It’s tempting to approach transformation as a win or lose situation: a goal to be scored, a finishing post to reach as fast as possible, an accolade to be won. Indeed, many senior people are judged on, and remunerated on, their ability to achieve such.
We tend to take the opposite view.
While there’s a place for breakthrough missions, and - notwithstanding the fact that tangible delivery outcomes must be obtained from any transformation project - we also consider that continuous improvement is also a critical success factor.
Now, many global consultants and delivery partners would use this position as an excuse to secure client dependence way beyond the initial project delivery. They do this by tying clients into ongoing software or intellectual property licences, charging maintenance fees and by keeping expertise all to themselves.
But that is not the Redrock way.
Our way is to build continuous improvement into projects from the outset and we do this in two fundamental ways.
Firstly, as appropriate and in agreement with our client, we structure project delivery as a continuous series of short delivery cycles (these can be as short as 2-4 week iterations). Each cycle is designed to produce early, measurable improvement outcomes with closely managed risk. These demonstrate cumulative delivery of the desired overall improvement outcomes and enable effective decision making along the way.
Secondly, we work collaboratively on-site with clients as one team focused on project delivery – and well beyond. We commit to knowledge transfer, enablement, ownership and to building capabilities in client teams to create a lasting legacy and a culture of continual improvement there.
Underpinning all this...
That senior client stakeholders are engaged with improvement aims and delivery processes by ensuring that these resonate with and address their own priorities.
That continuous improvement must be directed and prioritised according to the wider aims of the enterprise.
That continuous improvement is most effective when systematically based and uses feedback to determine which methods are proving most successful.
That lessons learned need to be captured and exploited throughout the course of delivery projects, not just at the end.
guarantees transparency throughout every stage of engagement, while helping to distill the strategic vision into specific and measurable improvement terms which delivery projects can work with; determining key performance indicators, understanding critical success factors and setting out the various means (interventions) available for delivering those improvements.
By capturing lessons learned on a continuous basis throughout transformation projects structured as a series of delivery cycles, the project itself is subject to continuous improvement. The outcomes learned from each cycle as to what approaches were as effective as expected, and which were less so, are fed into improving the next and future delivery cycles.
The benefits of this approach cannot be understated in terms of transparency, assisting with informed decision making and effective communications (both, between delivery partner and client, and internally within the client organisation). It embraces agility and takes into account the evolving landscape in which our clients operate.
In so doing, it keeps them operationally fitter for longer.