What are our Integrated Change Management Concepts

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Improve Performance – Plan and Manage your change

Your project, program, or organization leadership typically hinges on your effectiveness to implement relevancy. Usually that means improving performance or integrating change – both of which helps garner the goals.

Issues clients may encounter requiring these services include:

  • Program Management: Few delivered on time, on budget, on scope, on quality. Sponsorship lacking, not insuring/governing/buying risk, still not agile PM
  • Planning to the beast and not the customer: There is a fear at operational level of making decisions that lead to a innovative approaches or straying from norm – risk adverse. And why not, what is the reward for doing things better?
  • Your Team is thinking about surviving, not thriving: Is your mission management model or system designed to manage sustained change and transition proactively and built into the culture? Or is it setup to run operations, and as issues come up, react distinctly to each issue. You may have organizing units by a product or service, but are your metrics setup about growing, increasing relevancy?
  • Enterprise Planning flavor of the day: Due to either past failures, or perception that new approaches are repackaged ways tried before kills internal buy-in towards integrated or collaborative techniques. Enterprise architecture, team functional/segment analysis, or agile project management may have been “tried” before, but instead of evaluating failure as tried to take on too much scope, other factors not resolved above, or simply, was over-engineered, are usually not labelled as the cause. The baby gets thrown out with the bath water or enterprise planning gets tossed aside due to lack of leadership, mistrust or burn-out.
  • Shopping hungry (aka Funding Mismatch): You have a great new change plan, great new architecture, but its unfunded both short and long-term. How do you work within your budget which is a constraining variable in all work formulas precluding optimization across elements. These may be synthesized or aggregated – mixed and matched as you see fit. Some programs may actually be funded right, but key functions of program budget are misaligned limiting what can be accomplished as a whole.

Many of these issues need to be addressed before engaging in a change management initiative, and many may be noted as part of the new change plan. But a concept, or set of recommendations is just that. There needs to be a way to continue buying back the risk of implementing the changes in an integrated, efficient, and effective pattern.

Our management services focus on introducing the right performance management or/and change management tools to help your initiatives achieve.

We use an Integrated Change Approach

The key to Xentity’s success at executing  business transformation, governance, and excellence in communication management has been in the knowledge of how to integrate and tie all domains of program engagements together to create a sum value greater than the individual parts. In 2006, Xentity published an approach on enterprise planning business intelligence and management for the Department of the Interior to improve the change management coordination between CIO investment and information management including CyberSecurity, Privacy, Capital Planning and Investment Control, Enterprise Architecture, Project Management Plans and coordinating OMB required PAR and other strategic performance reports. In commercial organizations, some of the rigor, policy, or other aspects may very, but the tenets remain the same.

To make changes among these previously disparate and uncoordinated efforts, an Integrated Change management approach was recommended. This includes an integrated oversight of the parts that need to be connected, understood, and communicated prior to significant investment, supported by excellent  communication and project management skills to facilitate the changes.

This is crucial to the executing of enterprise information management, program management offices (PMOs),and data lifecycle management concepts with multiple driving force directions pulling on it (i.e. policy change, regulations and compliance, mission direction including strategic plans and transformation blueprints, and change budget pressures). These approaches help ensure Enterprise Architecture plays a key role in being a coordination component to organizing strategic principles, product and service roadmaps, transformational blueprint recommendations, and resulting plans such as product, capital, integrated strategic, and even future business cases, yet at same time, is just one of many key change leadership and management components. 

Is it time to reduce the complexity of our solutions

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There was a well-written article on Is it time to reduce the complexity of our solutions? that starts off with:

There are many information technology trends to observe if you’re in the business long enough.  For instance, when I began we spent much of our time replacing thin-clients (aging dumb terminals) with full-blown Windows installations and bloated software clients.  The trend was to push more horsepower out to the users and distribute the processing to increasingly powerful PCs.  We then turned around a few years later and began emphasizing bringing applications back to the data center and using thin computing once again.  Now, I am the unfortunate witness to end-user mutinies which are forcing us to return fat-clients to the desktop.  It’s classic centralization versus decentralization, and is a topic worth discussing in its own right.  But I will save that for another day.

The article continues to outline ways to address such as simplifying the solution, doing more with less, unintended consequences, managing the solution which cover some of the points in our blog on What are some patterns or anti-patterns where architecture and governance can help. The article wraps with:

There are only so many new systems and technologies a team of IT pros, however skilled, can implement before it becomes critical to take a step back from the frenzied pace and analyze the existing solutions.  Integrating everything may not always be the best course of action.  Sometimes simplifying can lead to more satisfied customers and staff.

The article was well done, but it wasnt the article that caught our eye, though we headnodded in agreement to its contents, even if a bit light on substance. BUT, it was one of the commenters, “xentity” had this to say:

I have worked in a wide breadth of operations across many sectors in the economy. I have also been working with IT since 1982. The recurring theme / problem I have seen is multi-faced:

1. Leadership in the IT industry is polar. They think about cool technologies and dressing systems in pretty bells and whistles but fail to address the core of their own industry. The industry is not about technology. The industry is about information and information processes then applying technology to those processes. These processes often travel across a wide breadth of departments, organizations, and even industries. Information and knowledge ‘ownership’ is temporal for extremely short intervals of time before others gain access to it and begin to use it. I am not discussing personal information like SSN’s but instead I am discussing practice. The actual owner of knowledge are the communities of practice. Managing and controlling information must be addressed at this level.

2. Common leadership in the various industries are inept at effectively utilizing, implementing, or managing information technology. This was something I thought would eventually fade as more competent leadership matured over the years but that has failed to fully materialize. At the center of the problem is that despite many IT professionals who are highly skilled, they often are hog tied by CFO, controllers, and other leadership. I find that a large majority of leadership and management have little grasp at running an operation but have made their way into leadership roles. Decisions are made not made based on sound strategies that resolve the root problems and advance business performance. This is something I have seen repeatedly more than the cases where they have in fact made sage decisions.

3. Information technologies are strategic in nature. The effects are long term but leadership’s attention span is about 90 days. This is evident in their calls to “Go Live” and to “Show Results”. In talking these same people the attention span is about 90 secs. Most are incapable of seeing the abstract and almost always ethereal world of IT. What appeals to them is what “sounds good”. Hence, the wild swings back and forth between strategies and platforms without realizing the long term cost and effects.

In short, today I believe there is a clash between information architectures and organizational architectures. Organizations want to cling on to tradition establishing artificial boundaries that disrupt information processes. They employ expeditors and redundant efforts to resolve the conflicts between information and organizational architectures. The complexity enters at this point. Adaptive and autonomic systems are cute technologies for IT professionals but what is really needed is adaptive systems for industry. The systems must be organized around information processes and be able to self organize. Staffing should be structured along these information processes. In the end, there needs to be a symbiotic union between staffing, business, and IT that is adaptable to emerging conditions.

What a great add-on. As the What are some patterns or anti-patterns where architecture and governance can help blog points out, we couldn’t have agreed more. Maybe it was one of our staff that put it up, but no one owned up. Well put “xentity”!

Moral of this post: Its sometimes not the blog content, but the blog topic, title, and timing that generates the best content about a blog (note to self, when we have that base community, we need to open up comments too!)

Linking segment architecture to the IT Investment Maturity Framework

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As we noted in Developing Our Approach, we linked the methodology to existing maturity models.

For background, specifically, one of the core maturity frameworks is the GAO ITIM Framework – (IT Investment Maturity) – has been the embedded driving basis for the Federal Government OMB Capital Planning and Investment Contraol, based on OMB Directive A-130 for selecting, controlling, and evaluating investment for many years.

When developing the five phases – analyzing segment readiness, charter & sponsorship, analysis & blueprint, execute & transition (implement), and maintain/manage – these were closely aligned to ITIM. The graphic below captures the overlap (pink) of the segment architecture with the maturity stages as well the enterprise architecture (blue) overlap for setting up tools, methods, goals; principles, criteria, and compliance; and then governance & tracking (PMO). 

Breaking the Change Phases and alignment to ITIM maturity stages down

Phase 1 of the segment methods aligns directly with GAO ITIM stage 1. You first need to get your portfolio understood.

ITIM Stage 2 requires the architecture org to select their tools, methods, and goals to assure any transformative teams agree to the rules and tools to help change the investment, but in addition the transformation team in phase 2 needs to have solid backing of leadership and definition. You cannot miss this soft science aspect. Without leadership, change concepts become shelfware all ltoo quickly. Just having that builds your chance or foundation of solid investment.

ITIM Stage 3 talks about having a well-defined portfolio to guide criteria for investment selection. This means architecture needs to have its principles, criteria, and compliance defined so when an investment comes up for change recommendations, the review is based on as objective review as possible. This is important again as change can be subjective as consensus is formed, so given such, definition of how to handle rationalization and remediation of decisions is key. Without this guidance, investment change wills stall at this point.

ITIM Stage 4 is where the change phase 3 analysis and recommendations is needed. If you do not have the previous ITIM stages and change phases executed, this puts instituting true change at risk of political, coup, disenchantment and many other misalignment, anthropological or bureaucratic issues. 

ITIM Stage 5 essentially shows an organization has change maturity in its blood and can do segment phase 5 management and maintenance of change.

Where ITIM measures maturity, the approach lends to how to progress and when to progress to each maturity stage – for a segment. If this is a focus, take a chance to digest the ITIM maturity definition – it is nothing but complete. As well, reviewing the transformation approaches in MBT or FSAM. 

Developing a Transformation Approach

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In 2004, when developing out an approach for business transformation, our primary goal of transformation has been to mature the investment through addressing transformation core architecture concepts discussed such as Paving Cowpaths, improving bad data lifecycles, avoiding redundant buying, balancing compliance with aligning programs, aligning products and services directly to performance drivers, and addressing inefficiencies. Our Team was under a Northrop-Grumman Contract at the Department of the Interior. Department of the Interior had multiple representatives across the CIO and Management and Budget office functions guiding and approving the enhancements.  There were three team members from Xentity, one from Phase One Consulting Group, and One from IBM and the project included management oversight by Northrop-Grumman. 

The method would provide a collaborative way to bring cross-functional business representation with the architecture analysts and consulting service to walk through major analysis steps:

  • Initiating the project 
  • Scoping the segment
  • Business analysis
  • Technical analysis
  • Author recommendation set as blueprint
  • Incorporate into Enterprise Plan and Portfolio

We knew we wanted to use architecture techniques to help, but wanted to assure architecture did not follow the path that appeared for the last fifteen years which resulted in completing the information needed to assess portfolio then serially address change.

That approach would and has not engage executive interest, and likely, give the time it takes to collect the information and map to taxonomies (which needed to be developed and fostered), the information, which is time-sensitive, thus perishable, would be stale. 

 The result was the Methodology for Business Transformation version 1.0.

Lessons Learned

We used the method and applied against four major mission area blueprints, but this was a version 1.0 and we ran into several major issues – actually, we logged around 100 improvements and 8 minor and sub-minor revisions resulting in MBT 1.5. We found issues in: Enterprise Governance, OMB Functions, Change Management, Performance, CIO Office, Scoring, Solution, Governance, Cost Benefit, and General. But the largest issues were not in the analysis, but the wrappers around the method. Here are the top two lessons plus general notes summary of the over 100 improvements discovered

#1 Lesson Learned – Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock

Instead, for large organizations ($100 million to $1 billion), we knew we wanted to take a segment approach to building out the information while moving through the phases of transformation. In our first draft of the resulting segment analysis method, the transformation phases resulted in starting with Phase 3.

The clock would start ticking for the architecture as soon as a team was formed, funding for the team assigned, and the project was kicked off.

This was a major issue after the first four blueprints, as we missed the key executive steps for assigning a sponsorship concept. Meaning, the definiition for success was in the eye of the beholder – the executive. We skipped the critical step of defining the sponsor and their executive level needs – were they interested in savings, product expansion? What Architecture Concepts?


#2 Provide precedence-based guidance on how far to mature

We knew we didnt want to re-invent how we develop service level maturity

In 2005, as part of looking at our transformation approach, we examined the GAO INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT A Framework for Assessing and Improving Process Maturity – (ITIM) – detailing “Select, Control, Evaluate” phases of management, background on proposed processes to improve IT Investment Management. 

And for guiding the maturity for the actual capabilties, we relied heavily on IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL v3) Management Best Practices (ITIL) to help in guiding how to move from reactive service to proactive and not reach to far while gaining improvements and efficiency


 

#3 Showing the line of sight

We needed to show clearly how the analysis and resulting work products supporting across the business drivers, and the full business value chain.

Some Enterprise Architecture experts may argue the existing Frameworks such as Zachman accomplishes that, and it does in a library function, but not in a journalism function which tells it in story mode and backpockets the work products as due diligence. 

#4 Change is the message, EA is just a set of tools – Get over ourselves

This moved Enterprise Architecture out of being front and center and moved the mission of the segment analysis first. EA became a supporting role, and we would attempt to actually remove EA from the vernacular. The obvious reaction is this was done because of the brand beating it has taken since 1996 when the intentions of Clinger-Cohen reduced EA into an IT compliance reporting role. It was actually moreso of EA`s own culture to put EA at the center of the universe when analyzing, ideating, managing change is at the center.

 

 

In our over 100 other improvements, other areas highlighted are

  • Not enough clarity on the varying roles of Enterprise Governance
  • Most transformations have strong ties to annual Budget formulation and execution activities for example, but we didnt align that enough
  • Aligning Calendars and timing OMB and Agency Management and Budget Functions such as Planning and Performance Management, Workforce Strategy, Acquisition, etc.
  • Change Management truly missed for guiding how to implement, assess and manage risk, developing transition management capability (i.e. a PMO)
  • Performance
  • Find ways to integrate other CIO Information Management requirements to synchronize data calls across privacy, records, security, CPIC further
  • Scoring for organizational readiness as well as including Scoring framework requirements from OMB, GAO, and the like to help improve the architecture maturty scoring
  • Improved linkage to work products and guidance that Solution architecture could use
  • Govenrnance
  • Cost Benefit missing in guiding alternative analysis
  • General iterations on language consistency (i.e. its work product not artifact), updating templates, improving checklists, improving training and creating hands-on exercises, helping customize to audiences

The result ended up not being a full major release, as we had yet to address cultural transformation issues and still had additional concepts to consider for linking other ways to path through the method more as an approach.

The supporting toolkit for MBT is a large difference maker from whitepaper procedures or sample templates:

(2008: Later note, the MBT 1.5 ended up becoming the core method and set of templates for the Federal Segment Architecture Methodology (FSAM) which continues in aspects as a basis to the Common Approach to Federal Enterprise Architecture). Two team members from Phase One Consulting Group, one of which on the original MBT team, supported this effort.

MBT has since been validated by the following organizations:

DOI EA recognized as winner in Excellence in Enterprise Architecture Award Winners at the 2nd Annual Enterprise Architecture Conference

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In 2004, the Department of the Interior Received E-Gov Institute’s  ‘Excellence in Enterprise Architecture’ Award. Our support stated one year after our contract began which started with the DOI receiving notification from OMB stating their IT budget would be cut $65 million because of lack of controls including a “worst” EA program sentiment. It took one year for this team to:

  • Re-use a base methodology from work performed at the Bureau of Land Management to address blueprints in key lines of businesses (i.e., Wildland Fire, Recreation, Law Enforcement and Financial Management). These blueprints identify gaps in Interior’s existing IT portfolio that hamper the successful achievement of goals and objectives, minimize system redundancy and improve data sharing.  
  • Design, stand-up, and manage data gathering a repository to house the DOI system inventory supporting new system inventory policy. For the first time, DOI had its portfolio tracked, mapped to FEA reference models, and mapps to how Security and CPIC tracked their enclaves and investments.
  • Use the information and bluerprints to help identify gaps in Interior’s existing IT portfolio that hamper the successful achievement of goals and objectives, minimize system redundancy and improve data sharing. This helped outline a roadmap for leveraging information technology to meet strategic and programmatic goals and objectives efficiently and effectively.  

These Enterprise Architecture portfolio and analysis management strategies helped for dealing with shrinking budgets while improving services to citizens and its business partners

Applicants for the Award were asked to answer the following questions:

What Customers Are you serving?

The Department of the Interior (DOI) manages one of every five acres of land in theUnited States, providing opportunities for wilderness, wildlife protection, recreation, and natural resource exploration, development and use. Key customers of the Interior Enterprise Architecture (IEA) are DOI executives and managers as well as the general public and Interior’s business partners.  Tangible benefits to these customers are being realized through the development of modernization blueprints that align IT planning and expenditures to achieve strategic and programmatic goals via architectural analyses.  For example, in 2004 DOI partnered with its recreation business managers to develop a Recreation Modernization Blueprint that identified a number of legacy redundant recreation reservation systems that originally were not slated for consolidation into the President’s Management Agenda Recreation One-Stop E-Gov initiative.  Through the approved blueprint, these systems will now be consolidated into the Recreation One-Stop target solution, resulting in a unified inventory of recreation opportunities for the citizen and cost savings to DOI and our partners.  In addition, to improve on-line amenities and trip planning through Recreation One-Stop, the modernization blueprint defined future system interfaces with existing DOI applications (e.g., trails, facilities, and river databases) which will provide recreationists more robust information about Interior-managed parks and monuments.  Under the IEA program, a modernization blueprint was also developed for financial management.  This blueprint played a substantial role in the acquisition of the Financial and Business Management System and serves as a key input to the Government’s overall effort to improve financial systems.  Other blueprints have been developed for Law Enforcement and Wildland Fire in 2004.

 

What Benefits have you Achieved to Date?

Three major achievements have been realized under the IEA program in 2004.  First, a DOI-wide EA repository (DEAR) was established, using a tailored commercial off the shelf (COTS) architecture tool that supports Interior’s business and architectural requirements.  Both the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of State (DOS) are in the process of creating centralized EA repositories based on the DOI model.  This EA repository aligns with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA) for improved information sharing with other federal agencies.  The repository unifies all EA development efforts and artifacts under one taxonomy and in a centralized source accessible to all Interior bureaus and offices.   Through the repository, bureau architects and system owners map their systems and investments to Interior’s strategic plan, and to business, data, service and technology reference models.   The repository is “mined” throughout Interior to identify cross-cutting solutions, reduce redundancies and identify reusable and sharable service components that ultimately drive down Interior’s infrastructure costs.  Secondly, a modernization blueprint methodology was developed to provide structure and consistency in Interior’s architecture development.  The methodology employs a highly-structured process which encompasses analyses of organizational structures, business functions, processes, data requirements, existing systems and planned investments, to achieve improved performance in accomplishing Interior’s strategic and tactical goals.  The methodology encompasses a set of scoring criteria, based on the OMB FEA Reference Models, covering performance, business, data, application, technology and security maturity to define a target state and transition plan from Interior’s as-is architecture.  These blueprints are presented to Interior’s Investment Review Board for approval to guide future capital planning and IT investment decision-making.  Lastly, modernization blueprints were developed for the Financial Management, Recreation, Wildland Fire and Law Enforcement lines of business (LOB) under the IEA program in 2004.   Each modernization blueprint provides a detailed plan for improving internal efficiencies and end services, minimizing security and privacy risks, and reducing Interior’s total cost of ownership through elimination of redundant systems and investments.  Combined, the four modernization blueprints have identified approximately 100 redundant systems that DOI will retire within the next 1-3 years, resulting in millions of dollars in savings. Organizational boundaries that prevent the efficient sharing of information are being reexamined and less than optimal reuses of data are being corrected. Opportunities for business process reengineering have been identified to facilitate common approaches to deliver end-services to the citizen and partnering agencies.  In the Recreation LOB alone,16 systems that would have remained on-line will now be retired, saving valuable IT funding and improving the President’s Management Agenda E-Gov Recreation One Stop initiative’s service to the citizen. In the financial blueprint, 166 systems are being improved, with over 80 identified for retirement at this time, thus saving money and improving financial accountability.

 

Explain how the Process and the Stakeholders to the Process were engaged in this effort.

The process of creating an integrated EA methodolgy for DOI engaged stakeholders from the highest levels of Interior’s mangement to the field system owners. Both a top-down and bottom-up approach was taken. From the top, senior management were briefed from the beginning on the benefits of developing a single cohesive EA effort in Interior that followed the OMB FEA models. This approach was approved by the DOI E-Gov Team and the Interior IT Investment Review Board.  A governance structure was established and implemented to support the moderniztion blueprint analyses.  This governance structure and blueprint methodology included input from business managers, system owners, and key IT officials (e.g., Bureau CIOs and Deputy CIOs) across Interior.  Key in implementing the methodology was alignment to Interior’s strategic plan that incoporated input and feedback from Interior’s stakeholders and the end citizen.  By integrating the goals and objectives of Interior’s strategic plan as the DOI performance reference model, the IEA ensured a citizen-centric focus was followed.  The governance boards included membership from DOI headquarters and all DOI bureaus and offices.  This tactic proved highly successful as all stakeholders were involved from the start and understood the benefits to be derived. With the governance structure in place, bureau architects, IT system owners and users were engaged in the process of implementing the DOI central EA respository and the development and review of the modernization blueprints.  Stakeholders external to DOI were engaged in the process as appropriate.

 

Why do you consider this Enterprise Architecture and award winning, transformational, innovative plan?

The DOI EA effort is unique in many aspects. DOI was the first federal cabinet agency to “operationalize” the OMB FEA Reference models through a Department-wide EA repository and blueprint methodology that unified EA development across its bureaus and offices.   Interior has been contacted by other cabinet agencies (e.g., Departments of State and Energy) to leverage Interior’s repository design and supporting blueprint methodology.  The FEA reference models were created as a hierarchical classification system for the federal government.  However, these models, albeit critical in cross-agency analysis, provided a very high-level taxonomy geared towards inter-agency analysis.  The DOI extended the FEA models by linking them to the DOI Strategic Plan goals and outcomes, Interior’s Activity Based Costing model and  Capital Planning and Investment Control database, data architectures, the DOI Technology  Reference Model and Interior’s IT system inventory.  Using these operationalized models, DOI IT investment decision-makers can now see direct links between their IT systems and investments and DOI goals targeted for accomplishment.  The DOI implemented a strategically business-driven EA repository that connects architecture, information security and investment management artifacts and information. The DOI not only inventoried its IT system assets, but provided the means to strategically analyze them in the context of future planning cycles to control investments, security risks and technology standardization while reducing IT costs.  Further, since all of the information in the repository is available to all DOI stakeholders, it improves data sharing through standardized data, identification of re-usable/shareable components, and definition of common solutions for future IT investments.  Also unique to DOI is the modernization blueprint methodolgy.  Using a quantitative process, the methodology facilitates the change required to maximize the IT investment process to meet the business managers’ and corporate needs.  DOI’s Investment Review Board endorsed the IEA modernization blueprint methodology requiring the blueprints to be used to guide the Interior’s IT investment process resulting in a strong linkage between EA and the capital planning and investment control process.  Finally, whereas many EA programs are viewed as theoretical and academic exercises, under the IEA program an actionable architecture has been produced using line of business modernization blueprints that will result in tangible benefits to the citizen, Interior’s business partners and overall reduction in Interior’s IT costs.