Assess Organizational Readiness - Business Analyst

Purpose

Assess whether the organization is ready to make effective use of a new solution.

Description

An organizational readiness assessment describes the effect a new solution will have on an organization and whether the organization is prepared for the organizational change that the solution implementation will cause. Effective communication of solution impacts assists in enabling necessary organizational change management practices and identifying training requirements for solution implementation.

In order to identify impacts the business analyst should understand what changes will occur in the business area, technical infrastructure or processes and how these affect other business units or operations.

Input

Enterprise Architecture: Describes the current state of the enterprise, including the organizational structure, business processes, systems, information, etc.

Solution Scope: used to determine which components of the business architecture are affected.

Solution [Designed]: Used in place of the solution scope, if available.

Stakeholder Concerns: Used to assess potential problems or issues.

Elements

1. Cultural Assessment

Determine whether stakeholder groups genuinely want the change to be successful. Assess the beliefs, attitudes and feelings common to key stakeholder groups and the willingness of those stakeholder groups to accept a change. Determine whether stakeholders understand the reasons that a new solution is being implemented, whether they view that solution as something that will be beneficial, and they understand the reasons why a new solution is required.

2. Operational or Technical Assessment

Determine whether the organization is able to take advantage of the capabilities provided by the new solution, and evaluate whether stakeholders are prepared to make use of the new solution. Determine if training has been performed, whether new policies and procedures have been defined, whether IT systems required to support it are in place, and whether the solution is capable of performing at a required level.

3. Stakeholder Impact Analysis

Understand how change will affect a particular stakeholder group. Some things that may be considered in an impact analysis include:

Functions: What processes involve the stakeholder and what applications does the stakeholder use?

Location: Are the stakeholders located in a single place or in a distributed team? If they are distributed, will the change affect their communications?

Tasks: What tasks are performed by people associated with that stakeholder group? Will the change alter how those tasks are performed, or affect the skill levels required to perform them? Will stakeholders have more or less flexibility in performing their tasks?

Concerns: What are this group’s usability requirements, preferences, and their proficiency level regarding interaction with computer systems? Will their work become more or less demanding? Are any members of the group at risk of losing their jobs? Will the changes affect their work satisfaction?

Techniques

1. General Techniques

Acceptance and Evaluation Criteria Definition: Acceptance criteria must reflect solution performance levels that would allow the organization to have confidence in solutions that meet those criteria.

Data Flow Diagramsand Process Models : Useful for identifying the activities that are likely to change with the implementation of a new solution and the stakeholders who performed those activities.

Focus Groups, Interviews and Survey/Questionnaire: Can assist with identifying stakeholder concerns or issues.

Organization Modeling: Used to identify stakeholders or stakeholder groups that may be impacted by the new solution.

Problem Tracking: Used to ensure that issues identified by the organizational readiness assessment are resolved.

Risk Analysis: Used to assess potential problems that are identified during the organizational readiness assessment, determine which possible problems are the most important to deal with, and develop a mitigation strategy.

SWOT Analysis: Used to assess strategies developed to respond to identified issues.

2. Force Field Analysis

Force field analysis is a graphical method for depicting the forces that support and oppose a change. It involves identifying the forces that support and oppose a change, depicting them on opposite sides of a line, and then estimating the strength of each force in order to assess which set of forces are stronger. Once this analysis is complete, the next step is to look for ways to strengthen the forces that support the desired outcome or generate new forces.

Stakeholders

Domain SME: Provides information on the likely impact to stakeholders and the capabilities of the enterprise.

Implementation SME: Supplies information on the skills and capabilities necessary to successfully operate the new solution. There are a number of Implementation SMEs that can have a significant effect on the ability of an organization to implement change, including, but not limited to:

  • Organizational Change Management SMEs assist organizations with communicating change to their stakeholders and creating support among those stakeholders for the change.
  • Usability SMEs assist with the evaluation and design of software applications that are easier to understand and use.
  • Training SMEs assist with the creation of a training plan to help stakeholders develop the skills that they need to effectively use the new solution.

Operational Support: Provides information on their ability to support the operation of the solution. Will need to understand the nature of the solution in order to be able to support it.

Project Manager: Requires the organizational readiness assessment to determine if additional project work is required for a successful implementation of the solution. An implementation plan should be created to outline the steps to be taken and the order in which they must be executed to resolve any issues identified in the organizational readiness assessment.

Sponsor: Authorizes and champions action to resolve problems identified in the organizational readiness assessment.

Output

Organizational Readiness Assessment: Describes whether stakeholders are prepared to accept the change associated with a solution and are able to use it effectively. May lead to revisions in solution or project scope.

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