A major problem that every Portfolio, Programme, or Project Office (PMO) has is demonstrating added value that justifies its existence. This note explores the role that professional qualifications can have in addressing this issue.
Recent data reported by Prosci show that both the amount of change expected by organisations and the number of organisations saturated by change have increased. This is a gloomy outlook given the problems most organisations have in doing change. Lets put these three ideas together and see what can be done.
Over the last couple of weeks we have been working hard to develop a questionnaire to help people identify their level of change maturity. That means writing incisive questions to identify behaviours typical of a particular maturity level which are not typical of another maturity level. This begs two questions: Click here to find out what we are thinking
Making change a strategic capability
I have been working on a capability model for change recently and then preparing to teach a course on strategy as part of a management qualification. Putting the two together brings me to a conclusion that the one thing an organisation has to be able to do to survive is to be good at change. Michael Porter points out that operational excellence is necessary to have a profitable business but not sufficient. A strategy is necessary to fit the business into its competitive framework. However, having a strategy is no good if you can’t execute it effectively.
We have developed a simple capability model for organisation change. The purpose is to better understand the nature of organisation change and how people go about it.
The model allows us to explain what sort of training is useful given the organisation’s capability maturity (i.e. the level they are at). It also explains how to make better use of training to improve change capability. We have already asserted the need for organisations to increase their change capability as the outside world changes faster and faster.
Generally a capability model enables an organisation to benchmark itself (where are we now) against the model and then produce a plan to improve its capability (where do we want to be) which is realistic and reflects the real issues it faces now.
C4CM Capability Model
- Level 1: essentially the organisation does not know how well it does change and does not realise it could improve — blissful ignorance!
- Level 2: some staff are working hard to deliver good change; but against a tide of senior management indifference and organisational stupor — an age of heroes!
- Level 3: the whole organisation is now doing change the same way with full senior management support; results are better but still patchy — getting there.
- Level 4: the organisation is measuring performance, outcomes and benefits which leads to consistently better change — effective change at last.
- Level 5: the organisation is applying its learning culture to improve its change processes into a strategically important capability — a winner.
As well as the levels of capability our model includes some specific aspects of change competence:
- Leadership and governance
- Processes and roles
- Knowledge and skills
- Managing change
We also look at the way the organisation uses four key skills in managing change (which are reflected in our training qualifications):
- Using a business case and benefits management
- Using measurement and data
- Using risk management
- Stakeholder engagement and communications
We have devised a survey questionnaire to assess the level of an organisation. If you would like to use the survey tool on your organisation then please get in touch with us. It requires a number of people within the organisation to take the survey to get a useful picture.
We also have a simpler and quicker self test questionnaire to help you see where you as an individual might fit into the capability model. The model identifies individual behaviours at each level and obviously individuals will vary. Beware, you may find that the behaviours you can exhibit are limited by the capability of the organisation around you. For instance: it will be very difficult to be a level 4 individual in an organisation that does not measure change effects and does not have a performance management culture.