When I first started managing projects, there was talk about whether the next year would involve some kind of business transformation program. These would happen approximately every five years and were essentially an attempt by the company to reposition itself. The cycle was one of implementing a major shift during the transformation year and then refining it with a larger number of smaller projects over the next few years before it was time to implement another major transformation. The expectation was that in a transformation year, most of the other work would be put on hold with all the focus being on this major program and the projects that made it up.
Those days are long gone, with transformation initiatives occurring much more frequently than every five years or so—a result of the much more competitive, much faster moving operating environment in virtually all industries. While organizations have increased the pace of transformation, many of them haven’t changed the approach—meaning that such initiatives are much more disruptive than they need to be. In this article, I want to look at how modern transformation can occur with less disruption. Then in a follow-up article, I’m going to look at the future of business transformation initiatives and consider how things will continue to evolve (spoiler alert: it’s not what you think).
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