Putting the framework to work – steps 1 and 2
By: James Reyes-Picknell & Uri Wittenberg. The Four Sustainability Stages of the Conscious Asset Framework™ comprise 3 building blocks each. Each of these blocks will be reviewed and customized to fit each individual organization’s unique needs.
Let’s take a closer and more detailed look at each of the four stages and their elements. Starting at the top:
As illustrated in Figure 3, the Readiness Stage consists of three sub-elements. Each sub-element defines how ready the organization is to commence action on its Asset Management continuous improvement journey.
1.1 Strategic Vision
The Strategic Vision provides a clear statement of expectations, anticipated results and any deliverables that may be needed using a variety of inputs including: corporate strategic goals (3-5 year plans), benchmark targets, stakeholder expectations, known performance shortfalls, etc.
This step can be as simple as an initial introductory telephone call or can entail facilitated troubleshooting and brainstorming sessions, surveys, lessons learned, etc. Organizational complexity, breadth and depth will be major determinants of how much effort is required at this step (sub-element).
Strategic Vision is critical. It is the first step in understanding the organization’s expectations. It provides a platform for defining a realistic a set of expectations and understanding the chances of success. This will assist us in determining what kind of preparation and tools are required for following activities and meetings, including the key individuals required for productive and result oriented future sessions.
1.2 Readiness Scan
The Readiness Scan provides a quick assessment of where the organization is today relative to those expectations as expressed in the Strategic Vision along with an assessment of the organization’s true readiness to change at its most senior levels. We investigate experience with past change initiatives and current initiatives with which any new project will compete for resources and mind-share. A key input is the Strategic Vision that must be achieved, top level buy-in and willingness to do what it takes to bring that vision to fruition. This scan can entail interviews of individuals at the organization’s most senior levels, reviews of past project “post mortem” reports. It will seek opinions about key factors (barriers and enablers) that we must consider and overcome. From this Readiness Scan we will generate a Readiness Assessment Report.
1.3 Environmental Scan
The Environmental Scan obtains feedback from several key sources to provide a comprehensive perspective on what is / is not required to ensure success in your organization. In depth SWOT analyses, leadership, project and other business risks, teamwork and skills assessments, etc., are carried out as needed to verify and to help solidify the full scope of work in the areas of change management and project governance that may be required.
We utilize various tools to complete this environmental scan. We will conduct two sessions with members of the Senior Leadership Team (SLT). Firstly a Leadership Team facilitation session will help us flush out key issues and concerns. The second will be the initial SLT Hoshin Kanri (Strategy Deployment) exercise, using the organization’s annual Strategic Plan. In this session we begin brainstorming discussions leading to a cascading of goals downwards towards a more tactical and feasible set of initiatives.
A detailed “gap analysis” (“as is” compared with “should be” state) will be produced from the various inputs generated above, showing what must be done along with a draft “project charter” to generate a fertile initiative foundation.
When it comes to “Change Management” and the crucial broad-based stakeholder buy in, we are often faced with a big question, why do people resist change? The key misunderstanding which rests in this statement is, that people do not resist change, but rather being changed! For too many years senior managers have attempted to introduce and implement new concepts and ideas, without verifying first that everybody has first bought into those new concepts and tools.
2.1 Skills Gap Analysis & Matrix
The Awareness portion of the Conscious Asset Framework™ is critical. For any new Asset Management implementation it is vital to determine which specific skills are required by which stakeholders. Once done, you need to determine which of these skills already reside inside the organization. These two elements will provide the right basis for a Skills Gap Analysis.
A key player in this step is the Human Resources department. This group will be required to generate a Skills Matrix listing all key personal on all levels and the skills they presently possess. As additional education and training is further provided, this matrix needs to be constantly updated.
2.2 Awareness Builder
The Awareness Builder is used as necessary to provide education and training to stakeholders in the organization who will partake in the Asset Management improvement initiative. It will cover a wide array of subjects including knowledge about technical aspects, change management and the project management basics required to guarantee successful deployment and governance of all initiative elements.
Based on the skills gap analysis and the skills matrix, appropriate education and training plans will be crafted for all participants in the various phases of the initiative. In confirming its commitment, the organization will have to verify appropriate buy-in and commitment at subordinate management levels to provide the time required for their direct reports to be spent in training and simulation classes.
In addition cross-functional participation must be assured, and Train-the-Trainer options explored.
2.3 Capability Blueprint
Prior to moving ahead with project planning, a more detailed Capability Matrix is needed to determine additional technical capabilities required to master the various aspects and changes anticipated.
The Capability Blueprint should include a listing of the various capabilities required and different levels of mastery of the many team players. It could comprise the following levels:
The aim is to produce the needed internal, self-sustaining capability to lead the change with a balance of technical, change management and governance skills, knowledge and abilities.
Get the whole story,
If we are to be good at Asset Management we need to understand what it is and what it is not, begin to think of our business more holistically, consider our role as contributing to a greater whole and start behaving differently. Once we’ve achieved that, Asset Management should be sustained – it never stops. Putting it in place is not just a project with a beginning and end although it may start that way. It is really about putting in place a new corporate culture and continually improving it. This book speaks to those changes and how to go about doing it.
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