Why Project Change Transition Assures Sustainable Transformation
Project change transition or business transition is the secret weapon in delivering heavy-duty sustainable change. Business Transition refers to the change transition and project management transition activities that help to embed new processes born of the business transformation project and enables holistic change adoption. Change and Transition activities are dovetailed in a way that builds sustainable change.
The Transformation Transition Challenge
There are no two ways about it. Organisational change is challenging, just as much for SMEs as for large corporates, The upheaval and uncertainty exist in equal measure for both. Change Management Business Transition is an integral way to manage the risks inherent in embedding, persisting and adopting change across the board.
Change Readiness is crucial, of course for project delivery but it is the project transition function that ensures that the gauntlet of tasks and activities that validate operational readiness are planned, resourced and implemented. Transitioning IT projects is becoming more widely recognised as a critical process but in fact, most business transformation processes have elements of both IT and business change. The business transition process ensures that cutover and transition for both business and IT are extremely proactive, comprehensive and iterative to reduce the risks to business continuity and of deleterious disruptive impacts on people.
Business Transition Management and Operational Readiness
Business Transition or change transition is the process of facilitating a business shift from its current state to its next necessary state as defined by the business objectives, as seamlessly as possible with all constituent components in lockstep to deliver a full end to end solution for all of your people, the processes they manage and the technology and tools they use to do that. Business Transition is, therefore, the linchpin of implementing sustainable change. The ‘People’ Key Success Factor means that a fierce and unerring focus on how well people are catered for and managed is absolutely critical. Consequently, the function that leads this process, which is Business Transition Management, is also key Success Factor for successful and sustainable change. Change and Business Transition Leads never forget that the purpose of business change and transformation is to deliver something of greater value to people, for people, than what we started out with.
Business Transition Management needs to be integrated across all workstream deliverables to be highly effective and to manage readiness and cutover risk, including operational readiness as a risk management strategy for change design and implementation, the Target Operating Model, the output and integration of cross-functional and diverse teams as well as post-closure sustainability planning.
Why Business Transition is a Key Success Factor for Successful Change Management
Successful change initiatives prioritise and integrate the business transition process through all workstreams with the goal of Day 1 Excellence on Implementation, Change Adoption, and Cutover.
Business Transition Embeds the Design of the Change
Business Transition is so important because it guides and focuses the design of change and processes for embedding around people, integration and transition elements from project inception to cutover to post-project closure. Business Transition perpetuates the benefits delivered and enables sustainability.
As the Change Team is assembled, aligning actions to deliverables that constitute the target state requires the business transition function to bridge the gap between the as-is state and the desired to-be state.
The Business Transition Lead
The Business Transition Lead is a problem resolver, removing obstacles like and remediating conflict and ameliorating toxicity arising in teams or with team leader-team dynamics. They ensure alignment between the objectives of your business’s change initiatives and the values of your brand, ensuring that the change does not create impacts that are negative to the brand’s perception. The Transition Lead ensures that blame and siloed working and thinking do not become endemic due to its focus on people and enabling Day 1 excellence in their ability to perform and thrive in their work.
They ensure that operational and collaborative prerequisites – knowledge, data, skills, people and environments – are in the right place at the right time, through operational readiness planning and rehearsals, identifying the gaps in skills and knowledge of individuals, teams and functions as well as the need for knowledge transfer, upskilling and training.
User privileges and accesses and system and data roles must be defined and implemented across the board and tested and transitioned. The testing of all component integration takes place during Dress Rehearsals.
Knowledge Management and Transfer – The Target Operating Model to Business-as-Usual
Business Transition Management operationalises the Target Operating Model, under control, in the pre-production environment, tests and proves it through several iterations to optimise operational readiness.
The Transition Plan will include a Knowledge and Skills Transfer section as well as Dependencies and timelines to guide the transition and cutover to production.
It is necessary to capture, document, codify and store the knowledge that is necessary for the TOM BAU from suppliers, the change teams and within the organisation.
Capture the Change with a Target Operating Model
If you are changing the way your business functions and ways of working, you need a Target Operating Model (TOM), that depicts a future state (the To-Be, i.e. Target Operating Mode)l that your business will be moving to for its future goals, presented in the context of the As-Is, i.e current Operating Model.
The Target operating model provides a standard and integrated view of the business, aligning operating and functional structures with strategic business objectives for the business’s people, processes, technologies and tools. It will show all the interactions, integrations, roles, responsibilities and handoffs across functions and lines of business.
The target operating model is the embodiment of the structures that will facilitate the desired change and drives it by capturing and modelling the proposed new ways of working in a visible way. It represents the best organisation across people, processes and technology that your business should adopt to meet your business goals of survival, growth and supremacy in your sector, and can be shown at several levels for different audiences in the organisation from a conceptual level, all the way to very detailed process designs that show handoffs, interdependencies/interfaces and functional and role level interactions. It is a powerful tool for depicting different perspectives of the organisation that should elicit incisive questions on the suitability of the planned TOM and form a touchpoint and focus for discussing how the change will really look.
Transition, Cutover and Post Closure Activities – Planning for Sustainability
Sustainability planning can be put another way – planning that makes change stick and truly requires and depends on long term vision and willingness to build change capability into the business and should begin at the start of the change process. It also requires a recognition that the current change is unlikely to be the last and a willingness to invest in an infrastructure that can drive change and continuous improvement going forward.
This helps in several ways, not least helping your business to be more responsive to change, more agile and increasingly innovative.
Successful change initiatives will contribute to instituting a change structure and that change structure is more likely to lead to further successes as more change projects are undertaken as needed.
It is customary to create detailed project plans but there must equally detailed plans for post-closure activities that assure the implemented changes and supporting are further embedded and persisted. There must be clear activities and responsibilities and dates and durations for each activity plus a mechanism for capturing and communicating the issues and ideas to the right people.