Transforming an area of your business can yield great returns for your company, but it can also be complex, time-consuming, and costly. These are usually known risks that we accept in order to achieve the end results, which include improved business performance, greater productivity, or competitive differentiation.
Trying to achieve the ultimate end state of a transformation all at once can heighten those risks as time, resources, and funding are poured into a single effort with, more than likely, an ROI start date that’s 24 to 36 months out. When the big transformation go-live date arrives, companies often find themselves having swallowed a big pill, potentially causing significant disruptions to the workplace with overwhelmed users struggling to absorb full-scale change in process, technology, and organizational structure. This creates a state that can be difficult to address while business performance is put at risk.
Another unfortunate reality is that if part of the transformation isn’t ideal, there is often little recourse to amend what’s been implemented as resources and funding have moved on to the next big project. In today’s dynamic business environment, these situations can produce a significant setback, if not a crippling one.
Innovative solution providers are helping companies discover a more metered and less risky approach to transforming their business. Years of successful transformation projects delivered by experienced industry professionals produce some great information that addresses how to optimize a transformation project:
- What are the core set of capabilities that must be enabled to launch the transformation?
- What are the greatest areas of return that can be produced in the least amount of time? What are those areas of optimization that can safely be included in future phases?
- What does the optimal user journey look like during a transformation that encourages both user adoption and increased productivity?
- How can technology best be implemented and utilized to achieve initial transformation objectives?
- How is effective change led so that all initial objectives are satisfied?
By helping companies discover the optimal path to achieving higher returns quickly, companies are able to yield business improvements faster while ushering in process, technology, and organizational change that doesn’t overwhelm the workforce.
As returns begin to materialize from this initial phase, a company can well be on its way to pursuing the next logical bank of business improvements to create further value. The experience and lessons learned from the original phase fuel the planning for the next phase, which helps save further on avoiding costly course corrections.
It all sounds logical, right? Sure, but you have to make sure you’re making the right choices that enable this type of effectiveness and speed. Here are two common mistakes that companies can make in pursuing this approach:
- Moving ahead without the right resources – It’s a big risk to embark on a transformation project without experienced resources who have accomplishments with other companies. Experts with successful delivery records provide not only a proven path to results, but inspire confidence and leadership along the way. They greatly lessen associated risks and keep teams focused and on time.
- Buying technology that is limited in capability – In the initial phase, you want to yield the benefits from many of the prime capabilities. However, you don’t want to constrain your capacity for creating additional value because the technology can’t offer you anything beyond rudimentary functionality. Tapping into more functionality or leveraging advanced optimization can provide you with a healthy “value roadmap” as your market or business requirements change.
At JDA, we believe business improvement is a journey. With our Fast Track Now programs, announced today at JDA FOCUS 2015, which consists of robust, value-driven software, strategic leadership, and proven implementation templates, companies around the world are achieving great value with short timeframes. If you’re interested in joining these successful transformation stories in business areas like manufacturing, assortments, merchandising, or supply chain, we’d like to tell you more.