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Unfreezing Organizational Inertia: A Case Study in IT Transformation in a Transportation Company

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TitleUnfreezing Organizational Inertia: A Case Study in IT Transformation in a Transportation Company
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsOcker, RJ, Thummadi, V, Velumani, M, Khapre, V
Series TitleResearch Report
Document Number2017-01
Keywordsagile software development, business architecture, Enterprise Architecture, inertia, legacy systems, organizational transformation
Abstract

In this paper, we present the IT transformation challenges confronted by the Alpha company in the early phase of a large, mission-critical modernization initiative. Using a grounded theory approach within a case study, we focus on those governing agents involved in designing and leading the transformation modernization process. The process centers around combining two historically divergent methods – agile development and enterprise architecture. We interviewed nine top-level management and key IT personnel (i.e. directors, senior managers and senior architects) most heavily involved in the early phase of the transformation effort. Primary areas of inertia emerged along with the means by which they were, or were not, addressed. We discuss the processes and structures that were used to address inertia, to uproot and unfreeze the IT organization, and to move it to a new means of operation.