A Framework for Achieving Best Practice in Maintenance
A Conference Paper presented to the West Australian Maintenance
Sandy Dunn, The
Plant Maintenance Resource Center
There is nothing permanent except change - Heraclitus
(Greek Philosopher - 6th Century BC)
One of the paradoxes of today's business world is that one
of the few things that we can rely on to remain constant is
the need for change. Yet today even that need for change is
itself changing. As technology advances, and what used to be
enormous distances are shrunk to insignificance, as national
borders diminish in importance, as we are forced to battle
in increasingly competitive global marketplaces, the pressures
to strive for constant improvement and change in what we do
and the way that we do it are increasing in intensity.
Australia's mining houses are facing increased price pressures
due to increasingly sophisticated competition from cheaper
economies - Brazilian iron ore, Indonesian coal, Russian diamonds.
The gold price continues to drop, with only the perpetual optimists
forecasting a turnaround. In the public sector, Government
commercialisation and/or privatisation policies are putting
huge change pressures on those in the Water, Power and Transport
On the other hand, this globalisation of business presents
great opportunities for Australia's larger organisations in
the capital-intensive industries who are up to the task. Today
we see significant offshore investments being made by organisations
such as BHP Minerals, BHP Petroleum, Mount Isa Mines, CRA-RTZ
and others. The opportunities for growth are currently limited
only by the availability of capital to fund that growth. Globally,
research among the boards of major multinational organisations
is showing that one of their greatest concerns is the availability
of capital to fund their continuing growth. One of the attractions
of the CRA-RTZ merger to both parties was the increased ability
to attract capital funding that would result from such a merger.
So what has this got to do with Maintenance? Quite simply,
Revenue = Price x Volume
Volume = Maximum Capacity x Overall Equipment Effectiveness
More effective Maintenance works on both sides of the Return
on Asset equation. Improved maintenance helps to increase revenues
by increasing equipment performance. It also helps to improve
ROA by reducing the need for expensive capital upgrades to
increase output. It directly and indirectly releases scarce
capital funds to fund growth.
This vital strategic importance of Maintenance in the Capital
Intensive industries is increasingly being realised at senior
levels in Australia's more progressive organisations. This
presents both great opportunities and great challenges for
Maintenance professionals. Pressure is increasing for change
in the way most organisations go about their maintenance. For
those that succeed, their efforts will increasingly be noticed
at board level. Are you ready for the challenge?
"They say that time changes things, but actually you
have to change them yourself." -Andy Warhol
This paper outlines the key factors that you should consider
when establishing a Maintenance Change program in your organisation.
In doing so, it provides a framework which you can apply to
increase the chances of success in your change efforts. The
paper draws heavily on Price Waterhouse experience in implementing
Maintenance change at many major organisations throughout WA,
as well as our international experience in implementing change
as articulated in our book "Better Change"
The Six Levers of Change
In developing ideas for solutions to address Maintenance
issues, often promising new solutions are rejected out of hand
or not seriously studied because the change team imagines that
the solutions are "out of bounds", or because the scope that
the team has established for itself is not wide enough. Similarly,
the team may choose not to look in directions that its members
consider "out of bounds". Large scale change in Maintenance
can only be successfully implemented by focussing on all the
key "pressure points" in your organisation that will repay
your efforts. These can be conceptualised as lying along several
dimensions. We have found it useful to formalise these dimensions
through the concept of the levers of change, as outlined
Customers and Stakeholders
Your vision of the present and future may include differences
in the way that the Maintenance function, or indeed your entire
organisation, will (or should) view and segment its customer
Products and Markets
The refined focus on customers you envision may be accompanied
by changes in the scope and variety of Maintenance services
that you are providing to your customers.
There will probably be a gap in the way your Maintenance
processes operate now and the way they will need to operate
in the future in order to provide better service to your organisation.
You may already perceive the need to introduce a new set of
pointedly relevant performance measures to measure Maintenance
efficiency and effectiveness.
People and Culture
Your vision may include differences in the kinds of people
you will need, systems and measures for rewarding them, and
the culture that sends them daily signals concerning "how we
do business" and "what we are all about" in a Maintenance context.
There is probably a gap between the organisation structure
today and its best future configuration. New workshops and
other facilities may also appear in your vision of the kind
of future worth having.
Finally, your vision may reveal a gap between the information-based
technologies in place today and those needed to remain competitive
in the future. These could include your choice of Computerised
Maintenance Management System, and any other information systems
that you may use to support your maintenance efforts. It is
common in change efforts to fail to focus on all the levers
of change rather than the one or two that, due to their backgrounds,
team members may regard as their province. We have found that
successful Maintenance change programs consider all of the
levers of change, and implement change in an integrated way,
pulling all of these levers in a co-ordinated and balanced
Strategic Levers of Change
Of these levers of change, the first two - Stakeholders and
Customers and Products and Markets - can be considered as being
the Strategic levers of change. As such, they should be assessed
before considering the other four, as they set the general
strategic direction and focus with which changes in the other
dimensions must align.
In a Maintenance environment, these strategic levers involve
asking questions such as:
- Which areas of the business are we providing Maintenance
- Could we be providing Maintenance support services to other
potential customers other than those that we have traditionally
- Which Maintenance services should we be providing?
- Which Maintenance services would be better provided by
At an even higher level, you may wish to consider the question:
- Should we be operating and maintaining this plant ourselves,
or would this be better conducted by another organisation?
There is currently a trend towards outsourcing of many, if
not all, maintenance services to contractors. It is beyond
the scope of this paper to discuss this trend in detail, or
to provide guidance to those currently considering this option
within their own organisation, but beware conventional wisdom
(see below). It is important that this decision be made by
your organisation alone, based on your situation, and with
full consideration of all of the details that are specific
to your situation. However, questions that you may want to
ask when considering this decision include:
- How important, in a strategic sense, is the maintenance
service in achieving and sustaining long-term competitive
advantage in the marketplace?
- Is there a competitive market for the maintenance service
in the external marketplace?
- Where are the points of leverage in the contract maintenance
industry that will provide the opportunity both for you and
the contractor to obtain gains from an outsourced arrangement?
- How efficiently does your in-house operation currently
provide the service in comparison with the external marketplace?
- How flexible can the contracting arrangement be made to
cater for possible significant changes within and outside
- How will longer-term continuous improvement be managed
- How long will potential contractors take to achieve significant
improvements in maintenance performance?
- How easy or difficult will it be to replace the contractor,
Operational Levers of Change
If you want the best results from your change effort, it
must have the right scope. This may seem obvious, but setting
scope and securing freedom of action appropriate to that scope
are not simple matters. Is it the Maintenance process, the
Maintenance department, or the whole company that needs to
be retooled? We will discuss this issue further a little later.
One-dimensional change typically generates either modest
improvement in the bottom line, or outright failure. Better
change is always multi-dimensional.
If you ask people for better work performance, you must improve
their work processes, give them access to the right tools and
information, give them the authority to make decisions, measure
performance in new ways, and reward them for higher performance.
If you restructure the organisation, you must also rethink
processes and the line of command, ensure the systems and technology
infrastructure supports the new configuration, and revise performance
evaluation and compensation to motivate adherence to the new
If you redesign processes, you must also redesign jobs and
procedures, change the systems and technologies that support
these processes, train people to perform new or different tasks,
and remove barriers to change.
If you invest in technologies such as information systems,
you must also consider whether they support customer-critical
processes, and integrate with technologies now in place that
you do not intend to upgrade. Further, you must prepare people
to use the new technologies in their new or different jobs.
High performance organisations address change in all of its
dimensions. They involve parties not only within their organisation,
but also those outside its boundaries. An integrated solution
will lower costs across the entire system from material supply
and work identification, to successful work completion and
In a Maintenance environment, because we come from a technical
background, we often focus on the Technology or Processes levers
of change, and underestimate the importance of ensuring that
the changes made in these dimensions must be balanced with
corresponding actions in the other levers of change if the
full potential benefits of the change are to be realised. For
engineering folk like us, issues of organisation structure,
people and culture are often seen as being the "soft" issues.
While we recognise that they need to be addressed, we do not
see them as being ones that deserve major focus, or that provide
significant opportunity for improvement in Maintenance efficiency
and effectiveness. Consistently we underrate their importance
- to our detriment. My colleague Steve Starling will be presenting
a paper later in this conference which considers these "soft" issues
in more detail.
Nine Reasons Why Bad Things Happen to Good Maintenance
- Failure to Create a Powerful Mandate for Change
In our experience, the biggest barrier to change is simply
that the organisation is simply not ready for it. Accordingly,
it is best to start any Maintenance change project with the
assumption that the case for change has not yet been made.
A Case for Change is a reasoned, yet powerfully persuasive
justification for the changes targeted by your change effort.
To be effective, your case for change should be:
- Well articulated
- Qualitative and quantitative
- Well documented
- Above all it must build a strong sense of urgency.
When we are involved in a Maintenance change project, we
often find that employees' perceptions of what will change
vary significantly. Very few perceive change in multiple
levers of change. It is important, in communicating the case
for change, to let them know the scope of the change that
Benchmarking is an extremely valuable, if not essential,
tool in building the case for change. However, to support
a sustainable case for change, it is no longer sufficient
to collect a few, barely relevant productivity statistics.
Balanced and complete benchmarking measures will consider
the following factors:
- Process/Performance Benchmarks - this
is the traditional staple of all benchmarking exercises
- the measured results (or metrics) achieved by competitors
or world-class performers in various processes and the
methods used to achieve those results. In a maintenance
environment, these could include measures such as: equipment
availability, equipment reliability, maintenance costs
as a percentage of Estimated Plant Replacement Value, and
- Strategic Benchmarks - The direction
for a change initiative may involve changes in maintenance
strategy. Where this is so, the benchmark should include
information on the strategies adopted by competitors. These
could include consideration of factors such as: the range
of Maintenance services that are contracted out, the nature
of these contracts (eg Partnering agreements, Performance-Based
- Plant & Equipment Design Benchmarks -
Factual, current information on the expectations and needs
of operations, and how they match the capabilities of your
plant and equipment is central to building a sustainable
case for change. For example, a plant which is barely capable
of keeping pace with production requirements, and in which
any equipment failure will lead to immediate loss of sales
revenue will require different Maintenance requirements
(and Maintenance inputs) to a plant that has ample spare
capacity. It is important to realise that the Maintenance
requirements for plant and equipment is determined, in
the short term, by the interaction between plant design
and operational requirements. It is possible that some
plants with lower Maintenance costs are able to achieve
this through increased investment in redundant plant -
the overall mix may be less than effective.
- Workforce Benchmarks - Building a sustainable
case for change requires an honest assessment of the organisation's
readiness and capacity for change. While we would probably
prefer to consider that our workforce are always ready
for, and capable of, significant change, in many cases
significant change is simply not possible within a short
timeframe. For example, those organisations that operate
within a highly structured and unionised environment may
find it more difficult to achieve significantly different
working practices than those that have fewer union constraints.
Failing to Deliver Early, Tangible Results
Some would say that the half-life of a major Maintenance
change project is six months; that is, if you are not showing
tangible benefits in six months, expect support to halve,
and the barriers to double. On the whole, we endorse this
view. The worst thing you can do is design a change program
that requires a major up-front investment, but offers no
evidence of improved performance until a "big bang" implementation
is finally put into place. It is vital to come up with a
series of short-term, demonstrable wins. Publicise those
wins at the time that they happen, to build momentum and
This need for quick results is important if for no other
reason than to keep hope alive. The discomfort of change
eventually reaches everyone, and as it does, you can expect
resistance to increase. Unless tangible benefits can be demonstrated
early, you can expect that even those who started the project
as enthusiastic supporters can become sceptical, even cynical,
about whether the changes can, or even should be achieved.
Failing to "Connect the Dots"
Ideas compete in business just as they do on the field
of battle and in politics. Business journals are rich in
competing management techniques to improve organisational
performance. While there is no single "magic bullet", most
techniques, such as RCM, TPM, TQM, VAM, and so on, are legitimate;
they just need to be tuned to your organisational needs to
be put to work. However, failing to integrate and reconcile
potentially competing projects, particularly when these projects
are all competing for the same, scarce, internal resources,
can exhaust your organisation, and result in none of the
projects delivering its full promise. Co-ordinating multiple,
concurrent change projects is, ultimately, a leadership issue.
Someone at a senior level within your organisation must take
responsibility for this role. It is more than just evaluating
the benefits of anyone program, and ensuring that this represents
a proper application of organisational resources. The challenge
is to ensure program congruity. To do this, this senior executive
- Understand each program - what it is trying to achieve,
its impacts on each of the levers of change, the resources
it will require, etc.
- Make choices - these could include integrating teams,
discontinuing specific activities, or killing or postponing
- Resolve overlaps or conflicts
- Connect the dots - create a big picture for your audience,
and communicate the big picture plainly and effectively.
- At one of our clients, a major Maintenance Improvement
Program was being conducted at the same time as a
- Reliability Centred Maintenance initiative was being
started. Simultaneously, development of operating and maintenance
procedures to obtain quality accreditation under ISO9000
was under way. All of this was happening shortly after
a significant workforce downsizing. Needless to say, while
some good results were achieved out of all of these initiatives,
none of the improvements were as great as had been predicted
at the commencement of the change programs.
Old Performance Measures Block Change
It is an old, but true saying that "What gets measured
gets done". All significant change efforts require reshaping
the performance measures that guide manager and employee
actions. Think about the measures that drive the actions
and affect the attitudes of your employees. Is behaviour
likely to change if they are not reshaped?
For example, if you are trying to encourage responsiveness
to production needs, does a focus on Maintenance costs help
to foster this new environment? Is it possible that a high
level of focus on equipment availability might encourage
Maintenance personnel to return an inefficient piece of equipment
Few policies are more effective in focusing employees energies
and attention than a properly designed and implemented performance
reporting system. This performance reporting system should
contain a small, balanced set of measures that are strongly
aligned with your strategies and goals. When your measures
are aligned with your strategies and goals, then your ability
to drive change is greatly enhanced.
Failure to Pull all the Levers of Change
As mentioned previously, implementing change in only one
or two of the dimensions of change will, at best, lead to
only modest performance improvement, or, at worst, to no
improvement at all. Successful change programs consider all
of the levers of change, and implement change in an integrated
way, pulling all of these levers in a co-ordinated and balanced
"What's in it for me" is unclear
People change when the case for change becomes a personal
matter. Too many change initiatives are naively based on
the premise that changes in employee behaviour will occur "for
the good of the enterprise". This is extremely unlikely.
An employee will change his or her behaviour when management
honestly promises to make things better, and communicates
persuasively that the forthcoming change program is part
of the solution for that individual. The values in play are
financial rewards, self-esteem, recognition, job satisfaction,
career growth, pride and numerous other personal tangibles
and intangibles. It's only human; when we cannot see what
is in it for us, we are unlikely to change.
For any Maintenance change project, therefore, it is vital
to consider each of the stakeholder individuals and groups
from which support for the change is essential, and ask the
question - what is in it for them? If the answer is "nothing",
then think again, because your Change project is unlikely
to be successful. If you think again and the answer is still "nothing",
then you had better create something that will be in it for
them. Once you have identified the potential benefits for
those involved in the change, then emphasise these frequently.
One word of warning, however. Be careful not to build up
expectations to an unreasonably high level, only to find
that you cannot deliver at the end of the day. For more on
this topic, see Managing Stakeholder Communications below.
Inadequate Scope for the Maintenance Change Project
In considering a Maintenance Change project, it is vital,
if significant organisational improvement is to be achieved,
to have a clear understanding of what is meant by the word "Maintenance".
The Oxford dictionary defines "maintain" to mean "to cause
to continue". In the context of plant and equipment maintenance,
we could therefore define maintenance to mean "to cause plant
and equipment maintenance to continue to perform its intended
functions", or in plain English, "to make sure that equipment
continues to do what its users want it to do".
It follows then, that any activity which is performed which
fulfils this criteria is part of the maintenance process,
regardless of who performs it. Activities such as adjusting
pump glands, detecting whether equipment is running unusually
noisily or rough, notifying maintenance of equipment defects,
routine equipment cleaning, and so on, are all part of the
maintenance process, even though, in many plants, these activities
are actually performed by the equipment operators.
Any Maintenance Change project which does not deliberately
include within its scope the potential for changes in those
maintenance activities that are performed by production operators
and others within the organisation is, therefore, destined
to be less effective. The key thing to realise here is that
Maintenance is a process, not a function or a Department.
The most effective changes to this process will be those
that address those issues that inevitably arise when processes
cross departmental boundaries.
Without exception, those Maintenance change efforts that
we have been involved in that have been less effective than
we would have liked, have been those in which Production
managers, supervisors and operators have had minimal involvement
in the change process. The challenge is in building a case
for change that motivates them to become involved, and in
constantly communicating with them the vision for the future
and how that will benefit them.
Determining and revising the routine maintenance activities
to be performed on a regular basis is also a vital part of
the maintenance process. The maintenance process can be visualised
in the following diagram.
The loop on the right hand side of this diagram could be
considered to be the short-term control loop. It is the loop
that most traditional Maintenance Change exercises focus
on. This loop primarily deals with Maintenance Efficiency,
in the sense that, by closing this loop, you will ensure
that the most productive time is spent by tradesmen, with
less time being spent waiting for parts, for equipment to
be made available, and so on.
The loop on the left hand side, in contrast, can be considered
the Continuous Improvement loop. This loop focuses primarily
on Maintenance Effectiveness, in the sense that in this loop,
Maintenance activities are being analysed to determine whether
the routine Maintenance activities being performed are optimal
for the current operating context of the equipment. This
loop is frequently ignored in many Maintenance Change programs,
yet for many organisations, this loop represents their greatest
opportunity for improvement. Few organisations have in place
effective, proactive processes for analysing their Maintenance
activities and optimising their routine maintenance activities.
Indeed, a recent study tour to Best Practice Maintenance
organisations in Hong Kong, the USA and Canada came to the
conclusion that the prime difference between those organisations
and the others was that these organisations did have these
processes in place and under control.
A further possible refinement is to include in your Maintenance
Change project those activities and processes relating to
Maintenance Engineering - modifying plant and equipment to
make it easier to maintain, or to design out the causes of
repetitive failures. Effective systems and procedures for
prioritising the many opportunities that abound in this area
are essential to ensure that full value for money is obtained
from these scarce engineering resources.
Failure to Manage Stakeholder Communications
Stakeholders are those individuals or groups who, at some
time during the Maintenance change cycle, will affect and
be affected by what is happening. Obvious stakeholders are
those directly involved in the changes, but you may need
to consider others outside this group. Stakeholders include
Production Managers, Production Supervisors, Production Workers,
Maintenance Supervisors, Maintenance Tradesmen, Engineers,
Suppliers, members of the change team etc. You need to think
about how, in your own way, you can bring them on board to
support change. Experience shows that this is a major hurdle
standing between your change project as an idea on paper,
and your change project as implemented reality. All of the
good ideas in the world go nowhere if the people affected
by them and affecting them do not give them their support.
Motivating stakeholders to make their agenda yours is no
easy task. One reason for its difficulty is that so many
stakeholders are involved in complex change. Adding to the
complexity, each of these stakeholder individuals and groups
perceives themselves as having different stakes. Further,
their views of the project, and what it all means is likely
to evolve during the course of the project - implying that
you will need to revisit stakeholders from time to time,
listen to their hopes and fears and to reinstill the positive
change message. Finally, your biggest obstacle to successful
change could be your organisation's past experience with
change. That experience is likely to be mixed at best.
The more specifically you know your stakeholder groups
and individuals, the better you will foresee how to influence
them. To develop an effective communication plan, you will
need to consider each one so that you have a credible map
of their perceived interests and levels of influence. For
each group you will need to tackle two issues:
- How will this change affect them? Stakeholders
will be assessing the change project in terms of their
own personal wins and losses. Conjecture on your part as
to how they are thinking about the proposed change can
be dangerous - better to ask them directly.
- What do they think of the people in charge? Relationships
play an enormous role in the success or failure of change
projects. A change team staffed by highly credentialled
and respected individuals can have a significant influence
over the others in the organisation. If your change team
is not staffed by these types of people, then you are in
Newton's Third Law was never so true: An object at rest
tends to stay at rest until acted upon by external forces.
In change projects, inertia is to be avoided. It is too easy
for stakeholders to remain right where they are; especially
if they are anxious about the change project. Stakeholders
need continuous invitations to become involved, constant
reassurance that they will get their wins.
Too Much Conventional Wisdom
Successful change programs require a solid foundation in
fact, and one company's facts will be quite different from
another's. This means that exemplary solutions, even if they
are reported in the most trusted business journals, or Maintenance
conferences, may not work for you. Your facts may be different.
Better change means better facts, better judgement.
Currently, as mentioned before, conventional wisdom has
it that contracted maintenance is more efficient and effective
than inhouse maintenance. It also maintains that information
systems that offer total integration between Maintenance,
Supply, Accounts, Human Resources and Payroll are more effective
than "best of breed" packages in each of these areas that
do not integrate as well. Conventional wisdom says that multi-skilled
workers are more valuable than specialists. These may be
generally true, but they may not be true in your specific
circumstances. Be wary of following the latest trends without
full consideration and analysis of your facts.
Is Your Organization Ready to Change? - A Diagnostic
The following framework provides a simple but effective way
of looking at current or planned change in order to assess
its viability. To achieve this, we use fifteen factors that
influence the success of major change projects - these are
drawn from a combination of research and our consulting experience.
These factors are grouped into three broad categories: risk,
rate of return and latent opportunity. Look through each of
the fifteen factors. Use a scale of 1 to 5 (1=Very Low, 2=Low,
3=Medium, 4=High, 5=Very High) to measure how each factor pertains
to the situation in your organisation. Jot down a few facts
to support your assessment. When you have finished, total the
points, and use the notes that follow to help you draw conclusions
and action items from your analysis.
Risk Factor 1 - Adequacy of Risk Management Process Risk
Management processes need to be well articulated and effectively
deployed. Very low adequacy indicates that risks and issues
are discussed infrequently and response to issues is very often
delayed. Very high adequacy indicates that risks and issues
are debated fully, issues are predicted well in advance and
responses to mitigate their impact are swift.
Risk Factor 2 - Adequacy of Change Program Definition An
ill-defined change program will be fundamentally unstable -
having a tight definition is not the same as being inflexible.
Very low adequacy indicates that plans are not baselined and
few people are clear about the scope of the changes required.
Very high adequacy indicates that comprehensive and integrated
plans are available and that dependencies are defined.
Risk Factor 3 - Effectiveness of Change Management
Processes The processes that are put in place for
management review of progress rarely bite - this is a key
opportunity missed. Very low effectiveness indicates that
the focus is on paper, not people - there is little individual
accountability to the change program. Very high effectiveness
indicates that meetings are restricted to collective issues
and that face-to-face accountability is required.
Risk Factor 4 - Adequacy of Sponsorship and Resources The
absence of adequate change program sponsorship and appropriate
resources are major risk factors. Too often change programs
are resourced by those who happen to be available. Very low
adequacy indicates that the sponsorship is narrow. Cynicism
and inertia are openly displayed and tolerated. Very high adequacy
indicates that executives dedicate large amounts of sponsorship
time and the best and brightest resources.
Risk Factor 5 - Adequacy of Communication and Involvement These
are often seen as soft issues. However, they are widely recognised
as critical for engineering a receptive and lasting environment
for change. Very low adequacy indicates that communication
is random and driven from the top down; key groups re left
outside the change process. Very high adequacy indicates that
communication is open, direct and regular; stakeholders are
identified and tracked.
Risk Factor 6 - Range of linked/consequential actions
identified Organisations tend to become preoccupied
with one dimension of change. However a successful implementation
will require a serious look at strategy, processes, organisation,
culture and systems. Very low adequacy indicates that change
plans are prepared with little reference to consequential
changes that are required to make proposed changes stick.
Very high adequacy indicates that consequential changes are
well-defined and rooted in fact-based analysis - thus few
unanticipated problems arise.
Risk Factor 7 - Coherence in the sequencing of linked
actions Inadequate attention to this issue significantly
increases the risk of failure. Very low coherence indicates
that changes appear disjointed with no apparent rationale
for the sequencing of change actions. Very high coherence
indicates that changes are built into a sequence that is
logical and that the rationale is well understood and communicated.
Rate of Return Factor 1 - Extent and Timing of Benefits Few
major change programs are supported by a sound business case.
This is as true for hard changes, like implementation of CMMS
systems, as it is for soft changes like culture and organisational
change. Very low extent and timing indicates that business
benefits from the change are ill-defined and subject to change.
Very high extent and timing indicates that benefits are crystallised
from the outset and revisited at regular checkpoints.
Rate of Return Factor 2 - Economy in Change Program
Budgets Many executives are ill-equipped to challenge
budgets proposed for change projects, often because they
have limited experience in understanding what is required
in a new, unique situation. Very low economy indicates that
budgets are well padded with little challenge of the details.
Work often expands to fill the available budget. High economy
indicates incentives for project managers to deliver under
budget; executives challenge the budget detail.
Rate of Return Factor 3 - Extent to which Project
Time, Specifications and Costs are Managed For a
few, plans and budgets indicate a statement of intent. For
many, they are merely a projection of what may be possible.
Very low extent indicate that projects suffer persistent
time overruns which are accepted as inevitable; scope is
not firm. Very high extent indicates that time and cost objectives
are very high priority and never compromised; scope is set.
Rate of Return Factor 4 - Degree of focus on business
results Looking beyond the front-end business case,
many organisations do not look at business results until
a change program is in the post-implementation review; too
late in the process to make changes that will produce the
desired results. Very low degree of focus indicates that
the targets for improvement are difficult to measure and
lack precision. Very high degree of focus indicates that
the targets are well thought out and result in relevant measures.
Latent Opportunity Factor 1 - Program Scope Some
programs get stuck in ever finer iterations of design and planning.
Others take a narrow view of the potential sources of business
improvement. Very low scope indicates that the change program
is based on a single primary thrust - other opportunities for
improvement are ignored. Very high scope indicates that the
change program is deep and wide; all major improvement opportunities
have been identified.
Latent Opportunity Factor 2 - Linking Change Drivers
through Actions to Performance Improvement Looking
both ways down the tunnel can be helpful in surfacing missed
opportunities. Are we responding to the things that prompted
change? Very low linking indicates little confidence that
changes will have significant impact on results. Very high
linking indicates that components of the program are linked
to both change drivers and results.
Latent Opportunity Factor 3 - Appropriateness of
Benchmark Targets Few organisations look for benchmarks
and Best Practices beyond their own industry and territory.
Very low appropriateness indicates that the targets are mostly
set on an introspective view; external benchmarks used are
inappropriate. Very high appropriateness indicates that benchmarking
is seen as a competitive and professional way of life.
Latent Opportunity Factor 4 - Quality of the Benchmarking
Process Doing benchmarking properly takes skill
and effort. Very low quality indicates that benchmarking
processes are informal and inexact; data is of little value
in change planning. Very high quality indicates that benchmarking
methodologies are available and are applied; data is used
to guide planning.
15-34 points - Watch out!
35-55 points - Keep a close eye on things.
56-75 points - You/your organisation are very likely to successfully
implement the change program.
This is, of course, only a rough guide. In developing actionable
ideas, consider the following:
Look at the high risk areas. Consider whether they represent
a real risk. Develop a short list of issues for action.
Consider whether some improvement actions can be developed
to shift some medium risks into low risks. Review your notes
on issues and ideas from each segment. Can you use these? Does
a consistent theme emerge? Can you act alone, or do you need
to build support? Can you use this analytical framework to
help you? Does the evidence you have noted stand up?