Lessons learnt from 15 years Transforming Top Brands

By admin | Business Transformation

Nov 08

Is your Business Mental Health Sound?

Imagine a Vision for 2025 to meet a part of your Mission through delivering products into a Service for your Market. How do you get there, safely, at pace, without risk?
This could be:
• Digital Transformation (Cloud, Blockchain, AI, Big data, Cyber…)
• Organisational Transformation (Changing and sharpening your Service)
• Business Transformation (outside the above)
but how do you get there?
Your Board may be nervous, Sponsor pressured, Technology, Programme and Change teams may be from different Vendors and disparate. You need a clear golden thread from Vision to a new Service that controls the Transformation and delivers the benefits. 15 years in Transformation has given me some great lessons.

11 Top tips to improve your Transformation

1. Make Vision clear and available
2. Create Governance that controls end to end
3. Create a Plan that everyone buys
4. Create a reasonable practical Contingency for the PM
5. Maintain Reduce Risk to residual level
6. Why ignore Benefits, when they are Stakeholders Gold?
7. Balance your activities with BAU
8. Service Management must start early
9. Checkpoints on Quality sound dull but celebrate their success
10. Communication flows with balance through everybody
11. Alignment of Vendors

11 Top tips to improve your Transformation – in detail

1. Make Vision clear and available
• Vision has to define why this is being done
• Without a clear, well communicated, challenged and accepted target/vision, all of this cannot work.
• Vision needs to be communicated alongside the Strategy, which describes how you will get there – through risk and benefit, but you have to get everyone being transparent, aligned and in a position to collaborate to deliver.
2. Create Governance that controls end to end
• Link Current position to Future state – break down the products required
• Draw a string between these points
• Monitor progress, but know what to do if not on plan
3. Create a Plan that everyone buys
• People will want to change it, but keep it right
• It will change, but you can track changes
• Progress needs to be clear for all, but use a wall, system or shout out progress
Keep everyone aligned as you move to Service
4. Create a reasonable practical Contingency for the PM
• Things will always go wrong, but stay calm
• Allow the team some room to fix it
• Recognise when a real change needs to be made, but respond clearly
5. Maintain Reduce Risk to residual level
• Many forget, fail, or just ignore risk, but you must understand the real risk, capture and mitigate through the team
• It will be fine for now, but not for ever
• How will you manage risk across different Vendors? But you need to integrate the risk transfer end to end
6. Why ignore Benefits, when they are Stakeholders Gold?
• They must be planned, but typically come in late
• Find a way to measure them tangible and intangible, but remember they can be a massive motivator.
• Give Sponsors a clear net benefits line that defines progress
7. Balance your activities with BAU
• Portfolio Management must link regular planned, in flight and BAU activities with forecast P&L, but make sure priorities are set to maintain BAU (and pace of change)
• Segregate and share resource across all functions, but work together within the priorities
• A mechanism to measure forecast and actual resource needs to be set, but it cannot be too granular and must give the team the boundaries they need
8. Service Management must start early
• Your often new Service Management needs to be created to receive the Transition, but you still need to document all the new processes and test it through a dry run.
• ITIL processes will help you construct capacity, roles and define capability, but you cannot ignore making sure it works before transition starts for real.
• Once products are ready, transition can be rapid, and service can be the pressure cooker into BAU, as new or existing customers, will have the attention of sponsors and stakeholders, but get ready!
9. Checkpoints on Quality sound dull but celebrate their success
• Checkpoints on the quality of your individual and integrated products are vital, as we know, but often in the pressure of delivery and unless there is strong Governance, priority and quality drops
• Control throughout delivery, arguably in the background to allow teams to naturally check things correctly as they go, within a script, but if this way fails stronger enforcement is a must,
• Test strategies have to be ready with tests created early, so that products can move through on a conveyor belt.
10. Communication flows with balance through everybody
• Everyone needs to know enough to do their role and help others, but the amount will differ by groups and members,
• How you do it, when you do it, who does it, what it contains, is the connector between all these principles and activities.
• There are many ways to get the messages across, but the ultimate test is the Transformation moving at the pace that your risk and resource dictates, but by then it is often too late. So plan it well and early.
11. Alignment of Vendors
• Often and for me amazingly Statements of work are created by different people and not co-ordinated properly, but the Programme Director acting for the sponsor should own this.
• Vendors and Client need to understand the interface between the jigsaw of their parts of the Transformation, but you also need to understand how the risk transfers as the components are designed, built, tested to Service and Change acceptance.
• You need to be one team, operating within the same process, and with freedom to explain concerns and remove barriers, but you will need to build confidence, be transparent, align and collaborate.

PRINCIPLES

Transparency
Everyone perceives progress in different ways, but we must all share and communicate core information simply, so there is no confusion on where we are and where we are going
Alignment
Like in team sport you need to know where everything is and be in the right place as things move.
Collaboration
Once aligned, working symbiotically across the team within the boundaries set, everybody works together on a string that runs end to end.

“The key to good transformation is for everyone to see control, know what is going on and still have the freedom to make things happen.”