Monday, February 20, 2012

3.The development of a model to support

Summary
Purpose – This paper aims to present an investigation of the problems concerned with delivering a
variety of differing change programmes in a logically structured, repeatable and measurable manner.
Design/methodology/approach – Case studies were conducted on a selection of significantly different
manufacturing facility programmes at GKN Aerospace where the output was a generic model more
explicit and illustrative than previous approaches taken at the company.
Findings – This paper supports the idea that a strategic and tactical planning process with
transferable, common key issues, can be managed in an environment of rapid change. Furthermore,
discreet tailoring of the model enables differentiation of each programme type to support a
standardized, repeatable and synchronous approach to change management.
Practical implications – This was achieved through the compilation of a single change management
process termed the ‘‘5 £ 5 Model’’ incorporating a multi-site working document containing quantifiable,
value-added activities.
Originality/value – The new model presented here has been developed from previous literature and
tested in practice, but requires further application to validate its applicability in different industry sectors.
Keywords Project management, Change management, Performance measures
Paper type Case study
Introduction
In support of improved market positioning, competitive conditions within today’s global
environment have increased the need for organizations to review, address and change their
operating practices. As a consequence companies such as GKN Aerospace are continuing
to re-assess and re-align their various business units in accordance with key skills and core
competencies to enable delivery of change in an effective manner. Therefore, change
management has by necessity, become a core competence in its own right, as an
organization’s means of improving what it does best. This is because: ‘‘Change is no longer
an option, it needs to be managed otherwise it will manage you. There is a need to think
about your business as it was five years ago, if you are still working the same way you are
probably in trouble’’ (Johnson, 1995). As a consequence there is an urgent need for change
initiatives to be embraced, endorsed and accelerated, through planned, measurable events
in an expedient manner. This can be achieved through a ‘‘Triple I’’ approach, where the
subsequent transformation represents a journey from ‘‘Information to Intelligence to Idea’’
towards sustainable achievements within an efficient operating environment (Handy, 1989).
Change management problems
The majority of today’s change programmes are not launched in a timely, structured and
synchronous manner, due to an inherent lack of organizational understanding relating to
their means of achievement. Whilst this has been particularly evident within GKN Aerospace,
it has also been perceived as a problem industry wide, a view that has been reinforced by
global companies acquired over the past five-year period. Companies typically struggle to manage change in a cost-effective manner, due to mismanagement of the significant issues
relating to pre-launch, through comprehensive planning in advance of specific, programme
actions. Case study research carried out at GKN Aerospace concluded that nearly all of the
previous, sizeable change programmes studied had incurred significant over-run and
over-cost. This finding was witnessed and recorded during two Westland aerospace
programmes (factor of 1.5), three GKN automotive programmes (average factor of 1.3) and
three external organizations (factors ranging from 1.3 to 2).
To determine the means of addressing this situation in support of future change
programmes, the authors embarked on a series of information-gathering activities that
included performance data collection, group and individual interviews, self-assessments,
brainstorming, process mapping and literature reviews. The problem investigated
established that standard and uniform solutions were not readily available, with differing
programme types seeking independent assessments, with specific knowledge based
around their own merits. However, closer examination and challenging of this initial finding
identified key similarities and opportunities to be in existence, albeit amongst different
emotional and environmental conditions.
The authors identified four main contributing causes to the described problem:
1. An inherent lack of structure in support of a change programme launch, exacerbated by a
resistance to differing types of organizational change.
2. The differing programmes were repeatedly addressed in a standalone manner, with little
co-relation or measurement identified between specific change types.
3. Tasks were typically addressed in a ‘‘blinkered’’ functional manner, utilizing resource from
discreet teams, thus overlooking benefits associated with quantifiable shared
knowledge, cross-functionality, flexibility and synchronous activities.
4. An inability to apply appropriate focus to Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic,
Time-bound (SMART) objectives, thus missing opportunities and benefits associated with
action-driven improvements.
Research methodology
In response to the research question: ‘‘How can differing types of change programmes be
managed in a common, logical, efficient and cost-effective, repeatable manner?’’, the
authors sought to review the merits of a single, generic change model with a pre-launch
framework to enable a timely and efficient launch-phase transition. In advance of impending
GKN change programmes, the authors undertook a period of theoretical study and literature
research, which included the reviewing and analysis of a range of models and processes
already in existence. This stage of review was inclusive of five known academic and
industrial change models, which represented a sample grouping of processes that were
evaluated for relevance and effectiveness (Kotter and Schlesinger, 1979; Fayol, 1949;
Lewin, 1960):
1. Jick’s 10-Step tactical process.
2. General Electric’s 7-Step acceleration process.
3. Kotter’s 8-Step strategic process.
4. Fayol’s checklist model.
5. Lewin’s change management model.
Whilst each of the above models contained sequential, integrated and iterative activities,
they typically described the varying range of higher-level change processes, ranging from
initial need for change through to institutionalization. Each of the processes resided within an
environment of urgency, capturing key considerations, in relation to organizational vision,
direction, leadership, people, structure and communication. However, in each case, there
was nothing tangible, with insufficient, measurable detail in support of a timely, repeatable,
integrated approach towards pre-launch planning activities. Furthermore, each of the existing processes incurred potential time lapse (programme gap) of up to two months from
prescriptive points through to actual programme launch. It is this period of inactivity that has
created the opportunity for further research in pursuit of the potential development of a
generic, strategic and tactical model that possesses the capability of timeframe
compression by an estimated 50 per cent, through action research (systematically
collecting data about an ongoing system relative to some objective, goal or need of that
system) centred around phase two ‘‘moving’’ of Lewin’s three-phased
(Unfreezing-Moving-Re-freezing) model (Lewin, 1960; Yin, 1989).
Project objectives
The following objectives were identified for the project:
B Develop a generic change model capable of initiating, enhancing and supporting
planning and control activities within a range of differing change programmes.
B Embed a standardized, effective framework within the model, capable of supporting a
structured, synchronous and measurable approach towards future change programmes.
B Introduce an accelerated pace within the change programmes by adopting a radical,
followed by endemic approach towards GKN’s pre-launch planning activities.
B Validate the developed change model through practical case study research, in order to
confirm the effectiveness of its application, through testing, measurement and
quantification.
In considering the project objectives the concept of endemic change was reviewed, as
shown in Figure 1. This is an acceleration process through time that demonstrates the
combined positive elements of radical and incremental change, culminating in endemic
change – a necessity within today’s competitive environment (Vas, 2001).
Developing the model
Though the action research-based case studies were conducted on a selection of significantly
different manufacturing facility programmes at GKN Aerospace, as shown in Figure 2, it was
felt that this approach would offer enhanced learning potential in relation to confrontation of the
barriers to change. This would be instrumental to the progressive build-up of a robust chain of
up-to-date operational evidence in support of the developed model.
The process of model development initiated both observer and participant roles, enabling
effective access to change events and respective action groups to acquire data and
knowledge through theoretical and applied research. This enabled evaluation, application,
testing and where practicable, experimentation within a series of differing case studies.
Facilitation of group discussions was conducted in support of process measurement and
control, with an approach that focused on people and integration, adopting Deming’s style of
group working and shared ownership towards increased responsibilities (Deming, 1985).
This was in preference to the scientific ‘‘top down’’ managerial style identified by Taylor
(1947), which was deemed less effective in a modern, dynamic business environment. The
authors promoted an accelerated pace towards team performance through increased
motivation, encouraging work groups to travel towards desired, sought performance.
Mid-way through the research process a ‘‘first pass’’ tool was created, as illustrated in
Figure 3, representing a combined output of the theoretical and action research. It was
created by capturing key points within the early experiences, brainstorming of ideas, listing
potential solutions without firm findings and an initial view towards a potential ‘‘user-friendly’’
tool. The main purpose of this was to encourage adaptation, challenging, critical evaluation
and experimentation of contained elements, as contributors towards an improved process
and control mechanism.
Key issues were captured and assessed, being supported by applicability reviews to enable
levels of influence and effective contribution to be understood. In addition, the authors
conducted theoretical experimentation as a means of substantiating an initial idea relating to
a practical denominator, representative of a gauge to be linked to the model, with the
capability of scoping and sizing the overall change programme. The collective outputs
supported the development of a generic model, further complemented by specific change type tailoring as part of a self-assessment process in accordance with discreet programme
differences (Ainscough et al., 2003). The finished article was the subject of applicability
within the case studies in order to validate and confirm its levels of measurable
effectiveness, which in turn was instrumental towards the creation of a single
comprehensively detailed, control document, containing structured and grouped activities.
Model implementation
Two differing roles were assumed throughout the practical element of the applied research,
further enhanced by the acquired knowledge within an ‘‘upside down thinking’’ environment,
which was embraced as a common theme to ‘‘discontinuous change’’ (Handy, 1985):
1. Change facilitation was undertaken in support of observational research, relating to a
departmental assessment in parallel with theoretical evaluation, literature reviews and the
capturing of preferred industrial practices. The purpose of this was to determine the most
effective change practices towards imminent ‘‘live’’ programmes.
2. ‘‘Hands-on’’ participation within a ‘‘learning by doing’’ role conducted amongst a series of
action-based research, with the purpose of testing early theoretical findings within a
series of practical environments and capturing key change factors, contributors and
influencers within. The outputs were subjected to further research through literature
reviews in support of a standardized, repeatable approach, with periodic rehearsals and
reflective practices to increase improvements and confidence.
The case studies witnessed a single integrated team that promoted local ownership, along
with empowerment and monitoring within identified programme boundaries and limitations,
enabled through the promoting of innovative practices (Moss-Kanter, 1989). Preferred
practices were secured through an evaluation of key theoretical and practical findings by
adopting Drucker’s ‘‘Five-Step’’ decision-making process model; whereby the nature of the
problem was identified, the purpose relating to its decision, the correct solution, the
conversion of decision into action and finally, testing the effectiveness of the decision made
(Beatty, 1998).Ten key issues were identified during the model implementation as being
influential to the change process, as described in Table I. These findings enabled key elements to be critically evaluated through further testing during the subsequent case
studies, ultimately contributing towards sustainable improvements and preferred practices
within the developed model.These issues were captured during the case studies, each
being considered as either barriers or contributors to change by the participants and were
subsequently developed into solutions. An effective framework was developed as a generic
model, enabling the categorization and measurement of entire activities within the change
programme. The key issues were captured within a structured and synchronous planning
process, complemented by a refreshed ‘‘can do’’ approach, through ‘‘out of the box’’
thinking. This is an important aspect as noted by Leavy (2002) who stated: ‘‘No-one in a
corporation deliberately sets out to stifle creative thought, yet a traditional bureaucratic
structure with its need for predictability, linear logic, conformance to accepted norms and
the dictates of the most recent long-range vision statement, is a nearly perfect idea killing
machine’’.
A denominator was identified, representing the output of theoretical and practical (during
and post case study) testing and evaluation to enable the subsequent ‘‘5 £ 5’’ label to be
attached to the developed model, as shown in Figure 4. The first value (5) represented key
elements within the model to be focused upon, whilst the second value (5) represented
synchronous activities to be captured within each. The key issues embedded within the
model represent prioritized building blocks, for detailed consideration in accordance with
the specified change types.
Discussion
The illustrated, developed generic model enables change to be maintained through
increased visibility plus an unambiguous understanding by all stakeholders that are either
directly or indirectly involved, adopting a prescriptive series of stars that represent an
illuminated vision, being the guiding principles through the change process. The series of
stars represent the five key considerations within a typical change programme (as determined during the earlier research), being linked by the central star that signifies the
acknowledged denominator for a change programme. Each of the five points within the
individual stars represents a key factor towards the overall performance of its relevant
title-holder. Whilst four out of the five stars represent key attributes, the fifth contains key
performance indicators (KPIs) that relate to each of the others in support of the total process.
The format of this framework enables effective applicability within a differing range of
change programme types, due to the commonality that exists within each.
Application of the ‘‘5 £ 5 Model’’ at GKN Aerospace has enabled a significantly reduced
pre-launch timeframe (50 per cent), by focusing on people, timeframes, areas, tasks and
performance. Furthermore, it is an enabler towards the compilation of a single control
document, embracing all key issues and elements, in support of multi-site, multi-functional,
planned events.
The research conducted at the early theoretical stage of the process enabled facility data to
be captured and critically examined, as an initial step and enabler towards further analysis
through literature reviews. The observational practices were subjected to systematic testing
followed by industrial comparisons plus interrogation and testing. Key outputs were applied
to action-based research for practical testing within ‘‘live’’ change situations, followed by
‘‘after the event’’ evaluation. The combined research supported the drive, encouraging trials
and testing at practical programme points to enable measurement of the contribution, the
implications of which would enable a repeatable approach within a typical ‘‘change-arena’’.
Conclusions
B The ‘‘5 £ 5 Model’’ framework was developed in support of an accelerated planning and
launch process, being representative of a single tool for start-to-finish application that
converts complex situations into structured, categorised events.
B The model was created and tailored to support differing types of change programmes
promoting task de-composition to enable the embedding of simplified, synchronous and
sequential events.
B The model adopts an endemic approach to change, with repeatable focus towards
accelerated pace, supported by role matching in accordance with competencies and
attributes, towards a teamed, relay-race type of approach.
B The model is an enabler for a single control document for multi-site application, promoting
enhanced communication and planning, with effective ‘‘SMART’’ performance objectives
and measures towards quantifiable improvements throughout the total change process.
Further work
Further work is planned to implement and validate the model within an international
multi-site, major GKN design-and-build change programme. Also, it is planned to apply the
model within an independent, non-aerospace organization, for pre-launch planning and
early launch activities, to test its applicability in a different industry sector.

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