What IS ‘Busines Readiness’?

Estimated reading time: 2 mins

Business Readiness is a measure of how ready an organization is to take on change.

This may be a new technology, as a result of a project.

This may be a new process, as a result of business improvement.

This may be new people, as a result of growth.

This may be fewer people, as a result of rationalization.

Whatever the change, it’s always a good idea to make sure your organization is ready for it.

Business Readiness is hard to define, as there is no discreet measure. Being 85% ready means nothing, without context. Somehow, we have to put some measures in place to know. These can be qualitative, and quantitative.

For example:

  • A customer service team is 60% ready when 6 out of 10 staff have been trained in a new system.
  • A manufacturing team is 80% ready when 8 out of 10 units output meets quality tests.
  • A sales team is 100% ready when they have all gone through product training and passed certification.
  • An engineering team is 90% ready when they’ve recruited 9 out of the 10 new hires.

Get the picture?

However, it’s rare to see just one dimension (measure) when looking at Business Readiness. There can be many measures, each with its own weighting and importance.

For example, the two measures of business readiness for a new IT system maybe ‘People Trained’ and ‘Upgraded IT Equipment Provisioned’. ‘People Trained’ may have more weighting, if the new system can run on older equipment, albeit less efficiently.

It’s important to construct a simple model (as simple as possible) to measure Business Readiness so that employees and management have a target to aim for which is properly understood.

Then, the business decision to GO or NOT GO can be made on an informed basis. An organization may choose to go-live with a change when the organization has reached 80% readiness. The gap of 20% is an expression of business risk, which should be mitigated (the mitigation, or backup plan, should be an input to the decision itself.)

The beauty of this concept is that it brings clarity to something that is otherwise very difficult to articulate. It’s good management practice.

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