Great question! A Center of Excellence, also known as a COE is a committee and central hub of resources formulated to accomplish two key things:
ENSURE ALIGNMENT: COE's are designed to comprehensively orient multiple teams around the unified processes, platforms, and operations of a specific initiative.
FOSTER ADVANCEMENT: The approaches executed by a COE should intend to go beyond what has already been done before in the organization.
This committee can be used for a variety of projects, one being your implementation of Gong.
TIP: In Gong Academy you can view a full course about how to develop a COE and use it for the purpose of implementing Gong.
A COE is typically initiated when a company is approaching brand new ground and you need your best hands on deck. You might be expanding into new markets, exploring a new territory, introducing a new strategic product, or developing a new team. What differentiates the concept of a COE from a traditional task force is that it is designed to take the organization beyond its standard level of performance. You essentially bring together your best and brightest folks and put them in charge of shaking things up, driving positive change, and making big strides.
The beauty of a COE is that after it is established, you can continue to leverage it for both new initiatives and continued growth in its initial projects.
Each COE is comprised of 3 crucial parts:
This COE needs a clear and specific mission that everyone is driving towards. Determine what this whole organizational body needs to be aligned around. With this in place as the north star of your COE, you can more easily define the metrics that represent success, recruit the right people to support that mission, and allocate the resources necessary to make a considerable impact.
Driving change or a new initiative typically requires a mixed bag of people each bringing their own unique level of authority, expertise, and influence. Create a grocery list of what characteristics your COE needs:
Who has the decision making power or authority you need to make significant changes.
What expertise or experience is relevant to your COE’s purpose?
How long do you need to keep each different role of your COE filled? Just initial stages or ongoing?
Have we diversified the expertise everyone brings to the tabl?
Whose level of influence can be leveraged to gain buy-in from the right people?
What can you equip your COE members with to help them be more efficient and effective? This category includes any tools, budget, or access that could be critical in the COE’s initiative.
Are there partnerships or connections that could aid the COE?
Are there apps and tools that these members need access to for things like task management, automation, and planning?
Does this team need a specific budget?
Can they access the authority of executives to lift blockers that arise?
Do these members need bandwidth provided in their regular responsibilities?
Can the COE have access to any additional data that’s relevant to the COE’s purpose and success metrics?
How does a COE relate to Gong?
Implementing a strategic tool like Gong requires more than just digital adoption. Your team’s Gong usage will go hand in hand with a broader culture shift for your company. One that will need to be supported by a change management plan. Coaching will become more routine, people will be recording their calls in Gong, and teams will have an entirely new way of analyzing the needs and voice of the customer. Having a COE in place for your Gong implementation enables your organization to have the necessary resources and people in place to drive that change and contextualize your usage of Gong with business needs and initiatives.
We’d love to hear your perspective or questions on how a COE can be beneficial to an organization. Here are some questions I know our readers would love to read about:
- Have you been in a COE before? What went well? What didn’t?
- What internal roles have been critical in your launch of Gong?
- Does your company have something similar to a COE?
- What tips or tricks do you have for getting a COE started?