Do you have dreams of setting up a Center of Excellence (or Enablement) or maybe you're making it happen? Where do you start? Here's a breakdown of my recommendation on setting up a COE. Of course, you do what makes sense to your users and your organizations. You can adopt or adapt the TCOE pillars to your organization. Talk with your customersWhy talk with customers?
If you set up a peer review process and people already have a peer review process in place, at least on the surface level, your program won't be successful.
Who do you ask?
Ask a cross-section of users, including your advanced, intermediate, beginner users as well as managers across different lines of business. This is important to ensure that you have a sufficient perspective.
What do you ask?
People run from pain and run towards pleasure. What does that mean in a business and COE setting? It means that that people won't use initiatives that are too hard/cumbersome and will use initiatives that help them/make their lives easy. If they have something in place already that makes their life easy, they'll want to continue with that.
Depending on what they say, you may be able to group these into the following pillars:
What initiatives or programs will you have to upskill your users?
This can go either way; either your COE does direct consulting or you implement consulting-like programs like Data Doctors or Office Hours.
I like to specifically call out onboarding because if you do not set people up for success, you're making their life harder.
Probably the most under-valued pillar, enablement helps users work smarter. To me, enablement is an indirect line item that affects net income. Enablement helps communicate all of the other initiatives that you'll put in place (helping increase the value of your initiatives and the work products of your users). And because of enablement, you can save your users time (our most finite and precious asset) by searching up and finding relevant information. It's an old adage, but time is money.
As you can tell, I provided more content on enablement and that's because it is so under-valued. Next StepsNow that you have an idea of what your customers need, what your pillars will be, how do you get started? First, go back to what your customers said when you talked with them. This is where a bit of analysis comes into play. Can the issues be grouped into one of the pillars? What are items/pillars that already work well?
Remember the saying from above.
People run from pain and run towards pleasure.
Start with the items that cures the pain, because pain feels worse than how good pleasure feels.
Need help getting started or you've got the framework in place but need help executing it? Let's chat to see if my fractional COE services are a good fit for your organization.