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BPI Readiness for Change Assessment – Envision Phase

Blog: Biz-Performance, David Brown

BPI Readiness for Change Assessment – Envision Phase


An assessment of the ability of the client to undergo the organizational change required to complete the BPI initiative successfully. This assessment profiles previous and current change efforts to identify:
  • Strengths or weaknesses of previous change efforts that need to be addressed in the design of the BPI program    
  • Areas within the organization that have experienced or are undergoing significant change
  • Areas within the organization that have little or no experience with change
  • How the BPI program is similar to (or different from) previous changes in terms of its nature, scope and urgency
  • Based on this assessment, high level strategies are developed to avoid potential pitfalls and to manage the change process successfully.

Client Value

  • Previous experience with change is a good indicator of the ability to implement new processes. By analyzing previous change efforts in a systematic way, it is possible to identify potential problems and issues, and identify the effort required to achieve change successfully. This will also help to determine which areas of the organization are the best candidates for pilot projects.
  • The risks for the client of not undertaking an assessment of organizational readiness for change at this stage in the BPI process include:
  • Pursuing a change strategy that is ill-suited to the change capacity of the organization
  • Proceeding with a project that has no hope of succeeding. Previous experience with change is an indicator of ability to implement new processes


The consultant should begin to address the issue of change readiness in his/her first interactions with the client. This should then be built upon in management interviews, focus groups and through the use of relevant diagnostics.
  1. Conduct structured interviews with the Chief Executive Officer (or equivalent) and selected internal change agents to explore likely commitment and resistance levels within the organization (including within the leadership or top team). Conduct a subsequent round of interviews with other key managers, to explore their feelings about the change, their level of commitment and their perception of resistance to change at all levels of the organization.
  2. Identify all key change initiatives conducted in the last two to five years. Build upon the data gathered during the Internal Organizational Overview in undertaking this step.
  3. Conduct focus groups or interviews of management and employees to identify and explore the reasons behind the successes and/or failures of past change initiatives. (Change History Diagnosis)    
  4. Analyze results and develop report.
  5. The reports should include:
    • key potential problem areas and issues
    • the location of groups with high change tolerance
    • ways to ensure previous implementation problems do not occur, or are         minimized.   



  • Since confidentiality can be an issue for this deliverable, reassure individuals that their comments will remain confidential. Identify the intended audience(s) for this information; as well as how it will be presented (e.g. summarized in aggregate form only). Without this reassurance, respondents might otherwise be unwilling to speak out frankly about (or be critical of) previous change efforts.
  • Ensure that the Consultant Partner fully supports this deliverable and accepts that the findings of the assessment may have important implications on how the initiative is managed. Present the Consult team with a full briefing on anticipated organizational change issues, how they impact upon project success, and proposed strategies for managing them.

Tactics/Helpful Hints

  • Stress the proactive nature of the assessment, and remind senior management that this review is being done to facilitate a smoother transition to new processes later on.
  • Generate concrete results (e.g. recommendations to move forward) to illustrate the value of the exercise.
  • Discuss previous change efforts with individuals at several levels of the organization (staff, middle management, etc.) to gain a broad range of perspectives on previous changes. Filter this information by attempting to validate it from multiple sources before presenting to the client, as well as by asking probing questions to ascertain the reasons behind individual perceptions.


  • Experience in conducting interviews and workshops addressing issues of a sensitive nature     (e.g. qualitative feedback assessing past management initiatives) is required.

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