In our first few discussions, we will:
- Make introductions and learn about your role and your company
- Listen to your goals and aspirations about what needs to change
- Ask questions about known pain points, how work gets done, and how it's typically funded
- Talk about how you'll measure success and value
- Review your expectations on timeline and approach
- Discuss costs for the services you may need
- Learn about what has been done to-date and what teams are in place
- Review next steps and action items in preparation for Innovation & Discovery
Once we've discussed, at a high level, what outcomes you are interested in, and we have a rough idea of budget and timeline, a Statement of Work (SOW) will be drafted for the Innovation & Discovery and Preparation & Planning phases, if applicable. A follow-up call will be scheduled to review and revise the SOW, and then a final presentation will be scheduled for you and your leadership.
Once the Statement of Work (SOW) has been signed, the first critical step of transformation begins. In this step, we will:
- Complete one or more "Crazy Talk" sessions, where we'll bring in subject matter experts to hear the biggest pain points of key leaders or team members, and document three or more potential transformations
- Meet with your architects and technology leaders to understand the current architecture and technology culture
- Meet with your Portfolio Management Office (PMO or EPMO) to understand your current project life-cycle
- Talk to your Transformation Office to determine key business constraints and initiatives
- Identify key teams, leaders, and meetings to begin to understand current state
- Review industry trends, complete vendor demo's, and pencil in new capabilities that will be needed to ensure the transformation is a success
- Determine and introduce you to additional Subject Matter Experts that may be needed
- Talk about what process changes should be considered
Success in this phase of the transformation is knowing directionally where the organization needs to head, with strong opinions and significantly more clarity on how to get there.
Once we've determined key technologies to be implemented, process changes that need to be made, and a high-level approach to solving your biggest challenges, we'll begin the next step, which is putting a detailed plan together.
For planning, we recommend using the Portfolio SAFe approach of the Scaled Agile Framework, which can be found at https://scaledagileframework.com. We've found it is the best way to connect strategy with execution while allowing for iterative changes and relentless improvement along the way. If your organization uses a different framework, or your teams need training, we can adjust the plan accordingly.
Regardless of the framework, during the planning phase, we will:
- Discuss organizational strategy and metrics to measure that strategy
- Determine the largest efforts of work including technology onboarding, communication, training, data movement, vendor partner engagements, and up and down-stream dependencies
- Iteratively break down those large efforts of work into smaller pieces of work to develop a backlog for teams to execute against
- Identify teams and internal dependencies that need to be coordinated throughout the life of the transformation
- Draft communication plans
- Coordinate leadership and identify decision-makers
- Draft the business-case and meet with Finance, Legal, and other departments that need to be included
- Build a resource plan that may include staff augmentation and additional SMEs
- Build a timeline for milestones that include training, capability availability, and value-delivery
- Draft and revise a Statement of Work (SOW) for Iterative Transformation and Retrospective Analysis
At the end of this phase, you will have a detailed plan for transforming your organization, the internal artifacts necessary to move forward, vendor partners tentatively aligned for execution, teams that understand the changes that are about to take place, and a way to measure success. A final draft review of the SOW will be scheduled, followed by a final presentation of the plan to your leadership and any oversight committees.
Once a Statement of Work for Iterative Transformation is in place, we will begin following the timeline and execute the plan we've made. Although the plan will be different for each organization and each transformation, below are some of the things you can expect during this phase:
- An agile, iterative approach to the transformation. Expect to hear terms like 'Sprint', 'Backlog Grooming' and 'Retrospective'.
- Training teams in both the business and IT on new technology and process.
- Weekly or bi-weekly communications at a team, leadership, and executive leadership level
- Discussions on backlog changes
- Monthly financial updates
- Escalation and risk management updates
- Continuous and relentless improvement
- Vendor contracts and onboarding
- Identifying barriers and roadblocks
- Automation and Dev/Ops implementation
- Cultural change
- New idea generation and Strategic Execution
Because this phase is iterative, it's likely that your organization will continue to adapt and follow this process beyond the scope of our engagement. Regardless, Iterative Transformation and Retrospective Analysis go hand-in-hand.
These Retrospective Analyses happen on a regular cadence, typically bi-weekly at a team level and monthly or quarterly at a department level. As we look back at prior work, we will:
- Identify changes that need to be made to improve team or program effectiveness
- Have hard and candid discussions with leaders and teams about the things that aren't going well
- Revise and amend the Statement of Work where applicable
- Conduct team retrospectives and Inspect and Adapt sessions
- Fail fast and celebrate successes
- Adjust timelines and communication
- Discuss potential staffing changes and cost forecasts
- Review OKRs for positive or negative change and reset expectations
During the final Retrospective Analysis we'll review the outcomes to-date, listen to your candid feedback on our performance and share overall insights learned during the transformation.
Success to us in each step of our approach is to leave you happier and better than when we first met. Transformation is challenging enough at an individual level. Transforming organizations is exponentially more complex.
Challenges with funding, process, people, technology, timelines, and scope, among others, will occur all along the way. If at the end of our engagement, or any point along the way you feel you did not get the value you were expecting, we can end the engagement, candidly discuss expectations, or discuss financial adjustments.
Our goal is to make transformation in your organization a more enjoyable, more successful, and less stressful experience for you and your teams. We want you to share with others the positive experience and the value you were able to achieve with us.