Care and feeding of your change management competency with a Change Management Center of Excellence
You have made the first important decision – applying a disciplined approach to the way in which change will happen. You have documented that approach, sent your practitioners for training and are starting to use this new methodology. Have you considered how you will support, grow and sustain your new competency?
I suggest you develop a Center of Excellence (CoE). While the concept is not common in all industries, healthcare is pretty comfortable with it and has even embraced the naming convention. I have seen centers of excellence developed to meet the needs of various patient populations. Why not use the same concept to care for your change management practitioners?
5 Core Functions of a Change Management Center of Excellence
- Knowledge: Supplies change management support, coaching and mentoring and subject matter expertise.
- Structure: Establishes and monitors standards, methodologies, tools, best practice and knowledge repositories.
- Learning: Provides training and certifications, skill assessments, team building and role definition.
- Measurement: Demonstrates value through the use of outcome metrics.
- Governance: Allocates limited resources (money, people, etc.) across all their possible use. Determines the change impact of various initiatives.
The Center of Excellence becomes the body accountable for “owning” the discipline of change management. It should be made up of a small team of individuals skilled to the highest level of competency in the change management discipline. Developing, promoting, monitoring, and “owning” the discipline of change management is the responsibility of this single individual or small circle of expert practitioners within an organization.
This group will be act as coaches and consultants to the entire organization. They will participate in developing the change strategy for efforts of all sizes and provide expertise through the life cycle of the project. Their job is to ensure that the methodology is applied in accordance with the agreed upon standards.
The CoE is the steward of the methodology, the gatekeeper for modifications and adaptations and the author of the guidelines, principles, standards, processes, and tools related to competency development, training and application. It exists to sustain the competency and capacity of change management in support of your strategic change initiatives.