Are you confident that your organisation can tackle any forthcoming change, whether that be internal or external? With organisations now operating in increasingly volatile environments, change is occurring at a rapid rate - with no signs of slowing down. To manage this complexity, leading organisations are building enterprise change management (ECM) competencies to more effectively deliver both a higher volume of change projects and programmes and also deliver improved business performance from each and all of the changes they choose to deploy.
Why does Enterprise Change Management Maturity matter?
Reaching higher levels of ECM maturity improves the results of every project that you apply change management to by increasing the speed of change adoption and proficiency in new ways of working of directly impacted employees and line managers. It will increase your organisation's level of responsiveness to change and help to keep them competitive, ensuring that regardless of how many changes are happening simultaneously, the organisation will have the capability to handle them. ECM competencies create standards that are used enterprise-wide, including common language, tools and practices, making it far easier for change to be adopted across the organisation and for best practices to be shared.
Where to start?
It is up to the change management practitioner to assess the organisation's change capabilities to ensure it can effectively respond and react to changes both in the marketplace and within the organisation itself. In order to conduct this enterprise change management maturity assessment effectively, there are two related tools that we recommend for your journey:
This model has 5 different levels that describe the change management capability the organisation currently possesses. In Prosci's benchmarking research published in 2016, they discovered that the majority of participants fell into level 1, 2 and 3, indicating they were struggling to build organisational change capabilities.
Moving up the different levels of this change model signifies that your organisation is managing the people side of change more effectively and you will be closer to achieving your enterprise change management goals. Reaching and remaining at level 5 will highlight that your organisation has shifted away from operating on a project-by-project basis towards an integrated organisational change competency., where everyone understands their role and can effectively execute it when confronted by the challenges of new changes.
Level 1: Absent or Ad hoc
This level highlights that there is no ECM maturity as change management is not deployed throughout the enterprise and at the beginning of projects- it may actually only be initiated when there is employee resistance. This results in the highest level of failed change projects due to the lack of consideration for formally managing the people side of change.
Level 2: Isolated Projects
Only fragments of change management capabilities will be revealed throughout different projects. This inconsistent use will also result in a plethora of failed projects and will not take them close to building ECM competencies. Unfortunately according to Prosci research, this level is extremely common.
Level 3: Multiple Projects
We are beginning to see the emergence of ECM capabilities- yet it tends to only be evident in specific departments or teams. So while change management may be working for particular parts of the organisation, it is still not an organisational standard therefore they are not close to ECM maturity- there is still quite a bit of work and training to be conducted.
Level 4: Organizational Standards
There is now an enterprise-wide acknowledgment and appreciation of applying change management across the organisation to every project and for every change. ECM maturity is 99% there, but gaps still need to be addressed.
Level 5: Organizational Competency
Change management is finally an organisational priority from here on out! Change competencies have been built and will continue to be developed in the future, with the support of every individual in the organisation.
Below are the 5 capability areas that your organisation must have to possess ECM maturity:
Capability 1: Leadership
Do you have leadership change sponsorship and commitment?
Capability 2: Application
How many of your organisation's projects apply change management?
Capability 3: Competencies
Does your organisation focus on the training and development of change management competencies?
Capability 4: Standardisation
How strong is your common approach, systems, and practices that look to institutionalising change management?
Capability 5: Socialisation
Do you have change buy-in across the organisation?
This audit is popular amongst change management practitioners, line managers and senior leaders as it easily conveys the importance of change management, gives them a tool they can follow to help provide consistent change results and helps to standardise their approach to internalising effective change management. Combining these results gives a clear assessment of where your organisation stands and can then be presented back to change sponsors and leadership to gain their support and change buy-in.
You may find that your organisation is particularly strong in certain areas and the goal remains to extend your strengths across all 5 areas. This will help reduce your change gaps through assessing what your organisation is currently doing well and what steps need to be taken to achieve change objectives.
It will also help to guide your change strategy, with audits being conducted at regular intervals to review how the organisation change capabilities have developed, as well as considering tactics to evolve how you are currently approaching change. This will keep your organisation in check and will ensure you are always working towards change goals.
What are my next steps?
Take part in our in-house 1-day Prosci ECM Bootcamp
After realising the value and the benefits of achieving Enterprise Change Management Maturity, we recommend enrolling your team in our ECM Bootcamp where we will help you to add structure and intent to the effort of embedding change management practices, processes, capabilities and competencies in your organisation. The Prosci ECM Boot Camp will help you to make change management a core competency - in your organisation achieving success from change initiatives will become the expectation, not the exception.