Auditing CM Maturity: 5 Capability Areas

These evaluative dimensions are all you need to better understand where you stand in terms of CM and envision the future of your organisation.

Article written by Vincent PIEDBOEUF

You may already be familiar with the PROSCI’s CM maturity audit model. Perhaps you have hands-on experience working with its five-levels rating tool. If you want to dig down a little deeper, here are the five capability areas that underlie the model and must be factored in to determine the “maturity” of an organisation.

1. Leadership.

The leadership capability area includes all activities specifically led by senior leaders and aimed at developing Change Management aptitudes and skills. However, it is not just a generic description of what leadership and sponsorship involve. This ability area focuses on (1) leadership involvement and (2) any activities or messages that stress the importance and value of CM, as well as on (3) what is done to build organizational competencies. Typical questions to ask are: who is sponsoring the implementation of Change Management methods and tools; how do sponsors express their support? If the audit returns a low score, you should definitely prioritize this aspect and take urgent action.

2. Application. 

Application of Change Management is the second area to look into. At stake is how processes and tools are made use of within the framework of a given project or any other change-related initiative. Among the factors to consider are the percentage of projects receiving CM, the scale of the application scheme and the overall availability of resources (people and funding) for initiatives. For organisations well set on the path of CM skills development, this area usually generates a higher score, more quickly.

3. Skills.

Change Management is in fact widely practiced by a wide range of “actors” across the organisation, be they employees, supervisors, managers, leaders project teams or change experts. The third area is primarily concerned with training and personal development. Of particular interest is the way skills are used within each key group when applying the principles and tools of CM. Even tough training is usually seen as a primary objective, scoring high in this area requires setting up development and evaluation programs for anyone who “does” CM.

4. Standardisation.

This area focuses on the mechanisms and systems to be put into place to institutionalise Change Management. It involves the use of a common approach, integration with Project Management, the creation of CM “triggers” and the alignment of CM with other “improvement” methodologies. As a capability area, it is precisely what allows “efficient CM” to become a constant feature in how organisations approach and deploy change. Any progress in this area requires consistent and visible commitment on the part of leaders.

5. Socialisation.

The fifth and last capability area covers adoption of CM and stakeholders/users engagement. Getting everyone on board, top to bottom of the organisation, is the only way to develop proper skills. Inasmuch as there is strong focus on managing people, this area is based on the idea that Change Management requires Change Management. This issue is further dealt with in a dedicated section of the CM roadmap (see “the people side of transition”).

These five capability areas or evaluative dimensions (leadership, application, skills, standardisation and socialisation) are all you need to better understand where you stand (current state) in terms of CM. They are equally useful to envision the future of your organisation, that is, after implementing CM plans and evaluating deviations to determine if corrective actions are required (during the transition state).

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