Building a prioritised implementation roadmap

Resource and time limitations are the underlying constraints in many transformations. Combined with the fast pace of technology change, it is common for substantial scope creep to cause the overall transformation to derail with either costs overrunning or business benefits not being realised. How can enterprises best manage transformation execution to limit these risks?

Based on experience working across multiple transformation projects, Blackdot has identified the key steps leading enterprises take to achieve implementation adoption and success. Our best practice approach to technology transformations is based on a five-step recipe for success.

Our previous blogs explored:

1. Assessing current state
2. Defining future state organisational capabilities
3. Designing a high performing architecture practice
4. Selecting the right platform

This blog explores the fifth and final step: Building a prioritised implementation roadmap. Once a current state has been defined, leadership has a view on the capabilities needed to execute, the technology architecture approach has been designed, and the right platform has been selected, the organisation needs to sequence people, process & technology packages to realise value early by solving frontline problems.

Approximately 80% of transformations experience substantial scope creep, and more than two thirds of transformation costs are attributed to technology implementation. Without the right planning and execution discipline, it is easy for a technology transformation to derail and result in costs overrunning or business case benefits not being realised.
Rather than approaching technology changes in isolation, Blackdot recommends sequencing the transformation in packages of people, process and technology changes. A logical package consists of a set of mutually dependent and reinforcing scope items that together deliver discrete business value. Implementing and releasing an agile roadmap of packages allows for business value to be delivered early and often.
Typically, the roadmap is prioritised based on business value and ease of implementation. A secondary lens can be applied to address employee pain points early to provide proof points on progress. This allows the business to capture value and address adoption challenges from a sceptical frontline. This is also an opportunity to do a final validation of strategic alignment and capability delivery.


Deliver value in incremental packages of people, process & technology

Delivering on small success early supports user acceptance and early adoption. People are brought on the change journey and new ways of working early, and this success boosts the morale of teams as well as giving them an opportunity to provide early feedback. Business benefits realisation can start early with delivery of every package offering an opportunity to self-fund future delivery.
Treat the frontline as the customer & focus on solving real world problems early

A great employee experience drives great customer experience, so treat the frontline like customers to get the best outcomes. Involve the frontline early in solving real world problems and addressing both customer and employee pain points. This will demonstrate the benefits of the system, provide early momentum and win hearts and minds to smooth the path towards technology adoption. Work with the frontline to observe their pain points and gain direct employee feedback before customer feedback to improve on employee experience first.
Change staff DNA through experience, education & targeted recruitment

Use the transformation program as a talent incubator. Identify high calibre individuals who have demonstrated the ability to learn and reinvent themselves. Cycle them through the transformation program for immersion in the future state so they can contribute to building the organisation they will inherit. Commit to providing roles after the project to avoid the perception of a “special projects” career dead end. Supplement with external talent where specific skills cannot be found internally.
Successful technology transformations start with alignment to the business strategy and strong business sponsorship at the executive level. This requires organisations to work through a significant mindset change to converge IT and business capabilities while maintaining role and goal clarity. Architectural decisions can then be made top-down and designed to be set up for long-term sustainability. In particular, decoupling systems of innovation from systems of record will allow rapid evolution in the front end without compromising the inteWgrity of the core. Finally, the transformation roadmap should be designed around packages of people, process and technology that realise business value.

Want to know more about how technology enables organisation-wide implementation & adoption?

Written by Samit Chandra and Jessica Flynn.