Transformation journey management is a new approach to change management designed to implement effective digital transformation. This model emphasizes outcomes over processes at every stage of the transformation journey, enabling real-time adjustment to fluctuating conditions. But keeping track of all of an organization’s moving parts required to achieve desired outcomes can be overwhelming without proper planning and foresight.

Here are 4 priorities you should focus on to keep your accelerated business transformation on track.

Invest in forward planning

Forward planning is the most crucial factor determining transformation success. An efficient transformation journey does not stop once started, making planning indispensable for a smooth transformation.

Most planning takes place at the strategic stage – formulating the strategic intent, business outcomes, and implementation roadmap. Several best practices can help you get the most out of this process:

  • Involve everyone. Strategic intent and business outcomes are top-line issues that benefit from broader participation. Including all operational areas will ensure your strategy is comprehensive and all stakeholders contribute.
  • There’s no such thing as being too thorough. The scale of transformation means sudden changes are inevitable. Planning creates contingencies for these changes, dampening their impact and stabilizing transformation. Major issues that benefit from planning include:
    • Quantifying financial baselines, projections, and evaluation metrics
    • Securing resources and expertise for each stage of the transformation
    • Determining a funding model customized to transformation needs
  • Commit executive leadership. Assign an executive leader to assist the transformation journey management team permanently. They provide authority and streamline communications with knowledge of organizational processes and interdependencies.

Secure lines of communication

The scale of digital transformation requires close coordination between leadership, operations, and vendors. Different stakeholders must always remain engaged, although maintaining cohesion can be challenging.

Established lines of communication create a clear command structure and enable stakeholders to work collaboratively. Feedback is funneled from operational departments to the transformation journey management team, who analyze it and devise adjustments. These are then reassigned to the stakeholders for execution.

Clear communication can make necessary adjustments effortless, ensuring that data collection and analysis are swift and efficient. Learnings can be captured quickly and integrated into the next round of efforts.

Regular updates also provide executive leadership and the transformative journey management team with a bird’s eye view of the organization and ongoing processes. Everyone stays on the same page, and transformation can proceed without diversion.

Realign regressive operations

Organizations facing change can develop “status quo bias” – regressions to old modes of operation. Common regressive behaviors include:

  • Finishing in-flight projects
  • Sweating assets
  • Reducing costs
  • Standardizing practices
  • Following procedures

Regressive behavior usually stems from two sources: operational heads and PMOs.

Operational heads revert to regressive behaviors as a coping mechanism, while PMOs are trained to prioritize project completion. Both hinder transformation by diverting resources away from the primary effort.

Unoptimized resource allocation saps efficiency and misaligns stakeholders. As operational areas silo, communications fragment and efforts become uneven. Left uncontrolled, status quo bias can derail transformation completely.

Simple measures can help identify and realign regressive operations:

  • Implement frequent checks with operational heads to keep them on course and distribute workloads evenly to prevent stress.
  • Vet PMOs and other vendors thoroughly to identify counterproductive attitudes ahead of time.
  • Coordinate with stakeholders at the operational level to provide support and minimize the risk of regressive behavior.

Monitor external developments

The rate of technological change can render static processes obsolete before they are completed. For transformations to be successful, they must adjust to suit external changes and continuously reorient efforts toward business outcomes.

Improve adaptation capabilities by continuously monitoring external developments. Up-to-date information can be translated into actionable adjustments and executed on the fly.

You can maintain value in every project at every operational stage by constantly optimizing your efforts. There are also significant strategic benefits. Faster responses enable:

  • Swift responses to newer, disruptive players.
  • Early mover advantages to emergent technologies and approaches.
  • Agile responses to customer expectations and demands.

However, the transformation journey management team cannot execute this process alone. Rapid adaptation hinges on smooth collaboration between stakeholders. Every department must provide updates to translate into actionable directives at all times.

Executing digital business transformation is a complex process. Worrying about the pace and direction of change is expected. If in doubt, remember:

  • Take an active approach. Channel anxieties into planning, contingencies, and active contributions across all stages. Executive participation goes a long way.
  • Commit in full. Transformation only works if you go all in. Diversions drain efficiency and can derail the process altogether.
  • Trust your transformative journey management team. Their greatest assets are the fresh eyes they bring to the table. It’s easy to lose sight of what’s essential when business is on the line. Trust your team to see things through.

Have a question? Just ask.

If you’re interested in implementing your own effective digital business transformation, our experienced consultants are here to help.