Monday, February 25, 2013

How to Implement OCM Deliverables in Your Process Improvement Plan (Phase II)

Dear Readers,
Today’s post is a continuation of our response to a question from federal contractor in Central Ohio, who asked about integrating Organizational Change Management (OCM) deliverables into his process improvement plan. Julie Calfin, Broadsword’s Director of Consulting and our resident expert on OCM, has been supplying an answer over several posts. Take it away, Julie! ~ The CMMI Appraiser 

Thank you, CMMI Appraiser!

You know, for those who are new to Organizational Change Management (OCM), the discipline can seem a little overwhelming at first. In reality, the purpose of OCM is simple.  It's nothing more than a strategy to help your people change their behavior quickly with minimal disruption to your business.

So don't be put off by my somewhat lengthy answer to Jerry’s question about OCM. The way we recommend affecting large scale business transformation is by introducing new behaviors to your organization incrementally, and by rooting these behaviors in your organization’s culture. This can be accomplished by integrating your OCM strategy with your work plan – in this case, your Process Improvement Plan.

As I mentioned in my last post, there are OCM deliverables that can be added to each phase of your Process Improvement Plan that will help you affect the change you are striving for. The Phases that we have outlined for your Process Improvement Plan are: 1) Initiate; 2) Implement; and 3) Operate.

Today, let’s focus on the OCM deliverables in the second phase, Implement:

Phase II, Implement, is a critical part of your OCM strategy. The Implement Phase is where it all starts to come together with your team. Specific examples of OCM deliverables in the Implement Phase include the following:

Change Readiness Assessment and Action Plan – Some organizational performance improvement firms (such as my company, Broadsword Solutions) use a survey instrument to assess the client’s current performance in various dimensions that we know are essential to making change happen. Dimensions can include stakeholder commitment, communications, and training. The CRA takes the “temperature” of the organization with regard to the change readiness of its people. CRA results allow us to determine where people are on the Commitment Curve. We can then measure whether or not the majority of people are accepting these changes, or whether the majority have exited out. If they have exited, why have they? If the majority is onboard, are there any pockets of resistance? We create an action plan based on the findings of the survey, which becomes part of the OCM plan.

Organizational Design – With large-scale business transformation, your old organizational structure will no longer apply. Some of the jobs and reporting relationships in that structure will be replaced by a new structure that you create to align with the change you are trying to affect. Organizational design starts with analysis to determine which new jobs are needed, how existing jobs may change, and how the people of the company will need to relate to one another.

Competing Initiatives Assessment – It is extremely useful for organizations to keep track of any other change initiatives that are occurring in the company. After all, people can only absorb so much change at one time. The Competing Initiatives Assessment allows you to identify and assess other change projects that may have an impact on the teams that are participating in process improvement. For example, a new accounting software implementation, launched in the middle of your performance improvement program, may cause financial data on projects to be unavailable. With awareness of the other initiatives, you can plan for and adjust to them.

Status Dashboard – The most useful aspect of having an OCM strategy and plan is your ability to monitor and measure the change you are trying to affect. Having a status dashboard allows you to present status updates to leadership, in different dimensions, to help them understand where the organization is with regard to the change, and how effective your OCM efforts have been. For example, we use a simple dashboard with our clients that displays their current performance in 8 dimensions that are critical to the success of their process improvement program. Here’s a snapshot of an example dashboard:

Training & Mentoring – This deliverable pertains to your training plan for whatever the scope of the transformation effort is. When rolling out new processes and tools, for example, plan for the training you need to help your team learn how to use the new processes and tools. Mentoring, via a formal mentoring program, outlines how you are going to coach people in addition to training them. As an example of mentoring, a team member may be paired with someone who can provide them with coaching. Both individuals are measured on the effectiveness of that mentoring relationship.

There’s more! Check back soon for OCM Deliverables, Phase III: Operate

Like this blog? Forward to your nearest engineering or software exec!

Julie Calfin is the Director of Consulting at Broadsword Solutions Corporation. She has years of real world experience using OCM strategy and tactics to help her clients achieve their goals. Julie also uses the CMMI, in partnership with her clients, to set-up, monitor, and sustain process improvement programs.

Visit for more information about running a successful CMMI program.

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