A GENERAL FRAMEWORK FOR CHANGE / TRANSFORMATION MANAGEMENT

THE SCIP CHANGE / TRANSFORMATION MANAGEMENT MODEL

The business environment is currently evolving with unprecedented advancements in information and communications technology making the markets ever so competitive. Both Competition and Consumers are just clicks away from service providers with product offerings continually being tailored to suit the ever changing consumer needs which requires businesses to be very dynamic in their approach. The need for dynamic and flexible business models thus make change and transformation management an integral part of any business that wants to remain competitive.

However, as simple and straight forward as change or business transformation may sound, it is quite a complex process with both internal and external factors at play. Therefore, to minimize the resistance to change and increase chances of a hitch free transformation — if that does exist, I have put together the SCIP business transformation model to ease transformation and change management process, to increase the chances of an excellent project delivery.

This model in itself is not meant to supersede corporate change procedures but rather serve as a complementary framework to ensure that those procedures deliver the right results.

“SCIP MODEL: Engage — Communicate — Implement — Evaluate — Iterate — communicate — Iterate”

STEP 1: STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT

The first step towards a successful transformation process is to get everyone on board. The urge to build a customer-centric product or service with great CX often increases focus on the external customer that buys the finished product or service with little or no attention on the internal customers such as employees and suppliers that play crucial roles in delivering the service. Engagement at the right level identifies all pain points from both external and internal perspectives, highlights potential issues and opportunities while providing a realistic picture of what can be achieved and the necessary requirements for a seamless transformation.

Partners, suppliers, sub-contractors and consumers have to be considered because no one wants to design a system or product that is unusable by the intended stakeholders.

STEP 2: DEFINE AND COMMUNICATE PROPOSED TRANSFORMATION OBJECTIVES WITH IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGY

Developing and communicating a clear strategic direction is a core recipe for successful transformation as the clearly defined goals with set objectives remove ambiguity and confusion or uncertainty in the process. The clarity of purpose also ensures the roles of every stakeholder is defined and expectations understood. People are more comfortable and willing when they understand what is expected of them and how it fits into the big picture than when they are just given instructions. Acting in isolation creates uncertainty and often leads to resistance to changes.

Clear and timely communication is important throughout the process with visibility being a catalyst for progress measurement and ability to maintain a proactive stand during the course of the transformation exercise.

A communication strategy should also be developed around the culture of the organization. The success of a communications strategy is a function of the social culture of the people and their preferred method of interaction, there is no generally accepted best method but preferred or effective method of communication considering the people and their environment at that point in time.

STEP 3: IMPLEMENT TRANSFORMATION IN CONTROLLED STAGES

Whatever management methodology is being used, it is important to clearly define the different stages — gates to evaluate progress and assess viability. Whether as sprints or packages, a work breakdown structures with set goals at the end of each gate is important for monitoring and controlling the entire exercise. By working in controlled stages, it is easier to identify pinch points and deviations on time, thus minimizing their impacts on the overall exercise and delivery timeline.

Furthermore, the earlier a problem is identified, the cheaper it is to solve and the less impact it has on the overall programme delivery.

STEP 4: POST IMPLEMENTATION EVALUATION

Change introduction is a one off exercise but sustainability of change is continuous. When a transformation programme goes live, it is essential to evaluate the actual output against planned or expected output — the metrics and methods of evaluation would have been agreed and communication from project inception. This exercise justifies the investment in transformation and determines the expansion and future development roadmap.

This stage helps businesses plan what sort of changes or adjustments they need to further make and how to go about them. Most programme managers will tell you that things don’t always go according to plan. All things being equal is often used in the classrooms but are all things ever equal in the real world? I will let you be the judge.

STEP 5: THE UNWRITTEN RULE — CONSTANT ITERATION, EVALUATION AND EVOLUTION

The unwritten rule for a successful digital transformation programme is to constantly iterate, document and communicate. At the end of each evaluation exercise, findings should be documented with all possible lessons learnt captured and communicated, and the iteration continues until the goal is achieved. Unfortunately, the quest for improvement is insatiable and everything is up for disruption, so this step five is a continuous exercise without end. Continuous development should be in the DNA of any companies that wants to thrive and lead in innovation.

Should you need any help with change or transformation management, feel free to get in touch with me on Twitter: Emeka Nwonu or through an email: Emeka_Nwonu@crystalpearlconsulting.com