How to Create a Solid Project Scope in the New Digital Paradigm
Organizations worldwide are in these years challenged by new technologies in the Industrial revolution 4.0 and new customer demands related to sustainability often anchored in UN’s 17 world goals. Organizations are forced to shorter time to market in high-speed agile roll-outs. These challenges are generating competence gaps related to transformation management. There is, as we see it, an urgent need for management training and an updated toolbox for executing complex business transformations for the new digital paradigm.
Many of us who are responsible for executing the changes have tried to start a new project based on a one-line description or, in the best case, on some bullet points in a PowerPoint presentation condensed from a management meeting! – in the new digital paradigm, these situations will happen more often and the success rate for transformation projects have to be higher than today. International surveys report that only 30% of digital transformation is successful and in some industries, success rates are even lower!
But how can we transform a few bullet points from a PowerPoint presentation into initiatives, that can be executed by a project? Which structured method or toolbox do we have today?
Often the standard answer to these questions is, that we use our good ’business understanding’. Because we have our experience and understanding of how the organization earns or save money, how we create customer value in well-defined production and governance processes! Or do we?
If not, we will have to negotiate access to scarce and already overburdened domain experts. However, these are experts within their limited silo, and they may not have the complete overview of impact and consequences on the change we have been asked to execute across the entire business.
Soon new technology will replace humans in service units with automated chatbots and many functions related to logistics will be replaced with intelligent self-propelled alternatives. In that scenario customer, production and governance processes will be changed at the same time! New services will be delivered on a redefined customer journey and managed by automated governance models. We then must reinvent the entire business from scratch!
In this reinvention of the business – how are we going to facilitate that?
In fact, we are missing the tactical component, that will ensure the right storytelling in the organization between staff and management, between business and IT and within the business organizations silos. That is the reason why we at PROCE Institute have developed the 4Dimensions Transformation Platform.
In the basic form, the Platform Dimension contains 12 themes that will let you analyze the business dynamics of a change. By understanding the business dynamics, we can describe the business impact and consequences of the change on customers/citizens (end-users), production and management. At the same time, the Platform Dimension integrates seamlessly into traditional business management frameworks like Balanced Scorecard or Business Model Canvas, at the strategic level.
At the tactical level, the framework substantiates the Design Thinking and User Story methodologies. In this way, our framework creates the input for the organizational implementation often facilitated by methods like Kotter’s 8 step model or Prosci® ADKAR® change management.
To obtain a clear understanding of the impact and complexity of the change, you will have to identify the properties of the 12 Themes by their AS-IS and TO-BE states. By adding the TO-DO, you will have defined the initiatives that will fuel the well-known project methods with the precise scope for the change. If you work in an agile paradigm you will have to group the initiatives into cross-organizational Minimal Viable Services (MVS). An MVS is the smallest group of services that provides the end-user value.
To our knowledge, there are no other structured methods that can provide a consistent scope for a change or a transformation. Well-known project management methods are good governance tools for steering a project, but not invented for innovation of the project content. Without a structured scoping method said in a catchy phrase: ‘Garbage in will give garbage out’.
As the pace of global change and digitization increases, organizations will need structured transformation training to be able to scope the complexity and content in a project right. The result of a structured approach is the ability to increase project speed and then change fast, agile and repeatedly.
Right now, the training market for business managers in tactical and operational transformation management and for IT staff in business understand is, as we see it, close to non-existing. The 4Dimensions Transformation Platform is invented to fill this gap.
The Platform Dimension is a part of the 4Dimensions Transformation Platform and consists of three pillars:
- a framework, described in the book ‘Disruption and Digital Transformation’ by Palle Stenver,
- a suite of training courses available at Leapest.com (‘Business Analysis for Agile’ and the certification course ‘From Business Strategy to Implementation’,
- a cloud-based IT-Platform for managing all the relations in the business dynamics across an organization.
The 4Dimensions Transformation Platform is readily available for Private as well as Public business who intend to improve their success rate in (digital) transformation, training organizations who need an upsell opportunity for business management, and consultants that will need a coherent and powerful analytic framework when working for their clients.