Module 8: Transformation at the IRS
September 25, 2011
The purpose of this paper is to discuss the transformation at the IRS by examining the need for change, the outcome of change and the process of change. The challenges faced by the IRS will be discussed and Kotter’s 8-step model will be applied to the case study to determine whether or not it was or could have been implemented more effectively. This paper will provide an opinion of the challenges still facing the IRS as well as suggestions for success. The Case Study is provided by the Harvard Business School and is considered necessary reading prior to the understanding the responses contained herein. This paper is submitted as required for the CLC assignment of Module 8 of the Organizational Change & Development Class (AMP 492) offered on-line during the Summer 2011 Semester.. Stakeholders at the IRS
In order for the ramifications of change to be understood and appropriately planned, the stakeholders first had to be identified, their needs understood and the risks assessed. Considering the foregoing, the stakeholders included the Commissioner of the IRS (Rosotti), the employees of the IRS, the US Government, and the American public. The American people were at risk due to the IRS system breakdowns and failure to meet the ever-increasing demands based on population growth. The stakeholders with the biggest direct implication included the US Government and Rossotti. Rossotti had personal stake in the major structural reorganization including geographic and market base service changes. The US Government maintained total ownership of the entire organization before, during and after the change. Change: The Reasons and The Goals
In 1998, Congress mandated changes to the IRS by enacting the Restructuring and Reform Act (RRA98). Some of the driving forces for change included the systems overload on newly formed call centers due to handling the volume and diversity of calls and poor customer service by agents. Service complaints were so pronounced that it prompted a senate committee hearing on the IRS’s performance. When President Clinton signed the act in 1998, one of the key components was the requirement that the IRS rewrite their mission statement to “provide greater emphasis on serving the public and meeting the needs of taxpayers.” (Watts, Groen, Matsubara, Hovey, & Whittle, 2005). In addition to the expected changes of any government act, which would include additional oversight and limitations, this act ensured that the short and long-term strategic plans would be reviewed, budgets and personnel appointments were reviewed and the needs of the end user were addressed. (Watts, Groen, Matsubara, Hovey, & Whittle, 2005). The focus of the oversight board was clear; structure and service are paramount to tax laws as others have been charged with those responsibilities. A Controversial Change
The changes at the IRS were controversial because American public criticism had reached critical levels and the IRS had not been reorganized since 1950. The financial landscape of America had changed greatly during the near 50-year period since the last change. Where the populous was once comprised of mostly one-income families, locally owned businesses, and a population one-third the size of today’s population, the former system had worked adequately. The tactical elements to adapt to a modern two-income family multi-national business society were on such a scale that the magnitude of change was viewed as impossible. In response to public demand for change, the following progressive changes were proposed: * Development of a customer focused operating divisions
* Defined management roles with clear capacity
* Revamped business practices
* New technology
* Balanced measures of performance
IRS Structure: A Blessing or a Curse?
The existing structure of the IRS hindered change due...