We live in a world of rapidly evolving working models, digital transformation, increased regulatory and financial reporting requirements and an ever-changing macro-economic environment. Projects often fail because it is easy to forget that it is not just about technology, but also about people and processes.
Increasingly developed technologies, the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI), and even threats from climate risk, means that implementing organisational change has become vital to business agility and resilience.
However, delivering change is not as simple as it seems.
Deciding how, and more importantly, who should deliver business change can be a complicated matter. Depending on the stage of development or funding an organisation is in, different transformation delivery models are usually deployed:
Strategic Transformation advisory:
· NED advisors who were previously CEO/CFOs and bring in-depth transformation and industry expertise
· Advisors from strategic consultancies, e.g. McKinsey, Bain, BCG, Alix, Alvarez etc
· Alternative boutique consultancies like JSS Transform who source bespoke expert advisors on an interim and consultancy basis.
· Using their own in-house strategy & transformation specialists
Operational business change and transformation:
· Board and functional leaders tasked with delivering change utilising internal or external advisors and FTEs.
· Senior interim managers task delivering short to medium term knowledge and project delivery.
· Internal teams supported by external interims and consultants.
· Consultancy work packages traditional consultancies, Big4, Accenture etc and specialist consultancies.
McKinsey’s research shows that roughly 70% of transformation projects fail due to:
· A lack of buy in for change from the top-down in an organisation
· A lack of performance management discussions to track progress of transformation during implementation
· A lack of embedded infrastructure to support transformation after completion
To ensure you achieve the most efficient business change for your organisation, understanding what benefits and drawbacks each delivery model brings will better help you choose which is right for your organisation.
There are benefits from making changes within your company, you’re working with an already established team, which results in more ‘buy-in’ companywide plus you maintain better control of budgets. However, this may result in pulling people away from their actual job responsibilities, therefore can have an impact on other operations within the business and ultimately can be an overall slower process. Often many organisations don’t know what they don’t know and are unaware of what the possible looks like.
Using this resource can provide you with a pre-formed team with specialist skills. There can be a quick deployment of a project, as they have access to a wider resource and have a better understanding of the data to benchmark across the industry sector as well as best practices. They tend to have a buy-in from senior stakeholders and boards as a seal of assurance and the ability to deploy large and often global teams.
The above tends to come at a high cost. Projects can be delayed due to the time it takes to appoint a consultancy and normally the knowledge transfer is harder to achieve as change is from the ‘outside’.
Projects and programmes are often sold by senior partners yet delivered by much less experienced teams. This consultancy-based approach also is not typically flexible, and projects often fail because of the need for greater balance between technology, people and processes and ultimately the key business drivers for change.
This approach can result in having professionals with high-level experience in delivering transformation, as they utilise insights honed across multiple engagements and years of experience. Seasoned interims start producing results quickly, establishing KPI’s and milestones which they remain focused upon and are not distracted by BAU activities and politics. Interims have a flexible approach who can advise on strategy as well as implement and deliver transformation. Often having seen what good, and bad looks like from elsewhere.
We can assemble and deliver teams of transformation SMEs quickly, providing flexible and agile working models. Our approach that oscillates between interim and consulting is well-suited to specific niche projects where speed of delivery and value is of the essence. A boutique consultancy can provide specialist knowledge and unlimited access to talent, and not only who may be on the bench. There is also an ability to work across the consultancy, interim, and permanent spectrum to provide a bespoke team for short and long-term delivery needs.
Based on the outlined pros and cons of these delivery models, interim support and what inhouse resources you can draw on to deliver transformation, it seems that the best model is to find a middle ground between them all to meet the needs of your business and its unique considerations.
JSS can provide the SMEs you need at every stage of your business to deliver change, or can facilitate the optimal working model your business needs to deliver effective and successful transformation.
JSS Transform is experienced at supporting clients as they navigate change and digital transformation. Our Interim Solutions services ensure the rapid provision of senior executives and functional experts, deployed to help manage change, work instinctively in a crisis and support business critical projects through to delivery.