3 Questions Every Business Transformation Leader Needs to Answer

Written by Lucas de Boer | 4 min read
Published on: April 27th 2016 - Last modified: November 13th, 2020
Business transformation blog post image - butterfly emerging from chrysalis

Business transformation initiatives have a notorious failure rate—after all, even the most groundbreaking, innovative, and market-disrupting strategy is useless without a clear plan to execute that strategy. To avoid the pitfalls in your own organization, take a step back and consider these three questions every business transformation leader needs to answer.

Translating business transformation strategy into execution

Business transformation is no longer a fixed-point activity; it’s a way of life. The key to your business surviving and thriving is being able to adapt to changing circumstances and take advantage of new opportunities whenever and wherever they occur. Of course, mapping out a strategy without also establishing a reliable method to execute it can be a recipe for disaster.

In particular, without addressing the organizational and cultural issues of business transformation (i.e. beyond the business imperative), it is unlikely any organizations will benefit from the outcomes they set out to achieve. With this in mind, Signavio has established three key questions that any executive or business transformation leader needs to consider when embarking on this perilous but potentially lucrative journey.

Question 1: Is it worth it?

The first and most basic question is, is it worth investing time, effort, and resources into a business transformation initiative? This will determine everything from the size of the initiative, to its goals, to how to go about building the required level of internal support. The logical subsidiary question to this is of course how do you actually know whether or not a business transformation is worth it for your particular organization and needs?

The question then becomes, how can you find the answer to this fundamental question? Is there a single method to find out what needs to change, and the best way to change it? Is this a manual or an automated method, and how reliable is it? In short, before beginning, you need to satisfy yourself and all relevant stakeholders that you have the data you need to support a case for business transformation.

Question 2: Where do performance problems exist?

Once you’ve established the need for a business transformation initiative, the task becomes narrowing the focus. Is what you’re trying to change limited to a certain area, or across the whole organization? Do you know where processes are broken in your business? If you don't know, can you find out quickly and easily? If you do know, what measures do you have in place to determine whether a particular process is getting better or worse? The challenge here is to establish a baseline for your transformation initiative.

Question 3: How much variation are we facing?

This question seeks to understand your operational needs, that is, whether the baseline you have determined is the same for different aspects of your organization. Are there reasons that some of your business processes may work better in different areas? Consider this issue not just for different business areas, but geographic locations, different regulatory environments, and the like. If variations exist, how do they affect the customer experience, or the way your business actually functions? A business transformation initiative that is not sensitive to variation is by definition unlikely to be flexible enough to be effective.

An integrated solution

Each of these questions will obviously have a different answer for different organizations, and require a different response in order to start capturing the value of a given business transformation initiative. However, regardless of whether your organization is conducting a transformation initiative in a targeted way, or as a reaction to external changes, an intelligent combination of people, processes and technology is required.

When process and decision management is part of an organization’s DNA, reacting to change becomes a much simpler task. Equally, when everyone within an organization understands its processes, and actively aids in their creation, the distance between identifying optimization potential and actually implementing change will be much shorter. Essentially, structured management of daily business processes and decisions is the foundation for successful business transformation initiatives.

How Signavio can help

The SAP Signavio Process Transformation Suite is a powerful, all-in-one platform that helps you quickly realign your organization and bring changes to life at an accelerated rate. It exists to support the core of your business: the processes that you carry out every day.

With Signavio, it’s possible to integrate decisions directly into process diagrams and still manage them separately, which makes the interfaces between processes and decisions visible, and ensures that every employee is aware under which conditions they can make a decision. It’s even possible to automate decisions, not just processes, saving a considerable amount of time. From a compliance perspective, the foundation decision logic saved in the platform can be easily adjusted when regulatory requirements change, so you don’t have to check every individual case separately.

Live Insights gives you the chance to turn static models into dynamic dashboards that inform, guide and warn you about problems in real time. You can identify specific areas for improvement, simulate the effects of your business transformation initiative, determine exact results, and refine as needed. Plus, Signavio reinvents the 'process outcome', delivering a business result that crosses product and operational boundaries. Variation can be accounted for as the Suite allows you to pass between tasks seamlessly, share modeling feedback and reviews, and collaborate across your entire organization.

Next steps

For more high-level information on how Signavio supports business transformation leaders, check out our dedicated landing page. If you’re ready to get started on your own business transformation initiative, Signavio’s 7 Step Guide to Business Transformation is the perfect jumping-off point. To see first-hand how Signavio can support your initiative, why not sign up for a free 30-day trial today.

Published on: April 27th 2016 - Last modified: November 13th, 2020