Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Thoughts on Organizational Transformation

My current thoughts on Organizational Transformation wherein I propose a simple repeating pattern of self-organized, autonomous, independent teams at every level of the enterprise under change.
We’ll start with some definitions to aid in subsequent discussion:

  • Team - any group of people working together toward a goal or set of goals
  • Goal - a desired, measurable outcome resulting from the work of a team or teams
  • Product - a tangible artifact produced by a team to be used by consumers
  • Service - a process carried out by a team at the request of a consumer
  • Consumer - a person or team that uses products and/or services
  • Outcome - Movement in a business metric or situation

Before starting any transformation it’s very important to understand and articulate the desired outcomes of the effort.

Because so many of these engagements are IT driven I’ll use a IT example:

  • Enterprise X wants to compete and win in our industry.
  • IT strives to eliminate friction for product teams using IT so they can quickly, safely and economically design, develop and support business capabilities through changes to existing systems and creation of new systems.
  • Marketing will improve on our our ability to...
  • HR must make it easy for...

With a clear goal in mind we can bring together the team to determine:

  • What services and capabilities to provide?
  • What activities to continue or start?
  • What activities to stop doing?
  • Who are our customers?
  • How will we measure the outcome?

The services and capabilities listed at each level in the organization are usually decomposed at the next level down until they are actually implemented.

This provides alignment from the top level transformation goal, through the intermediate goals of each department all the way to the individual contributor executing a task.

Team members at one level are likely to support a team at the next level. So a VP on the CTO’s team at the IT department level has a team of directors and managers that decompose an IT function such as security or cloud infrastructure into smaller pieces for their teams to implement.

Each team, regardless of level, is self organizing, autonomous, and as independent as possible. They are also intensely customer focused whether their customer is another team using their product, a business function requesting new or changed software, or a Director trying to understand and align with executive guidance.

Thanks for reading - Mike

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