Cecilia Edwards
Cecilia Edwards

With 90% of digital transformations falling short of outcomes, it is clear that old end-state change models no longer work. Traditional change management is insufficient.

Old-school change management professionals and PMOs are not equipped to carry out digital transformation. Their primary objective is to complete projects on budget and on time. But with digital transformation, completed projects often don’t lead to specific and immediate outcomes because:

Optimal solutions take too long to implement

Emerging technology renders old solutions obsolete

Customer demands shift quickly and continuously

Institutional change takes time

With business environments changing so quickly, being “on time” and “on budget” are no longer enough to secure results. Businesses must adjust efforts to suit changing external conditions or be left behind.

Adopting a more innovative mindset that enables collaboration at all levels is critical. Making change everyone’s responsibility fosters the coordination to implement projects in shifting environments.

The new “transformation journey management” model supports this concept and changes how organizations communicate and delegate transformation. Such changes are comprehensive and difficult to execute alone. A dedicated “transformation journey team” is the most efficient way to implement them.


What does a transformation journey team do?

Set strategic intent and business outcomes The team establishes the “strategic intent” – the transformation’s purpose and top-line business outcomes. A well-crafted strategic intent enables the team to assess external conditions and adjust efforts efficiently in response to real-time dynamic movement within your organization and the marketplace. It is vital to disseminate the intent at all levels to keep the team and organization focused on the stated business outcomes.

Create an implementation roadmap and oversee the execution Next, the team creates an implementation roadmap to achieve business outcomes. The roadmap consists of projects, which are assigned to stakeholders for execution, and the team uses the roadmap to oversee transformations. Efforts are focused on outcomes by conducting periodic assessments and adjusting the roadmap accordingly. Roadmaps provide stakeholders with the information they need to align their efforts with outcomes. Innovations to business needs, resource allocations, and contingencies for misalignment are all features of effective roadmaps.

Ensure collaborative engagement at all levels With older models, change management professionals take complete responsibility for stakeholder engagement. This works when change occurs gradually. But transformation journey management executes changes and regular operations simultaneously. Collaborative engagement is essential to manage both. Transformation journey teams de-silo processes and direct efforts toward central objectives. Stakeholders clearly view the bigger picture, enhancing coordination and minimizing misalignments. They also counter “status quo bias” and lack of buy-in by all stakeholders. Shared communication and common objectives prevent siloed stakeholders from resisting transformation and holding on to old processes. The roadmap allows the team to locate and address resistance quickly, keeping efforts cohesive.


Who is on the team?

Executive leadership provides insight into organizational processes and the authority to accelerate required changes. Full-time involvement from the outset is optimal to help steer the journey and work closely with the consultants.

Departmental stakeholders oversee project execution. Their feedback enables progress assessments and adjustments. Representation from all departments is essential to prevent silos.

Third-party consultants and vendors bring specialist expertise to assist departments with transformation and minimize status quo bias. These include embedded consultants, PMOs, and management professionals executing specific projects.

Technology, customer expectations, and industry players are in constant flux. Businesses must accept new realities to see success in digital transformation amidst volatility:

Transformation is continuous. Effective transformation requires constant adjustment.

Fixed end-states don’t work. Their benefits are obsolete before they are reached and fail to achieve outcomes.

Staying focused yields results. Pursuing central objectives efficiently achieves outcomes faster than project-based processes.

Everyone needs to be involved. From executive leadership to departmental teams, all stakeholders must actively engage with transformation for it to be effective.

You can’t do it alone. Complex transformation progresses rapidly, demanding diverse competencies that no single business can meet.

No two transformations are the same. Different needs call for different approaches. What’s important is to have clear, realistic outcomes and a detailed roadmap that fits your purposes.

Transformation journey management gives businesses the strategic agility to navigate volatility over an extended period to deliver the intended transformation.


Ready to launch or re-set your own digital business transformation journey? Wavestone can help.


Cecilia Edwards

Cecilia Edwards is experienced in driving business value through the use of next-generation IT, business processes, and alternative delivery models. With her 20+ year strategy background shaped initially by nearly 7 years at The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Cecilia works with her clients to develop business-centric IT strategies and drive IT-enabled business transformations. Captain Edwards started her career in the United States Air Force and was a launch manager on the Titan Satellite Launch program. When she says it’s not rocket science, she knows.

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