How wonderful would it be to have a strategic map of the potential impact of change on your organization?

Healthcare organizations vary in their annual goals, their starting points, and their readiness for change. Understanding the readiness of a healthcare organization to accept change, identifying and agreeing on the issues needing to be addressed, and then addressing them effectively and efficiently during implementation is key to a successful architecture transformation. This is often referred to as a Transformation Readiness Assessment. Often, the transformation readiness assessment is underestimated and undervalued. Organizations want to move forward with a sense of urgency to change but may not have taken into consideration the readiness factors that will impact the organization. Examples of readiness factors include: case for change, sponsorship and leadership, accountability, ability to implement and operate, etc.

Events that may create a burning platform for enterprise transformation include a change in leadership, a decline or gap in performance relative to peer organizations, a recognition that the status quo is no longer acceptable, patient and family or user needs and expectations, the changing economic environment, and/or regulatory changes on the horizon.

Some important steps when conducting a transformation readiness assessment may include:
• Assessing the current baseline maturity level for each element on a healthcare maturity model,
• Determining the target maturity level that would have to be achieved to realize the target architecture,
• Determining the intermediate targets achievable in a shorter timeframe
• Assessing the readiness factors, and
• Assessing the risks for each readiness factor and identifying improvement actions to mitigate the risk

When preparing for change an organization must define its change management strategy, prepare its management team, and develop its sponsorship model. There are several tools available to help assess readiness, as well as qualitative information from internal or external staff and consultants. If an organization can start building a positive and supportive environment prior to a change, they will have a great head start on the transformation implementation. The change vision can be turned into an overall plan and timeline with input solicited from people who “own” or work on the processes that are changing. Gathering information about and determining ways to communicate the reasons for the change is critical to securing understanding and support for the vision, goals and objectives. People have to understand the context, the reasons for the change, the plan and the organization’s clear expectations for their changed roles and responsibilities.

The most successful transformation occurs when executives mobilize and sustain energy within their organizations and communicate their objectives clearly and creatively. Executives further improve their chances for success if they significantly raise employee expectations, actively change people’s behaviors, and engage the attention of individuals at all levels of the organization, from top management to the front line. Preparation, engagement and leadership are pivotal to implementing a roadmap to success. Business transformation will entail new ways of working, reconfiguring of people and competence to delivering strategic objectives, new ways of influencing and supporting business change, and ultimately a way of thinking and operating.

Confusion soars when people deal with enterprise change. Tasks, work outputs, organizational structures, relationships, business process links, skills, roles, responsibilities and technology across multiple business units are all affected. A correctly done transformation readiness assessment will ensure an organization has assessed the potential impact of change to their organization’s processes, systems, patients, physicians, customers and staff. If you are interested in learning more about transformation readiness assessment or have some experiences to share we would like to hear from you.

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