Management Tools and SME Growth
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Management Toolsets

The Growth Pathway

Transformation for Growth provided a one stop shop for businesses so that they have easy access to business services focused on putting wealth creation at the centre of local agendas, influencing decisions about the local business environment.

We have created a set of transformation toolkits: The Growth Pathway and The Transformation Toolkits.

The Figure below captures the three steps involved in The Growth Pathway.

Figure. The Growth Pathway – 3 Steps

The Growth Pathway integrates two transformation toolkits: The Receptivity for Change Toolset and CHAMPS2.

The Transformation Toolkits: The Receptivity for Change Toolset

For more information about The Receptivity for Change Toolset click here, this will take you to the relevant pages of this web site.

The Receptivity for Change Toolset monitors the success of organisational transformation. It does this by identifying a culture change for continuous improvement. There will be an improvement in The Receptivity for Change Toolset results between the start and the end of each organisational intervention.

The Benefits to SMEs from Using The TRANSFORMATION Project Toolsets

The TRANSFORMATION Project has influenced the practices of project managers and their teams, especially with the West Midlands cluster of core project partners, with evidence of increasing national and international diffusion. Feedback from the second conference captures the Project’s wider impact: ‘They translated into real life innovative ideas about change management – a practical approach. Excellent.’

To evidence this comment, within the West Midlands, the Project works with the Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) Department, Warwickshire Police (WP). The ANPR Manager was instrumental in the co-production of two toolsets and used them to overcome internal funding blockages, so that ANPR implementation could take place. During 2011, the Nuneaton scheme identified 289,573 vehicles of interest to the police and the Coventry Airport scheme 342,625. These alerts led to arrests, prosecutions and vehicle seizures, contributing towards achieving WP’s vision, ‘Protect our communities from harm’. The schemes have provided vital evidence for high profile cases including a murder, a rape, a section 18 wounding, a major fraud, a million pound theft and armed robberies.

The toolsets helped the ANPR Manager to achieve his significant outcomes by identifying the specific blocks in his organisation which were preventing him from getting the internal funding he needed to implement the ANPR schemes. The ANPR schemes were regularly being denied funding at senior committee level which jeopardised the work of his team and the community safety which could be realised. Once identified, he could then overcome the blocks, both in terms of building the necessary relationships with key stakeholders and in utilising new pathways in the decision-making process.

With this measurable success and with the clear causal link established between toolset implementation and performance improvement, the toolsets were then more widely deployed in the police force and into other organisations across sectors.

Key Features of The TRANSFORMATION Project Toolsets

  • Developed with practitioners for practitioners – The TRANSFORMATION Project, Aston Business School, used a co-production method combining academic and practical knowledge of change and project management practice
  • Rigorous and valid – The Receptivity for Change Toolset was tested using modern research techniques to ensure it delivers accurate information about transformation potential and realisation at different levels (individual, project/team and organisational)
  • Appropriate for a variety of organisations – the Toolsets have been applied in many sectors, which facilitate benchmarking
  • Proven – we have impact data demonstrating that the Toolsets and The TRANSFORMATION Pathway work (see the example above from Warwickshire Police)
  • Adaptable – to address specific organisational needs, we adapt how the Toolsets are used for each organisation

The Transformation Toolkits: 4 Stage Process

CHAMPS2 is modified as a 4 Stage Process for smaller organisations, such as Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs). In order to successfully pass from one stage to the next, a stage gate needs to be completed. This is an audit of your achievements in the previous stage, and an action plan for the next.

Figure. 4 Stage Process.
4 Stage Process

The Benefits to SMEs from Using the 4 Stage Process

The 4 Stage Process is now a proven, vision led, benefit driven business change method that can enable organisations of any size to undergo change, whilst developing the in-house expertise to do so. It supports holistic change across processes, organisation structure, technology and data.

The key strengths of the 4 Stage Process are that it focuses on defining and then realising outcomes. It is therefore an important tool in helping organisations to redesign an approach to service delivery, whilst continuing to focus on what is important from a customer perspective.

The 4 Stage Process is designed to review all aspects of service delivery. It not only provides a structured approach to delivering change, it is also flexible and can be adapted for use in a range of change initiatives of any scale.

Key Features of the 4 Stage Process

  • Vision led benefits driven approach – with an embedded benefits management lifecycle
  • Wide in scope – covering end-to-end business change journey, including benefits realisation
  • Holistic – addressing change encompassing processes, organisation structures and technology
  • Flexible – can be easily tailored to projects and programmes of different scales, or brought in to use at different points in their lifecycles
  • Practical – a common sense approach that is rich in content, offering detailed activity descriptions, as well as practical help in a toolkit form

Continuous Improvement

A key goal of Transformation for Growth is to improve the products, processes and practices of Aston Business School’s TRANSFORMATION Project Toolsets and the 4 Stage Process. This will be achieved by using the detailed information from the evaluation stage of the project and ongoing feedback from SMEs during the two year project, to address emergent issues about the application of the transformation toolkits.

Three early forms of learning have been identified – two have already been implemented:

  • CHAMPS2 has already been modified as a 4 Stage Process for smaller organisations, such as SMEs
  • in order to successfully pass from one stage to the next, a stage gate needs to be completed. The stage gate is an audit of your achievements in the previous stage, and an action plan for the next
  • mid-term, The Receptivity for Change Toolset will be digitised