Digital transformation

My Next 5 Tips for Using “The Business Transformation Framework” to Drive Digital Transformation

In my previous blog, I introduced the Business Transformation Framework (BTF) – a practical approach that helps organizations to design, develop, plan, and govern organizational change. I outlined (hopefully successfully) how taking a structured approach would be helpful for digital transformation initiatives, and offered my first 5 tips along the way.

Now, I’ve got the next 5 tips – for delivering transformation effectively.

Tip 6: Keep Your Approach Focused

Start your planning for business change by “sizing up the situation” – looking at the resources available, the level and pace of change your organization can deal with, and understanding which disciplines need to be put in place or more firmly established (within your organization).

This “initiation phase” is responsible for establishing real goals, determining the work to be done, and enabling teams to make the right choices at key decision-making points. It facilitates greater focus on what needs to be achieved, and how, by:

  • Establishing clear goals – collectively understanding what you want to achieve as an organization and the capacity for change, identifying constraints, and deciding timings.
  • Drawing up an outline solution – mapping out the current and proposed future states such that all possible contingency situations are covered. This will also help ensure that both content and ways of working are mapped directly back to organizational goals and are deployed accurately in the delivery phase.
  • Maximizing the use of resources – to prevent duplication or rework.
  • Taking varied information-collection approaches – these multiple approaches give you a more holistic view of what’s required. For instance, interviews are a great opportunity to gauge stakeholder visions, workshops enable you to collect high volumes of data quickly, and examining existing documentation will give you a view of what’s already in place.
  • Confirming the scope – document a general story line about the project (or program) remit. What’s the scope? Is it clear, concise, and easy to understand? What’s outside of scope?
  • The preliminary structuring of work packages – use timeboxing to keep things on track as it will help with prioritization and focus, plus highlight the impact of delays on other work packages.

Tip 7: Draw Up Your Plan

This is where the BTF is used to provide details of the transformation plan to various stakeholders. The information drafted in the initiation phase provides guidance on all the activities to be carried out along with a suggested order for deployment.

Consider the audience and their preferences when delivering the plan (or a specific version of the plan). For instance, use visualization to communicate the top “takeaways.” Because there’s nothing worse than pages upon pages of spreadsheets and project plans when all the recipient really needs is a small part of the whole – so use a short summary, or a snappy picture or diagram to communicate the key highlights.

Also support all the choices made with quantitative data. Projects can fail to progress when teams are unable to come to a consensus, and that’s why it’s so important to make sure that each decision is backed by clear data – in order to help avoid delays, confusion, or derailment.

Tip 8: Ensure the Delivery Phase Immediately Drives Transformation

Remember when I wrote about breaking work down into small, achievable chunks in my initial blog? We are now at the point where all your upfront effort starts to pay off.

Most transformations aren’t one big change, they tend to be carried out via a number of smaller projects or work packages. And, as delivery is something that takes place (continuously) over the whole program of projects and tasks, bear in mind the following to ensure the right outcomes are delivered to the right stakeholders by working in the right way:

  • Ensure that you have the defined project roles in place – solution architects, project managers, and the management team will all have specific roles to play so ensure that these are documented and understood.
  • Keep a register for small changes or improvement opportunities so that they can be logged, prioritized, and tracked.
  • Use knowledge management to embed and professionalize new competencies. If it’s not documented (with relevant knowledge available), then how are you meant to be able to support something new as part of the day job?

Tip 9: Get Ready to Align with Business as Usual (BAU)

AKA “The Juggle.”

Align with Business as Usual (BAU)

It’s tough to implement change, make service improvements, and “keep the show on the road.” All while making sure that no issue, question, or request is lost or forgotten about it!

So how do you juggle it all?

First and foremost – embed a culture of continuous integration into your IT department. And, if you build agility into your BAU processes, then you can better flex to accommodate changing business needs by focusing on value creation and distributing your resources accordingly.

Tip 10: Get a Jump Start

When getting started with BTF, please bear the following in mind to help ensure that you get the most value from the approach:

  • Use the BTF in a practical way that fits your organization. Remember that while it’s important to have structure, to ensure that work and desired outcomes are defined correctly, it’s most important to focus your efforts such that you can concentrate on service optimization and value.
  • Use the initiation phase as a test, or initial sanity check, to confirm if your organization is ready for the project(s) proposed. One of the tenants of DevOps is to “fail fast” – this might sound negative, or counterintuitive, but it’s better to find out sooner rather than later if something needs to be tweaked, completely revamped, or should be out of scope.
  • Keep expectations realistic. The best projects in the world can still be at risk of scope creep if you don’t keep people on task. So, schedule regular check ins with your project teams and stakeholders to ensure that things are truly going to plan.

So that’s the last 5 of my 10 tips for using the Business Transformation Framework (whether to drive digital or business transformation). What do you think? What would you add from your personal experiences? Please let me know in the comments!

Posted by Joe the IT Guy

Joe the IT Guy
Joe the IT Guy

Native New Yorker. Loves everything IT-related (and hugs). Passionate blogger and Twitter addict. Oh...and resident IT Guy at SysAid Technologies (almost forgot the day job!).


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