To build a CoE, it is absolutely essential to have a clearly defined vision. History proves that this grand, overall vision (or plan) is critical to developing dominance in a specialty area. Once you establish a plan, specific strategies can then be developed based upon this plan. If strategies are not utilized in connection with a grand plan, it is much more likely that your efforts will fall short and it also increases the chances that your implementation efforts will simply look like “unrelated efforts” as opposed to tactics aligned to an overall vision.
As you begin to form a concept or idea for a grand plan, you may find it very helpful to identify a “role model” project to use “as a guide” in developing your plan. For example, if you can find two or three projects that have some of the attributes that your plan desires, these could be a great example that you could model your plan after.
Keep in mind that a selected project need not be “perfect” in every way, but merely have executed some of the qualities desirable to include in your CoE. Those qualities or characteristics of the project that seem to have fallen short can be “called out” as “areas identified for improvement” and can still be used as feed for your overall plan or vision.
After determining a role model project or program and finalizing your own grand plan, you can then start to develop those specific tactics and strategies that will support and comprise your “overall” CoE vision.
Using firm, actual examples from actual projects will go a long way in bringing your “concept” to “reality” and will help in establishing your CoE’s credibility.
In today’s market, make sure your organization establishes and continues to grow a CoE – or you may find yourself left behind.