Consulting Essentials - The 5 phases of business transformation
One of your roles as an Independent Consultant is to lead your client through a process of improvement or transformation in an area of their business
This “Consulting Essential” takes a step back and looks at this business transformation process and describe what I see as the 5 phases of business transformation. As an Independent, it may be that you’re dealing with a single process within the business, or a specific function of the business; you could even be involved in part of a major transformation programme across the business. Whatever the scale though, for a business transformation to be successful, each of the 5 phases must be followed. So here’s a brief overview…
The first phase is to Discover what the burning platform for change is and what the prize will be. So it’s about identifying improvement areas and quantifying at a high level the likely benefits. And then it’s about aligning the leadership team behind the need and the urgency for change.
The second phase is to Design new ways of working to realise this prize. Depending on the nature of the transformation this could mean changes to processes, systems, technology, the organisation or a combination of all of these. A detailed benefits case will be required and stakeholders fully aligned.
Phase 3 is to Plan how to engage the organisation in embracing the new ways of working. During this phase, the implementation approach, the benefits tracking methodology and a detailed implementation plan are agreed.
Then we need to Implement the agreed changes across the business in line with the plan. So all impacted individuals and teams within the organisation need to be trained in the new ways of working…and we start to track the benefits.
And the final phase is to Sustain the changes and realise the benefits of the prize. The new ways of working will be fully embedded in the organisation and become, “the way we do things now”. Benefits will continue to be tracked and we would hope to attain the prize identified at the start.
Why not reflect on your current project and identify which phase you are in. Ask yourself, “have each of the previous phases been followed? Have any phases been missed?” If so, “has this affected the success of the project?” Also think about previous projects in the same way and see what learnings you can come up with.