5 tips to ensure your program delivers “real” results: (5 minute read)
We at D-N-A support companies, leaders and team members in understanding and delivering transformation objectives. In the journeys, we work on we saw that alignment based on clear definitions or processes is challenging and sometimes obscure. Change is something we experience every day. Understanding the definitions before moving on the design is key to achieve success:
In one of our recent projects, we worked on aligning to a new operational policy as preparation for further digitalisation. As this project is being delivered in multiple markets, the definitions are somewhat challenging due to language, culture and organisational differences. Delivering on all objectives may result in challenges to make everyone involved understand. As normal in agile change management, moving goalposts often do not help to clarify and deliver objectives. Therefore, some guidelines are critical to aligning before you actually deliver a change program in your business.
1 Align on definitions and terminology
It’s difficult to really align on objectives if the terminology is unclear. The terminology may be open to the interpretation of the receiving party. Missing a clear description of terminology could result in being unable to align. Progress is delayed in that case. Make sure the definitions are clear to all stakeholders and ensure that changing definitions are documented (incl. changelog).
Ensure definitions don’t get lost in translation and are clearly defined!
2 Understand the processes
Many companies have guidelines and processes. When interviewing team members, however, you find that guidelines and processes are not part of their day to day thinking. Effectively, they are not following the process. Moreover, processes are based on an ideal situation and not actual reality. Make sure that you validate the provided processes and understand their impact as well.
3 Validate day to day practices
If we look at the standard end to end business process, an ideal design of a process was applied. It may not be in line with what actually happens. Day to day events may make it impossible to follow the process.
The importance of understanding why people do not stick to the process and assessing what you need to be able to complete daily delivery to your customers is often missed when defining a new approach. We hear a lot about best practices, but when you take a closer look into the day to day of an individual, best practices are often not followed due to changing needs and daily events. You want to find out things are actually different before you are in the delivery phase of your project. Validate on all levels.
4 Define clear roles and responsibilities
Make sure you do not assume roles and responsibilities. Better to validate the end to end process and realign roles or responsibilities, than assume a team is responsible for this. Strong alignment is needed to limit finger pointing to a minimum.
We have seen team members taking ownership of activities, which are not their responsibility. Just because the team owning this part was too busy with other focus areas. Or even worse, team member moved to a new role while keeping his/her old one. It’s important to make sure you have a clear definition of roles and responsibilities in your program. Terms like IT, Business or Finance transformation do not always clear how roles are divided. From experience, these are not clearly defined in most projects.
5 Set up, Gather and analyse the right Data points
Jumping into a transformation, without the right data to assess is not very smart. The pressure of delivering results whilst jumping on new topics. Having limited clarity around the measurement of success. Teams will never be able to focus on result, adjustments and delivery. If the data points are not yet in place, make sure you build them. Defining KPI’s during the change instead of upfront is not ideal and can lead to a continuous change of direction. Build a strong “WHY” and use the data points for the “WHAT” and “HOW”. You will have a stronger execution.
What are your experiences?
We are learning every day. Not just from the projects we do. We love to learn from you and are keen to hear about your experiences.
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