A Checklist of 9 Things to Get Ready:

It never ceases to amaze how often organisations don’t actually prepare the ground before embarking on heavyweight transformation activity. They really should carry out a readiness assessment. So here’s a checklist of things to pay attention.

1. The Right People

You only know that you have the right people to make a successful attempt at transformation if you’ve done some basic research into the mix of style, skills and strengths. Is it a broad mixture (otherwise you will head for Groupthink and disaster)? Have you got step change and incremental approaches in the native styles? For more on what’s required here, visit this blog post.

2. Sponsor Appointed

If the transformation doesn’t have a sponsor who fully understands the impacts and rationale, then it will never get off the ground. This key role has to be very senior in the organisation – this is often the CEO, if the transformation is truly significant. They need to understand and buy in to the programme. They also own the problem statement that the transformation is setting out to resolve.

They don’t run the transformation, their role is to resolve major issues or conflicts that are stopping progress, often by putting appropriate pressure on other parts of the business to conform or cooperate.

3. Problem(s) Properly Identified and Defined in Detail

It’s fundamental. If you don’t fully understand what the causes of pain are, then how are you ever going to deal with them. Assumption is no good, this Problem Analysis is the very first step, taken by the sponsor and a few individuals to dig out the causes and find the details.

If there is one thing that every organisation does badly – this is it. Don’t fall into the trap of assuming you know – because the guy at the top is simply NEVER 100% right on this. The insights gained here will be invaluable in getting you onto the right track from the outset.

4. Creative Problem Solving Cycle Understood

How are you ever going to deal creatively and effectively with a transformation if you don’t understand the basic framework? For more information on this go and look at this post.

We recognise that this is a simple model. But simple works where more complex frightens people away. So get this right into the culture and you will find things start to become much simpler all the time.

5. Creativity Leader/Facilitator in Place

Creativity doesn’t just happen. Yet in a business transformation you need it because otherwise the outcome will be staid and, unsurprisingly, not very transformative! You need someone or a small group of people who thoroughly understand how to apply creative techniques along the journey. You can start by having a read of this blog post and following the links.

Some creativity needs facilitation – so having people with that skillset is also an essential part of the groundwork.

6. Core Team Assembled and Briefed

Having identified the individuals and the skills, at least start by bringing together a core team and briefing them on what lies ahead and why. Be prepared to be challenged in your thinking as well – that way lies a healthy approach that will stop you going down blind alleys.

7. Governance Outlines Understood

It’s not always at the top of the agenda when setting a transformation in motion but you really do have to have a good grasp on what the controls are going to be and why. I favour a gate-control process, with strict limitations on scope and spend. PLUS a healthy dose of detailed management of the dependencies. It really pays dividends.

This whole topic of Governance is also explained in more details here or you can contact us for a discussion.

8. Backcast Planning Techniques Understood

These should not just be understood. Are there people who understand and are ready to use them? It is all about getting certainty into your programme of work. Once you have defined 100% what the end state is going to be, then driving out the dependencies, events and actions required to get there becomes relatively child’s play.

If you want to go on a mystery tour into the unknown – then by all means start planning forwards from today. I can guarantee you will eventually end up somewhere completely unexpected and the journey might have had some nasty twists as well.

9. Communications Team

Who will they be? Is the communication going to be believable? If it’s all top-down then the answer is a definite NO. Are you prepared to communicate in a wide variety of ways and media? If not – then you are NOT ready to go. You need a communication team who are tuned in to the receiving end of things and can validate what is being said BEFORE it is transmitted. More info on this can be found in this post on Components of Successful Transformation.

Good To Go?

All the boxes ticked? Still not sure if you are ready to press ahead? If so get in touch and have a conversation. We look forward to helping you transform in ways that take account of where you are as well as what you do. If you’d like more information then you can also follow this link.

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

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