Layering Cultural and Business Transformation (Part 5)

Taking the Agency “X” example, what would they do. They need to integrate the need for integrated reaction between soft and hard science driven organizations. A way to do this is introduce Integrated Change Management as a way to begin to build into the culture simply working together more, appreciating each others drivers, SWOT factors, and critical success factors. Essentially, they need to get to know each other first, before a fancy 13-step process can cure their anonymity.

Action 1: Introduce Integrated Change Management Between Business and Technology

Many groups see this, and start off from a domain-centric approach. Integrated Change management could focus on a few aspects first – together

  • Program and CIO Service Management Efforts
  • Enterprise Risk Management
  • Enterprise Portfolio Management
  • Capital Planning

All each though only addressing parts of the reaction, at least it begins to blend the varying cultures and beings to show demonstration to the other cultures that burying the hard science in Cost Center models and Nerd funded research areas will only limit their understanding of true business service needs. And vice-versa, by not seeing past the technology and engineering service providers lack of communication skills, and helping them share what it is they need to be successful for them as a service center, they will never achieve, nor understand the business.

Action 2: Help CIO Shop understand the imprint of history more

So, if the CIO shop is to initiate this relations, as many initiatives are being initiated as such, will required integrated change management efforts to be more sensitive to the  historical imprint of Agency “X”s long history and varying set of challenges than in hard science’s own short history.

Help paint the picture how the softer science leaders think and what they appreciate and will understand. One technique is to use the D.I.S.C model. which can be used to demonstrate the different personalities of executive entities.

The politicals select their value framework based on long-term institutional battles that cross multi-generations of political leaning, and have little appreciation for the programmatic institutional needs to run the organizations core missions business.

The institutional leaders respond to that with a long time history of showing evaluations of past failures and looking forward they are generally risk adverse to selecting new products or services.

Those that have crossed the line between supporting politicals can typically been seen as lightly challenging recent policy evaluations, usually of the predecessor, but limt challenging the selection or advisory of new policies as that is limited to the politicals selected executive trusted advisor. Those that try to enter that space get squashed easily, so instead the challengers try hard to help the business find ways to react to the politicals 3-year emerging critical policy and put aside other past 3-year high priorities. This means business operation internal initiatives need to be seeded very early to gain any sort of adoption.

Finally, the Innovators, who in one positive light until the last few years, have been isolated in cost center land and have been seen as a budget line item, to cut and add at will. But, when Agency “X” and rest of government entered into technology-based self-service for cost and ease of access reasons, this cost center view to service center view of technology as what they unknowingly signed onto – bringing the Nerds to the C-level big table and letting be taught and integrate in resolution ideation. To do this, Agency “X” would need to be expanding and absorbing interaction with other domains to result in the desired outcomes. A logical order alone will not successfully achieve integrating. Based on sphere of influence within the culture, the processes will merge.



Action 3: Eat some dogfood

How Agency “X” will mature into this structure will depend on adoption. Currently Agency “X” is exploring eating their own dogfood and integrating CIO functions in sharing how they mange the information portfolio across all information assurance functions (CPIC, Records, Privacy, Security, Enterprise Architecture, etc.).

These early adopters are nice, but where integrating the softer science management and budget functions of Strategic Planning, Workforce/Policy Planning, and establishing functional PMOs will be challenges. CIO shops have drank the kool aid of hard science management needed, and can be taught softer science techniques, but the softer science organizations, trained for 20, 30 years of government service obfuscated from technology modernizations and only visibility are the 80% of IT implementation failures will be an uphill battle. Softer Science taught managers, who have expectations in strong communication, and less strong technology interests and appetites, have little patience for technical mumbo-jumbo, process, or even 3 boxes and a couple arrows.

Action 4: If general adoption, the first transformation blueprint that should be done is a management planning one – or at least each blueprint needs to have a component addressing the program and resource management slice of bread around the core mission blueprint
Before going to far, assure the management is prepared to evaluate itself while modernizing or ideating mission improvements. As the Porter Value Chain Suggests, as you look at the value of the primary activities, you need to understand how the supporting activities can coalesce and plan, communicate, budget, invest, procure, and govern together. Especially as those support functions get more and more shared as services (which is another talk in and of itself).


Culture is generations of history of successes and failures. EA needs to realize when introducing change these factors at the organization EA is supporting change within. Cookie-cutter approaches will not work without flexibility in understanding high-level cultural, policy, and innovation successes and failures over time.

Agency “X” is using this knowledge of its culture to effect change, and begin to create an integrated change management that is sensitive to change adoption and support.

NOTE: This information was produced with information research from Xentity. Be nice, link credit.