Assessing Your Organizational Change Management Capabilities
Written by Tim Creasey
Does your organization struggle to demonstrate measurable progress on your efforts to build change management capabilities? Assessing your organization in five observable and measurable areas will reveal your organizational change management competency overall, as well as the progress you have made over time.
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Capability Areas in
Organizational Change Management
Organizational change management maturity describes an organization's proficiency and effectiveness in managing and implementing change initiatives successfully across an organization. Prosci's Change Management Maturity Model (right) identifies the levels of maturity, ranging from ad hoc or absent to organizational competency. But before you assess your level of change management maturity, you need to understand the research-based areas of capability on which the model is based.
Capability Area 1: Leadership
This area focuses on the specific leadership activities necessary for building organizational change management competencies. How committed is leadership to organizational change management? What activities or messages does leadership undertake to communicate the value of change management and the effort to build an internal competency? Who is sponsoring change management deployment? If your organization is less capable in this area, it's the area you should focus on first.
Key elements of leadership capability:
- Communications from key leaders about the importance of managing the people side of change
- Strength of sponsor coalition for change management deployment
- Vision for the change management deployment effort
- Funding and resources for the change management capability project
- Leadership accessibility, decision making and engagement with the project team working to institutionalize change management
- Creation of business rules, policies and procedures that establish change management
Capability Area 2: Application
This capability area enables you to assess how people use change management processes and tools on projects and initiatives within your organization. What percentage of projects are leveraging change management? Are adequate people and funding available to apply change management to projects and initiatives across the organization?
Key issues to assess include:
- Percentage of projects applying a structured change management approach
- Consistent change management methodology and tools
- Functions, divisions or units applying change management
- Types of projects applying change management
- Availability of tools for managing the people side of change
- Availability of change management practitioners to apply processes and tools to projects
- Budget and funding availability for change management on projects and initiatives
Capability Area 3: Competencies
Change management is ultimately accomplished by employees, supervisors, managers, leaders, project teams and practitioners throughout the organization. The third capability area, competencies, looks at the training and development of these key groups of people who must apply change management tools and principles. Who in the organization has been trained? Have they demonstrated change management capability?
To understand the competency area, you must understand the extent to which your organization has:
- Trained change management practitioners and demonstrated change management practitioner competencies
- Delivered executive and senior leader training on change management and sponsorship
- Demonstrated executive and senior leader sponsorship competencies
- Delivered training for people managers and demonstrated change coaching competencies
- Trained employees on guiding themselves through change and demonstrated employee competencies in change management
- Delivered project team training on change management and demonstrated project team competencies
- Demonstrated effectiveness of training programs for change management
- Offered continuing education opportunities in change management
Capability Area 4: Standardization
The standardization capability area looks at the mechanisms and systems used to institutionalize change management. Is every part of your organization using one consistent change management approach? Have you integrated change management with project management? Have you included change management in other improvement approaches? Standardization is the capability area that enables effective change management to become a fixed component of how the organization introduces change.
Crucial elements of standardization to assess include:
- Provision and adoption of a standard methodology and tools for change management
- Use of a continuous improvement process for the change management approach
- Creation of change management office, positions, job roles and networks
- Establishment of a complete change management training curriculum
- Integration of change management with standard project delivery process
- Integration of change management with ongoing improvement systems and “change-initiating” processes and systems
Capability Area 5: Socialization
The fifth and final capability area, socialization, focuses on creating commitment for change management. Effectively building capabilities and competencies requires this from every level of an organization. Does the organization view change management as a competitive differentiator and core competency? Is reinforcement in place to sustain change management at every level of the organization?
Look for the following components of socialization:
- Executive charter for building change management capabilities and competencies
- Understanding of the value of change management and commitment for applying change management within the organization
- Recognizing a shared definition of change management across the organization
- Capturing, publicizing and sharing change management successes
- Evaluating change management effectiveness and success during change
- Reinforcement for sustained change management application
Discover Your Organization's
Change Management Maturity
Understanding the five capability areas is just the beginning. To uncover your organization's specific maturity level, you can leverage Prosci's Change Management Maturity Model and Change Management Maturity Model Audit. The robust and research-based audit enables you to score incremental progress on dozens of attributes in each capability area, conduct multiple assessments across divisions, analyze gaps, and even benchmark your progress against hundreds of other organizations that completed the audit. Instead of educated guesses, you will have strong data to support discussions with leaders and teams, and your efforts to grow change management maturity.