Change management is not just a skill or a process. It is a capability that needs to be designed. 

In an earlier post focused on transformation governance, we explored the importance of clearly defined Transformation Office infrastructure, well-resourced design teams, and sustained management attention when making large scale organization change. This post will dive deeper into building the change and project management capabilities that underpin transformation governance.  

A manufacturing company undergoing a multi-year transformation effort found they had change and project management people, but they hadn’t brought them together and enabled them to deliver in an integrated way. 

We used Jay Galbraith’s organization design STAR model to help them take a holistic and practical approach to thinking through how to build an enterprise capability. 


STAR model component  Design questions  Industrial company  



  • What do we want to be known for? What do we need to be able to do better together? 
  • Integrated portfolio management.  
  • Change management (CM) excellence.  
  • Project management (PM) excellence
  • How should we organize project and change management practitioners? 
  • Where do we need leadership and management? 
  • Center-led global team provides integration mechanisms, including common processes and tools, and clear decision guardrails to be utilized across the enterprise. 
  • Local (business unit and operational function) teams have embedded practitioners that know the work of the unit and can build local relationships 
  • Local team leaders manage allocation of resources, performance, and outcomes. They are responsible for securing funding for their services from business and function leaders. 
  • Change Management and Project Management communities of practice are led by volunteer practitioners from all local teams.



  • What management processes will ensure consistent and high-quality service delivery? 
  • An enterprisebased, center-led team oversees governance of the integrated project portfolio to define priorities across the enterprise. 
  • Local teams manage their individual portfolios, project intake, resource deployment, and project execution.  
  • Communities of practice develop common guidelines, methods, and processes to maintain a consistent quality standard and avoid duplication of efforts. Communities of practice also promote continuous learning and sharing. 



  • What metrics should we track? 
  • What incentives will drive the right behaviors? 
  • Lagging indicators includproject delivered on-time, on-budget, and new change adopted. 
  • Leading indicators include demand for PM and CM services and client recognition of practitioner contributions. 
  • Annual recognition awards for best project team, project manager, change manager, etc 



  • How do we acquire project and change management talent? 
  • What HR practices are critical to building these capabilities?  
  • Talent is sourced centrally through a mix of external hiring and internal transfers. Flexible talent pools, including contingent labor and external partnerships, are used to quickly ramp up/down based on demand. 
  • Competency models are developed at the enterprise level for PMs and CMs.  
  • Performance is managed by local leaders. 
  • Leaders complete a change management leadership learning experience to build knowledge and advocacy skills on this new capability. 


An organization model illustrates these design decisions.  

It is not enough to simply hire change managers and project managers. It’s important to take a systematic approach to enabling the transformation program that considers structure, processes, metrics, and people practices. By doing so, you will build lasting capabilities that can mature and evolve based on the organization’s strategy and business challenges.  


Christie Irizarry

Kates Kesler, part of Accenture