Monday, 9 May 2011

Career development through business transformation

Business transformation is gaining momentum. As firms emerge from recession they are committing to radical change that meets the needs of a price sensitive market place which demands even higher levels of added value than was the case before 2008.

If you are in a project management role, business transformation is very relevant to your career development. Projects and programmes do not spontaneously occur in organisations. They are commissioned in response to the need for change. Not all projects will be part of a wider transformation agenda as some change will always be relatively small scale and contained within an individual department. However, with the increase in enterprise wide technology solutions (SAP, PeopleSoft etc) departments and functions do not operate independently of one another, so any change has a domino effect, impacting on the next process and team in the chain i.e. it is large-scale transformational change even if that were not the intention.

Business transformation aligns the organisations improvements in people (staffing levels, roles and responsibilities, training and development remuneration and reward), process and technology to the business strategy.

For me, business transformation brings together excellence in a number of critical management disciplines:
- Strategic and commercial understanding - appreciation of the customer, technology and regulatory environment and ability to conceive of changes that exploit opportunities in these offered as these environments evolve
- Change management - ability to plan and implement the required changes (
- Project management - ability to deliver new capability upon which the changes are based (
- Stakeholder engagement - ability to communicate the reasons and benefits for the changes in a compelling and exciting way, answering the question 'what's in it for me?'

This range of skills is reflected in the job specifications that recruitment agencies are posting under the heading of 'business transformation':
Strategic and commercial understanding
"Develop and implement strategies and solutions to meet organisational business goals and objectives."
"You will be the owner of the strategy space, defining the roadmap and blueprint of the strategic vision."
Change management
"The main purpose of this role is to act as the point of reference and centre of expertise in managing and implementing process improvement changes across the organisation."
Project management
"You will drive delivery via the application of strong project management processes, ensuring that requirements are analysed for their benefits, risks and costs and that project plans to deliver these requirements are clear and have the agreement of all their stakeholders."
Stakeholder engagement
"You will shape all communications and engage change champions across multiple business units to transition and embed the change to the new operating model."

If you want to find out more about this topic and you are in London on May 26th, come along to my free briefing where I will be looking at how to get started in change management


  1. Great blog. Change management is a concept I've been thinking about for a while. Web-based project management, to me, is that next "change." Having used a tool called AtTask, I have seen the company I work for (as well as my own project efficiency) dramatically expand. I know there is a plethora of such software, but I am only familiar with AtTask.
    So, then, how does one manage this sort of change? How much will web-based project management change the business world?

  2. Yes the current economic situation has made businesses think about change in their strategies and are therefore requiring a transformation.