Not sure you can embark on a Transformation? - The Lean Playbook
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Not sure you can embark on a Transformation?

Not sure you can embark on a Transformation?

Here’s a list of requirements for success you should consider

Undergoing a Lean or Agile transformation is a traumatic experience a lot of people embark for enthusiastically without knowing exactly how demanding and rigorous the transition will be. Many consultants will not say this out loud to you in their pre-sales engagements, but this is a very painful process where many tough decisions will need to be made before reaching the desired outcome (increased business performance!).

This type of deep change or transformation requires a serious commitment and willingness to create the right conditions for success, hence we have articulated for you the list of requirements that you would need to sign-off upfront with your sponsors before even considering such an investment:


List of requirements and implications

  • Shift in empowerment: Lean or Agile experts lead the transformation, the business express their needs and ultimate objectives and not vicevera.

Your business will have to rely on experts taking the lead in the transformation pace, depth and process. Their role will be to work on ensuring the specified business goals are achieved in constant collaboration with the sponsors, who have to be effectively involved in the journey.

  • Consistency of purpose throughout the transformation: not to be placed in a secondary plane if other urgencies arise.

Roadmap and activities concerning the transformation cannot be altered once ongoing by any complains from resistors. It can only be changed if business objectives change. At the same time, empowerment to Agility leaders to stop old habits/ways of working even when an urgency comes have to be provided.

  • Once initiated, commitment to undertake necessary changes despite harshness.

Changes might be required in processes, technology, methodology and ways of working but also in sensitive areas such as people and culture. Are you ready to face the possibility of reassigning people to other functions, degrade them and promote others who might be a better fit? In some transformations, all employees, including managers will have to re-apply to the new functions created in the new organization and they might not all have the same place any longer.

  • Be ready to take on the potential impact in business performance during the transformation process without reverting to the original state

During any transformation process business performance is resented. This is unavoidable, although experts will try to mitigate it as much as possible. While people in the unit being transformed work on transformational changes, they will not work on customer deliveries.

  • Assign success of transformation as an objective to all managers of units involved – they are also responsible to make this happen.

Any transformation will rely heavily on managers’ cooperation and attitude towards it. It can be the tipping point between a successful business or not. Hence, it is necessary they understand how critical it is and endorse it through an objective in their performance evaluation plans.

Antonio Medina

Optimist and superhero (to his daughter). Antonio has proven Lean experience in many international companies and he is serial article writer in Business Agility topics.

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