Tree (DIT) provides the end user with any addresses the user might need. A Mail Listing Agent (MLA) stores profiles of user accounts and routes messages to subordinate commands. The Profiling User Agent (PUA) routes messages to major commands based on profiles created around keywords and standardized Dept. of Defense/ Dept. of the Navy reports. The System Management Agent (SMA) allows an administrator to control a sizable portion of the network from a remote Local Control Center (LCC). The entire system is networked down to the User Agent (UA) via a series of linked Backbone Message Transfer Agents (BMTA). The DMS user interface is a Microsoft Outlook/ Exchange Server product that operates much like the e-mail at most desktops. To send a message, the drafter composes the message using a message text formatting (MTF) application and logs on to the DMS system by inserting a card that contains a user profile and password. The sender then signs and encrypts the message using the profile on the card, and addresses the message using the X.500 directory. The message is sent out, routed and received, from the user s perspective, as simply as using LAN based e-mail. With no need for personnel to manually process messages once the user sends them, only a skeleton crew is required to maintain the various DMS components. DMS represents a revolutionary way to send official message traffic throughout the Marine Corps and the DoD. Fielding the system and completing the migration from AUTODIN presents an enormous challenge for MTCC personnel.

The Marine Corps implementation of DMS has been headed up by various agencies since the decision to migrate from AUTODIN in 1996, but has recently been formalized under Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence (C4I) at Marine Corps Systems Command (MARCORYSCOM). C4I created a strategic plan that named a project director to be a point of decision concerning DMS migration, adopted a set of standard operating procedures, and convinced the major commands throughout the Marine Corps that DMS would replace AUTODIN by 2002. Because of the traditional nature of the Marine Corps corporate culture, many felt that even this long-term deadline was unrealistic. C4I s focus was on Lewin s Unfreezing stage; it was imperative that the Marine Corps communication specialists begin to prepare for the change and take steps to adapt their operations accordingly. Mapped against the Transition Change Model, the Marine Corps was in heavy denial that DMS would ever replace AUTODIN. Many of the MTCC s civilian employees are retire military, with several boasting over 35 years in communication center operations. Having seen proposed systems fail to be fielded in the past, they believed that DMS would also never leave the planning stages. C4I worked vigorously to overcome misconceptions about the project s progress, and eventually issued a timeline for training, site installations, and migration to begin. C4I also mandated that all Marine Corps Comm Center operators attend a formal DMS school created in conjunction with the Navy at the Fleet Training Center in Norfolk, VA. With the gauntlet thrown down, it was up to MTCC to begin to accept the coming change and prepare accordingly. While several leaders at the MTCC were quick to respond to the C4I timeline and planned drastic changes to daily operations to allow for training and site installations, the majority of personnel were resistant to the idea of change. The MTCC staff met changes in watch personnel, in rotation schedules, and in the length of the watches with considerable resistance. While many recognized the need to change operational procedures in order to prepare for DMS implementation, none were quite sure how the change would affect them and were hesitant to jump onto the DMS bandwagon. When Lockheed-Martin completed DMS installation at MTCC in February of 1999 and the MTCC became a pilot for the East Coast, it became apparent to everyone that DMS was coming online. As training on the new system stepped up and a plan to migrate the major commands was developed and published, the MTCC moved rapidly toward initial field-testing.Due to the scope of the project and the extreme importance of the continual flow of message traffic, it was essential that DMS and AUTODIN be compatible. A Multi-Functional Interpreter (MFI) suite was developed to allow messages to pass from AUTODIN to DMS and from DMS to AUTODIN PLAs. With the installation of the MFI, the MTCC began to operate DMS in conjunction with AUTODIN. Test messages sent via AUTODIN and were received by both the AUTODIN PLA and the DMS organizational-user mailbox. Messages could also be sent from a DMS OMB to an AUTODIN PLA. As site installations were completed across the Marine Corps, C4I began to require the different MTCCs to send a pre-determined number of test messages and report their success and failure. DMS implementation was solidly in Lewin s Moving stage of change. C4I compiled reports from the various MTCCs and published the results Marine Corps wide. The high profile of DMS implementation status quickly motivated those who were resisting the change to DMS and the project really took off. The unqualified success of dual routing enabled C4I to move toward the final phase of implementation, stand-down of the AUTODIN system.At MTCC Camp Lejeune, the Moving stage of Lewin s model progressed fast and furiously. With the few individuals of the DMS section working overtime to meet reporting requirements and debug the system, it became essential to train the rest of the MTCC staff to use DMS. We still had to maintain the AUTODIN system and process messages through the MDT Hub, but now everyone wanted to work on the DMS suite. In this Exploration phase of the Transition Change Model, MTCC personnel had realized that DMS was the way of the future and decided to invest in the new system rather than be left behind. Competition for the few training spots available became so fierce that selection became a matter of merit based on achievement. Although both models predict that productivity will drop off temporarily as change occurs, the MTCC experienced its lowest error rates of the year because operators were competing to train with DMS. The installation of DMS computer-based trainers (CBTs) on every desktop in the MTCC was a sign of the nature of the movement toward change and the exploration of new opportunity at the MTCC. With full-scale user migration to begin in February 2000, the MTCC is busy as an instrument of change to the commands it supports. Although the COTS nature of DMS reduces the need for major hardware changes at the user level, some commands will require UNIX capable HP platforms to run several of the DMS suite applications.While message traffic will continue to move over both DMS and AUTODIN, the focus of operations will soon be solely on DMS. As commands are migrated to DMS and their AUTODIN circuits are disconnected, Re-Freezing occurs and the new order becomes the accepted way of doing business. When commanders realize the benefits of DMS and begin to see the returns on the new system, each organization will move into the commitment phase of the Transition Change Model. Once every command in the Marine Corps has made the transition to DMS, formalized message-processing policies and procedures will be developed to reflect the increased capabilities of the new system. A formal change to the stated mission of the MTCC will establish the once new system as the old, commit the MTCC to its new course, and begin again the process that will eventually replace the DMS machines as they replaced the MDT Hub. An examination of the MTCC and its evolution through the steps of Lewin s change model and the phases of the Transition Change Model reaffirms the validity of both models. Through each step the MTCC experienced, on both a personal and organizational level, the anxiety, anticipation, and satisfaction that is a part of any successful change process. Excellent planning, caring leadership, and a focus on people has resulted in an unbroken string of successes in the MTCC DMS project. As the change process progresses through Moving into Re-Freezing, and Exploration becomes Commitment, the MTCC stands poised to accept the challenge of change and through understanding of the process successfully navigate its obstacles.


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