Thursday, February 7, 2013

What are the Organizational Change Management (OCM) deliverables in a Process Improvement Plan?

Hey, CMMI Appraiser, as a federal contractor in Central Ohio, we have appreciated your posts about developing a Process Improvement Plan and all the aspects of it. Do you intend to provide a high level overview of how to implement the plan? For example, what are the deliverables? ~ Jerry T.

Jerry, the discipline you have been reading about here at Ask the CMMI Appraiser is known as Organizational Change Management (OCM), and our resident expert on this topic is Julie Calfin, Broadsword’s Director of Consulting. Julie does amazing work with companies that are undergoing large scale business transformation like yours. Take it away, Julie! ~ The CMMI Appraiser 

Thank you, CMMI Appraiser!

Jerry, it has been wonderful to hear from readers like you who are actively using the information we are sharing.

As the CMMI Appraiser indicated, the discipline known as Organizational Change Management (OCM) includes many tactics that can help your people change their behavior quickly with minimal disruption. Organizational Change Management is a structured approach that an organization uses to transition from wherever they are today to wherever they want to be tomorrow. You can use it to navigate successfully through the enormous transformation in front of you.

Let’s pull back and take the high level view of activities that we would put into your Process Improvement Plan, from the manager’s point of view:

The value of this graph is it shows how to integrate OCM strategy with all of the Process Improvement activities in your Process Improvement Plan.

Phase I, INITIATE – This is the beginning. Your OCM Strategy includes tactics like setting goals, identifying processes, and assigning resources. It also includes foundational activities like establishing a future state vision for where you want the organization to be at the end of the Process Improvement Program. The Initiate Phase is where you prepare to move your engineers systematically through the stages of change and keep your team firmly on the path to greatness.

Phase II, IMPLEMENT – Here, you are designing and deploying your processes and monitoring their initial performance. In earlier posts about business transformation, we talked about the steps involved in moving your team up the Commitment Curve to institutionalization. The Implement Phase is where you accelerate process adoption using levers like effective communication and training.

Phase III, OPERATE – The final phase is where you measure process performance and use the collective experiences of process users to continually improve your processes. The Operate Phase is where your organization will spend the most time. As processes are updated, you will continue communicating, training and rewarding so the processes become part of your organization’s culture.

Adopting a Process Improvement Plan is a change that will affect everything – process, technology and people. You are wise to seek out information about the elements of the plan that will help you architect the change you want to see in your company.

Organizational Change Management techniques are there to help. Like an architect’s blueprints, OCM principles guide the process of changing behavior throughout the company, and allow you to make the changes quickly, with minimal disruption on the business.

Check back for more on this topic, Jerry, as we will dig deeper into the components of each of the three phases.

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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