Organizational change can come in many forms. The most common today is workload balancing, many companies have been through the dark period of de-manning and laying the workforce off to save costs. This came after automation reduced the need for the number of outside workers. Now because of changes to equipment, shutting down some units and adding new ones the workforce has evolved jobs in different operating units and some have ended up with very high workload while others have not changed much and are very lightly loaded.
The goal today has focused around blending jobs to balance this work loading and improve some jobs while reducing stress and fatigue of other jobs. While this is the most common cause of a Management of Organizational Change it is not the only reason.
Over the years the workforce changes as people retire and new people are added, it does not appear to be an ongoing process, it appears that companies hold off hiring until they are forced to and they cover workforce reduction be overtime, until larger numbers of people are scheduled to leave and then they go into panic mode and hire a lot of new workers.
This model means that the Supervision model is very much reduced at the point when the average age of the workforce is 40 plus with many years’ experience within the teams and the teams become self-directed and have little technical Supervision. After the panic hiring the self-directed team no longer works as well as it did when they had veteran employees. Hence, more Supervisors are needed and they must change the Roles & Responsibilities and become more technically focused and take on a heavy burden of training and guidance.
The MOOC can be also required for key personnel changes, changes in senior leadership or supervision. Another reason which is common today is centralization or dispersion of functions. Regulations are moving Process Control (Console) operators away from the field into new control rooms near or in the Administration buildings and leaving outside operator on their own in-field shelters or blast resistant cans.
This causes a significant breakdown in face-to-face communications and removes significant talent from the field environment. In the past training was transferred almost through osmosis as junior operators observed their mentors making control moves and resolving problems. This becomes more difficult when the expertise is remote and no face-to-face is possible.
Other reasons maybe outsourcing, contractorization, multi-skilling, delayering, business process re-engineering.
The MOOC process focusses on two main themes, the first being how the existing team manages in an abnormal or emergency operation and understanding who does what to bring the plant to a safe state. Then looking at the proposed change and looking at how the new manning model would achieve the same goals. The second part of the study is to examine the Management Systems and evaluate how suitable they are or helpful to support an operator learning and doing new work and still bringing a unit to a safe state in the event of a major problem.
The role of the MOOC is to examine risk and make recommendations to reduce the risk and provide a solution to the manning change that provides a solution that is at least as good as today’s solution. We often find problems with the existing solution that have gone noticed, and ways to make improvements, making the new proposed manning less risk tolerant and a better solution than the original.