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Transformation governance, do not confuse with operational and project governance

If you feel your transformation is not progressing as planned, you may have governance issues. Because your resources are limited and the same players are often around the table, you may have opted to track your transformation through tracking of day-to-day operations, and to assign the transformation to the project office. Many leaders have now realized the limits of this approach.

Keep transformation governance and operational governance separate

Without such a separation, keeping the focus on transformation is a pipe dream. The clamor of day-to-day operations quickly becomes overwhelming. Days, weeks and months go by, and yet your ambitious transformation projects are not moving forward. Putting in place transformation governance will remedy the situation, by providing the structure and discipline to stay focused on your transformation goals while taking into account your financial and human capacities.

Project office and transformation office: two very separate entities

Be careful! This is not about setting up a project office. Managing projects and managing transformation are two very different things. When you manage a project, you manage a very specific initiative with a defined scope, budget and deadline. When you manage a transformation, in addition to managing a set of projects, you typically manage major changes in your structure, culture, mindset and processes, focusing primarily on transformational goals rather than projects. Such changes can only take place if they are managed while incorporating multiple perspectives: business, culture, human, departments, regions, sites, projects, capacity, collaboration, behaviours, and so on.

Here are some tips for putting the needed governance in place:

  1. Create a transformation steering committee that brings together the key decision makers.
  2. Establish a transformation office that is headed by a transformation manager (whose skills are distinct from those of a project manager) and has managers for the project management and stakeholder management components.
  3. Establish a committee of the various department heads involved to ensure that the perspective of the recipients of change is incorporated into decision-making.
  4. Create a table of all the various project managers so they can manage the interlinkages between their projects on an ongoing basis.
  5. Develop and communicate a chart of your governance that specifies mandates and roles and responsibilities, as well as the operating mechanisms for each entity éNothing is more unpredictable than true transformation. A solid governance structure will allow you to quickly identify and address the issues, obstacles and opportunities that will inevitably arise throughout the course of your transformation.

Nothing is more unpredictable than a real transformation. A solid governance will allow you to rapidly see and act on issues, obstacles and opportunities that will inevitably arise during the course of your transformation.

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