A digital transformation to enable your new target operating model may be initially focused on cutting edge technology, but it is ultimately the people in your organization that will deliver the changes that determines your level of success with your customers/clients and key stakeholders.
In Part 1 and Part 2 we identified your reasons to evolve from your current operating model and guided you through a series of strategic choices in order to identify a new future state as well as the major transition steps needed to get there.
In this last article in the series, we introduce the key elements of your change organization, including onboarding and aligning your people, and recommendations for governance and communication.
Setup Your Change Management
Components of Change Management
There are several core components needed to deliver and manage change:
- Organization Structure and Delivery Methodology: Any combination of having a dedicated change organization/team, leveraging one or more existing teams, and/or outsourcing your project delivery. Within a team, your choice(s) of functional or matrix structure, and a delivery process of waterfall or flavor of Agile (e.g. Scrum).
- People: Dedicated teams in your organization and/or financed outsourced work in other organizations. Roles, responsibilities, skill sets, overall headcount, internal vs. external, locations, etc.
- Detailed work breakdown: The high level work you identified to deliver your target state needs to be granular enough so that it can be assigned, budgeted, executed, and governed. This breakdown will be an ongoing activity throughout the life of your transformation/change program.
- Governance and the Management Information (MI): Decision making and ensuring progress. Timely data on risks, issues, open actions, financials, and qualitative statuses are all part of your governance MI.
- Communication: Planning and executing the launch of your new initiative and most importantly, ongoing communication throughout the lifecycle.
In the sections below we highlight a few details of these components which are paramount for delivering change.
Get People on Your Bus
In Part 1 we introduced Jim Collins’ figurative bus, the journey ahead, and the people you will need on board to get you to your destination. During the initial planning, you invited a small group of trusted experts and advisors on to your bus. Now it is time to onboard the rest of the people for the ride ahead..
Clear Roles and Responsibilities
Everyone involved in creating your future operating state needs to be clear what their role(s) and responsibilities will be, and agree to them. This is normally formalized as part of programs and projects, but it is also needs to be extended to the operations side as well to capture the evolution of your operating model. As you move from your current operating model to the next future state, your roles and responsibilities also need to be updated.
Defining and Assigning Roles and Responsibilities–DACI
The Roles & Responsibility Matrix is a method of capturing activities and responsibilities against specific roles and people. For each activity in your operations and project side of your organization, one or multiple roles are flagged with one of these assignments, abbreviated DACI:
- Doer: The one who works on and/or completes the activity.
- Accountable: The one ultimately held responsible for the work being completed.
- Consulted: Experts and other stakeholders who need to provide inputs or feedback.
- Informed: The wider audience who needs to be updated on progress, decisions, completion.
(Note: Another variation of the “D” in DACI is Driver instead of Doer, but this is not as clear as to who actually does the work. RACI is also another commonly used variation but we feel that the (R)esponsible and (A)ccountable terms are confusing to distinguish.)
Each intersection of an activity/task and a role is assigned one or more of the DACI responsibilities. Looking at horizontal rows, there should be no activities without a Doer and/or Accountable assigned, and looking vertically, no roles without a responsibility assigned.
The bottom of the matrix is then used to count the number of times each responsibility is used for a role. The roles mapped with (A)ccountable, (C)onsulted, and (I)nformed will guide your communication and governance planning.
Cheerleaders and Saboteurs
You will have varying levels of support for both your planned target operating model, and the roadmap you have created to get there. While you will have strong support (cheerleaders) in some areas of your organization, other people and teams could oppose to varying degrees what you are trying to accomplish (saboteurs).
It is your choice how you will maintain support of your cheerleaders and attempt support of the saboteurs whose work or decisions are needed for your success. The levels of support are not always static; you can easily lose a cheerleader and some saboteurs merely need some level of support from you in order to be on board. What is important is to actively recognize and cultivate these relationships. It is also important to recognize that people and teams have different levels of impact on the success of your operating model; a single team member may not have much impact, but the overall team can have a large influence if enough team members are swayed.
The Stakeholder Support Canvas below can help you identify the current and desired level of support that people and teams offer you.
One Eye on the Projects, One Eye on the Operating Model
Physical and digital file drawers around the world are filled with Target Operating Model slide decks which were quickly forgotten after the initial planning phase. There are two main reasons for the abandonment: 1) the operating model content was only used to plan upcoming projects to be launched and 2) the situation in the organization has changed and the original model is no longer relevant.
Regardless of whether you leverage an existing governing body or set up a new one, it is key that the governance monitors not only the progress of your change activities, but the overall operating model; your initial plan covered your “as-is” state, but that state is constantly changing.
One Plan is Never Enough
“No plan of operations extends with any certainty beyond the first contact with the main hostile force.”Helmuth Karl Bernhard von Moltke (Moltke the Elder)
Part of managing the progress toward your target state is being prepared for when your ideal roadmap does not go as planned, which is inevitable. Your change management plan needs to include the preparation and regular update of scenarios which could impact the main roadmap you have prepared, and your governance should include regular reviews of those scenarios. Some examples include:
- What will the inevitable delays and roadblocks in your progress do to your overall schedule and what mitigations can you make to the overall operating model?
- What new skills will your teams need in the upcoming period of time? Will you train or hire new?
- How quickly will you know if your customer/client does not like your offering? How fast can you adapt?
- What if a preferred supplier or vendor does not work out?
- What if your budget is cut by 25% but the Go Live date stays unchanged?
- What new technologies could disrupt your current plans mid-delivery?
- Are there weaknesses you originally decided you could tolerate, but no longer can? (use the Drivers to Canvas from Part 1)
- How is your organization’s overall strategy or other dependent operating models likely to change?
Preparing for multiple alternative scenarios will help to keep your operating model plans relevant and allow you to pivot when the need arises.
Plan to Over Communicate
Now that you have identified your stakeholders and their roles, you need a solid communication plan to bring your operating model to life.
Your stakeholders need to know the why, what, how, and when of your new future state, starting with why. They need to know why the status quo is changing, the benefits of the new operating model, if the changes will be in a “big bang” or incremental, and why the roadmap path was designed as it was. They need to know their part and what needs to be done at least in the short term in order to prepare their own detailed plans.
Plan to communicate through as many channels at your disposal: in meetings, by email, town halls, dedicated sessions, in team meetings, and one-to-one sessions. It is almost impossible to over communicate to your organization, especially in the medium to long term as stakeholders begin to forget about your planned future state and your journey after the initial kickoff. You will need both summary and detailed views of the plans and roadmaps you have created in order to interact with individual audiences.
Most importantly, communications is not an introductory effort; you will need to keep regular interactions throughout your target operating model journey to:
- report progress
- discuss changes to the original plan
- get input
- keep up momentum
- educate new joiners and third party stakeholders
- inform about new decisions made in governing sessions
- celebrate milestones
In closing, we hope you found this article series helpful, and we wish you every success in bringing your target operating model to life.
If you have questions, please reach out to me at: email@example.com