More and more businesses are realising the importance and value of transformation but finding the right approach for your business is key.

Digital technologies, together with the right people, bring the opportunity to rejuvenate legacy businesses and drive growth, helping companies stay ahead of the competition and deliver what customers want. A successful transformation is one that looks not only at the needs of today, but also of tomorrow.

Taking an agile approach

For a transformation programme to deliver, the right approach needs to be adopted. Flexibility is key and offers the best grounding for outputs to be realised in a responsible and beneficial way. Small or large, businesses will be met with challenges, and they need to have the right technology, tools and people in place to respond effectively.

Agile is an important term when it comes to transformation. Not just a behaviour, agile is a project management technique, which focuses on collaboration over bureaucracy and lengthy planning phases. To give a recent example, the results achieved by a large European mobile telephone provider prove its success. The approach enabled rapid development and refinement of improvement tactics without time-consuming mobilisation and diagnostic stages. The organisation was able to assess and evaluate ideas from multiple perspectives, taking technical, social and commercial factors into consideration. A tried-and-tested approach, it provides a structured path to delivering change faster, without compromising the quality of outcomes.

Engaging people

The right approach will only work with the right people. Culture is an integral part of an organisation, and one that needs to be nurtured. Transformation is difficult to achieve in a culture which is resistant to change, and staff should always be at the heart of transformation to achieve change that lasts. Change needs to happen with people, not to them. Those leading transformation projects need to understand the culture and behaviour of a business, so change plans can be developed and implemented in a way that complements and enhances the running of an organisation. The right people need to be engaged from the very beginning, and ideas created in collaboration with them. Involvement encourages buy-in, which for a business, is crucial.

It’s not only the people inside an organisation which need to be understood, but also those externally. Technology has revolutionised the way businesses interact with customers, and organisations must adapt to continue delivering services which delight. Customers have more control through the increase in ways they can engage with businesses, whether that’s social 

media, via an app, or through web chat. Organisations in the know on their audiences and open to digital technologies are in the best position to succeed.

A successful transformation relies on a constant focus on knowing what the customer wants. Businesses must combine the building blocks of established, recognised technology with newer solutions to deliver against demand at that moment. Tactics need to be robust, but flexible enough that, if and when needed, they can be adapted for maximum results.

First published in Project Management Magazine alongside the Telegraph.

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