6 Steps to a Successful Transformation


Transformation is synonymous with change. Most organizations undergo transformations to decrease costs, improve capabilities, deliver process improvements or enable functionality to deliver improved financial results. For some, a transformation is an ERP implementation; for others, their transformation is a portfolio or a roadmap. In most cases, transformations are multiple projects working together to deliver a common goal. 

It is critical when standing up a transformation to identify the mission, vision and values. A focus group of your company’s employees can provide valuable input into these items. Involving your people will garner support within the organization and build immediate advocacy. People-led initiatives are always more successful than top-down initiatives.

Once you have defined your transformation, clearly define what projects it includes and how employees are accountable. Everyone likes to be included, even if it can mean more work. Make sure you know who‘s involved and include them in updates and communication. Give them public credit for the work they are contributing; recognition goes a long way and drives success. Knowing what is included in a transformation enables consistent reporting and monitoring for the projects included.

Success happens when project management meets change management in the middle. Organizations that want to succeed at transformation need to invest in both. Only when these two areas work together will an organization achieve full adoption and ROI. 

What are the keys to managing change?

Everyone is familiar with the core practices of project management, but a strong project manager (PM) is key to driving conversations, managing requirements gathering, providing status updates and managing the financials. The right person will be able to lead process definition and change.

The PM will ensure the following six components for successful projects and transformations:

  1. First, create your transformation brand. Clearly identify the mission, vision and values of the transformation. Identify the projects or initiatives that make up the transformation and establish goals or targets for each. There should be one overarching goal for the entire transformation. Make sure to regularly report on progress and hold yourself and your team accountable.
  2. Focus on process, starting with a current-state assessment, followed by a detailed future-state definition and a plan to communicate or train on the changes. Most projects have some process change, which is an often overlooked or minimized activity. 
  3. Create a strong communication plan with targeted communications. Communicating early and often builds excitement, drives commitment and maintains momentum throughout the lifespan of the transformation. 
  4. Know your audience. Identify your sponsors and stakeholders, understand how they will be impacted, and their role in the project. Ensure you engage with them appropriately, utilizing their subject matter expertise.
  5. Assess and monitor. This can be done with focus groups, change networks or surveys. Constantly take the pulse of your stakeholders. This will be key in measuring adoption. 
  6. Celebrate the milestones and the completion of the transformation. There is significant hard work that goes into making a transformation successful. Recognizing and celebrating are important and together will drive adoption.

ISG helps enterprises plan for and execute successful transformations, leveraging organizational change management to decrease time to value. Contact us to find out how we can help.


About the author

Veronica Mathers

Veronica Mathers

Veronica Mathers is a results-oriented ISG director responsible for project-delivery strategy and execution. She has delivered organizational change management (OCM) for many large organizations, including playing a vital role in system implementations. Veronica has 20 years of experience specifically in retail engagements, including work centered on pricing, store operations, supply chain and finance. She has led change projects in areas like marketing and e-commerce for household-name specialty and big-box retail brands. She has a degree in marketing from The Ohio State University.