CSF Survey: Further Questions

We are continuing to analyse the findings.  However, as with any survey, the insights we have been able to gather so far give rise to further questions.  Some of the responses surprised us and are worthy of further investigation.  These include:

  • What happened to the mechanics?  The CSFs which relate to the management of change activities - Plan, Delivery Process, Governance - came very low in the ranking across all our demographic dimensions.  Does this mean they’re simply taken for granted, or delegated, and therefore aren’t the focus of change leaders?  Or are they really seen as less important? 

This has some very interesting implications, not least for the amounts organisations invest in implementing these aspects of change - are all those workdays on MSP and PRINCE 2 training well spent?

  • Why did leaders take a more extreme view?  It seems that senior management and, particularly, top-level executives gave a much higher ranking to Leadership and Purpose, and a lower one to Delivery Process and Performance Management in particular, than other respondents. 

We might have expected them to have a more ‘holistic’ view than the CM and PPM respondents, and therefore give less ‘polarised’ rankings - but they didn’t.  Why might this be?

  • Communication, Communication, Communication!  A lot of comments related to this.  In a way, that is no surprise - communication is a constant theme in change initiatives.  In our CSFs, we presented it as the method by which Stakeholders are engaged in the initiative - i.e. a means to an end. 

But an interesting question arises from how different respondents saw the question of communication: should it be a separate CSF, on a par with the other 10, or is it an enabling part of Stakeholder engagement (and arguably of Leadership, Purpose, etc. too) - i.e. if you haven’t got something worth saying to people who are critical to the initiative, and that they will believe, there’s little point in saying anything?

  • Does timing matter?  Several respondents commented that relative priorities vary according to phase - as the Rapid Assessment recognises.  So is an ‘average’ ranking meaningful?  Or are our results influenced by ‘you have to start right, or you’ll never finish’? 

Might this explain why Leadership, Purpose and Stakeholders rank higher, as they are arguably more important is setting the initial direction, while other factors come into their own later on?