Controlled phased launch

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Controlled Phased Launch[edit]

Controlled Phased Launch – the opening of operations for a Center of Excellence (CoE). Typically, the CoE will control the flow of information by directly following up with the service requestor to understand the delivery requirements, continuously learn from the service delivery, and apply learning’s to the operation. The CoE takes a phased approach to delivering or expanding the services listed in their service catalogue. The CoE launches the service catalogue providing a service request capability (e.g. Corporate system, Functional Mailbox, ETC...), and initial engagement of potential service requestors begins to identify demand.


  • The CoE will follow up directly with the service requester to understand the service needs;
  • The CoE will as part of the delivery also make sure to learn from experience;
  • It will record any learnings and use them to further improve the services.


  • Part of the CoE service catalogue is available, the catalogue is not complete;
  • Other services will be added to the catalogue in the coming months;
  • There is no sophisticated workflow supporting the process yet, thus manual processes will be required.


  • You can order the published services as of a definite date;
  • Please send your request for the desired service to the CoE;
  • Shortly after, the CoE will schedule an appointment for the service requirements intake with the customer.

This concept is basically part of change management[edit]

Burnes (2004) defines the different change typologies: “Incremental or fine-tuning forms of change are geared more to changing the activities, performance, behaviour, attitudes of individuals and groups, whereas transformational change is geared towards the processes, structures and culture of the entire organisation”. Nadler et al. (1995) also defined 4 types of changes that are somehow similar to the three already described; Tuning (incremental and proactive), Adaptation (incremental and reactive), Re-orientation (transformational and proactive) and Re-creation (transformational and reactive). The creation of a CoE is a large scale Re-creation or Corporate transformation i.e. frame-breaking or discontinuous change to transform the organisation through my centres of excellence as it is a new wide delivery enterprise model.

As per Mullins (2005) and Buchanan & Huczynski (2004), change is generating resistance. Tourish (2012) also confirmed that a leader must master change and therefore overcome that effect. The CoE handles the resistance to change and recognises that at the same time different parts of the same organisation can be at different stages of the change(Elisabeth Kubler-Ross 1969).

The centre of excellence team also has to realise that even if we go through these stages, it may take more or less time to go through them.

The way to effectively overcome the resistance and help the stakeholders to go through the change, communication is paramount. The first step will be to put together the vision of the CoE following the attributes explained by Tourish (2012) i.e. brevity, clarity, stability, challenging, inspiring, identification and also future oriented: “Bring specialised services and make them easy to use for the Business”.

That vision was built with the team to bring a sense of ownership and a share of leadership as it will impact the team goals and ways of working. This is bringing “high levels of inclusion, acceptance, trust, affection and support and all members evaluate the group’s performance and how it could be improved.” (Hargie 2012). So it is important not only to know yourself but also your stakeholders to have effective communication. A stakeholders’ analysis allows us to better determine how to approach them to make sure we can get their buy-in to achieve the objectives. This is a mandatory step to get awareness of the environment to enable a successful participative style of leadership and reach support. A mix of Theory E and O (Beer and Nohria. 2000) is implemented i.e. effectively using that strategy in order to bring more buy-in from the organisation to develop a new culture based on blending new ways of working and human values.

According to Johnson, G. & Scholes, K. (1993 p. 10), strategy could be defined as: “the direction and scope of an organisation over the long term which achieves advantage for the organisation through its configuration of resources within a changing environment to meet the needs of markets and to fulfil stakeholder expectations.”. The strategy has been agreed and is basically that IT envisions maturing from managing a collection of tools to a mature service delivery model based on the Centre of Excellence concept.

As quoted page 236 of the 4th edition of Managing Change (Burnes 2004), Hax and Majluf (1996 p. 10) state that: “The essence of the resource-based model ... [is] that competitive advantage is created when resources and capabilities that are owned exclusively by the firm are applied to developing unique competencies. Moreover, the resulting advantage can be sustained due to the lack of substitution and imitation capabilities by the firm’s competitors.” Centre of Excellence is using a Resourced Based Model to achieve above average quality by developing VRIN (Value, Rare, Inimitable, Non-substitutable) resources. It indeed involves the workers in getting consensus on the new direction and its rationale and developed new resources to fit with the new operating model.

As described by Hayes, Force-field analysis, based on Lewin’s (1951) three-steps model involves two broad types of forces, the ones supporting and the ones resisting change. “When the forces pushing in one direction exceed the forces pushing in the opposite direction the dynamic equilibrium changes. The level of behaviour can be changed towards a more desirable state by increasing the strength of forces for change in the desired direction (increasing the driving forces) or by diminishing the strength of restraining forces” (2007 p. 137). There are other tools or methods to evaluate drivers and barriers to change as e.g. SWOT or PESTEL analysis that may even be more valuable as they will encompass a broader spectrum of data to analyse.


BEER, M. and NOHRIA, N., 2000. Cracking the code of change. Harvard Business Review (May–June), pp. 133–141

BUCHANAN, D. and HUCZYNSKI, A., 2004. Organizational Behaviour – An Introductory Text, 5th Edition. London, UK: FT Prentice Hall.

BURNES, B., 2004. Managing Change, 4th ed. London, UK: Prentice-Hall.

DE BOCK, S., 2012. Creation of an IT Security Centre of Excellence. Belgium: MBA dissertation

HARGIE, O., 2012.Communication and leadership. Aberdeen, UK: The Robert Gordon University.

HAYES, J. 2007. The Theory and Practice of Change Management. 2nd Edition. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave MacMillan

JOHNSON, G. & SCHOLES, K., 1993. Exploring Corporate Strategy. London, UK: Prentice Hall.

MULLINS L., 2005. Management and Organisational Behaviour. 7th ed. UK: Pearson Education Limited.

NADLER, D., SHAW, R. and WALTON, A.E., 1995. Discontinuous Change. San Francisco, CA: Jossey - Bass.

TOURISH, D., 2012. Leadership Fundamentals. Aberdeen, UK: The Robert Gordon University.