By Chris Pearce, Executive Chairman, EV20 Consulting Group and former Toll Global Logistics President
When surveyed about business transformation priorities, 99% of a group of global business leaders said their people came before any process or technology change.
It is clear that these business leaders have previously bore the brunt of the war for talent and the cost of labour to know that their people are their number one asset. And yet, it is complex to put people first when you are rolling out strategic growth or change plans across an organisation. These changes are generally significant and are not simple tweaks to process.
Transformation projects, in their very nature, demand the collaboration of various business units and external consultants, as well as a variety of project managers at different business units. Timelines promised to shareholders are also measured carefully and diligently by project leaders. Visibility of every stage through the transformation process helps stakeholders communicate and consider their people and the communication required at each stage.
Let’s take a look at the different types of business transformation:
Business process transformation is focussed mostly on the main process or function of the organisation, generally challenging the “norms” of how organisations run. Quite often mature organisations are still undertaking the same processes that were set up 20 years ago and are no longer efficient.
A project leader along with process engineers generally undertake these reviews and use sophisticated project management software to communicate the project plan, stages, and associated dependencies to internal stakeholders.
A management transformation is often the biggest emotional challenge for organisations, as you are fundamentally challenging the leadership that exists. This will create angst and significant barriers that need to be removed.
A project leader (often a senior HR leader) and a HR team is brought on board to undertake performance appraisals over a long term, and challenge organisational structure. This normally includes succession planning.
Information or Digital Transformation
Digital transformations are probably the most popular transformation as organisations continue to keep pace with the market and their competitors. Often driven by the need to integrate with customer and suppliers systems, compete in digital markets, or manage the increased complexity driven by changed market conditions.
A project lead and a team of qualified IT professionals are appointed to review, propose, and implement new systems. A shared testing environment is crucial to the success of the project both with respect to collaboration and sticking to the project timeline. Project management software with inbuilt ticket systems for development is a powerful combination for any digital transformation project manager.
Cultural Change / Organisation Structure
Most organisations go through cultural change at varying levels. Significant cultural change programs take place where the aim is to fundamentally “change the way we do things here.” Whilst very expensive and many months of education is required, the effect to organisation performance can be profound.
Project leaders are often sponsored by the most senior people in the business, and will require a team of specialists to design the program and project plan and timeline.
Ultimately, every business transformation requires more than collaboration. It requires technical cooperation and shared platforms to ensure that the project manager and their plans overtly consider and prioritise people and communication channels.
Sophisticated tools built within transformation plans must pay respect to the people and their skillsets, and mark out allocated tasks that relate to the bigger picture – not only for clarity but also task dependencies to ensure the project progresses along according to the timeline.
Drive Lynx is a project management software portal that accelerates project performance.
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About the Author
Chris Pearce is an experienced senior executive professional who held senior positions in multinational organisations including Toll and PepsiCo.
Chris finished up as President/CEO for Toll Global Logistics after 16 years in various roles including Divisional General Manager and General Manager.
Before Toll, Chris held Southern Region Operations and Supply Chain Manager, while working at PepsiCo Australia & New Zealand for seven years. He also held the role of Northern Region Operations Manager, while working at Frito-Lay Australia for a year.
Chris now operates two businesses: EV20 Consulting Group and Jorson Technologies as well as providing senior level counselling to organisations.