Digital disruption is transforming the way industries operate. Customers expect instantaneous access to products and services, and any outdated systems or processes that prevent this speed-to-market can be detrimental. For successful businesses with a long line of history and heritage, introducing change can be a challenge.
Managing organizational change tend to fall into two categories, projects or programmes. In a business sense, a project is the management and delivery of a temporary venture focused on creating outputs, i.e. what is produced. A programme describes the management and delivery of a set of interrelated projects focused on outcomes, i.e. the value created.
An example to explain the two is the London 2012 Olympics. The overall management of the Olympic games was a programme. The programme was made up of individual interconnected projects such as the creation of the stadium, the opening ceremony, and the management of a 70,000 strong volunteer group. London 2012 Olympics was managed using Managing Successful Programmes (MSP) best practice, a programme management framework and accompanying certification scheme provided by AXELOS, the owners of ITIL and PRINCE2.
As digital transformation completely overhauls successful organisations current business models, the number of programmes increases, to help organisations manage this major change.
The first step to any kind of change is beginning with the end in mind. That’s identifying the vision. The vision, in a programme sense, isn’t the corporate strapline or mission statement. Rather it’s a detailed description of how they envisage the business looking at the end of the programme.
Once the corporate vision is in place, the next critical step is the creation of the blueprint. The blueprint is a live working document which is designed to be continuously reviewed and challenged. The purchase of the blueprint is to help your organization navigate change. It describes how to get from A (where you are now) to B (where you want to be). It answers questions such as what systems and technology will our future organization require? What skills and capabilities will be needed? What sort of culture do we want to create?
What does this process of change look like? An organization won’t reasonably be able to move from its existing operating model to its future operating model in one fell swoop, largely due to the level of change, investment and cultural transformation that would require. Instead, iterative and incremental changes must be made over a period of mind, all driving towards the end goal of bringing your organisation closer to the vision you have set for it.
To this end, the programme blueprint directs organizations towards strategic, longer-term investment, as opposed to business-as-usual, annual budget cycles that drive short-term thinking and tactical solutions.
To make a success of your programme, the people on the ground need to be engaged with the change process, not just senior management. By sharing the corporate vision and programme blueprint, you can help your people to think about how the change impacts them, and their part in the process.
Of course, one fundamental aspect of the blueprint is considering skills and roles which are likely to be hugely different to those that already exist. This is when the organisation must make the decision to source new talent, or skill up current staff. The blueprint provides the framework to inform these decisions and move forward.
Programmes are a critical aspect to any business. Given the level of organizational change they drive, they have the ability to make or break an organization. Implementing a programme management framework builds an organization’s capacity to manage and deliver complex, but necessary, change.
Visit AXELOS.com for more information on the MSP framework and certification.
Author – Martin Stretton – Director at NOVO