If your program leads change in a large organization, one of your primary challenges will be to find out where you are today and where you are going in the future. It should come as no surprise that most of the time everyone you talk to has a different take on both ends of the question. How you reconcile the different points of view will in large measure determine whether you succeed or fail. Your mission is to review your team’s current performance. So where do you begin?
My favorite trick is to pull a page from a Canadian playbook. Several years back, their government put a focus on citizen service across all their agencies. In order to jump-start the effort, everyone got a roadmap tool that walks them through the necessary steps to transform their organizations.
Nine Steps for Your Review
It starts with a planning assessment exercise. The exercise involves filling out a grid, nine topics long and grading your organization on a one to three scale against each issue. One means you are low performing, two means you are in transition and three means you are high performing.
The nine topics happen to coincide with the steps on a road-map to transition you from low performing to high performing. Your goal is to color yourself green – rated three – in all nine areas.
- Internal Assessment: Identify the internal and external clients products, services, partners and stakeholders
- Assess Current State: Establish a client feedback strategy; identify current levels of employee and client satisfaction, expectations and priorities
- Desired Future State: Create future service and mission statements
- Priorities for Improvement: Identify areas for potential improvement
- Set Standards and Targets: Set improvement targets; set client driven service standards
- Design Improvement Plan: develop an action plan to obtain improvements for each goal; identify responsibilities; defining a schedule; allocating resources and responsibilities
- Implementation: Implement the improvement plan
- Monitor: monitor and measure progress, ensure accountability for results
- Recognition: Establish, monitor and maintain an employee recognition program
Instant Strategic Plan
What I find interesting about this tool is it allows you to get the issue of different points of view about the organization’s status out on the table. I like to use it as a vehicle for a discussion which aims to get everyone to agree on where the organization stands on each topic after each participant has filled it out individually. A working meeting like this usually lasts about an hour and makes for a lively discussion as you discover how each individual grades the organization’s status. (Freebie: use this spreadsheet to make it easy!)
When I perform my Web governance system audit, this planning assessment is part of the toolbox. If a meeting isn’t possible, it is deployed as a survey with the results reported back to everyone.
Add up and average the individual scores. Then average scores across the group for a single number that tells you if you are low – in transition – or high performing. When you know where you stand, you can also see where you are going. The nine steps become your road-map to change and your mission to color yourself green and rated threes across the board.
Voila! An instant strategic plan.