Create a Lighthouse to Drive Your Transformation

I’m a firm believer in transformation through delivery. In my experience real change cannot be implemented without a vehicle that is used to drive it through the organisation and crash through existing barriers.

Transformation is far more than just deploying new technologies for the sake of it. A genuine competitive advantage can only be gained through the combination of an organization’s culture, its strategic choices and way of operating.

It’s about continuously enabling new and leaner operating models underpinned by flexible business processes, connected platforms, analytics and collaboration capabilities that enhance efficiency and effectiveness.

It’s about searching, identifying and developing new technology supported business models and, above all, ensuring that customers and employees are at the center of whatever a company does.

A good way to start transformation through delivery is by defining a so-called lighthouse project early on in the process and letting your best people make it a success. A lighthouse project is a short-term, well defined, measurable project that serves as a model — or a “lighthouse” — for other similar projects within the broader transformation initiative.

This technical delivery project will show new ways of working and doing business combined with the use of technology and will help to identify organizational challenges that hinder you to do the same in the rest of your organization.

The 4 key attributes of such a lighthouse project are:

> It has high business value and visibility so it is less likely to be cancelled. A lighthouse project doesn’t need to directly benefit everyone in your organisation. But its value should be something that everyone in the organisation can appreciate and understand. It should have obvious results, such as “we have reduced the hardware purchasing budget by 70 percent” or “we have managed to increase our application uptime from 95 percent to 99.9 percent.”

> It has clear metrics. You’ll notice that the results mentioned above involve hard numbers. Collecting quantifiable data about your lighthouse project is important in order to make the demonstration of value as clear as possible.

> It touches multiple business units and silos to enable the identification of barriers and influence change.

> It has a hard deadline in the near future to focus the business and delivery team to provide pressure to break down barriers. You don’t want to wait years for your lighthouse project to be complete. Choose a project that can be implemented within a reasonable period of time-a year at most. Of course, you should be careful to balance time-to-completion with sophistication; don’t make the project too simple in order to make it faster to complete.

In a nutshell: A lighthouse project is the key to transformation because it shows everyone in your organisation what they can achieve by leveraging new ways of working, new ways of thinking, and using new technologies.

Originally published at https://www.henricodolfing.com.

I help C-level executives in the financial service industry with interim management and recovering troubled technology projects.