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What is Change Production?

You're probably hearing this term for the first time with regards to change management. So let's look at why it is being used.

First, consider how you aleady think of your company's capability to get things done. Normally the thinking is about results and about getting to results. Ther is a lot of time and energy spent by managers in thinking about productivity. This is the first reference point, because productivity is not an event; it is an assessment of the level of ongoing effectiveness of effort to convert resources (inputs) into valued outcomes.

Since that assessment directly evaluates activity, it also refers to management's influence on the activity. And, it does so for all managed activity, regardless of the type of output (product) oroutcome (impact or created state).

The key here is that productivity is not associated wih any solo effort to the exclusion of others. It is associated in every effort with a standing capability to proceed to a valuable effect.

Nonetheless, individual efforts must be tailored to their purpose; so, any particular effort is a production that has a form appropriate for the intended effect. Productions involve a range of different factors that in combination should create the necessary propriety and relevance of the effort. The selection and combination of those factors is the design of the production.

The essence of "production" as an idea is that it is about the doing, not the result. In production, effort is staged in terms of design parameters. Many productions have a general design within which significant variation can occur during the ongoing progression, adapting real-time states to the continued need for aligning with the intended outcomes. For managed change, what makes the change managed is most explicitly defined in three ways:

  • a strategy and accompanying portfolio: this identifies the reason for the type of change, and the priority of investment in the reason. They define value.

  • a campaign: this identifies the overall communications environment that continually conveys the intended-versus-actual states and impacts of participation and events. If adjustments are to be made, the campaign explains what and why thay are happening, as relevant to the strategy. This clearly applies to the onboarding and initiation that occurs with an effort, as well as all other progress to be driven by knowledgeable and motivated participation.

  • programs and roadmaps: these acknowledge that the change effort occurs in an environment of other ongoing significant activites, and must be compatible with them as a force in the shared environment. In a production, change may involve development, learning, negotiation, or other various mechanisms that alter or adapt a current state to a different future state. Management coordinates the differing mechanisms.

In fact, we associate production with systems of effort, not with prescriptions. The eventual effects generated from the system's behaviors are the ones that are invariably the real ones not just the desired ones; and the real value of a change is the measure that deems it to be a success or a failure.

In that light, we contrast the idea of producing change (new) against executing projects (old) because production is a more rational way to account for the actual managment needs of the progressive effort.

Producing change is an always-on capability that in practice implements what it needs in real time. In management, it lives on a peer level with producing relationships, products, and services.

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