Who Will Deliver your Transformation

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Who Will Deliver your Transformation

N Cubed Group

Who should you trust to manage your transformation?

There has been a lot of discussion recently across business media and more traditional hard copy business newspapers, about transformation and the resources needed (and offered) for getting it right.

Most of what has been written is valuable and insightful, as you would expect from the business community, however only if taken in context of the bigger picture, and not necessarily to provide a complete method to produce the suggested outcomes in the articles themselves.

Let us first look at what constitutes a transformation, and I don’t mean a change no matter how complex, but a real transformational initiative (see previous articles on transformations for more information).

We know change is typically focused on single (or a few related) disciplines within a business, such as organisation, business process or systems, and as such is often seen as ‘isolatable’ in terms of disruption and impact. This can be true if it is approached, carefully constructed and directed from a holistic view of business impact.

In this situation it could form part of a transformational process, but would certainly not qualify as a transformation in its own right.

For it to be a transformation, the outcome would, as its name suggests, be a new direction for the business or some significant element of the business, which would impact all transformational pillars or elements (see definition of the pillars of a transformation in the previous article) both operational (enablement) and strategic (directional).

These transformational elements include the 5 primary operational pillars of a business (business process re-engineering, information systems, organisational change, HCM (competency and training) and programme management, as well as the 3 strategic pillars (strategy, risk and value).

When a business truly transforms, every element of its corporate DNA is altered, and that is where the real value, and indeed need, of an interim transformation director comes to the fore. They should be able to take ownership at a meta level, understanding every element of impact to the business and direct the initiative to maximise the effectiveness across all 8 pillars.

This is where our second aspect of delivery partner becomes interesting, as much is being made of the big Tier 1 Consultancies, and the ‘close-cousins’ of the major service providers, being the best option for handling transformation, which is not surprising when many of these articles, or reviewing bodies producing them, are sponsored or supported by these same organisations.

This is not to say these big players are not the optimum solution for handling and delivering your transformation, as it goes a long way in terms of having an integrated team for the diversity of the skills needed to successfully navigate across all 8 pillars. However many believe, based on surveys and experience, a smart way to de-risk further and improve chances of success, would be to have the transformation director be independent of the Transformation Service Provider (TSP), working as a client side interim, ensuring not only the best integrated service is maintained by all the working parts of the TSP teams, but also that the client is still engaged and consulted by the transformation director, to allow them to make informed decisions based on independent analysis of the state and progress of the initiative.

This is, incidentally, by no means a new way of working, as this type of role has been employed many times since around the end of the 1990s, under the guise of a client-side advisor on large initiatives, as they get delivered by some of the big name consultancies, very successfully.

Having the comfort of knowing your TSP can bring in consultants across most if not all of the elements in a transformation is a definite benefit, but having an independent transformation director overseeing what they do on your behalf is adding another layer of safety and control.

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