Building an enterprise change capability is tricky business. One of the many challenges leaders on this journey face is how to measure progress. Nearly two decades of research on the people side of change provide the foundations for Prosci’s Change Management Maturity Model.

This research-based framework offers a measuring stick for organizational change management progress. This article examines the different aspects of the change management maturity framework and offers insights into how the maturity framework can be used to drive improvement in organizational change capability.

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The Five Capability Areas of Organizational Change Management Competency:

  1. Leadership
  2. Application
  3. Competencies
  4. Standardization
  5. Socialization

CAPABILITY AREA 1: LEADERSHIP

This is not general leadership but the senior leader support of change management capability. This leadership can take many forms, including:

  • Primary sponsor for change management deployment effort
  • Sponsor coalition for deployment effort
  • Communications from key leaders about the importance of change management
  • Vision for the organizational change management capability
  • Business rules, policies and procedures making change management a requirement
  • Funding and resources for the change management capability project
  • Leadership accessibility, decision making and engagement with the project team working to deploy change management

Questions to ask:

  • How committed is leadership to organizational change management?
  • What activities or messages is the leadership undertaking to communicate the value of change management and the effort to build an internal competency?
  • Who is sponsoring change management deployment?

If your organization scores low in the Leadership capability area, then this is the first area you should focus on when building an organizational competency.

CAPABILITY AREA 2: APPLICATION

A mature change management organization will apply change management methodology and tools on projects and initiatives throughout the organization. Examples of this capability area include:

  • A large percentage of projects applying change management
  • Multiple parts of the organization (divisions, functions, units) applying change management
  • Easily accessed tools for managing change
  • Dedicated time and resources available to apply change management on projects

When evaluating what this area looks like in your organization, remember to consider:

  • Consistent change management methodology and tools
  • Types of projects applying change management
  • Change management practitioner availability for applying processes and tools on projects
  • Budget and funding availability for change management on projects and initiatives

CAPABILITY AREA 3: COMPETENCIES

Change management is ultimately implemented by employees, supervisors, managers, leaders, project teams and practitioners throughout the organization. The third capability area, Competencies, looks at the training and development of key groups that must apply change management tools and principles.

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See if your organization has:

  • Trained change management practitioners
  • Delivered executive and senior leader training on change management and sponsorship
  • Delivered manager and supervisor training on coaching employees through change
  • Trained employees on guiding themselves through change
  • Delivered project team training on change management
  • Demonstrated effectiveness of training programs for change management
  • Offered continuing education opportunities in change management

Remember to ask not only who has been trained but if they have since demonstrated a competency in their role in change management.

CAPABILITY AREA 4: STANDARDIZATION

Standardization looks at the mechanisms and systems that can be used to institutionalize change management. By moving toward common and consistent application of an organizational standard approach to change management, you increase the effectiveness of change management and create a common language around change. Examples of Standardization include:

  • Adoption of a standard approach and methodology
  • Provision of standard tools
  • Establishment of complete change management training curriculum
  • Structural elements (e.g. functional group, Community of Practice, networks, etc.)
  • Integration into standard project delivery process
  • Embedding into ongoing improvement systems
  • Integration with "change-initiating" processes and systems (e.g. Six Sigma, Strategic Planning, etc.)

Standardization is the capability area that enables effective change management to become a fixed component of how the organization introduces change, so think strategically about what will most successfully embed change management into your organization’s processes and structure.

CAPABILITY AREA 5: SOCIALIZATION

The fifth and final capability area, Socialization, focuses on building commitment and buy-in for change management at every level of the organization. Socialization of change management includes understanding, appreciation and acknowledgement of the necessity of change management on efforts in the organization. An organization with mature levels of Socialization should or may have:

  • An executive charter for building change management competencies
  • Understanding of the value of change management
  • Buy-in and support for applying change management
  • A common and shared definition of change management
  • Reinforcement for sustained change management application
  • Cultural values related to managing the people side of change
  • Evaluation of change management effectiveness

By measuring these five capability areas, you can begin to understand where your organization stands in terms of organizational change management capability. In addition to documenting your current change management maturity, we also recommend establishing a measure for your desired future state. With the current state and desired future state clearly defined, you can then build a roadmap to close the gap.

Ready to see what level of maturity your organization is at today? Access a 14-day free trial of the Prosci Change Management Maturity Audit.

Five Levels of Change Management Maturity article

Written by
Scott McAllister
Scott McAllister

Scott McAllister is a results oriented leader with a passion individual and organizational transformation. With experience living on 3 continents, Scott leads Prosci’s growth efforts by partnering with clients to architect results driven change management solutions. Scott has spent the last 15 years helping clients initiate transformational change with a combination of strategy, operational excellence and innovation platforms across a broad range of industries, ranging from healthcare and biotech to financial services and telecom.

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