Typical Initiative management strategies include:
Creating processes, practices, and tools to scope, schedule, monitor, adjust, and coordinate across projects and other initiatives. Track, manage, and coordinate a set of projects and other initiatives to maximize value to the organization, manage risks, and maintain a balance between commitments and available resources. Best for time/resources, expertise, coordination, and change challenges.
Organizational Change Management
Applying processes, practices, and techniques to address employee and organizational resistance to changes. Prepare, equip, and support people in an organization to successfully adapt to changes in business processes, tools or management structures. Best for change and coordination challenges.
Evaluating and improving performance of existing business processes. Modify business processes to create more value, increase speed and efficiency and produce more consistent results. Best for time/resources, coordination, and change challenges.
Start by identifying the types and sizes of initiatives you want to track. For example, an agency’s initiative portfolio might include IT projects, new data collection or purchases, and new program or policy implementation efforts. Then, define the information to collect and maintain for each initiative. This information should enable traceability to the need that triggered the initiative and the organizational goals and objectives it supports. It is also helpful to track resource needs, timelines, key milestones, major dependencies and risks. Create or acquire a system to manage the portfolio information. Establish responsibilities for reporting and updating information. Finally, put in place processes that use this information to prioritize candidate initiatives, improve coordination across related initiatives and balance work with available resources. Use roadmaps to gain consensus on a path forward, describe steps needed to get from the current state to the desired future state, and identify and understand dependencies across related efforts. The process of developing a roadmap is as important as the end product as it helps establish alignment across different players.
Establish an organizational change management capability within the agency. Adopt a proven change management model such as ADKAR (Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, Reinforcement). Include a change management component within projects or other initiatives that require significant adjustments to current processes or responsibilities. Keep in mind that initiative-based change management may not be effective without ongoing attention to organizational culture and employee engagement. Be sure to provide opportunities for changes to be initiated from the bottom up, not just top down. Use roadmaps to ensure that the end goal, and the path to that goal, is clear.
Develop internal agency expertise in Lean or other established business process improvement techniques or identify external resources that can be brought in for this. Increase awareness of these techniques across the organization so that managers understand their value and seek out services when they recognize opportunities for improvement. Encourage application of business process improvement techniques prior to or in conjunction with introduction of new IT applications.
Establish business analyst positions within the agency. These positions may be located within the information technology unit and/or within business units. Train and equip business analysts to perform business process modeling (e.g. flowcharts, swim-lane diagrams), business case analysis, requirements elicitation and management, use case analysis, user stories, conceptual data models, data flow diagrams, business rules analysis, test case development and other business analysis techniques. Encourage the use of RACI (Responsible-Accountable-Consulted-Informed), and similar models in conjunction with new initiatives, or in cases where roles and responsibilities are ambiguous and need clarification.