Transformation Sprint®

Transformations fail for a variety of reasons but one that is frequently overlooked is that they are planned using traditional methods. We call it the transformation paradox, companies trying to become agile using traditional tools. So we set out to change that and apply agile methods to the agile roadmap. That’s how we developed the new transformation method, transformation sprint.

Most transformations share similar challenges that point to underlying structural problems. Once you can identify these, you know how to fix them.

We have become experts at identifying those underlying problems. And of course, many of those problems recur over and over. While we advise companies to focus on their own context, they share many facets with companies everywhere.

By focusing on common problems and providing guidelines for how to generate insights into a unique context, we enable you to analyse structural change needs from a unique perspective.

We’ve written Transformation Sprint so you too can become more expert and skilled at the tasks that go into designing a solid transformation or fixing a problematic one.

It seems counterintuitive but in just 4 weeks you will be able to spot what’s wrong and take the necessary steps to rethink and reshape your transformation.

How it works:

Step 1

The clues to what your transformation really needs can be found at different levels of your organisation. We go beyond the “single source of truth” to combine multiple perspectives. That’s step 1/ Day 1 and we are setting up interviews even before we hit the ground. Finding the right way to let people speak and then using their perspectives in future design is  a powerful tool. We gather perspectives from as many people as we can in a limited amount of time. It short circuits the big consulting research or discovery project!

Step 2

Most companies suffer similar structural problems, though that doesn’t mean they all need the same answers. Within a range of 15 - 20 issues, you can cover 80% of what is wrong and begin the conversation about solving the big problem. Use our templated approach to save time.

Step 3
Issue Documentation​

Most leadership teams are blindsided to deep dysfunction within their organisations. Talking truth to power is one of the most significant steps in getting transformation right.Step 3 is then: What are the top 10 issues in order of magnitude?

Step 4
State Descriptions​

Step 4 is to figure out how these reflect underlying structural problems that need to be addressed. The Transformation Sprint will help you identify all the problems that have arisen as you enter no-man’s land, the space between your AS-IS state and your future TO-BE state. Again, that analysis can be run off a template. There are about a half dozen modern operating models and your company will be headed towards one of them. The gap in between is where you want to focus your problem solving.

Step 5
Playback and Prioritisation​

Executives don’t necessarily enjoy making decisions about priorities but with our visual techniques and exercises you can help them make progress. Our Playback sessions begin with issue prioritisation and end with solution prioritisation. And it is painless!

Step 6
Lighthouse Design

The final step is the outline of Lighthouse project design. A lighthouse is a project that will:

  • Address the most important prioritised underlying structural problems
  • With an emphasis on rapid, frequent value delivery using a new way to design projects
  • In holistic teams that adopt new ways to work

The end-result is that you learn how to design manageable chunks of transformation using work in new ways, while delivering real value.

More information can be found on our microsite: The Transformation Sprint or in our new book which is available on Amazon:

Transformation Sprint

How to fix big transformation problems in just 4 weeks​

In all the organisations we have worked with, we notice similar challenges and similar conflicts preventing people getting to a good state of flow. Often these occur within a transformation program so they are tangled up in how companies change their operating models. Failure and dysfunction occur because companies don’t address core problems and simultaneously use traditional techniques in trying to become more modern. We felt there had to be a better way so we wrote about how to transform operating models, and ways of work, by using the tools of agile thinking. Read this book if you want to design successful transformations and become a learning organisation in the process.