The PEArL framework.

Dr Champion’s research into the design and management of large-scale sociotechnical systems has resulted in the PEArL framework, which focuses on the cultural change necessary to achieve value from large-scale, technology-driven transformation projects.

Key Facts

    • PEArL is based on systems theory and focuses on the five elements of an inquiry essential for achieving engagement, learning and transformation.

    • These are: Participants, Engagement; Authority; relationships and Learning. Creating new relationships to embed change is highlighted as being the most important aspect of transformation projects, but also the element that requires the most sensitive leadership and management, hence the small ‘r’.

    • The elements of PEArL change dynamically throughout a project, and the framework can be applied to enhance both structured and agile approaches to systems design and development

Impact of our research

PEArL has been successfully applied in a wide range of business, industry and social enterprise settings to achieve a diverse range of value outcomes for our clients. For example, PEArL was used by Jaguar Land Rover to improve governance and achieve better oversight for senior management across product creation pipelines. PEArL was applied by the British Association for Chemical Specialities to formulate their response to changing legislation that resulted in improved biocidal labelling. And PEArL has also been applied by key workers in homeless shelters to enhance outcomes for residents, supporting them to adopt more stable lifestyles.

PEArL is currently being applied to large-scale digital transformation projects in both industry and public service organisations.

Why the research was commissioned

Most transformation initiatives in business and industry today rely on technology to drive through desired change. But technology alone will not achieve lasting benefits and value, new ways of working also need to be designed around the technology. PEArL supports senior managers to redesign new social and cultural practices to help these new ways of working take root around the technological system.

This sociotechnical approach is proving to be of value in digital transitions, where PEArL is of particular use helping our clients to engage their stakeholders across networked digital ecosystems and achieve deep-rooted success.