Here at AMO when we design governance structures for our clients, we often use models that integrate change with governance gates. I’ll discuss below a common flow that we open with to start a productive conversation;
One Door to Change (1D2C)
This represents an official entry point. This is often one of the biggest benefit drivers for the Teams we work with. Once this function is established, behaviour can change quite instantly. The advantage of setting this up is that it is a simple concept to grasp and it’s hard to deny its purpose and value. The success of this function is not necessarily dependent on high levels of maturity around assessment and evaluation which makes it a good initial target for those clients attempting to steady the ship. If the Team has clear strategic priorities and a good understanding of capability, decisions can be made without a large investment in tools and techniques. As an absolute minimum, just the existence of this function, provides an opportunity for a considered decision and a clear message to all creators of new ideas. In addition, the much-used back door is firmly closed!
Many of our clients have bespoke delivery methodology and diverse project types. As AMO consultants we offer toolkits in this space. However here the focus of discussion is on governance and change. The way that we suggest governance in this space is by quite simply controlling entry and exit. Entry is through 1D2C and exit is governed by a Readiness Function. We intentionally do not dictate a governance and change structure within the delivery space. We find that 99% of our clients are mature from commencement to readiness. We also find that the governance structures that exist in this delivery phase are embedded in the overall Organisational fabric and as such require far reaching re-design and integration to achieve even a small-scale change. To conclude we leave delivery alone after satisfying ourselves on the existence and application of a robust delivery governing framework
This is the point at which the project passes its product over into real life. Change and governance integrate simultaneously here. AMO recommend a formal gate at this point and submission of a change record. Most of our clients are driving technical initiatives, so this gate is arguably the most important from a risk management perspective. The Readiness Function are responsible for the change record assessment and the co-ordination of any review, communication and approval required in order for the change to be scheduled, supported and take effect.
Transition into BAU
We get involved in this governance stage and formalisation thereof for two reasons. Firstly, as successful transition allows maximum benefits optimisation and secondly that it gets our delivery teams quickly into and out of warranty support (whilst key people are still around) and allows re-utilisation of resources and the feedback into the 1D2C cycle. There are many ways to achieve successful BAU transition. In our experience speed is a key driver to success. Delays drain resources and reduce confidence. AMO functions are highly active in facilitating this function.
Anther important one for us in AMO and a probably one of the governance milestones most often lacking in experiences with our clients. The reason we suggest that this is formalised is to create space for reflection. Close those financial ledger codes, reflect on what was great and the key challenges and most importantly to celebrate people and their achievements.
How does your organisation handle governance and change? Do you have variations of this flow in your teams? We would be really interested to hear.