Have a Quick Run Through This Checklist:

Do you have everything or is there something missing before you are ready to go ahead?

1.   Core Team

There should be a small core team who are in on the ideas and planning from the very start. Not all at the top level of the organisation but most certainly including the Sponsor who is going to see the whole thing through. Hand pick these people – they are crucial to your success and they most definitely should be allowed to challenge what is being proposed.

2.   People Profiles

One of the least used resources and yet one of the most important. If you haven’t a clue about the personal styles, strengths and types of the people in your teams, how on earth are you going to tune the transformation?

Get to know what these are and assemble the transformation teams with the results in mind. You may be surprised at who become the stars when they are given the right environment in which to operate.

3.   Problem Analysis Tools & Techniques

Transformation has its roots in problem solution. So make sure that you have an adequate range and mix of tools and techniques to thoroughly get to the bottom of what that is. It’s no good starting out and then looking for tools and techniques. You need to have a small arsenal at you or your team’s disposal.

Make sure that some of these have been practiced on non-critical issues or problems, so that everyone is comfortable with how they work and what is needed. Some of them will also require props or specialist roles. Work out what you are going to need and who is going to be responsible.

4.   Budget

A transformation programme needs budget – it’s obvious. However how big should that be and how is it going to be controlled. You can’t set an overall budget until you know what is going to be done. On the other hand you should have a defined budget to cover the analysis phase and leading in to the planning – at least up to the plans for the first detailed phase of execution.

On this basis you will then know what is going to be required and can either allocate resource or step back knowing what is needed but may not be possible.

5.   Creativity tools

Anybody who embarks on planning a transformation and who doesn’t employ creativity to drive out new ideas is an utter fool. There’s no beating about the bush – sticking with the known and not pushing boundaries is a recipe for mediocrity at best. Transformation doesn’t come about by being more mediocre than before!

6.   Appraisal Techniques

Do you know how you are going to appraise the options that come out of the analysis and creativity? If so, that’s good. However you should at least have a handful of appraisal techniques at your fingertips.

These might include weighting the various attributes. Perhaps measuring against available resource or constraints. Ease of execution might also be a consideration – after all having a great plan that is impossible to execute is no plan.

7.   Planning Tools

I’ve often said that if you can’t describe the overall plan graphically on one sheet of paper, then you have no idea where you are going. Get the overview nailed graphically.

This doesn’t need Gantt charts or sophisticated planning software – instead work out the dependencies, going backwards from the final step. Document this visually – there’s no need for a detailed timeline. What IS critical is that the plan has no loose ends or redundancies in the flow.

With such a graphic representation (that can be produced using something like Visio) you can walk through everything at high level and sense check to make sure there’s nothing missing.

It’s only when drilling down into the detail that you might want other tools to record the components and resource usage. Beware of any advice telling you to start with these – you will get bogged down in the quagmire of detail and won’t see the wood for the trees.

In fact this graphic representation is a great mechanism for checking along the route where various detailed components are expected to fit.

8.   (Monte Carlo) Estimating Process

Who is estimating the expected resource requirements? How is that going to be done? My preference is to use Monte Carlo Estimating to get an accurate range of likely figures. Plugging these into financial models and timelines can help determine the measurement that is going to be needed as you progress.

Help your finance team to understand how you are modelling – don’t just hand it over to them to do the work. This has to be a result of real understanding of what is going to be done, by whom and with what resources.

9.   Governance Procedure

Do you normally operate with formal governance procedures over your projects? If the answer’s YES then just make sure that this has adequate control over the stage gate process. If you don’t even know what one of those is – then you need some advice on setting up a good governance system and procedures.

If you haven’t got formal procedures in place – then you are going to need them. We’re happy to help.

10. Project Management for Execution Phase(s)

Nobody ever made a business transformation work by haphazard approaches. The rigours of project management are key to getting things done. They may be at the hard end of management approaches and that may not sit easily in some cultures – but a good deal of explaining what you are doing and why will keep people on-side.

11. A Communications Team

We’re mainly thinking about internal communications – at least to begin with. It is going to depend on what precisely you are doing as to whether external communications are necessary. Launching a new business line is going to need both. Rebuilding the internal processes may not.

Want to Know More?

We’re more than happy to have a conversation and, if you’d like more really useful information, then you can also follow this link.

Rob Wherrett can be contacted at https://robwherrett.com/contact/

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