The Need For Standardization When Creating A Center Of Excellence (CoE)

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The Need For Standardization When Creating A Center Of Excellence (CoE)

To improve efficiency and communication gaps experienced when creating or adopting new technologies, a Center of Excellence (CoE) is often needed. The lack of a CoE can lead to a disorganised and disjointed adoption.

Your Center of Excellence should include specialists within the organization with different backgrounds and education. These experts need to have a solid understanding of the entire business’ value chain, technology used by the company, and customer expectations in order to act as an advisory board on the various aspects of digital transformation such technology execution and getting to market.

There needs to be a disciplined approach to harness the benefits of a CoE and achieve a full transformation. This will eliminate a lot of time wastage and cut inefficiencies in the process. The CoE is the team tasked with fostering innovation as well as being the link between different stakeholders.

The need for standardization arises because any change needs to be rolled out smoothly across all departments within the business. Here, the team members share best practices and training from previous projects so that they can establish standards that will ensure the successful adoption of new technologies and processes. They should have a shared vision and work closely to achieve this, making collaboration and decision making easier. The standards and best practices set by the Center of Excellence are then adopted across the entire organization which helps foster further collaboration between co-workers and departments.

The Center of Excellence is also the key driver for change within the organization. Many businesses face resistance to change. For example, when automating processes, employees may feel that their jobs are being threatened and frustrate adoption of new technologies. It is the Center of Excellence’s mission to address such issues that arise from any transformation projects.

After setting the standards required for any adoption of a new technology or roll out of a new service, the Center of Excellence should set KPIs that measure how these changes are progressing within the organization. The KPIs should be for all levels within the business. Therefore, the CoE needs to ensure these are standardized to generate meaningful learnings which will highlight issues and opportunities.

Documenting and standardizing processes and KPIs developed within the CoE will serve as a future guide for the implementation of new projects. Standards and practices documented will become a roadmap as well as a starting point for future projects.

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The massive uncertainty around COVID-19 has fixed some companies—and managers—in place, making them unable to react quickly to the changes affecting their business. But for others, it’s been a catalyst for change and an opportunity to gain new insights about their customers’ needs and to demonstrate their agility to adapt and grow.

One leader who has adopted the latter approach is Keith Choy, the head of the Asia–Pacific unit of GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) Consumer Healthcare group. Choy is encouraging his team of 6,000 people to consider the pandemic a call to action, a chance to double down on existing digitalization initiatives and strengthen end-to-end supply chains to even better respond to emerging consumption trends across the 23 Asia–Pacific markets the company serves. All while speeding up the cadence of the company.

In October, Choy spoke with McKinsey’s Kenneth Bonheure and David Schwartz to describe how GSK is responding to COVID-19, how the company is guided by its values, and what global companies can do to succeed in Asia during COVID-19 and beyond.

The Quarterly: Describe the business environment right now. What are you seeing? What are you focusing on?

In October, Choy spoke with McKinsey’s Kenneth Bonheure and David Schwartz to describe how GSK is responding to COVID-19, how the company is guided by its values, and what global companies can do to succeed in Asia during COVID-19 and beyond.

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