Business Model Design / Culture / Design / Design Thinking / Service Design / Transformation / Value Proposition Design

Building a Standard Framework for Transformation

No work effort exists in isolation.  As a company goes through a transformation, it’s important to recognize the interdependent journeys that will take place.

The Four Journeys
There are in fact 4 Journeys involved in a company’s transformation:

  1. The company’s strategic journey – The Driver
  2. The people journey – The Engine
  3. The business model journey(s) – The Map
  4. The operations journey(s) – The Power Source

Let’s call each of these journeys a ‘space’.  It is important to find a common language for these necessarily interwoven spaces to succeed.  The best framework for that common language is a template-driven, service-based approach, where all four spaces interact as design elements in each service.

To establish a framework for a common service approach, we need to establish a consistent baseline, or maturity model which will help define the state of readiness of each space.  At this point it is important to understand:

  • the desired end-state (the company’s successful transformation)
  • the dependency between spaces
  • a common definition of maturity
  • what each space needs to achieve to support the overall objective

Definition, Metrics and Service Templates
If these things are understood and stated, the service templates can be defined.  The definition of ‘template’ here is, “the organization of resources within constraints.”  Constraints allow for definition and anything that is defined can be measured.  As a result, we can establish standardized metrics for the discrete spaces, for the various services and work packages, for the service catalog and for the transformation program as a whole.

The three phases of the maturity model I’m suggesting are:

Basics:  Command of the basics of each discrete space
Gaps:  Understanding and mitigating the gaps between spaces
Connections:  Making the right connections to key stakeholders

On a chart, plot out the state of readiness of each discrete space against its maturity trajectory and map out the dependencies between efforts in one space and another.  As we have developed a common set of metrics for all spaces, we can develop a set of metrics and services required for achieving each phase of the strategic plan.

For a large organization, I’m aware that I am overstating the simplicity here.  It is important to understand, however, that even in large complex initiatives, there is a direct correlation between interdependent spaces and it is possible to identify dependencies between work-packages in one space and another.  The benefit of taking the time to understand the dependencies is that it becomes possible to step back and identify constraints or resource requirements before a bottleneck is formed.  (If you define them and develop a standard metric, you can set your analysis and machine learning tools loose on them.)

The People Journey
Around now is where the People journey becomes most important.  There has to be a collaborative, problem-solving mindset across the organization to take on a transformation program.  In fact, it pays to sponsor the development of a design mindset within your organization before getting started.  A major transformation will effect the ability of the company to grow and deliver new value and it will ripple through every functional aspect of the business.  As the status quo changes, it’s better to be working with a team that is prepped and bought into change than one that is uninformed and suspicious.

And so, back to the 4 Journeys.  There is a hierarchy of journeys here, starting with the company transformation.  Each journey – or space – consists of groups of people with different skill sets and levels of authority and engagement.  Each bears responsibility for complimentary business models and operations.  It’s good practice to develop a mind map to show the key characteristics associated with each space and to highlight where the spaces connect.  This will highlight where collaboration and a design culture can really bear fruit.

To summarize

It’s important to undertake the following steps:

  1. Understand the 4 Journeys of transformation, how and where they intersect
  2. Develop a maturity framework that describes organizational readiness
  3. Develop a template-driven, service-based approach that is measured by…
  4. Standardized metrics
  5. Develop a collaborative, design-based culture and growth mindset within your organization

If we take these five steps and develop the growth mindset within the teams, we will effect rapid transformation of the organization as a whole, realizing personal and business growth objectives for everyone.  In addition, we’ll enable:

  • an embedded standard language of service across the organization
  • agility, flexibility and confidence in the face of change
  • ownership and accountability from everyone towards colleagues, the company and customers.

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