Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Readiness for Spread. Whose readiness - the adopter or the "pusher"?

One of the most frequently asked questions I get is how program managers can assess whether organisations and teams are ready for spread. For me, the answer is a lot more than a quickie checklist or diagnostic tool - I've tried many, including developing my own, but they have their limitations. The first question to think through is "whose readiness"?

  1. ADOPTERS: Mostly I have program managers wanting to know whether organisations and teams they want to adopt something are ready. This is a useful question to ask, and indeed much of the literature focuses on these potential adopters. So yes, it's good to consider their readiness and there are a multitude of tools and techniques for doing this - any good change management assessment will work.
  2. "PUSHERS": What most people forget is to assess the readiness of the "pushing" organisation to go through the spread process. For example, a regional organisation may want all physician practices to adopt the use of new diabetes guidelines which includes an information monitoring system. It may sound obvious, but the "pushing" organisation does need to make sure they are ready and geared up for others to adopt the process.They need to have the support and systems in place. Often, great practices and ideas can be adopted so quickly that the "pushing" organisation panics and then becomes part of the "slow-adoption" problem as they put limits on the process.
  3. CONTEXT: Finally, the context is crucial. When it comes to large scaling up activities, it's vital to assess the readiness of the context that organisations and teams find themselves in. For example, the context where a pilot program achieved great results may have changed in the year or so since they completed their work: a change of government, the financial crisis, new technology etc.
So, when you are next assessing the readiness for your spread / scaling up program, do take the time to think through the three different angles.

No comments: