Transformation is not an easy thing, but that does not mean that it can’t be simple. Identifying stages, breaking the transformation down into self supporting patterns of behaviours and aiming for long term self reliance is the approach I take.
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and starting on the first one.” Mark Twain
So for any transformation you have to break the work down into tasks, then make them small and manageable and then…do it!
For a transformation to stick it has to be built into every aspect of the organisation and needs to be part of the DNA of each of the team members.
My approach is to baseline everyone to a common and standard set of languages, practices, tools and approaches. This means upskilling some and holding other more mature teams back until we are all at a shared level of knowledge. I call this the “Enable” phase. We don’t aim for perfection straight away, we aim for the ability to share common knowledge.
Enable – baselining all team members to a fundamental skill level, this is done via organic adoption, formal training, embedded coaches and line management coaching. Socialising the transformation roadmap, framework, workflow, language and tools happens in this stage.
The next stage is the “Optimise” stage. This is where we have established a baseline of knowledge, competencies and approaches to work so then we can critically analyse what needs to improve. This phase is kicked off by a maturity assessment. This assessment is ideally done by the teams as part of their self reflection and growth mindset. With the results of the assessment teams can then implement their continuous improvement approaches, tackling each issue based on risk and impact.
Optimise – uplift everyone’s approaches to the work via application of lean concepts such as Value Stream Mapping and Lean Wastes. Team ownership of improvement approaches is key here. Moving teams towards common and standard practices to allow holistic optimisation rather than point optimisation is the focus of this phase.
The final stage is the most powerful. It’s where the transformation and improvement teams achieve their goals of becoming redundant in the change cycle. Teams own their own improvement approaches and don’t need prodding or assistance to trigger change.
Enhance – built the continuous improvement mindset, establish innovation approaches, reward and recognise change and growth at team level
Each of these stages supports each other and provides the foundation of the continous improvement mindset. This approach also means that teams become change resiliant and ideally will not have to go through another “transformation”. Each new way of working will just be a natural improvement on the current state, and will be a constant and ongoing practice.