Managing Transformation human resources and the Transformation culture

The Baker has managed to create 10,000 Operational jobs, but the Transformers are deserting the Transformation teams: too difficult and not highly regarded.

The Baker realizes the disaster: how can he keep key players in the Transformation?

The "Transformation" function should be made more attractive: they have the most difficult job.

The Baker changes the Transformers' status: to reach the highest positions in the Enterprise, it is no longer enough to manage a lot of teams (who are in the Operations), you also have to know how to Transform the Enterprise.

  1. The Transformation is more difficult than the Operations

    We know how to Model the "Order" Operational Process, but we do not really know how to properly Model the "Build a Solution" Transformation Process.
    There are many uncertainties:

    • Uncertainties about the deliverable
    • Uncertainties about the Solution Architecture
    • Uncertainties about how the Project will go
    • Uncertainties about the level of acceptance from the Operational Actors.

    They require the Project manager to have the necessary talents to make decisions in an uncertain environment.

  2. How do we choose Transformers?

    • Select Actors with the function "Business Solution Builder", of high quality, able to carry out as many Transformation tasks as possible, to avoid the multiplication of Roles (see above).
    • Choose and Train Project managers that are not only Managers, but also Builders. We have often promoted the former because they were enough in a linear Approach adapted to Commodity Solutions. They are not enough today to apply an agile Approach adapted to Competitive Solutions: the quality of the Solution Architecture is key.  As good Builders are rarer than good Managers, we recommend choosing not the best managers, but the best Builders, for the Competitive Solutions "Project Manager", even if we have to support these Builders with people in charge of the Project administration. This is an important cultural change in the Organizations, which have rather pushed the Roles of Managers to the front.
    • It seems that the main characteristics of those who succeed are
      • Empathy: we have to know how to make ourselves liked by the people we work with; the authoritarian manager is no longer acceptable.
      • Accepting permanent change.

  3. How do we increase the standing of Transformers?

    How do we keep the entrepreneurial spirit going in our teams?
    If we want to appoint talented people to the Business Transformation, we have to add prestige (salary, training, recognition) to the Transformation function and not define the essential criterion for recognition as the size of the teams (Operational) that we manage.

  4. How do we manage the Transformers?

    Managing HR in the Transformation needs a pertinent Model: selection of the best, career opportunities, full-time job, right to fail...
    High salaries or outward signs of recognition, like the size of the office or parking space, must not only be reserved for those who manage a lot of people: we must also include the good Transformers.
    Protect Project managers from an excess of Management tasks (see "Bureaucracy can make a Transformation fail").

  5. How do we train Transformers?

    If we want the Business Builders to make the Transformation their own and work efficiently with IT, then we have to train them in Transformation. They must assimilate the Approach, the Transformation Tools, the Foundation and the Architecture of the existing Model that they need to Transform.
    The prerequisite for any training is therefore to define the Approach, the Tools and the Foundations.
    If it is a question of the existing Approach, Tools and Foundations, this training can be delivered by the internal teams who are already using them.
    If the Enterprise wants to improve its Approach, its Tools and its Foundations, then it has to call in external experts who can bring new elements to the existing teams: concrete examples of Enterprise Projects that have succeeded using different Approaches, Tools and Foundations, and the conditions of success.
    Provide suitable Training to these Builders to help them mature more quickly:

    • Understand the Digital opportunities (Mobiles, Social Networks, Big Data, Cloud, Internet...) to benefit from them
    • Know how to analyze new Offers made up of Goods, Information and Services which leverage Digital
    • Know how to imagine an extended enterprise which involves partners and Customers in Processes which go way beyond the limits of the enterprise
    • Understand what an Enterprise Model is: Product/Service Model, Operation Model, Transformation Model, Financial Model, Image, Culture
    • Understand what Enterprise Architecture is: alignment with the Strategy, decomposition between Operations and Transformation, between the real World and the Model, seeking Synergy by Reusing Models and Sharing Resources
    • Know how to execute a Project: decomposition into Engineering Functions (Understand the Context, Define the Goal, Build the Solution, Verify the Solution, Adapt the Solution, Configure the Solution, Deploy the Solution).
    • Understand linear Approach and Agile Approach
    • Soft skills: prepare the Business Transformers to separate the essentials, the structure from the detail, and not to only count on the "school-like" respect of the Transformation Project for their project to succeed.
    • Knowledge of the Foundations: we first have to explain that is is possible to Build Product Offers or Solutions for very specific needs through common Foundations. Once this principle is accepted, we have to explain the variety of Solutions and Components that we can reuse.
    • Detail each Engineering Function in its Business and technical component, especially
      • how to define the Goal
      • how to build the Business Entities and the Business language
      • define the usage standards
      • how to leverage the social networks
      • solve security problems
  6. Should we encourage or retain colleagues tempted to launch their own activity?

    Talents capable of leading a Transformation Program are rare. We have to retain them, but not by offering them an Operational management responsibility.

    To retain these talents, we have to set up an "intrapreneurial" function: give an isolated team within the Enterprise the possibility to innovate without being a prisoner of the administration of the large enterprise.
    We can also set up subsidiaries that are managed, during the growth phase, by those who have succeeded in difficult Transformation projects.

  7. Transformation culture is specific to each Enterprise

    Enterprises have extremely different cultures, which favor Transformation or not. As an example:

    • the initiative can come from the top or the bottom
    • the Enterprise likes or does not like Transformation
    • the Transformation is separate, or not, from the Operations
    • the Transformation teams are managed like the others or have a separate status
    • the Transformation teams are often renewed or not
    • the Approaches are mainly linear or Agile
    • the Enterprise accepts risk or not
    • the Operational actors accept or refuse the Transformations
    • the internal population is young or old
    • the internal population has job security or knows that their jobs depend on the health of the Enterprise
    • ...

    It is extremely difficult to change the Transformation culture.
    It is advisable to really understand the Enterprise Culture before beginning any Transformations to understand the degree of difficulty that we will face.

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