Catch the replay of this PNSQC webinar “Transformative Change Initiatives Require a Culture of Quality” from September 30, 2020. Moderated by Phil Lew with guests Ying Ki Kwong and Jack McDowell from the State of Oregon’s Statewide Quality Assurance department, this webinar examines how organizations should approach plans for large-scale enterprise change initiatives.
Build a Common Understanding
The meaning of quality – for any organization or IT project – will evolve over time to adapt to changes in business requirements and environmental factors.
Not all software or IT-based Change Initiatives are created equal. Some occur in an enterprise with stable architecture while others require a paradigm shift in business or operating models. Within Transformative Change Initiatives, some scenarios have well defined “to be” architectures, while some scenarios do not.
When implementing major Change Initiatives, the presenters believe a common Enterprise Language that supports change across functions, promoting active organizational learning through shared experiences, and managing complexity are key understandings that project leaders and participants must acquire. These understandings are the foundation of a quality culture necessary for a modern enterprise to continually learn, sustain, and renew itself. Such a culture enables enterprise resilience, because it acknowledges the possibility of implicit bias among stakeholders and leverages diverse views and organizational learning as mitigation against “blind spots”.
Watch this webinar to get a better understanding of success factors for enterprise-scale Transformative Change Initiatives — how to think about them, the challenges, and how to address their inherent complexity.
This webinar is for managers, IT professionals, business analysts, QA and risk management professionals, and knowledge workers involved in major change initiatives and enterprise transformation.
About the Speakers
Ying Ki Kwong is the Interim Manager of E-Government and Statewide Quality Assurance in Oregon state government. Prior to this role, he was IT Investment Oversight Coordinator in the same office and was Project Office Manager of the Medicaid Management Information System Project in the Oregon Department of Human Services.
Jack McDowell is an Operations & Policy Analyst for the State of Oregon’s Statewide QA and E-Government Program. Before this, he was a web developer and the chief editor of a community newspaper in Arlington, Virginia.
Moderator Phil Lew has been to over 70 countries in a quest to fulfill his passion for learning about other people, their history, and culture. In his free time, he is the CEO of XBOSoft, a company specializing in software quality consulting and software testing services. Phil is the Program Chair for PNSQC 2020.
This event is co-sponsored by the Statewide QA Program of the State of Oregon and PNSQC.
1. What are examples of Scenario 3 Enterprise Change? Why would someone want to engage in change when they don’t really know what they want to change into?
Speakers’ Response: The need for Scenario 3 change is not necessarily by choice. These change initiatives may be in response to major technological change, legislative change, and other societal / environmental change — often without certain knowledge about overall direction or the end state of change by the stakeholders. Examples (in reverse order) include:
Societal Change. In response to COVID-19, enterprises must adapt and make major changes overnight, with little to no idea how the “new normal” would be like in advance.
Legislative Change. A few years ago, the Affordable Care Act required states and the federal government to set up insurance marketplaces with many details not clearly defined until very late toward the go-live dates of these marketplaces. Many people in many organizations worked on this transformative change without a clear reference model of the end state.
Over the last few decades, enterprises across all industries have seen tremendous change as a result of advances in information technology. In this process, enterprises declined and closed, with new enterprises rose from startups to major enterprises. Many of these new companies shaped or re-shaped entire industries with little certainty of its end state.
2. Can all organizations develop the capacity to be flexible and adaptive?
Speakers’ Response: Unfortunately, no. Some organizations fail to adapt over time and become obsolete. Acknowledging possible blind spots and biases among stakeholders would be an important step toward the sort of organizational learning needed by an enterprise to stay current and vital. Diverse views when properly utilized and leveraged is a strength. The flip side would be “analysis-paralysis” due to a sea of divergent opinions, endless arguments among stakeholders creating decision grid locks, and an atmosphere of persistent conflicts that make cooperation difficult among stakeholders. Transformative change requires diverse views to be heard across functions, as well as up and down in the organizational hierarchy. Equally important would be for diverse views to converge sufficiently to move forward with necessary course corrections as needed; balancing beneficial / necessary change with uncontrolled change associated with scope creep.
3. Does the management structure affect the ability to change? That is, is a centralized structure better then a decentralized structure?
Speakers’ Response: Centralized decision making is often associated with higher efficiency than decentralized decision making. However, this view may be flawed in the presence of substantial organizational complexity. Redundancy, resource slack, and management overhead associated with decentralized organizational structure may seem wasteful, but add robustness and resilience when the organization is confronted with unexpected challenges or “unknown unknowns” during transformative change initiatives.
4. Can you provide some suggestions on further reading that emphasize practitioner needs?
Speakers’ Response: There is a lot on this subject. These two may be of interest to our audience.
- “Standard for Change Management,” A publication of The Association of Change Management Professionals (ACMP), Winter Springs, FL, 2014. Available at:
- William Craig, “8 Steps To Implementing Successful Organizational Change,” Forbes, September 24, 2019
If you would like to hear more about enterprise change management for IT and other organizations, please contact PNSQC and let us know.
Consider attending PNSQC 2020. The virtual conference is only $137 this year.