Change as a service: the new way to manage change programmes

15 February, 2021

Change is happening all around us, and needs to be integrated into how you do business. In fact, these days, “change” is actually “business as usual”:  the implementation of new technology, changes in organisational culture and mergers and acquisitions. In a world where change is a constant, we need to manage it holistically, across all of our projects, programmes, and portfolios. 

However, research from PwC shows that 80% of change programmes do not deliver on their intended benefits, and less than 3% of firms deliver 100% of their project portfolios. 

There is a critical need for an efficient and effective infrastructure to deliver change management. Using the Change as a Service model can help you build that infrastructure.

Aerial picture of a container ship and shipyard.

What is Change as a Service (CaaS)?

Change as a Service (CaaS) is a resource supply service that allows you to draw on external capabilities to improve your delivery, and to help you to meet your change needs. It’s a service that delivers consistent and transparent change management. It significantly decreases your delivery risk and increases your ability to successfully deliver change. Any organisation looking to build a tailored change delivery platform can benefit from using CaaS.

Why use CaaS?

Businesses face challenges when it comes to delivering large scale change programmes. These can include a lack of available expertise, gaps in industry knowledge, or access to technical capability. Speed of sourcing can also be a big obstacle for businesses when they try to recruit these skills externally. And the management of multiple individual contractors can create issues with consistency and quality in change programmes, as well as contributing to high administrative costs. Any of these challenges can manifest as a problem for the desired outcome.

By using the Change as a Service model, you can benefit from flexible resourcing. This means that team and individual skill sets can be scaled up or down to meet the demand of the change portfolio. By leveraging an external network of talent, you benefit from access to highly skilled and experienced resources whilst reducing your cost and risk. 

It can help to close the talent gaps in your organisation. As this can be done by building a core onshore team supplemented by offshore resources, you can better control your costs and also widen the pool of resources available to you. When you work with a single model of change across your programme, you can replace a multitude of high cost, individual contractors with a team of aligned, cost-effective specialists.

Consistent insight and analytics are also key benefits of CaaS. Insight and analysis are strategically important activities when understanding and implementing change. Having a CaaS model, with resources who are experienced in providing tailored insight and analytics, gives you the opportunity to make better business decisions. They can provide an extra level of understanding to your data and can proactively put forward new options and opportunities as they arise. 

Change as a Service means you can leverage greater control over your programme execution. Having one model delivering on your change programme, means you have unified best practice processes, controls and governance across your organisation. You can streamline and simplify reporting, and manage risk and quality assurance consistently across the programme of change. 

Introducing Change as a Service to your organisation

Change as a Service is the way forward for organisations with large volumes of change that contain varying resource or skills demands. Below is a high level action plan you can use to introduce CaaS to your organisation’s operational structure:

  1. Appoint the Change as a Service point of contact - the key to the successful roll-out of Change as a Service is to have a central point of contact in place to manage the service. This point of contact is responsible for managing resources, utilisation, quality and productivity, and engaging with suppliers across the change portfolio.
  2. Prioritise your change portfolio - use this opportunity to do a thorough review of your change portfolio and ensure you are focused on the right change programmes. This in turn will help you to identify where to target your resources.
  3. Identify key areas - identify the areas of your organisation with the best impact potential. The areas that typically get the most benefit from CaaS are areas with large volumes of change or areas with lots of high cost individual contractors.
  4. Identify skills gaps in your organisation - CaaS provides an opportunity to address any current or expected skills gaps in your change teams. This can be particularly useful if you need access to specialist skill sets, or if you need short term access to a skillset that is expensive or in short supply in the permanent employment market.
  5. Go digital - identify and invest in tools that will help you to drive delivery and promote consistency across your change programmes. There are a number of tools on the market to help you create an integrated suite of programme control solutions with best practice processes, controls and governance.

Taking the steps above will help you to build a professionalised, cost effective, high quality and transparent change management service, which decreases your delivery risk and increases your ability to successfully deliver change.

We are here to help you

At PwC we understand what makes business change programmes successful. We can provide low-cost, high-quality capabilities in a number of critical change roles. We have a large pool of experienced programme managers, project managers and business analysts. They act as a backbone for constructing and managing the right programmes and projects. The PMs can bring in specific expertise across multiple business areas as needed (e.g. cyber, digital, organisational change). We embed and deliver rapid change in a flexible manner, as your portfolio demands.

Contact us

Féilim Harvey

Partner, PwC Ireland (Republic of)

Tel: +353 1 792 8631

Eoin Mulhall

Director, PwC Ireland (Republic of)

Tel: +353 1 792 5057

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