Seven S Model

CCPM is a management-change system. Implementation must address all aspects of the system. Figure 9.4 illustrates the Seven S model (which I understand to have been developed by McKinzie but modified by many authors since). Dr. Stephen Covey [3] modifies the model to further emphasize the people part of it, and calls it the PS Paradigm. The "P" stands for people. These models provide a system definition for change.

Consider the Seven S model for your organization as you plan implementing critical chain. You mostly must assure that your change plan does not overlook some facts about your organization that may block implementation or cause unintended consequences. There is no reason to change the structure of your organization to implement CCPM. Organizations ranging from full project to full matrix have successfully implemented CCPM.

Figure 9.4 The Seven S model provides a system definition for change planning.

The Seven S model is deliberately, as with all models incomplete. Deming emphasized the need for managers to consider elements normally considered outside the business system, such as customers, suppliers, and even competitors. Further, the Seven S model is static. All business organizations are complex, dynamic, and adaptive systems. These means that they are constantly changing. Management's problem is to lead changes in a positive direction.

The process to achieve any goal requires effective feedback mechanisms to adjust actual performance to plan. Buffer management works to determine if you are accomplishing the implementation project according to schedule, as in any project. Also, as in any project, you need result-quality measurements to assure that the results achieved and passed on from one task to the next satisfy deliverable requirements.

Most organizations require behavior changes to implement CCPM. Which changes your organization requires depend on the behaviors your organization currently exhibits. Table 9.1 summarizes how you might assess your organization vs. the desired behavior considering the seven S's for your organization and some typical behaviors.

The following features of CCPM make it easier to implement than many changes people attempt to make in organizations:

1. Nobody loses.

4. Results feedback very rapidly.

Unfortunately, not everyone will feel enough need to change, and others may fear that they have something to lose. The following explains some strategies to deal with these potential obstacles.

The following anecdotal observations are examples of the parables that form the basis for much management theory. A speaker at a management conference brought up the rule of "3-4-3." He said he learned it from a Japanese colleague, as they were studying the application of Kaizen (the Japanese word for continuous improvement), the subject of his talk. The reference means that in an attempt to introduce new ideas into any organization, about three out of ten people will catch on immediately and begin to implement. Another three out of ten will remain clueless about and uninterested in just about anything and everything, forever. The middle four of the ten will behave in exactly the way you might expect middle-of-the-roaders to act; they will wait and see, and gradually come aboard as the change becomes the organizational norm.

The time for organizational change to take place depends, of course, on both the change and the organization. For example, I read that it took the British army 125 years to accept the recommendation that foot soldiers should wear asymmetric shoes, that is, one for the left foot and one for the right. Can't you just hear the supply sergeants, "Hey, you guys want to me to be efficient. And now you want me to double my inventory! And think of how hard it is going to be to keep the left and the right shoe of the same size together, all the way from manufacturing, through distribution and supply, to the soldiers. Costs will go up. Delivery will be harder to maintain. And the soldiers will never be able to put them on; you have made things twice as complicated!" This argument, or something like it, must have held out for those 125 years. (The British may not talk exactly like that, but the gist was no doubt the same.)

In science, it is now generally accepted that it takes at least a generation (i.e., 25 years) for a new, basic scientific theory to replace the old. (Some suggest at least two generations.) The believers in the old theory have to die before the new theory can replace it. This, of course, is for our new and enlightened age. They used to put people like Galileo in jail. Before that, it was "off with his head." You can understand why the scientific revolution took such a long time to build up steam. Warren G. Bennis [4] identifies three groups of change strategies:

1. Empirical and rational strategies, assuming that people will follow their rational self-interest;

2. Normative reeducative strategies, assuming that change requires alterations in organizational structure, institutional roles, and institutional relationships;

3. Power strategies, requiring compliance with the leaders will.

He describes eight types of change programs that derive from these strategies:

1. Exposition and propagation;

2. Elite corps;

3. Human-relations training;

5. Scholarly consultation;

6. Circulation of ideas;

7. Developmental research;

8. Action research.

All seek to use knowledge to gain some desirable end. Most of the strategies rely on rationality. Bennis notes that knowledge about something does not automatically lead to effective action. He concludes by observing,

Sometimes, the changes brought about simply "fade out," because there are no carefully worked out procedures to ensure coordination with other interacting parts or the system. In other cases, the changes have "backfired" and have to be terminated because of their conflict with interactive units. In any case, a good deal more has to be learned about the interlocking and stabilizing changes so that the total system is affected.

Business change advocates in recent years often focus on the need for organizational culture change to precede significant performance improvement. They suggest that it takes many years, perhaps eight to twelve, to accomplish significant culture change in organizations. That's one of the reasons a lot of businesses go out of business before they can accomplish the necessary change.

None of these descriptions, while possibly completely correct, reaches even the correlation level of scientific thinking. For every anecdote someone describes, someone can provide an alternative story that is the exception that proves the rule. Many companies grow to a very large size within the shortest time frame for organization change (eight to ten years.) Others hardly change at all for periods longer than the longest time given for organizational change (e.g., the catholic church.)

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