Taking the Agency “X” example, we ask the question: what would they do? How would they lay down cultural and business transformations for their organization? And will their efforts at transformation create a more efficient version of their organization, or their client’s product? That is the aim, after all. For one thing, they need to integrate the need for integrated reaction between soft and hard science driven organizations. A way to do this is to introduce Integrated Change Management as a way to begin building the culture. Organizations accomplish this by simply working together more, appreciating each other’s drivers, SWOT factors, and critical success factors. Essentially, the agencies in question need to get to know each other first. Then they can undergo a fancy 13-step process that 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.
- Program and CIO Service Management Efforts
- Enterprise Risk Management
- Enterprise Portfolio Management
- Capital Planning
Although it only addresses parts of the reaction, it at least begins to blend the varying cultures. The goal being to demonstrate 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 provider’s lack of communication skills. And by not helping them share what it is they need to be successful as a service center. Consequently, they will never achieve, nor understand the business.
Action 2: Help CIO Shop Understand The Imprint Of History More
So, for the CIO shop is to initiate these relations, they must integrate change management efforts. The goal of this is to be more sensitive to the historical imprint of Agency “X”s long history and varying set of challenges.
Help paint the picture of how the softer science leaders think. Also, what they appreciate and will understand. One technique is to use the D.I.S.C model, which demonstrates the different personalities of executive entities.
The politicals select their value framework based on long-term institutional battles that cross multiple generations of political leaning. Furthermore, they have little appreciation for the programmatic institutional needs to run the organizations core missions business.
The institutional leaders respond to that with a history of showing evaluations of past failures. Looking forward they are generally risk averse to selecting new products or services.
Those that have crossed the line on supporting politics can typically be seen as slightly challenging recent policy evaluations. This is usually seen of the predecessor. At the same time, limit challenging the selection or advisory of new policies. Those that try to enter that space get squashed easily Instead the challengers try hard to help the business find ways to react to the politicals 3-year emerging critical policy. Then, put aside other 3-year high priorities. This means business operation internal initiatives need to be seeded very early to gain any sort of adoption.
At The End…
Finally, the Innovators isolate themselves in “cost center land” and become a budget line item, to cut and add at will. But, when Agency “X” and the rest of the government entered into technology-based self-service for cost and ease of access reasons, this cost center view to service center view of technology was what they unknowingly signed onto. To do this, Agency “X” would need to be accumulating interactions with other domains to gain the desired outcomes. A logical order alone will not successfully achieve integration. Based on spheres of influence within the culture, the processes will merge.
Action 3: Eat Some Dog Food
How Agency “X” will mature into this structure will depend on adoption. Currently Agency “X” is exploring eating their own “dog food” and integrating CIO functions to share how they manage the information portfolio across all information assurance functions (CPIC, Records, Privacy, Security, Enterprise Architecture, etc.).
These early adopters are nice, but integrating the softer science management and budget functions of Strategic Planning, Workforce/Policy Planning, and establishing functional PMOs will be a challenge. 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 expect strong communication, and less 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 too far, ensure you prepare management 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, plan, communicate, budget, invest, procure, and govern together. This is especially true with those support functions get more and more shared as services (which is another talk in and of itself).
EA needs to realize when introducing change, these aforementioned factors from the organization EA is supporting change within. Cookie-cutter approaches will not work without the flexibility needed to understand 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. In other words, organizations must open themselves to transformation and innovation to build a more efficient program. One adoptable and supported by other agencies and organizations. Layering cultural and business transformations are not just good for reinventing yourself as an organization. Oftentimes, it’s a necessity.