Which system of governance for a successful transformation project?

When a company embarks on a transformation program, project governance is paramount in order to stay on course and ensure continued alignment with the overall strategy. Some companies create new entities to manage the transformation, while others use existing departments. Whatever the selected solution, governance is a key issue for every company when it comes to successful transformation.

The first session of the 2019 Inside Success Lab once again gave our members an opportunity to discuss good practice with respect to steering bodies, managing multiple projects and measuring performance. Below you will find a summary of these discussions.

1. Steering committees: challenges and requirements

Amongst the examples of good practice that were presented regarding steering bodies, we noted the following initiatives:

Transformation committee

  • Meeting frequency: weekly
  • Members:  at least one member of the management or executive committee, the transformation management team, project sponsors, project managers, HR and IT department
  • Purpose: to steer the portfolio of projects, establish a connection between them, set out the success criteria, escalate any problems and record project-related decisions

Project steering committee

  • Meeting frequency: monthly
  • Members: project sponsor, project team and possibly transformation management team
  • Purpose: steer project and analyze any signs of weakness

Project committee

  • Meeting frequency: weekly
  • Members: project team and possibly project sponsor
  • Purpose: manage project on day-to-day basis, manage schedules, resolve operational problems

For global organizations

  • Regional version of transformation committee

Other bodies in addition to these “conventional” committees:

  • A weekly review by the transformation management team and the management committee, which wishes to retain overall control of progress made with the transformation program.
  • Change Management Offices: responsible for defining a common framework for the transformation, supporting all stakeholders, from communications to change managers, and involving them in all projects.

Depending on the organization, governance of transformation projects can be steered by a single department or jointly by the department and the IT department, but, either way, final decisions are always down to the department in question. The IT and HR departments must be involved, even if, in some companies, questions are being raised about their ability to play a part in continuous motivation.

2.     Managing the multiplicity of projects

Companies introduce numerous transformation projects, and, as there is a limit to how much employees are able to absorb, a number of key points have been identified that will help to keep a project on course:

  • Map the total project burden per employee population, including the associated calendar.
  • Establish connections between the projects: transformation is more than just a number of projects added together.
  • Be able to measure adoption of all the transformation projects taken as a whole, as well as that of individual projects and also in terms of individual employees.
  • Get HR involved in the process: introduce individual support and guidance schemes for employees and middle managers, paying particular attention to user experience and focusing on the benefits.
  • Build a project team that is not fully seconded to the project, so that it does not lose touch with the general workforce.
  • Regularly remind employees of the purpose of individual projects, giving them meaning and relevance in terms of the overall transformation strategy.

The digital change management platform InsideBoard, which specializes in facilitating the success of transformation projects and achieving employee engagement, was designed to make it easier to steer multiple projects within a single organization and measure employee absorption capacity. Amongst other things, the platform provides a way of measuring adoption levels using shared “Success Boards”, that include special individual and collective “Key Success Indicators (KSI)” for each project.

3.     Measuring performance

Measuring and quantifying a transformation program’s ROI entails establishing the right indicators to help you fully define your project’s equation for success.

The right KPIs in terms of transformation:

  • Defining key success-related indicators is fundamental, as it will help you to measure and steer the value realization of your transformation project(s).
  • InsideBoard developed its Key Success Indicators following the Objectives and Key Results (OKR) method; these are then defined specifically to fit your strategy, with a view to achieving long-term employee engagement and motivation.

Using measurement to fully define the equation for success:

  • Indicators are directly linked to the quantity of data on employee practices that can be collected and analyzed. Without data it is impossible to assess adoption and performance.
  • It is vital that managers are involved in creating these indicators, in order to stay connected with workface issues and provide them with a tool to help monitor team uptake and performance on a day-to-day basis.
  • Transformation is a gradual process that needs to be fostered and promoted at every key stage, from initial buy-in, through skills acquisition, to use and finally performance. It is therefore important to define specific Key Success Indicators for each phase of the project and resist skipping a stage.
  • Moreover, the KSIs must be adjusted over time to suit the different stages of success and thus measure efforts made to achieve the expected outcomes during the transformation period.

If you would like to find out more about setting up Key Success Indicators and the resulting requirement for continuous motivation, please do not hesitate to get in touch.