Raconteur

Business Transformation Special Report 2017

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BUSINESS TRANSFORMATION RACONTEUR.NET 14 28 / 02 / 2017 A systematic ap- proach to better business transfor- mation commu- nications delivers improved results and outcomes. Leaders of busi- ness transformation programmes are recog- nising that a professional, structured approach to good communication between all stake- holders drives any successful change programme. Traditionally, at the start of a ma- jor business transformation pro- gramme, a project management methodology is chosen. Structured business transformation plans are drawn up based on this. And then on paper everything looks like it should slot into place, with comfort given to the client that specifi ed actions will take place at given times. Boxes are ticked and a variety of charts document the progress made. The methodologies selected, such as Prince 2 or Agile, have their own relative strengths and weak- nesses. Yet, what is often forgotten is that in real life, traditional project systems can fail to show how much those involved buy into the trans- formation vision. A critical piece is often missing from the business transformation jigsaw. Too often, the communica- tion between the various consultancy fi rms and other stakeholders is dis- jointed and needs a better approach. A true understanding of the trans- formation goals and a commitment to the cause is worth a mountain of graphs depicting milestones being reached. In the absence of any for- mal communications fl ow to the contrary, people fi ll any information vacuum with their own version of reality. Often incorrect, this harms any transformation programme, and where it especially hurts – costing both time and money. Vast amounts can be spent on en- suring diff erent IT systems can talk to each other. However, I am always amazed that much less is spent on ensuring the various consulting fi rms and stakeholders working on a programme share common values and understand their relative roles. This results in misunderstandings and easily avoidable ineffi ciencies. It is, therefore, good to see this situation is improving. Successful business transformation is a bat- tle of both hearts and minds, and the communications dimension is too important to leave to chance. Business trans- formation pro- grammes need to instil shared values and agreed objectives using a set of co-ordi- nated, planned communi- cations. It is something that is increasingly recognised as a missing dimension in the past and is where systematic communications play a key role. And for all programme manage- ment traditionalists, the good news is that a process of robust communica- tions does lend itself well to a formal, systematic project methodology. As a starting point, the Barcelona Princi- ples, agreed in 2010 and updated in 2015, focusing on eff ective commu- nications, are a good way to underpin this approach. For transformation directors, the fact that these were agreed across 33 countries, guaran- tees a common understanding even across multi-national projects, diff er- ent cultures and across all sectors. If, on top of this, transformation di- rectors add an evaluation process for their communications and engage- ment such as OASIS – a methodology adopted by the Government Commu- nication Service – a comforting rig- our is applied to programme delivery. A new skillset based on engaging and communicating properly is therefore systematically brought to the table. Formally adding communications best practice to transformation teams helps to connect and glue togeth- er the diff erent parties. It ensures everybody is pointing in the same direction and working towards the same goal. Important resources are saved by plugging information gaps that otherwise lead to delays, unnec- essary costs, misunderstandings and failing projects. These are exciting times for busi- ness transformation professionals. With this extra dimension added to a team's toolkit, the many opportu- nities for transformation emerging in areas as diverse as banking, technol- ogy, public sector transformation and digital development will increasingly see success secured by using skills drawn from eff ective employee and corporate communications. Manage your communications, sell the vision, bring people along with you and business transformation will fl ow better than ever before. IAN RATCLIFFE Chair of the Public Relations and Communications Association's Business Transformation Group OPINION COLUMN 'Transformation is a battle and communications are too important to leave to chance' COMMERCIAL FEATURE I t is an all too familiar story. The buzz of excitement about grand plans to transform a business and the possi- bilities ahead fizzle out as things go awry and disappointment sets in. Early on, there are hopes of driving up revenues and profits or shaking up entire markets, consultants work with senior executives on tactics and a project management team sets out plans, work streams and budgets. But if results fail to meet expecta- tions, sales stall, costs stay stubbornly high and customer satisfaction low, frustration sets in and enthusiasm for the project can wane. There can be many reasons for such failures, but a common cause is that the change management process does not embrace those people re- quired to put it into action. Not enough is done to help them understand and adapt to new pro- cesses, their voices are ignored, and their valuable ideas and sugges- tions overlooked. What should be a collaborative process instead becomes a top- down approach focused on im- plementing new ways of working. Blame is often laid at the door of the change management team or head of transformation. It does not have to be this way, and business process and decision man- agement software provider Signavio has developed a suite of products for modelling, analysis and optimisation of business processes that encour- ages collaboration to harness talent within organisations. Formed eight years ago, Signavio now has 195,000 users in more than 1,000 organisations in 25 countries across sectors including banking, in- Taking a collaborative approach to change Next-generation technologies deliver greater opportunities to collaborate and harness the broader talent available within your organisation, leading to faster, more effective change surance, manufacturing, public servic- es, retail, logistics, software, telecoms and utilities. Customers range from tofu producer Taifun Tofu to commu- nications technology firm T-Systems. It has been successfully used by small businesses, but is particularly useful in larger organisations with a need for consistency and regulated sectors where compliance risks are huge. Some customers report that Sig- navio has enabled them to analyse and deliver process improvements 60 per cent faster than with traditional approaches. Others say it has helped embed process into their DNA. Embracing a more collaborative approach not only brings operation- al efficiencies, but also benefits such as increased customer and employee satisfaction, leading to lower recruit- ment and training costs. Gero Decker, Signavio chief execu- tive, says: "It's almost like the wisdom of crowds. Yes, there are experts in their fields and they have a vital role to play, but inviting and encouraging everyone to have an input taps into the broader expertise in the busi- ness, not only expanding the knowl- edge base that can be drawn on, but making it more difficult to resist the resultant changes." Using a web-based or SaaS system, Signavio offers an alternative to tra- ditional complex business process modelling and automation systems, equipping customers with easy-to- use, powerful tools that improves pro- ductivity and communication. It goes beyond process capture, documentation and improvement, recognising the need for a more agile approach, so users or citi- zen developers can design, run and report on workflows without having to involve IT departments. Across organisations or within de- partments, Signavio encourages teams to work together better, cre- ating new ways of thinking and gen- erating results faster, often turning a series of small changes into a more substantial transformation. Adopting a collaborative approach provides everyone with greater vis- ibility and removes one of the main barriers to successful transforma- tion – people who feel excluded and become reluctant to adapt to new ways of working. Dr Decker concludes: "We help people successfully enact change and put in place transformation that sticks. The benefits of adopting a more collaborative approach are enormous and it's been amazing to see how cus- tomers have leveraged our technolo- gies transforming their organisations, often in ways we never anticipated, but with incredible bottom-line results." Take your transformation initiatives to the next level, visit Signavio.com today We help people successfully enact change and put in place transformation that sticks 1k customers worldwide 195k+ users 60% faster than traditional approaches

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