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In today’s volatile climate, chief executives regularly face new, often far-reaching business challenges. A new guide from IFS, titled ‘how to achieve value from an enterprise-wide technology change’, primes management consultants and transformation managers driving high value, low risk business transformations with C-suite stakeholders. In this second topic preview, Matt Kempson, VP Customer Services for IFS, examines the ways organizations should approach a transformation to secure lasting business value.

Having spent the last four years helping more than 150 IFS customers maximize business value through our enhanced IFS Success engagement framework, our IFS experts have observed, first-hand, what frames a successful business transformation journey. Some key imperatives have become very clear to us.

Firstly, at the outset, it’s essential to clearly set the expectation: what do we want to happen? Is everybody on the same page and signed up to the strategic business goals? Next, it’s essential to truly empower people. By this I mean give individuals access to what they need to deliver what you expect. And finally, be prepared to inspect what you expect: set up the common structures to see that what you expect to change is happening in the way you intended.

Successful transformation is a close partnership between business and IT stakeholders. It requires a shared commercial vision and, above all, trust. It is no surprise that more and more organizations are recognizing the value of engaging external business analysts and architects. An outside-in perspective provides both impartial insight, and also proven methodology and momentum to enable vendors and partners to advise how their solutions can and should be used to best effect.

Organizational traits supporting change

In our experience, three organizational traits underpin effective projects. These start with appointing an executive business sponsor and sponsors for each area of the business where we’re expecting to see an impact on business value. It’s a critical role to ensure people are actively engaged and understand the actual business value. They will need to proactively guide, coach, and encourage individuals, ensuring they understand how the transformation goals align with their own business goals.

The second surrounds managing change in an agile way, which requires embedding the principles of scaled, structured agile transformation. At all management levels, organizations need to commit to run with objectives and key results that are transparent. This requires adopting a model where all business changes are consolidated into a single backlog, allowing visibility of everything that’s happening across the business and IT.

Thirdly, accurately setting priorities and sticking to them is key. Organizations that can make the tricky judgements at the outset to establish clear first, second, third and fourth priorities ensure focus, and make change happen effectively.

Establishing the right organizational traits ensures the board can quickly reach an informed business decision to expedite change, understand where the most value can be added, fully aware of the cost and any risks.

For practical guidance when advising the board, download the guide:

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