Change packages: Go further & faster in your transformation

by Marty Nicholas

Planning out a broad transformation journey is underpinned by immense risks for any organisation over the long-term. These risks include divergence from overarching transformation goals, failure to get buy-in from managers and the frontline, and heavy resource use in the event of a course correction. How can enterprises plan out their transformations and avoid these complications? The answer lies in the concept of ‘packages’.

Blackdot defines a package as a change release that spans people, process and technology and aims for an achievable and holistic future state while continuously delivering value. To achieve this and mitigate the risks involved in most traditional transformation journeys, organisations can plan for change through a series of well-defined, logically sequenced packages that are well supported from a change leadership perspective.

Climbing the ladder to change

The idea behind packages is to enable the program team, management and frontline staff to gradually step towards broader transformation through a sequence of goals that offer fast wins. Instead of spring-boarding straight to the end of an 18 to 24-month period of change, businesses should climb up the ladder step-by-step, bringing in benefits over the short-term while building to one final change outcome.

Each individual change package should last 3 to 6 months, including a series of agile sprints of 1 to 4 weeks that cover people, process and technology. The combination of packages and sprints will increase the overall transformation journey’s resilience to change.

A ROADMAP TO RESILIENCE

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Interdependent challenges

Within any large-scale change journey, there will be extensive sequencing and dependency challenges to resolve along the way. Traditionally, change has been plotted out through a series of isolated point solutions – a method which is becoming increasingly ineffective thanks to the rapid changes occurring with technology and customer behaviour.

Typically, these types of transformations can fail if individual point solutions break down. In the event the scope or circumstances change within the transformation journey itself, there may also be an enormous amount of corrective effort involved to stitch everything back together into the desired future state. Using packages circumvents these challenges by linking each package to the others through people, process and technology.

To logically group these packages, consider the scope across people, process and technology. This should include prioritising dependencies within and between packages, and mapping groups of dependencies to individual business outcomes.

A focus on the frontline

Packages are designed to give the frontline confidence to execute the current change step while motivating them to be receptive to the next stage in the overall journey. Incrementally releasing value will create a positive cycle of change and bypass any potential resistance. Achieving positive change will drive belief in the change itself which will then further drive confidence in future change as follows:

A VIRTUOUS CHANGE CYCLE

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It’s also important to include a common narrative across each logically sequenced package. Without this step, frontline staff could view each package as an isolated change piece disconnected from other packages. Instead, a well-defined change package boosts understanding amongst the frontline around how the change works and what their role is within it.

Execution and evolution

Each change package should be created with a minimum viable product (MVP) in mind – effectively offering just enough to get the frontline experimenting with understanding and adopting change.

This product can be evolved based on a test-and-learn model and does not need to be a final product in any form. Once the MVP has been achieved and the individual change package has been completed, the organisation can then further evolve both the roadmap and remaining packages as required.

Linking technology and people

Packages can be used to connect technology implementation with people strategies – a must since technology is never a silver bullet solution. In isolation, technology implementation can lead to poor uptake or benefits. With packaged change however, adoption and outcomes can be improved by connecting technology to people and process within the organisation.

Putting packages into practice

For a practical example of change packages, consider an organisation building a centralised lead generation and demand creation engine. To achieve this goal, the packages can include the following components spanning people, process and technology:

  • Marketing automation, customer data, dashboards & workflows
  • A newly created inside sales team
  • An integrated marketing and sales funnel
  • Redefined roles, goals and ways of working across marketing & sales
  • Change management, impact assessment & communications

By breaking down this change journey into packages, the organisation can substantially reduce the cost of sales and better support the customer throughout the buyer journey.

Systemic, strategic, stable

The overall strategy of packages allows the transformation journey to be more agile, delivering a minimum viable product as well as the associated change around this. With people, process and technology elements all working together, organisations can build up a systemic ecosystem of change that maintains momentum over the long term.

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Learn more about how to implement a complete transformation journey throughout your organisation with our Enterprise Growth Transformation whitepaper.