Guest post by Andrew Smith, 1 March 2020
‘Get Brexit Done’ they said, but it cannot be magically ‘Done’.
Such is the case too with Business Transformation, where arguably some 80% of transformation programmes fail to deliver the desired outcomes, on time and on budget while failing to meet strategic goals.
The reality for management is about adapting and adjusting to the new operating models, and having not only the leadership and wit to do so, but also the right tools and techniques to see what needs to be done, and how best to deliver it, with the support of the business.
Business As Usual No More
Business owners and their advisers all yearn for business strategic transformation.
In an increasingly fast-changing world, businesses cannot stand still as they have to move with the market environment and continue to meet customer expectations.
Business is conducted differently at the moment, as environmental pressures mount, the Coronavirus spreads, floods and wildfires strip the countryside, and technological innovation crushes old business models.
Such crises present opportunities and risks.
And as Darwin said ‘the species that survives is the one best able to adapt and adjust’
Business transformation: Constantly Evolving Operating Models
Therefore this survival is not just about managing business as usual.
Of course, for some, the day job is still there, but it is also about a series of enabling programmes and projects that create new strategies and operating models thus assisting a successful transformation.
And the people, processes and systems required to run them in the future.
These enabling programmes and projects are often complex and involved, with impatient deadlines and a strong sense of ‘time is money’ all of which is driven by customer satisfaction.
People want them ‘now, even yesterday’, because if not grasped and delivered.
Then there are ready competitors who grab the customers, revenues and margin, often for a lifetime.
New Tools and Techniques
There might have been a time when financial ledgers and bank statements provided the success or failure story.
And businesses somehow muddled through just on that, plus collective management wisdom regardless of their product or service.
In the book and film ‘Money Ball’ about baseball it was explained, the collective wisdom of insiders over the past century is subjective and often flawed.
‘Money Ball’ presented a strong argument for more analytical gauges of player performance.
So a team could better compete against richer competitors which is akin to enhancing business processes in a way that improves performance.
The same argument is true for management of the different type of business transformation programmes.
People and Platforms
Organisations need to become more effective in their decision making at all levels, but particularly so at the senior level.
This is true not only for ‘business as usual’ but also for the management of each business transformation project.
Thus the view for senior executives must be clear and as unambiguous as possible because business transformation involves transparency.
And their management tools and dashboards should be crafted for more than storing information and so, systems technology has to be cutting edge.
They must be up-to-date and shaped to facilitate optimal decision making.
Having software, process technology and the right people operating it, can ensure all necessary information is available at each appropriate level of the business.
This means creating a platform that allows the freedom to decide, operate and deliver.
It is about EQ and IQ.
Business transformation: Success Factors
The key ingredients for success and core transformation are the governance model, a well-defined milestone plan, managed risks, assumptions, issues and dependencies.
Together with the necessary resources, in terms of people and funding to deliver.
This new platform needs to be on top level of the organisation with management systems that support it, therefore, driving digital transformation.
It also needs to contain necessary detail, but not be overly cluttered, and to efficiently and effectively speed up the process of reporting and the support required for each steering group and project meeting.
The exciting vision is that increasing use of such platforms and people skills will indeed ‘Get Business Transformation Done’ !