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The objective of organizational change management is to enable organization members and other stakeholders to adapt to a sponsor’s new vision, mission, and systems, as well as to identify sources of resistance to the changes and minimize resistance to them. Organizations are almost always in a state of change, whether the change is continuous or episodic. Change creates tension and strain in a sponsor’s social system that the sponsor must adapt to so that it can evolve. Transformational planning and organizational change is the coordinated management of change activities affecting users, as imposed by new or altered business processes, policies, or procedures and related systems implemented by the sponsor. The objectives are to effectively transfer knowledge and skills that enable users to adopt the sponsor’s new vision, mission, and systems and to identify and minimize sources of resistance to the sponsor’s changes.
01. Breakthrough Value: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
02. Strategic Analysis; departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
03. Change Framework; departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
04. Navigating Change; departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
05. Transformation Strategies; departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
06. Transitional Plan; departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
07. MBT Framework: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. 1 Month
08. Best Practices: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
09. Communication: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
10. Employee-Centered: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
11. Resistance: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
12. Leadership & Stakeholders: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
01. Breakthrough Value: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
02. Strategic Analysis: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
03. Change Framework: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
04. Navigating Change: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
05. Transformation Strategies: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
06. Transitional Plan: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
07. MBT Framework: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
08. Best Practices: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
09. Communication: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
10. Employee-Centered: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
11. Resistance: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
12. Leadership & Stakeholders: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
01. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyse Breakthrough Value.
02. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyse Strategic Analysis.
03. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyse Change Framework.
04. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyse Navigating Change.
05. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Transformation Strategies.
06. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyse Transitional Plan.
07. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyse MBT Framework.
08. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyse Best Practices.
09. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Communication.
10. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyse Employee-Centered.
11. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyse Resistance.
12. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyse Leadership & Stakeholders.
Organizational Change And Transformation Planning
Definition: Transformation planning is the process of creating a [strategic] plan for changing an organization’s business processes by changing policies, procedures, and processes to shift it from a “as is” to a “to be” state.
Change Management is the process of gathering enterprise (or business) intelligence in order to perform transformation planning by assessing an organization’s people and cultures in order to determine how changes in business strategies, organizational design, organizational structures, processes, and technology systems will affect the enterprise.
Roles & Expectations: Leaders are expected to be able to assist in formulating the strategy and the plans for transforming a customer’s organization, structure, and processes, including support to that organization. They are expected to recommend interfaces and interactions with other organizations, lead change, collaborate, build consensus across the firm and other stakeholders for the transformation, and to assist in communicating the changes. To execute these roles and meet these expectations, leaders are expected to understand the complex, open-systems nature of how organizations change, and the importance of developing the workforce transformation strategies as a critical, fundamental, and essential activity in framing a project plan. They must understand the social processes and other factors (e.g., leadership, culture, structure, strategy, competencies, and psychological contracts) that affect the successful transformation of a complex organizational system.
The objective of organizational change management is to enable organization members and other stakeholders to adapt to a sponsor’s new vision, mission, and systems, as well as to identify sources of resistance to the changes and minimize resistance to them. Organizations are almost always in a state of change, whether the change is continuous or episodic. Change creates tension and strain in a sponsor’s social system that the sponsor must adapt to so that it can evolve. Transformational planning and organizational change is the coordinated management of change activities affecting users, as imposed by new or altered business processes, policies, or procedures and related systems implemented by the sponsor. The objectives are to effectively transfer knowledge and skills that enable users to adopt the sponsor’s new vision, mission, and systems and to identify and minimize sources of resistance to the sponsor’s changes.
Best Practices and Lessons Learned
Implementation of a large-scale transformation project affects the entire organization. In a technology-based transformation project, an organization often focuses solely on acquiring and installing the right hardware and software. But the people who are going to use the new technologies—and the processes that will guide their use—are even more important. As critical as the new technologies may be, they are only tools for people to use in carrying out the agency’s work.
Figure 1. Organizational Transition Model
As shown in Figure 1, the discipline of organizational change management (OCM) is intended to help move an organization’s people, processes, and technology from the current “as is” state to a desired future “to be” state. To ensure effective, long-term, and sustainable results, there must be a transition during which the required changes are introduced, tested, understood, and accepted. People have to let go of existing behaviors and attitudes and move to new behaviors and attitudes that achieve and sustain the desired business outcomes. That is why OCM is a critical component of any enterprise transformation program: It provides a systematic approach that supports both the organization and the individuals within it as they plan, accept, implement, and transition from the present state to the future state.
Studies have found that the lack of effective OCM in an IT modernization project leads to a higher percentage of failure. According to a 2005 Gartner survey on “The User’s View of Why IT Projects Fail,” the findings pinned the failure in 31 percent of the cases on an OCM deficiency. This demonstrates the importance of integrating OCM principles into every aspect of an IT modernization or business transformation program.
Navigating the Change Process
Organization leaders need to assess change as a process and work in partnership with our sponsors to develop appraisals and recommendations to identify and resolve complex organizational issues. The change process depicted in Figure 2 is designed to help assess where an organization is in the change process and to determine what it needs to do as it moves through the process.
Figure 2. An Organizational Change Process
By defining and completing a change process, an organization can better define and document the activities that must be managed during the transition phase. Moving through these stages will help ensure effective, long-term, and sustainable results. These stages unfold as an organization moves through the transition phase in which the required transformational changes are introduced, tested, understood, and accepted in a manner that enables individuals to let go of their existing behaviors and attitudes and develop any new skills needed to sustain desired business outcomes.
It is very common for organizations to lose focus or create new initiatives without ever completing the change process for a specific program or project. It is critical to the success of a transformation program that the organization recognizes this fact and is prepared to continue through the process and not lose focus as the organizational change initiative is implemented. Commitment to completing the change process is vital to a successful outcome.
Framework for Change
In any enterprise transformation effort, there are a number of variables that exist simultaneously and affect the acceptance of change by an organization. These variables range from Congressional mandates to the organization’s culture and leadership to the attitude and behavior of the lowest-ranking employee. Social scientists use the Burke-Litwin Model of Organizational Performance and Change, or other approaches in line with the sponsor’s environment and culture, to assess readiness and plan to implement change. The Burke-Litwin Model identifies critical transformational and transactional factors that may impact the successful adoption of the planned change. In most government transformation efforts, the external environment (such as Congressional mandates), strategy, leadership, and culture can be the most powerful drivers for creating organizational change.
Most organizations will ultimately follow one of three approaches to transformation. The type of approach is related to the culture and type of organization (e.g., loosely coupled [relaxed bureaucratic organizational cultures] or tightly coupled [strong bureaucratic organizational cultures]):
• Data-driven change strategies emphasize reasoning as a tactic for bringing about a change in a social system. Experts, either internal or external to the sponsor, are contracted to analyze the system with the goal of making it more efficient (leveling costs vs. benefits). Systems science theories are employed to view the social system from a wide-angle perspective and to account for inputs, outputs, and transformation processes.
The effectiveness of a sponsor’s data driven change strategy will be dependent upon (a) a well-researched analysis that the transformation is feasible, (b) a demonstration that illustrates how the transformation has been successful in similar situations, and (c) a clear description of the results of the transformation. People will adopt the transform when they understand the results of the transformation and the rationale behind it.
• Participative change strategies assume that change will occur if impacted units and individuals modify their perspective from old behavior patterns in favor of new behaviors and business/work practices. Participative change typically involves not just changes in rationales for action, but changes in the attitudes, values, skills, and percepts of the organization.
For this change strategy to be successful, it is dependent on all impacted organizational units and individuals participating both in the change (including system design, development, and implementation of the change) and their change “re-education.” The degree of success is dependent on the extent to which the organizational units, impacted users, and stakeholders are involved in the participative change transition plan.
• Compliance-based change strategies are based on the “leveraging” of power coming from the sponsor’s position within the organization to implement the change. The sponsor assumes that the unit or individual will change because they are dependent on those with authority. Typically, the change agent does not attempt to gain insight into possible resistance to the change and does not consult with impacted units or individuals. Change agents simply announce the change and specify what organizational units and impacted personnel must do to implement the change.
The effectiveness of a sponsor’s compliance-based change strategy is dependent on the discipline within the sponsor’s chain of command, processes, and culture and the capability of directly and indirectly impacted stakeholders to impact sponsor executives. Research demonstrates that compliance-based strategies are the least effective.
Regardless of the extent of the organizational change, it is critical that organizational impact and risk assessments be performed to allow sponsor executives to identify the resources necessary to successfully implement the change effort and to determine the impact of the change on the organization. Further information on change strategies and organizational assessments is found in the SEG article “Performing Organizational Assessments,” and in those listed above.
Leadership & Stakeholders
Leaders need to be cognizant of the distinction between sponsor executives, change agents/leaders, and stakeholders:
• Sponsor executives: Typically, sponsor executives are the individuals within an organization that are accountable to the government. Sponsor executives may or may not be change leaders.
• Change leaders: Typically, the change leader is the sponsor’s executive or committee of executives assigned to manage and implement the prescribed change. Change leaders must be empowered to make sponsor business process change decisions, to formulate and transmit the vision for the change, and to resolve resistance issues and concerns.
• Stakeholders: Typically, stakeholders are internal and external entities that may be directly (such as participants) or indirectly impacted by the change. A business unit’s dependence on a technology application to meet critical mission requirements is an example of a directly impacted stakeholder. An external (public/private, civil, or federal) entity’s dependence on a data interface without direct participation in the change is an example of an indirect stakeholder.
Note: Both directly and indirectly impacted stakeholders can be sources of resistance to a sponsor’s transformation plan.
Resistance is a critical element of organizational change activities. Resistance may be a unifying organizational force that resolves the tension between conflicts that are occurring as the result of organizational change. Resistance feedback occurs in three dimensions:
• Cognitive resistance occurs as the unit or individual perceives how the change will affect its likelihood of voicing ideas about organizational change. Signals of cognitive resistance may include limited or no willingness to communicate about or participate in change activities (such as those involving planning, resources, or implementation).
• Emotional resistance occurs as the unit or individuals balance emotions during change. Emotions about change are entrenched in an organization’s values, beliefs, and symbols of culture. Emotional histories hinder change. Signals of emotional resistance include a low emotional commitment to change leading to inertia or a high emotional commitment leading to chaos.
• Behavior resistance is an integration of cognitive and emotional resistance that is manifested by less visible and more covert actions toward the organizational change. Signals of behavioral resistance are the development of rumors and other informal or routine forms of resistance by units or individuals.
Resistance is often seen as a negative force during transformation projects. However, properly understood, it is a positive and integrative force to be leveraged. It is the catalyst for resolving the converging and diverging currents between change leaders and respondents and creates agreement within an organizational system.
Creating the Organizational Transition Plan
As discussed in the beginning of this section (see Figure 1), successful support of individuals and organizations through a major transformation effort requires a transition from the current to the future state. Conducting an organizational assessment based on the Burke-Litwin Model provides strategic insights into the complexity of the impact of the change on the organization. Once the nature and the impact of the organizational transformation are understood, the transformation owner or champion will have the critical data needed to create an organizational transition plan.
Typically, the content or focus of the transition plan comes from the insights gained by conducting a “gap” analysis between the current state of the organization (based on the Burke-Litwin assessment) and the future state (defined through the strategy and vision for the transformation program). The transition plan should define how the organization will close the transformational and transactional gaps that are bound to occur during implementation of a transformation project. Change does not occur in a linear manner, but in a series of dynamic but predictable phases that require preparation and planning if they are to be navigated successfully. The transition plan provides the information and activities that allow the organization to manage this “non-linearity” in a timely manner.
It should be noted that large organizational change programs, which affect not only the headquarters location but also geographically dispersed sites, will require site-level transition plans. These plans take into account the specific needs and requirements of each site. Most importantly, they will help “mobilize” the organizational change team at the site and engage the local workforce and leaders in planning for the upcoming transition.
Strategic Organizational Change Communications
Figure 3. The Strategic Organizational Communications Process
A key component of the transition plan should address the strategic communications (see Figure 3) required to support the implementation of the transformation. Open and frequent communication is essential to effective change management. When impacted individuals receive the information (directly and indirectly) they need about the benefits and impact of the change, they will more readily accept and support it. The approach to communication planning needs to be integrated, multi-layered, and iterative.
Are You Certain You Have A Plan In Place?
Consider the following declarations of strategy gathered from genuine company documents and announcements:
“Our goal is to be the most cost-effective service.” “We’re pursuing a global approach”. “The company’s objective is to integrate a series of regional acquisitions”. “Unparalleled customer service is our strategy.” “Our strategy goal is to always be first to market.” “Our objective is to transition from defence to industrial applications,” .
What are the similarities and differences between these great declarations? The only difference is that none of them is a strategy. They are merely aspects of strategies, strategic strands. However, they are no more tactics than Dell Computer’s strategy of selling directly to customers, or Hannibal’s plan of crossing the Alps with elephants. And their use illustrates a growing trend: strategy fragmentation as a catchall term. Consultants and researchers have offered executives with a plethora of frameworks for understanding strategic problems after more than 30 years of rigorous thinking about strategy.
We now have five-forces analysis, core competencies, hypercompetition, a resource-based view of the organization, value chains, and a slew of other useful, if not always powerful, analytic tools.’ However, there has been little advice on what should be the end output of these tools—or what actually constitutes a plan. Indeed, the use of certain strategic instruments tends to lead to restricted, fragmented views of strategy, which correspond to the tools’ limited reach. Strategists who are drawn to Porter’s five-forces approach, for example, tend to think of strategy as a question of picking industries and sectors within them.
Executives who focus on “co-opetition” or other game-theoretic frameworks perceive their world as a series of decisions about how to interact with friends and foes. This issue of strategic fragmentation has gotten worse in recent years, as narrowly specialized academics and consultants have begun to practice strategy using their instruments. However, strategy is not the same as price. It isn’t a matter of capacity decisions. It is not responsible for determining R&D funding. These are strategy components that cannot be decided — or even considered — in isolation. Consider an aspiring painter who has been taught that the beauty of a painting is determined by its colors and hues. But, in reality, what can be done with such advice? After all, wonderful paintings necessitate much more than color selection: attention to shapes and figures, brush technique, and post-production processes. Above all, excellent paintings rely on the skillful integration of all of these aspects.
Some pairings are tried-and-true, while others are innovative and fresh. Many combinations, especially in avant-garde art, indicate disaster. Strategy has become a catchall term that can be used to imply anything. Regular portions of business journals are increasingly devoted to strategy, usually detailing how featured companies are coping with specific difficulties like customer service, joint ventures, branding, or e-commerce. Executives, in turn, discuss their “service plan,” “joint venture strategy,” “branding strategy,” or whatever other strategy is on their thoughts at the time. Executives then transmit these strategic threads to their enterprises, erroneously believing that this will assist managers in making difficult decisions.
However, how does understanding that their company is pursuing a “acquisition strategy” or a “first-mover strategy” assist the vast majority of managers in doing their jobs or setting priorities? How useful is it to have new initiatives publicized on a regular basis, with the word strategy thrown in for good measure? When executives refer to everything as a strategy and end up with a collection of strategies, they confuse the public and jeopardize their own credibility. They reveal, in particular, that they do not have a holistic view of the business. When executives refer to anything as a strategy, they create confusion and undercut their own credibility. Many readers of literature on the subject are aware that ‘strategy’ comes from the Greek ‘strategos’, which means “the art of the general.”
However, few people have given this essential origin much thought. What distinguishes the job of a general from that of a field commander, for example? Over time, the general is in charge of various units on multiple fronts and multiple conflicts. Orchestration and comprehensiveness are the general’s challenge—and the value-added of generalship. Great generals consider the big picture. They have a plan; it is made up of bits, or aspects, that come together to form a cohesive whole. Whether they are CEOs of established companies, division presidents, or entrepreneurs, business generals must have a strategy—a coherent, integrated, externally directed notion of how the company will achieve its goals.
Without a strategy, time and resources are easily wasted on ad hoc, unrelated operations; mid-level managers will fill the hole with their own, often parochial, interpretations of what the company should be doing; and the outcome will be a jumble of ineffective efforts. There are numerous examples of businesses that have suffered as a result of a lack of a cohesive strategy. Once a dominant power in the retail industry. Sears spent ten bleak years vacillating between a hard-goods and a soft-goods focus, dabbling in and out of ill-advised industries, unable to differentiate itself in any of them, and failing to develop a convincing economic logic.
Similarly, the formerly untouchable Xerox is attempting to resurrect itself, despite internal criticism that the corporation lacks a strategy. “I hear about asset sales, about refinancing, but I don’t hear anyone saying convincingly, ‘Here is your future.”- A strategy is a collection of choices, but it isn’t a catch-all for every essential decision an executive must make.
The company’s mission and objectives, for example, stand distinct from and govern strategy, as seen in Figure 1. As a result, we wouldn’t mention the New York Times’ dedication to being America’s newspaper of record as part of its strategy. GE’s strategy is driven by its goal of being number one or two in all of its markets, but it is not strategy in and of itself. A strategy would not include a goal of achieving a specific sales or earnings target. Similarly, while strategy is concerned with how a company intends to interact with its surroundings, internal organizational arrangements are not included. As a result, remuneration policies, information systems, and training programs should not be considered strategies. These are key decisions that should reinforce and support the strategy, but they do not constitute the strategy.
When everything significant is tossed into the strategy bucket, this crucial concept soon loses its meaning. We don’t want to portray strategy creation as a straightforward, sequential procedure. Figure 1 omits feedback arrows and other indicators that outstanding strategists think in repeating loops. The aim is to achieve a durable, reinforced consistency among the pieces of the strategy itself, rather than following a sequential approach.
The Building Blocks of Strategy
If a company must have a plan, that strategy must have components. What exactly are those components? A strategy, as shown in Figure 2, consists of five aspects that provide answers to real-world questions:
• Are there any arenas where we’ll be active?
• Transportation: how will we get there?
• Differentiators: What will make us stand out in the marketplace?
• Staging: What will our movement speed and sequence be?
• Logic of economics: how will we get our money back?
The first question a company must answer on the Strategy Diamond is “where will we be active?” Organizations frequently make the mistake of being overly generic, such as when they state, “We want to be the number one consulting business.” However, rather than a strategy, this is a vision statement. To avoid falling into this trap, be as explicit as possible when describing arenas. You can do so by answering the questions below: Which product categories will we compete in?
• What channels are we going to use?
• Which market sectors are we going to focus on?
• Which geographical areas should we concentrate our efforts on?
• What essential technologies are we going to use?
• Which stages of value generation will we emphasize?
It is critical to underline the relevance of these domains when describing them. Assume your plan is to concentrate on a specific geography. You sell in other countries as well. However, you do so because it is logistically simple, and your fundamental goal is to concentrate on a single market.
Now that you know where you’ll be competing, you’ll need to figure out how you’ll get there. This is where we choose the vehicle that will take us from where we are to where we want to go. Here are some examples of responses:
• Create in-house
Once again, be as explicit as possible. Assume you’ve decided to branch out into a new product category. You should specify if you’ll purchase or construct this capacity in-house. Don’t make this decision on an ad-hoc basis. Instead, focus on developing a reasonable strategy. If you’ve only ever built in-house, then be honest, accept acquisition isn’t suitable for you.
What sets you apart from the competition? What are your products’ USPs (Unique Selling Propositions)? What is it about what you do that allows you to succeed in business?
Differentiation must be at the core of your plan. How can you win if you can’t find a method to set yourself apart? You can’t do it.
Differentiation can be done in a variety of ways, including:
• Reliability and Durability
• Time to market
• Time to upgrade products
• Customer service
It’s critical to identify your differentiators as soon as possible. This is due to the fact that differentiation does not arise by accident. If you want to provide the best customer service, you’ll have to invest time and money to do it. Similarly, if you want the best-designed goods, you’ll have to invest on that as well.
For a moment, let’s return to our general. A general does not move all forces on all fronts at the same time when fighting a war. Instead, some people go first, then others, and then still others. In business, staging is just as critical as it is in conflict. There are numerous examples of businesses that grew too quickly and before they were ready. The majority of these businesses are no longer in operation.
From one stage to the next, your plan must progress. You run the risk of getting ahead of yourself if you don’t. You run the risk of taking on more than you’re capable of. You’re in danger of going out of business.
During this step, ask yourself the following questions:
• What is the best sequence of steps to take?
• How quickly should we take these steps?
5. Economic Logic
The diamond’s last section brings everything together with one goal in mind: profit.
In a nutshell, this section is about deciding whether to compete on a low or high cost basis. Because you have economies of scale, you might be able to compete on price. Or because your replication costs are lower. Because you have a brilliant design or unique product features, you may be able to compete on price.
To demonstrate this, consider the following two examples of economic logic:
• Low-cost: Ryanair offers customers a cheaper cost per mile than any other European airline.
• Expensive: Apple may charge more because its customers are prepared to pay more for their distinctive design.
The five elements of the diamond must not only align, but also reinforce one another in order to have a solid plan. Let’s look at an example to help clarify this.
Chapter 1: Breakthrough Value
Breakthrough Value Is Unlocked Through Business Transformation
Every company comes to a point where it’s time to make a change. As a leader, you are the one who stands at the crossroads and must make a decision. Should you increase your size? Or take a step to the side? Is it possible to create new products or services? Or do you want to keep laser-focused on your best-selling book? The decisions required for effective Business Transformation (BT) can be plagued with painful self-doubt, even for superstar entrepreneurs.
The first stage is to choose a problem to tackle, but after that, you’ll need a solid approach that will allow you to go forward while being flexible. Will you make blunders? Yes. However, proper Transformation planning can assist your small business in getting back on track after a setback.
• Leverage the power and potential of digital technologies—in particular, AI/machine learning, IoT, and robotics—to drive business transformation and create value
• Apply advanced Design-Thinking techniques to create breakthrough innovations
• Conceive new user experiences in areas where there is no prior solution to leverage
• Overcome organizational obstacles
Chapter 2: Strategic Analysis
Process Improvement Through Analysis
Identifying and resolving inefficiencies that waste resources and increase expense is the goal of process improvement. Analyses are conducted to establish which processes and process stages create value and which do not, as well as to determine how much non-value-adding activities may be decreased or eliminated. Using a planned strategy can help you get better results.
Methodologies for Strategic Planning
When management commits to using formal techniques, defining explicit goals, and offering employee training, process improvement initiatives will be more likely to succeed. Lean and Six Sigma are two popular approaches. Lean aims to continuously improve processes in order to increase efficiency. Six Sigma is a statistical control methodology that focuses on getting processes to an ideal level of statistical control. Employees must be properly guided and instructed in order to use any methodology effectively. To assure success, consulting services might be used.
Mapping Value Streams
Value Stream Mapping (VSM) gives you a snapshot of how things are right now. Before improvement efforts can begin to establish future-state expectations, it is important to understand current-state conditions. VSM is used by businesses to define all of the business, engineering, and manufacturing processes that go into delivering a finished product (or service) to a consumer. The value stream of the company is made up of several processes. The efficiency of each process has a direct relationship with profit levels.
VSM helps firms focus on each individual process and activity in the value stream by creating Value-Add vs. Non-Value-Add Process Maps. Assessing inputs, outputs, and process linkages can assist improvement teams in determining which activities contribute value and which do not. In the eyes of the customer, value-adding means that the activity adds to the item’s value. Non-value-adding signifies that it adds no direct value to the item but does affect the price customers must pay.
It’s possible that some non-value-adding operations will be required. Others may just contribute to resource waste. Toyota, which is widely regarded as a leader in continuous improvement, first implemented Lean principles in the early 1960s as part of a quest for increased efficiency. Toyota’s “Lean” strategy focused on removing waste from processes. The seven forms of waste, also referred to as fat, have been discovered. Overproduction, delay, unnecessary conveyance, over-processing, excess inventory, superfluous motion, and rectification are all things that improvement teams should be on the watch for.
Some method of measurement must be defined to permit a valid assessment of processes under present and future state conditions. What kind of evidence can be used to show whether a process is efficient or has been improved? Quantifiable process measures must be established. Numbers are objective and can inform management about whether or not goals have been met. The number of customer complaints received, the quantity of defective products produced, and the amount of time spent fixing mistakes are all instances of quantitative measures.
Chapter 3: Change Framework
Many businesses have undergone significant change in recent years, and the value of organizational culture in organizational analysis and change management is becoming increasingly apparent. Change implementation, on the other hand, is a difficult process that is not always successful for a variety of reasons.
Poor communication and an underestimation of the amount of retraining required are at the root of most change failures. The major goal of this study is to determine the important actions that could help with change management. To build a theoretical foundation for the research, literature on organizational culture, the need for change, forms of change, and resistance to change was consulted.
Case studies and exploratory interviews on organizational change management were utilized to chronicle organizational change experiences and establish a strategic framework for change management. Acceptance and adoption of the designed method within a construction-based organization served as validation. The research has shown that well-planned change aids in the successful implementation of change. Not only is the development of more efficient and effective procedures important for successful change, but so is the alignment of corporate culture to support these new processes.
Chapter 4: Navigating Change
What Is Change Management And How Does It Work?
The actions a business takes to change or adjust a significant component of its organization are referred to as organizational change. this could encompass things like company culture, internal processes, underlying technology or infrastructure, corporate hierarchy, or something else.
Adaptive or transformational change can occur in an organization:
• Adaptive changes are tiny, incremental adjustments that a company makes over time to improve its products, processes, workflows, and strategies. Adaptive changes include hiring a new team member to meet rising demand or introducing a new work-from-home policy to attract more competent job applicants.
• Transformational changes are of a wider scale and scope, and they frequently imply a drastic and, at times, unexpected departure from the status quo. Transformational change might include the introduction of a new product or business division, as well as the decision to grow worldwide.
Transformation management is the process of directing organizational change from its inception and planning stages through implementation and resolution.
A set of starting conditions (point A) and a functional endpoint (point B) define change processes. The transition is a dynamic process that develops in stages. The major steps in the change management process are summarized here.
5 Steps In The Change Management Process
1. Get The Organization Ready For Change
An organization must be prepared both logistically and culturally in order to successfully pursue and implement change. Prior to going into logistics, cultural preparation is required.
During the planning phase, the manager focuses on assisting employees in recognizing and comprehending the need for change. They create awareness of the organization’s different challenges or problems, which operate as change agents and cause unhappiness with the status quo. Obtaining early buy-in from employees who will assist in the implementation of the change might help reduce friction and resistance later on.
2. Create A Vision And A Change Strategy
Managers must design a thorough and realistic plan for bringing about change once the organization is ready to embrace it. The strategy should include the following information:
• What strategic goals will this adjustment aid the organization in achieving?
• Key performance indicators: What will be used to assess success? What metrics must be shifted? What is the current state of affairs’ baseline?
• Project team and stakeholders: Who will be in charge of the task of change implementation? At each important point, who needs to sign off? Who will be in charge of the implementation?
• Project scope: What are the specific processes and actions that the project will entail? What isn’t included in the project’s scope?
Any unknowns or bottlenecks that may develop during the implementation process should be factored into the plan, which will necessitate agility and flexibility to overcome.
3. Changes Must Be Implemented
Following the procedures described in the plan to implement the desired change is all that remains after it has been created. The specifics of the program will determine whether or not modifications to the company’s structure, strategy, systems, procedures, employee habits, or other components are required.
Change managers must focus on empowering their workers to take the necessary measures to achieve the initiative’s goals during the implementation process. They should also try to anticipate bottlenecks and, once detected, prevent, remove, or reduce them. Throughout the implementation process, it is vital to communicate the organization’s vision to remind team members why change is being pursued.
4. Changes In Company Culture And Practices Should Be Embedded
Change managers must prevent a reversion to the previous state or status quo once the change endeavor is concluded. This is especially true when it comes to process, workflow, culture, and strategy changes within an organization. Employees may revert to the “old way” of doing things if they don’t have a strategy in place, especially during the transition time.
Backsliding is more difficult to achieve when reforms are embedded in the company’s culture and processes. Change management tools such as new organizational structures, controls, and reward systems should all be considered.
5. Analyze the Results and Evaluate the Progress
A change initiative’s completion does not imply that it was successful. A “project post mortem,” or analysis and assessment, can help company leaders determine whether a change initiative was a success, failure, or mixed result. It can also provide useful information and lessons that can be applied to future transformation attempts.
Ask yourself questions like, “Did the project’s objectives get met?” Is it possible to replicate this success elsewhere if it is? What went wrong if not?
Chapter 5: Transformation Strategies
If you’re in charge of a company, you’re undoubtedly considering drastic change. Your world is evolving due to new industrial platforms, geopolitical developments, global rivalry, and shifting consumer demand. You have upstart competitors encroaching on your firm with high valuations, as well as activist investors hunting for targets. Meanwhile, you have your own goals for your business: to be a profitable innovator, to exploit opportunities, to lead and dominate your market, to recruit highly motivated individuals, and to carve out a socially responsible role where your firm makes a difference. You should also get rid of any deadwood in your legacy system, such as procedures, structures, technologies, and cultural traditions that are holding your firm back.
A transformation program — a top-down restructure accompanied by cost-cutting across the board, a technical reboot, and some reengineering — is the traditional answer. Perhaps you’ve participated in a handful of these activities. If that’s the case, you’re well aware of how difficult it is for them to succeed. These initiatives are frequently late and over budget, leaving the company exhausted, demoralized, and little altered. They ignore the fundamentally new types of leverage accessible to firms in the recent decade: new networks, new data collection and analytical resources, and new means of codifying knowledge (see Miles Everson, John Sviokla, and Kelly Barnes’ “Leading a Bionic Transformation”).
Successful transformations are uncommon, but they do happen — and yours could be one of them. In this sense, a transformation is a significant change in an organization’s skills and identity that allows it to generate useful results that are relevant to its mission that it previously couldn’t achieve. It may or may not require a single large project, but the organization develops a continuing mastery of change in which executives and people feel comfortable adapting.
Changing economic times, as well as the increase of political and consumer turmoil, can put a company’s future in jeopardy. Consumers may start tightening their purse strings or switching to competitors’ products. In these cases, a company may choose to pursue a transformative strategy in order to position itself for long-term profitability.
Transformational strategy is implementing major and drastic changes within a company to alter its short- and long-term viability. A change in course of action is usually necessitated by an external event, such as a downturn in the economy or the rise of a competitor, which forces the company’s owner and managers to reconsider their policies and processes. As a result, transformational strategy aims to increase revenue and market share, improve customer satisfaction and retention, and lower expenses in order to reinvest in other areas of the organization.
Enacting radical change inside a company necessitates the use of purposeful tools by the business owner and managers to ensure that the tactics they implement are useful and effective. Examining employee and management performance, evaluating financial data, redesigning technology and service programs, and refining project management plans are just a few of the tools available. A combination of tools and strategies is frequently used to help transform a business. A company losing market share to a competitor, for example, might change its customer service strategy, lower its price, and increase its marketing efforts.
Engagement of Stakeholders
Transformational strategy necessitates the involvement of the organization’s core personnel. The transformation process should include employees, board members, managers, and essential third parties such as vendors and core customers. Opening lines of communication between business owners and stakeholders can highlight flaws in the firm’s policies and procedures, as well as provide vital information into what needs to change within the company. Involving stakeholders in transformational strategy also helps to broaden and deepen the business’s resources and tools. The old adage “two heads are better than one” applies here: having additional individuals on board to strategize and implement solutions aids in the timely and effective transformation of the organization.
Setting goals and objectives is a crucial aspect of a transformational approach. Setting business transformation goals provides owners and management with a defined plan of action. Recognizing the need for change is the first stage, followed by agreement with stakeholders on the steps necessary to accomplish the change. This is frequently based on a vision for how the company should ideally look — should it broaden its market reach, strictly focus on a few items, or expand its public relations efforts into social media? Questions like this aid in the testing and implementation of improvements. Leadership must, above all, support the transformational strategy. Managers and business owners must regularly re-evaluate change plans to verify that they are on track to achieve the stated objectives.
Chapter 6: Transition Plan
A company’s ability to grow depends on its ability to welcome change. Change management, on the other hand, is one of the most difficult business ideas to grasp.
It is undervalued by businesses; changing employee attitudes and behaviors takes time. Others are unsure how to put a change management strategy into action.
Others are having trouble completely comprehending the business implications of changes; the company is dealing with something new, which is challenging.
With a few ideas and pointers, you’ll be prepared to take on change management in your firm.
All efforts and interim needs for implementing the new organization design are documented in the Organization Transition Plan. It serves as a central location for gathering, scheduling, and organizing all tasks related to the transition from the old to the new organization. The breadth and complexity of the change program will decide the overall approach – ‘big bang’ versus ‘phased’, for example. Communication, establishing and publishing new employment positions, and generating staff discussion guides that illustrate how responsibilities are evolving are all examples of typical tasks.
Chapter 7: MBT framework
Let’s face it: when it comes to winning consulting business in the digital transformation arena, the big consulting firms have it easy. Their logo is visible on most doors and halfway up the procurement staircase. Few people doubt their credentials. However, a closer examination of most of their ‘digital transformation frameworks’ reveals that they are virtually identical to the traditional management consulting tools that they have used for the past 30 years. Old, subjective, analog, and unfit for the digital era.
Before company leaders will take Chief Digital Officers or smaller consulting firms seriously, they must demonstrate far more insight. They must generate new ideas that are relevant to the customer’s business.
But, before you start consulting, how do you generate new ideas?
The answer: data + frameworks.
When leveraging transformation pitching frameworks and platforms, it’s simple to come up with new ideas.
The digital footprint of a company can reveal a lot about it. Those who impact their sector produce a very distinct data footprint than those who participate passively over time as a business exposes its value proposition.
Measuring a company’s digital footprint is not the same as looking at its digital marketing. A company’s digital marketing may be excellent, yet its digital footprint may be lacking.
Innovators from all industries and government agencies have comparable data success characteristics over time. Those who are simply ‘doing digital’ fall behind the innovators. These qualities can be calculated by comparing them to industry peers and a market position. The ‘As-Is’ state is provided by this type of data.
This comparison of how a company or business unit performs versus competitors both within and outside their industry generates interesting insights and discussions.
Using modern transformation consulting platforms and frameworks can be a super-fast way to demonstrate strategic transformation competency and maturity. Even for customers you don’t know much about, you’re delivering insights from the start.
Chapter 8: Best practices
Framework for Formulating Organizational Transformation based on Best Practices and Lessons Learned:
Burke Litwin’s Organizational Performance and Change Model: Several variables affect the acceptability of change throughout an organization at the same time during an enterprise modernisation endeavor. The Burke-Litwin model (B-L) is a framework for determining the extent and complexity of various variables in a company. B-L provides a link between an assessment of the larger institutional context and the nature and process of change within an organization as a model of organizational change and performance. During organizational change, the B-L model identifies the following key factors to consider:
• Changes in the external environment drive “transformational” aspects within a company, such as mission and strategy, organizational culture, and leadership.
• Changes in the environment affect “transformational” factors within an organization, such as structure, systems, management practices, and organizational climate.
• Changes in transformational and transactional factors affect motivation, which affects individual and organizational performance.
Changes in transformational and transactional elements must be integrated and consistent for an enterprise modernization initiative to be effective and sustainable. The factors emphasized in the model, as well as the relationships between them, appear to be a good tool for communicating not only how organizations operate, but also how to effectively execute change, based on experience and practice. The SEG article “Performing Organizational Assessments” has more information on the Burke-Litwin model.
Organizational Transformation Strategy Parts: There are five important elements that make up an overall framework for change in an organization. In the transformation approach, each of these aspects is referred to as a ‘work stream,’ which is discussed in more detail later in this document. Leadership, communications, and stakeholder engagement, enterprise organizational alignment, education and training, and site-level workforce transfer are among the five pillars. The fifth work stream, site-level workforce transition, takes the preceding four aspects and applies them at the site or geographic region level to prepare and manage users in the field during the implementation process.
Chapter 9: Communication
Any business transformation project should be built on clear and constant communication from the start, between the project team, management at all levels, and the entire organization.
Effective communication keeps everyone informed and helps employees understand their individual tasks and the resources available to assist them achieve their objectives.
Furthermore, continual communication fosters a collaborative attitude, encourages employees to speak up, and ensures that everyone has the knowledge they need to handle any grievances, bottlenecks, or other difficulties that may arise.
As a result, clear communication is essential during the company transformation process. Furthermore, statistics show that successful transformation is more than three times more likely in firms that implement this technique.
Choose the communication channels you’re going to use with caution.
If you work for a large company, you’re presumably using a variety of internal communication channels. You name it: Slack, Microsoft Teams, email, intranets, document sharing, and project management software.
Within a company, there are many different ways to communicate. Because of the complexity of this communication ecosystem, ensuring that all workers receive the information they require to successfully implement new business transformation efforts is difficult.
Chapter 10: Employee-Centred
The 33-year average tenure of businesses on the S&P 500 in 1964 dropped to 24 years by 2016 and is predicted to decrease to just 12 years by 2027, according to a 2018 study on company longevity. What’s the bottom line? Over the next ten years, over half of the S&P 500 corporations will be replaced. How can you stay competitive in the face of so much disruption and change? You and your firm must learn to change quickly. In today’s digital world, how one changes effectively is determined by a number of elements, including the type of change required, your business model, and, most significantly, your workers. According to research, the success or failure of your company’s change efforts is determined by your employees’ experience with the change.
Employees should be at the forefront of your company’s digital transformation efforts. A patient-centered approach to care became a popular term in the healthcare business around a decade ago. The practice revolves around the patient and caters to their specific needs. It’s past time for companies to take a more holistic, employee-centric approach to their business models, particularly transformation models. Imagine your objectives as a wheel with spokes, with your employees in the hub and each spoke representing a different component of the change that will help you achieve your objectives.
• Worker Ecosystem
• Human Element
• Workforce Optimization
• Digital Dexterity
• Innovation and Growth
The Worker Ecosystem is evolving to include bots and artificial intelligence. Your ability to adapt will be determined by how you integrate this technology into your worker ecosystem. Analyzing your tasks properly will identify methods to use technology to assist you in your transformation. This is similar to providing patient portals in healthcare to encourage direct communication between the patient and the doctor without making an appointment. Even as AI becomes more common, the Human Element must never be forgotten. Humans give critical thinking, complexity, and empathy that technology cannot match. People must now be trained to evaluate, question, and explain the machine’s conclusions.
Chapter 11: Resistance
Change resistance is natural and to be expected. Employees are afraid of losing their employment, their relationships, and their activities. They don’t always believe that the change is worthwhile or that their boss knows what he or she is doing.
It’s critical to address change resistance. Managers can work against an employee’s instinct to reject change by cultivating a change-accepting atmosphere by developing trust and articulating the change clearly.
Dealing with Change Resistance: Strategies
You’ll need to execute particular measures to address employees’ concerns once you’ve identified probable causes of change resistance.
Companies must employ many techniques when it comes to adapting to contemporary technologies or overcoming opposition to change. The correct mix of Change Management Models and Tools is required for successful organizational change.
Four of the most common reasons for resistance are detailed below:
1. Fear and intolerance
Because they fear change, many employees oppose it. They are concerned that they will not have enough time to learn the new abilities and behaviors demanded of them, which makes them feel insecure.
They are also afraid of appearing inadequate in front of their coworkers due to a lack of time to adjust. Some relationships and activities may be lost as a result of the changes, while others may be established.
If a person’s tolerance for change is low, they may actively fight change for reasons they don’t understand, which are frequently rooted in fear of failure.
Some people may believe that if they change, they will lose power, whether it is substantial decision-making authority or the ability to influence their team. Others may interpret one change as a hint that more changes are on the way, which they may regard as a threat.
If someone perceives that a change will jeopardize their career, they are more inclined to fight it. Any endeavor that they view as posing a threat to their current circumstances will be met with resistance.
3. Lack of trust
Staff are more likely to oppose change if there is already a lack of trust between the management and his or her employees. While establishing a high level of trust between employees and supervisors is tough, managers must attempt to improve these relationships.
Misunderstandings arise as a result of a lack of trust, and employees are less likely to “buy in” to necessary adjustments. Managers must rapidly dispel any misconceptions in order to prevent opposition from spreading throughout a company.
4. Ineffective communication
The manner in which the change is communicated to staff is critical. Other affected employees will certainly reject if a change isn’t shared in its totality, or if it’s just communicated to a small group of people. Employees’ reactions are determined by how the change is communicated.
Resistance should be expected if a manager cannot define the process of changing exactly what needs to be changed, how the changes will be done, and how the change will better things.
Chapter 12: Leadership & Stakeholders
7 strategies for gaining leadership support for process improvement
Leaders are the catalysts for change. It could spell the difference between success and failure for your company if your leadership team leads the drive on process improvement.
Executives who are on board can help foster a positive process management culture by exhibiting their belief in the organization’s benefits and making it clear that they expect teams across the organization to do the same.
They also have the authority to make strategic and resourcing decisions on process improvement training and implementation.
1. Assisting leaders in improving procedures
Executive teams will have a lot of initiatives vying for their time, attention, and resources. Be specific about why your initiatives merit executive attention and support while making your case for process improvement.
There are five strategies to enlist the support of your executive team in your process improvement efforts:
2. Get a sense of what’s happened previously.
Begin by going over the reasons why the company decided to go on a process improvement journey in the first place. Make a list of concerns they’d like to solve, and then explain how process improvement may help. If any of the original organizers are still around, ask them what they planned to accomplish.
Look at the current strategic priorities that business teams are focusing on if the initial team that kicked off the process improvement journey is no longer with the organization. You might take use of this chance to demonstrate how a more effective process improvement approach can aid in aligning teams with the strategy and supporting initiatives, as well as how exec support can help to successfully embed change.
Consider what the organization wants to accomplish and how you may contribute to these goals. How can you achieve your goal, for example, if teams are unclear about what is required of them on a daily basis? Maybe your processes differ depending on where your offices are located, and there’s a lot of uncertainty about who does what – how can everyone use a single source of truth to improve cohesion and effectiveness?
3. Find out what’s important to them.
Knowing what business topics your executives are passionate about will help you make better decisions. Target the issues that they are passionate about, rather than the subjects that other executives on the leadership team are passionate about.
Have a sense of what your organization’s priorities are and what they consider to be vital before approaching a specific sponsor. Your HR director may be preoccupied with managing a legislation for teams dispersed across locations and regions. Your head of operations may be most concerned with risk management, but your director of customer success may see a platform that standardizes service levels and results in satisfied customers.
4. Draw attention to potential roadblocks.
People are generally more driven by a desire to avoid pain than by a desire to win. Raising awareness of potential stumbling blocks that your executive teams should avoid is a surefire method to capture their attention.
You’ll have a better chance of persuading your bosses to join you if you can spot problems and propose a solution. Take your discoveries to the next level. Exaggerate the issue, quantify it, and explain why it could be harmful to the company. Then demonstrate how process management, in conjunction with an improvement culture, may assist.
Another option is to focus your investigations and begin with a certain team or job rather than the entire company. For example, you may begin by approaching the CEO or the HR director.
5. Create a comprehensive image.
Gather facts to explain the impact and cost of poor process management rather than merely asking your senior executives for buy-in. Find ways to communicate the complete story about what process improvement can do for your business teams on a daily basis, and back up your assertions with data.
When discussing the software that supports your organization’s continuous improvement activities, avoid being ambiguous. Make the benefits of your platform tangible by emphasizing them. Use comments like: ‘By making processes accessible, encouraging process evaluations, and providing an easy feedback mechanism, our intuitive BPM software engages entire teams in continuous development.’
Request case studies from your software provider that show how their clients have benefited from using business process management software. Personal testimonials, client recommendations, and statistics to demonstrate efficiency benefits could be used as examples.
6. Sell the possibility of leaving a legacy.
Many leaders are enthusiastic about their work and want to leave a lasting impression on their company.
Implementing a process improvement culture can have a significant impact on business teams and an organization’s success. With the help of engaged teams that are executing processes that are aligned with the business goal, executives are well-positioned to leave a legacy.
7. Begin the discussion.
Speak in a way that your executive team understands. You can start a conversation that piques their interest and keeps their attention by knowing their pain spots and hobbies. Share stories with the proper people about how inadequate processes are impeding the organization and its teams.
Getting commitment from your leadership team to support meaningful process improvement isn’t about navigating a corporate structure – it’s about people, regardless of whether your organization’s vocabulary includes terms like business process management, workflow, process improvement, or continuous improvement.
Strategic Transformation – Workshop 1 – Framework Introduction
- Breakthrough Value
- Strategic Analysis
- Change Framework
- Navigating Change
- Transformation Strategies
- Transitional Plan
- MBT Framework
- Best Practices
- Leadership & Stakeholders
Welcome to Appleton Greene and thank you for enrolling on the Strategic Transformation corporate training program. You will be learning through our unique facilitation via distance-learning method, which will enable you to practically implement everything that you learn academically. The methods and materials used in your program have been designed and developed to ensure that you derive the maximum benefits and enjoyment possible. We hope that you find the program challenging and fun to do. However, if you have never been a distance-learner before, you may be experiencing some trepidation at the task before you. So we will get you started by giving you some basic information and guidance on how you can make the best use of the modules, how you should manage the materials and what you should be doing as you work through them. This guide is designed to point you in the right direction and help you to become an effective distance-learner. Take a few hours or so to study this guide and your guide to tutorial support for students, while making notes, before you start to study in earnest.
You will need to locate a quiet and private place to study, preferably a room where you can easily be isolated from external disturbances or distractions. Make sure the room is well-lit and incorporates a relaxed, pleasant feel. If you can spoil yourself within your study environment, you will have much more of a chance to ensure that you are always in the right frame of mind when you do devote time to study. For example, a nice fire, the ability to play soft soothing background music, soft but effective lighting, perhaps a nice view if possible and a good size desk with a comfortable chair. Make sure that your family know when you are studying and understand your study rules. Your study environment is very important. The ideal situation, if at all possible, is to have a separate study, which can be devoted to you. If this is not possible then you will need to pay a lot more attention to developing and managing your study schedule, because it will affect other people as well as yourself. The better your study environment, the more productive you will be.
Study tools & rules
Try and make sure that your study tools are sufficient and in good working order. You will need to have access to a computer, scanner and printer, with access to the internet. You will need a very comfortable chair, which supports your lower back, and you will need a good filing system. It can be very frustrating if you are spending valuable study time trying to fix study tools that are unreliable, or unsuitable for the task. Make sure that your study tools are up to date. You will also need to consider some study rules. Some of these rules will apply to you and will be intended to help you to be more disciplined about when and how you study. This distance-learning guide will help you and after you have read it you can put some thought into what your study rules should be. You will also need to negotiate some study rules for your family, friends or anyone who lives with you. They too will need to be disciplined in order to ensure that they can support you while you study. It is important to ensure that your family and friends are an integral part of your study team. Having their support and encouragement can prove to be a crucial contribution to your successful completion of the program. Involve them in as much as you can.
Distance-learners are freed from the necessity of attending regular classes or workshops, since they can study in their own way, at their own pace and for their own purposes. But unlike traditional internal training courses, it is the student’s responsibility, with a distance-learning program, to ensure that they manage their own study contribution. This requires strong self-discipline and self-motivation skills and there must be a clear will to succeed. Those students who are used to managing themselves, are good at managing others and who enjoy working in isolation, are more likely to be good distance-learners. It is also important to be aware of the main reasons why you are studying and of the main objectives that you are hoping to achieve as a result. You will need to remind yourself of these objectives at times when you need to motivate yourself. Never lose sight of your long-term goals and your short-term objectives. There is nobody available here to pamper you, or to look after you, or to spoon-feed you with information, so you will need to find ways to encourage and appreciate yourself while you are studying. Make sure that you chart your study progress, so that you can be sure of your achievements and re-evaluate your goals and objectives regularly.
Appleton Greene training programs are in all cases post-graduate programs. Consequently, you should already have obtained a business-related degree and be an experienced learner. You should therefore already be aware of your study strengths and weaknesses. For example, which time of the day are you at your most productive? Are you a lark or an owl? What study methods do you respond to the most? Are you a consistent learner? How do you discipline yourself? How do you ensure that you enjoy yourself while studying? It is important to understand yourself as a learner and so some self-assessment early on will be necessary if you are to apply yourself correctly. Perform a SWOT analysis on yourself as a student. List your internal strengths and weaknesses as a student and your external opportunities and threats. This will help you later on when you are creating a study plan. You can then incorporate features within your study plan that can ensure that you are playing to your strengths, while compensating for your weaknesses. You can also ensure that you make the most of your opportunities, while avoiding the potential threats to your success.
Accepting responsibility as a student
Training programs invariably require a significant investment, both in terms of what they cost and in the time that you need to contribute to study and the responsibility for successful completion of training programs rests entirely with the student. This is never more apparent than when a student is learning via distance-learning. Accepting responsibility as a student is an important step towards ensuring that you can successfully complete your training program. It is easy to instantly blame other people or factors when things go wrong. But the fact of the matter is that if a failure is your failure, then you have the power to do something about it, it is entirely in your own hands. If it is always someone else’s failure, then you are powerless to do anything about it. All students study in entirely different ways, this is because we are all individuals and what is right for one student, is not necessarily right for another. In order to succeed, you will have to accept personal responsibility for finding a way to plan, implement and manage a personal study plan that works for you. If you do not succeed, you only have yourself to blame.
By far the most critical contribution to stress, is the feeling of not being in control. In the absence of planning we tend to be reactive and can stumble from pillar to post in the hope that things will turn out fine in the end. Invariably they don’t! In order to be in control, we need to have firm ideas about how and when we want to do things. We also need to consider as many possible eventualities as we can, so that we are prepared for them when they happen. Prescriptive Change, is far easier to manage and control, than Emergent Change. The same is true with distance-learning. It is much easier and much more enjoyable, if you feel that you are in control and that things are going to plan. Even when things do go wrong, you are prepared for them and can act accordingly without any unnecessary stress. It is important therefore that you do take time to plan your studies properly.
Once you have developed a clear study plan, it is of equal importance to ensure that you manage the implementation of it. Most of us usually enjoy planning, but it is usually during implementation when things go wrong. Targets are not met and we do not understand why. Sometimes we do not even know if targets are being met. It is not enough for us to conclude that the study plan just failed. If it is failing, you will need to understand what you can do about it. Similarly if your study plan is succeeding, it is still important to understand why, so that you can improve upon your success. You therefore need to have guidelines for self-assessment so that you can be consistent with performance improvement throughout the program. If you manage things correctly, then your performance should constantly improve throughout the program.
Study objectives & tasks
The first place to start is developing your program objectives. These should feature your reasons for undertaking the training program in order of priority. Keep them succinct and to the point in order to avoid confusion. Do not just write the first things that come into your head because they are likely to be too similar to each other. Make a list of possible departmental headings, such as: Customer Service; E-business; Finance; Globalization; Human Resources; Technology; Legal; Management; Marketing and Production. Then brainstorm for ideas by listing as many things that you want to achieve under each heading and later re-arrange these things in order of priority. Finally, select the top item from each department heading and choose these as your program objectives. Try and restrict yourself to five because it will enable you to focus clearly. It is likely that the other things that you listed will be achieved if each of the top objectives are achieved. If this does not prove to be the case, then simply work through the process again.
As a guide, the Appleton Greene Strategic Transformation corporate training program should take 12-18 months to complete, depending upon your availability and current commitments. The reason why there is such a variance in time estimates is because every student is an individual, with differing productivity levels and different commitments. These differentiations are then exaggerated by the fact that this is a distance-learning program, which incorporates the practical integration of academic theory as an as a part of the training program. Consequently all of the project studies are real, which means that important decisions and compromises need to be made. You will want to get things right and will need to be patient with your expectations in order to ensure that they are. We would always recommend that you are prudent with your own task and time forecasts, but you still need to develop them and have a clear indication of what are realistic expectations in your case. With reference to your time planning: consider the time that you can realistically dedicate towards study with the program every week; calculate how long it should take you to complete the program, using the guidelines featured here; then break the program down into logical modules and allocate a suitable proportion of time to each of them, these will be your milestones; you can create a time plan by using a spreadsheet on your computer, or a personal organizer such as MS Outlook, you could also use a financial forecasting software; break your time forecasts down into manageable chunks of time, the more specific you can be, the more productive and accurate your time management will be; finally, use formulas where possible to do your time calculations for you, because this will help later on when your forecasts need to change in line with actual performance. With reference to your task planning: refer to your list of tasks that need to be undertaken in order to achieve your program objectives; with reference to your time plan, calculate when each task should be implemented; remember that you are not estimating when your objectives will be achieved, but when you will need to focus upon implementing the corresponding tasks; you also need to ensure that each task is implemented in conjunction with the associated training modules which are relevant; then break each single task down into a list of specific to do’s, say approximately ten to do’s for each task and enter these into your study plan; once again you could use MS Outlook to incorporate both your time and task planning and this could constitute your study plan; you could also use a project management software like MS Project. You should now have a clear and realistic forecast detailing when you can expect to be able to do something about undertaking the tasks to achieve your program objectives.
It is one thing to develop your study forecast, it is quite another to monitor your progress. Ultimately it is less important whether you achieve your original study forecast and more important that you update it so that it constantly remains realistic in line with your performance. As you begin to work through the program, you will begin to have more of an idea about your own personal performance and productivity levels as a distance-learner. Once you have completed your first study module, you should re-evaluate your study forecast for both time and tasks, so that they reflect your actual performance level achieved. In order to achieve this you must first time yourself while training by using an alarm clock. Set the alarm for hourly intervals and make a note of how far you have come within that time. You can then make a note of your actual performance on your study plan and then compare your performance against your forecast. Then consider the reasons that have contributed towards your performance level, whether they are positive or negative and make a considered adjustment to your future forecasts as a result. Given time, you should start achieving your forecasts regularly.
With reference to time management: time yourself while you are studying and make a note of the actual time taken in your study plan; consider your successes with time-efficiency and the reasons for the success in each case and take this into consideration when reviewing future time planning; consider your failures with time-efficiency and the reasons for the failures in each case and take this into consideration when reviewing future time planning; re-evaluate your study forecast in relation to time planning for the remainder of your training program to ensure that you continue to be realistic about your time expectations. You need to be consistent with your time management, otherwise you will never complete your studies. This will either be because you are not contributing enough time to your studies, or you will become less efficient with the time that you do allocate to your studies. Remember, if you are not in control of your studies, they can just become yet another cause of stress for you.
With reference to your task management: time yourself while you are studying and make a note of the actual tasks that you have undertaken in your study plan; consider your successes with task-efficiency and the reasons for the success in each case; take this into consideration when reviewing future task planning; consider your failures with task-efficiency and the reasons for the failures in each case and take this into consideration when reviewing future task planning; re-evaluate your study forecast in relation to task planning for the remainder of your training program to ensure that you continue to be realistic about your task expectations. You need to be consistent with your task management, otherwise you will never know whether you are achieving your program objectives or not.
Keeping in touch
You will have access to qualified and experienced professors and tutors who are responsible for providing tutorial support for your particular training program. So don’t be shy about letting them know how you are getting on. We keep electronic records of all tutorial support emails so that professors and tutors can review previous correspondence before considering an individual response. It also means that there is a record of all communications between you and your professors and tutors and this helps to avoid any unnecessary duplication, misunderstanding, or misinterpretation. If you have a problem relating to the program, share it with them via email. It is likely that they have come across the same problem before and are usually able to make helpful suggestions and steer you in the right direction. To learn more about when and how to use tutorial support, please refer to the Tutorial Support section of this student information guide. This will help you to ensure that you are making the most of tutorial support that is available to you and will ultimately contribute towards your success and enjoyment with your training program.
Work colleagues and family
You should certainly discuss your program study progress with your colleagues, friends and your family. Appleton Greene training programs are very practical. They require you to seek information from other people, to plan, develop and implement processes with other people and to achieve feedback from other people in relation to viability and productivity. You will therefore have plenty of opportunities to test your ideas and enlist the views of others. People tend to be sympathetic towards distance-learners, so don’t bottle it all up in yourself. Get out there and share it! It is also likely that your family and colleagues are going to benefit from your labors with the program, so they are likely to be much more interested in being involved than you might think. Be bold about delegating work to those who might benefit themselves. This is a great way to achieve understanding and commitment from people who you may later rely upon for process implementation. Share your experiences with your friends and family.
Making it relevant
The key to successful learning is to make it relevant to your own individual circumstances. At all times you should be trying to make bridges between the content of the program and your own situation. Whether you achieve this through quiet reflection or through interactive discussion with your colleagues, client partners or your family, remember that it is the most important and rewarding aspect of translating your studies into real self-improvement. You should be clear about how you want the program to benefit you. This involves setting clear study objectives in relation to the content of the course in terms of understanding, concepts, completing research or reviewing activities and relating the content of the modules to your own situation. Your objectives may understandably change as you work through the program, in which case you should enter the revised objectives on your study plan so that you have a permanent reminder of what you are trying to achieve, when and why.
Prepare your study environment, your study tools and rules.
Undertake detailed self-assessment in terms of your ability as a learner.
Create a format for your study plan.
Consider your study objectives and tasks.
Create a study forecast.
Assess your study performance.
Re-evaluate your study forecast.
Be consistent when managing your study plan.
Use your Appleton Greene Certified Learning Provider (CLP) for tutorial support.
Make sure you keep in touch with those around you.
Appleton Greene uses standard and bespoke corporate training programs as vessels to transfer business process improvement knowledge into the heart of our clients’ organizations. Each individual program focuses upon the implementation of a specific business process, which enables clients to easily quantify their return on investment. There are hundreds of established Appleton Greene corporate training products now available to clients within customer services, e-business, finance, globalization, human resources, information technology, legal, management, marketing and production. It does not matter whether a client’s employees are located within one office, or an unlimited number of international offices, we can still bring them together to learn and implement specific business processes collectively. Our approach to global localization enables us to provide clients with a truly international service with that all important personal touch. Appleton Greene corporate training programs can be provided virtually or locally and they are all unique in that they individually focus upon a specific business function. They are implemented over a sustainable period of time and professional support is consistently provided by qualified learning providers and specialist consultants.
You will have a designated Certified Learning Provider (CLP) and an Accredited Consultant and we encourage you to communicate with them as much as possible. In all cases tutorial support is provided online because we can then keep a record of all communications to ensure that tutorial support remains consistent. You would also be forwarding your work to the tutorial support unit for evaluation and assessment. You will receive individual feedback on all of the work that you undertake on a one-to-one basis, together with specific recommendations for anything that may need to be changed in order to achieve a pass with merit or a pass with distinction and you then have as many opportunities as you may need to re-submit project studies until they meet with the required standard. Consequently the only reason that you should really fail (CLP) is if you do not do the work. It makes no difference to us whether a student takes 12 months or 18 months to complete the program, what matters is that in all cases the same quality standard will have been achieved.
Please forward all of your future emails to the designated (CLP) Tutorial Support Unit email address that has been provided and please do not duplicate or copy your emails to other AGC email accounts as this will just cause unnecessary administration. Please note that emails are always answered as quickly as possible but you will need to allow a period of up to 20 business days for responses to general tutorial support emails during busy periods, because emails are answered strictly within the order in which they are received. You will also need to allow a period of up to 30 business days for the evaluation and assessment of project studies. This does not include weekends or public holidays. Please therefore kindly allow for this within your time planning. All communications are managed online via email because it enables tutorial service support managers to review other communications which have been received before responding and it ensures that there is a copy of all communications retained on file for future reference. All communications will be stored within your personal (CLP) study file here at Appleton Greene throughout your designated study period. If you need any assistance or clarification at any time, please do not hesitate to contact us by forwarding an email and remember that we are here to help. If you have any questions, please list and number your questions succinctly and you can then be sure of receiving specific answers to each and every query.
It takes approximately 1 Year to complete the Strategic Transformation corporate training program, incorporating 12 x 6-hour monthly workshops. Each student will also need to contribute approximately 4 hours per week over 1 Year of their personal time. Students can study from home or work at their own pace and are responsible for managing their own study plan. There are no formal examinations and students are evaluated and assessed based upon their project study submissions, together with the quality of their internal analysis and supporting documents. They can contribute more time towards study when they have the time to do so and can contribute less time when they are busy. All students tend to be in full time employment while studying and the Strategic Transformation program is purposely designed to accommodate this, so there is plenty of flexibility in terms of time management. It makes no difference to us at Appleton Greene, whether individuals take 12-18 months to complete this program. What matters is that in all cases the same standard of quality will have been achieved with the standard and bespoke programs that have been developed.
Distance Learning Guide
The distance learning guide should be your first port of call when starting your training program. It will help you when you are planning how and when to study, how to create the right environment and how to establish the right frame of mind. If you can lay the foundations properly during the planning stage, then it will contribute to your enjoyment and productivity while training later. The guide helps to change your lifestyle in order to accommodate time for study and to cultivate good study habits. It helps you to chart your progress so that you can measure your performance and achieve your goals. It explains the tools that you will need for study and how to make them work. It also explains how to translate academic theory into practical reality. Spend some time now working through your distance learning guide and make sure that you have firm foundations in place so that you can make the most of your distance learning program. There is no requirement for you to attend training workshops or classes at Appleton Greene offices. The entire program is undertaken online, program course manuals and project studies are administered via the Appleton Greene web site and via email, so you are able to study at your own pace and in the comfort of your own home or office as long as you have a computer and access to the internet.
How To Study
The how to study guide provides students with a clear understanding of the Appleton Greene facilitation via distance learning training methods and enables students to obtain a clear overview of the training program content. It enables students to understand the step-by-step training methods used by Appleton Greene and how course manuals are integrated with project studies. It explains the research and development that is required and the need to provide evidence and references to support your statements. It also enables students to understand precisely what will be required of them in order to achieve a pass with merit and a pass with distinction for individual project studies and provides useful guidance on how to be innovative and creative when developing your Unique Program Proposition (UPP).
Tutorial support for the Appleton Greene Strategic Transformation corporate training program is provided online either through the Appleton Greene Client Support Portal (CSP), or via email. All tutorial support requests are facilitated by a designated Program Administration Manager (PAM). They are responsible for deciding which professor or tutor is the most appropriate option relating to the support required and then the tutorial support request is forwarded onto them. Once the professor or tutor has completed the tutorial support request and answered any questions that have been asked, this communication is then returned to the student via email by the designated Program Administration Manager (PAM). This enables all tutorial support, between students, professors and tutors, to be facilitated by the designated Program Administration Manager (PAM) efficiently and securely through the email account. You will therefore need to allow a period of up to 20 business days for responses to general support queries and up to 30 business days for the evaluation and assessment of project studies, because all tutorial support requests are answered strictly within the order in which they are received. This does not include weekends or public holidays. Consequently you need to put some thought into the management of your tutorial support procedure in order to ensure that your study plan is feasible and to obtain the maximum possible benefit from tutorial support during your period of study. Please retain copies of your tutorial support emails for future reference. Please ensure that ALL of your tutorial support emails are set out using the format as suggested within your guide to tutorial support. Your tutorial support emails need to be referenced clearly to the specific part of the course manual or project study which you are working on at any given time. You also need to list and number any questions that you would like to ask, up to a maximum of five questions within each tutorial support email. Remember the more specific you can be with your questions the more specific your answers will be too and this will help you to avoid any unnecessary misunderstanding, misinterpretation, or duplication. The guide to tutorial support is intended to help you to understand how and when to use support in order to ensure that you get the most out of your training program. Appleton Greene training programs are designed to enable you to do things for yourself. They provide you with a structure or a framework and we use tutorial support to facilitate students while they practically implement what they learn. In other words, we are enabling students to do things for themselves. The benefits of distance learning via facilitation are considerable and are much more sustainable in the long-term than traditional short-term knowledge sharing programs. Consequently you should learn how and when to use tutorial support so that you can maximize the benefits from your learning experience with Appleton Greene. This guide describes the purpose of each training function and how to use them and how to use tutorial support in relation to each aspect of the training program. It also provides useful tips and guidance with regard to best practice.
Tutorial Support Tips
Students are often unsure about how and when to use tutorial support with Appleton Greene. This Tip List will help you to understand more about how to achieve the most from using tutorial support. Refer to it regularly to ensure that you are continuing to use the service properly. Tutorial support is critical to the success of your training experience, but it is important to understand when and how to use it in order to maximize the benefit that you receive. It is no coincidence that those students who succeed are those that learn how to be positive, proactive and productive when using tutorial support.
Be positive and friendly with your tutorial support emails
Remember that if you forward an email to the tutorial support unit, you are dealing with real people. “Do unto others as you would expect others to do unto you”. If you are positive, complimentary and generally friendly in your emails, you will generate a similar response in return. This will be more enjoyable, productive and rewarding for you in the long-term.
Think about the impression that you want to create
Every time that you communicate, you create an impression, which can be either positive or negative, so put some thought into the impression that you want to create. Remember that copies of all tutorial support emails are stored electronically and tutors will always refer to prior correspondence before responding to any current emails. Over a period of time, a general opinion will be arrived at in relation to your character, attitude and ability. Try to manage your own frustrations, mood swings and temperament professionally, without involving the tutorial support team. Demonstrating frustration or a lack of patience is a weakness and will be interpreted as such. The good thing about communicating in writing, is that you will have the time to consider your content carefully, you can review it and proof-read it before sending your email to Appleton Greene and this should help you to communicate more professionally, consistently and to avoid any unnecessary knee-jerk reactions to individual situations as and when they may arise. Please also remember that the CLP Tutorial Support Unit will not just be responsible for evaluating and assessing the quality of your work, they will also be responsible for providing recommendations to other learning providers and to client contacts within the Appleton Greene global client network, so do be in control of your own emotions and try to create a good impression.
Remember that quality is preferred to quantity
Please remember that when you send an email to the tutorial support team, you are not using Twitter or Text Messaging. Try not to forward an email every time that you have a thought. This will not prove to be productive either for you or for the tutorial support team. Take time to prepare your communications properly, as if you were writing a professional letter to a business colleague and make a list of queries that you are likely to have and then incorporate them within one email, say once every month, so that the tutorial support team can understand more about context, application and your methodology for study. Get yourself into a consistent routine with your tutorial support requests and use the tutorial support template provided with ALL of your emails. The (CLP) Tutorial Support Unit will not spoon-feed you with information. They need to be able to evaluate and assess your tutorial support requests carefully and professionally.
Be specific about your questions in order to receive specific answers
Try not to write essays by thinking as you are writing tutorial support emails. The tutorial support unit can be unclear about what in fact you are asking, or what you are looking to achieve. Be specific about asking questions that you want answers to. Number your questions. You will then receive specific answers to each and every question. This is the main purpose of tutorial support via email.
Keep a record of your tutorial support emails
It is important that you keep a record of all tutorial support emails that are forwarded to you. You can then refer to them when necessary and it avoids any unnecessary duplication, misunderstanding, or misinterpretation.
Individual training workshops or telephone support
Tutorial Support Email Format
You should use this tutorial support format if you need to request clarification or assistance while studying with your training program. Please note that ALL of your tutorial support request emails should use the same format. You should therefore set up a standard email template, which you can then use as and when you need to. Emails that are forwarded to Appleton Greene, which do not use the following format, may be rejected and returned to you by the (CLP) Program Administration Manager. A detailed response will then be forwarded to you via email usually within 20 business days of receipt for general support queries and 30 business days for the evaluation and assessment of project studies. This does not include weekends or public holidays. Your tutorial support request, together with the corresponding TSU reply, will then be saved and stored within your electronic TSU file at Appleton Greene for future reference.
Subject line of your email
Please insert: Appleton Greene (CLP) Tutorial Support Request: (Your Full Name) (Date), within the subject line of your email.
Main body of your email
1. Appleton Greene Certified Learning Provider (CLP) Tutorial Support Request
2. Your Full Name
3. Date of TS request
4. Preferred email address
5. Backup email address
6. Course manual page name or number (reference)
7. Project study page name or number (reference)
Subject of enquiry
Please insert a maximum of 50 words (please be succinct)
Briefly outline the subject matter of your inquiry, or what your questions relate to.
Maximum of 50 words (please be succinct)
Maximum of 50 words (please be succinct)
Maximum of 50 words (please be succinct)
Maximum of 50 words (please be succinct)
Maximum of 50 words (please be succinct)
Please note that a maximum of 5 questions is permitted with each individual tutorial support request email.
* List the questions that you want to ask first, then re-arrange them in order of priority. Make sure that you reference them, where necessary, to the course manuals or project studies.
* Make sure that you are specific about your questions and number them. Try to plan the content within your emails to make sure that it is relevant.
* Make sure that your tutorial support emails are set out correctly, using the Tutorial Support Email Format provided here.
* Save a copy of your email and incorporate the date sent after the subject title. Keep your tutorial support emails within the same file and in date order for easy reference.
* Allow up to 20 business days for a response to general tutorial support emails and up to 30 business days for the evaluation and assessment of project studies, because detailed individual responses will be made in all cases and tutorial support emails are answered strictly within the order in which they are received.
* Emails can and do get lost. So if you have not received a reply within the appropriate time, forward another copy or a reminder to the tutorial support unit to be sure that it has been received but do not forward reminders unless the appropriate time has elapsed.
* When you receive a reply, save it immediately featuring the date of receipt after the subject heading for easy reference. In most cases the tutorial support unit replies to your questions individually, so you will have a record of the questions that you asked as well as the answers offered. With project studies however, separate emails are usually forwarded by the tutorial support unit, so do keep a record of your own original emails as well.
* Remember to be positive and friendly in your emails. You are dealing with real people who will respond to the same things that you respond to.
* Try not to repeat questions that have already been asked in previous emails. If this happens the tutorial support unit will probably just refer you to the appropriate answers that have already been provided within previous emails.
* If you lose your tutorial support email records you can write to Appleton Greene to receive a copy of your tutorial support file, but a separate administration charge may be levied for this service.
How To Study
Your Certified Learning Provider (CLP) and Accredited Consultant can help you to plan a task list for getting started so that you can be clear about your direction and your priorities in relation to your training program. It is also a good way to introduce yourself to the tutorial support team.
Planning your study environment
Your study conditions are of great importance and will have a direct effect on how much you enjoy your training program. Consider how much space you will have, whether it is comfortable and private and whether you are likely to be disturbed. The study tools and facilities at your disposal are also important to the success of your distance-learning experience. Your tutorial support unit can help with useful tips and guidance, regardless of your starting position. It is important to get this right before you start working on your training program.
Planning your program objectives
It is important that you have a clear list of study objectives, in order of priority, before you start working on your training program. Your tutorial support unit can offer assistance here to ensure that your study objectives have been afforded due consideration and priority.
Planning how and when to study
Distance-learners are freed from the necessity of attending regular classes, since they can study in their own way, at their own pace and for their own purposes. This approach is designed to let you study efficiently away from the traditional classroom environment. It is important however, that you plan how and when to study, so that you are making the most of your natural attributes, strengths and opportunities. Your tutorial support unit can offer assistance and useful tips to ensure that you are playing to your strengths.
Planning your study tasks
You should have a clear understanding of the study tasks that you should be undertaking and the priority associated with each task. These tasks should also be integrated with your program objectives. The distance learning guide and the guide to tutorial support for students should help you here, but if you need any clarification or assistance, please contact your tutorial support unit.
Planning your time
You will need to allocate specific times during your calendar when you intend to study if you are to have a realistic chance of completing your program on time. You are responsible for planning and managing your own study time, so it is important that you are successful with this. Your tutorial support unit can help you with this if your time plan is not working.
Keeping in touch
Consistency is the key here. If you communicate too frequently in short bursts, or too infrequently with no pattern, then your management ability with your studies will be questioned, both by you and by your tutorial support unit. It is obvious when a student is in control and when one is not and this will depend how able you are at sticking with your study plan. Inconsistency invariably leads to in-completion.
Charting your progress
Your tutorial support team can help you to chart your own study progress. Refer to your distance learning guide for further details.
Making it work
To succeed, all that you will need to do is apply yourself to undertaking your training program and interpreting it correctly. Success or failure lies in your hands and your hands alone, so be sure that you have a strategy for making it work. Your Certified Learning Provider (CLP) and Accredited Consultant can guide you through the process of program planning, development and implementation.
Interpretation is often unique to the individual but it can be improved and even quantified by implementing consistent interpretation methods. Interpretation can be affected by outside interference such as family members, TV, or the Internet, or simply by other thoughts which are demanding priority in our minds. One thing that can improve our productivity is using recognized reading methods. This helps us to focus and to be more structured when reading information for reasons of importance, rather than relaxation.
When reading through course manuals for the first time, subconsciously set your reading speed to be just fast enough that you cannot dwell on individual words or tables. With practice, you should be able to read an A4 sheet of paper in one minute. You will not achieve much in the way of a detailed understanding, but your brain will retain a useful overview. This overview will be important later on and will enable you to keep individual issues in perspective with a more generic picture because speed reading appeals to the memory part of the brain. Do not worry about what you do or do not remember at this stage.
Once you have speed read everything, you can then start work in earnest. You now need to read a particular section of your course manual thoroughly, by making detailed notes while you read. This process is called Content Reading and it will help to consolidate your understanding and interpretation of the information that has been provided.
Making structured notes on the course manuals
When you are content reading, you should be making detailed notes, which are both structured and informative. Make these notes in a MS Word document on your computer, because you can then amend and update these as and when you deem it to be necessary. List your notes under three headings: 1. Interpretation – 2. Questions – 3. Tasks. The purpose of the 1st section is to clarify your interpretation by writing it down. The purpose of the 2nd section is to list any questions that the issue raises for you. The purpose of the 3rd section is to list any tasks that you should undertake as a result. Anyone who has graduated with a business-related degree should already be familiar with this process.
Organizing structured notes separately
You should then transfer your notes to a separate study notebook, preferably one that enables easy referencing, such as a MS Word Document, a MS Excel Spreadsheet, a MS Access Database, or a personal organizer on your cell phone. Transferring your notes allows you to have the opportunity of cross-checking and verifying them, which assists considerably with understanding and interpretation. You will also find that the better you are at doing this, the more chance you will have of ensuring that you achieve your study objectives.
Question your understanding
Do challenge your understanding. Explain things to yourself in your own words by writing things down.
Clarifying your understanding
If you are at all unsure, forward an email to your tutorial support unit and they will help to clarify your understanding.
Question your interpretation
Do challenge your interpretation. Qualify your interpretation by writing it down.
Clarifying your interpretation
If you are at all unsure, forward an email to your tutorial support unit and they will help to clarify your interpretation.
The student will need to successfully complete the project study and all of the exercises relating to the Strategic Transformation corporate training program, achieving a pass with merit or distinction in each case, in order to qualify as an Accredited Strategic Transformation Specialist (APTS). All monthly workshops need to be tried and tested within your company. These project studies can be completed in your own time and at your own pace and in the comfort of your own home or office. There are no formal examinations, assessment is based upon the successful completion of the project studies. They are called project studies because, unlike case studies, these projects are not theoretical, they incorporate real program processes that need to be properly researched and developed. The project studies assist us in measuring your understanding and interpretation of the training program and enable us to assess qualification merits. All of the project studies are based entirely upon the content within the training program and they enable you to integrate what you have learnt into your corporate training practice.
Strategic Transformation– Grading Contribution
Project Study – Grading Contribution
Customer Service – 10%
E-business – 05%
Finance – 10%
Globalization – 10%
Human Resources – 10%
Information Technology – 10%
Legal – 05%
Management – 10%
Marketing – 10%
Production – 10%
Education – 05%
Logistics – 05%
TOTAL GRADING – 100%
A mark of 90% = Pass with Distinction.
A mark of 75% = Pass with Merit.
A mark of less than 75% = Fail.
If you fail to achieve a mark of 75% with a project study, you will receive detailed feedback from the Certified Learning Provider (CLP) and/or Accredited Consultant, together with a list of tasks which you will need to complete, in order to ensure that your project study meets with the minimum quality standard that is required by Appleton Greene. You can then re-submit your project study for further evaluation and assessment. Indeed you can re-submit as many drafts of your project studies as you need to, until such a time as they eventually meet with the required standard by Appleton Greene, so you need not worry about this, it is all part of the learning process.
When marking project studies, Appleton Greene is looking for sufficient evidence of the following:
Pass with merit
A satisfactory level of program understanding
A satisfactory level of program interpretation
A satisfactory level of project study content presentation
A satisfactory level of Unique Program Proposition (UPP) quality
A satisfactory level of the practical integration of academic theory
Pass with distinction
An exceptional level of program understanding
An exceptional level of program interpretation
An exceptional level of project study content presentation
An exceptional level of Unique Program Proposition (UPP) quality
An exceptional level of the practical integration of academic theory
Digital Innovation and Strategic Transformation
Digital technologies and how we use them are changing the face of business, even as those technologies that underlie computers, robots, and smart equipment are rapidly evolving, becoming more powerful, and transforming organizations much faster than in the past. Significant competitive advantage is now achievable from digital innovation and transformation. This special issue aims to generate understanding of some of today’s issues and looks at opportunities for tomorrow.
Digital technologies—and how we use them in our personal lives, work, and society—have changed the face of business and will continue to do so. Moreover, research organizations such as Gartner and Accenture, along with MIT professor Erik Brynjolfsson,1 indicate that the digital technologies that underlie computers, robots, and smart equipment are changing rapidly, becoming more powerful, and transforming organizations much faster than in the past (that is, the second machine age). We are in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the digital revolution of cyber-physical systems that has been unfolding since the middle of the last ccntury.2 The possibility of billions of people connected by mobile devices, in conjunction with unprecedented processing power, storage capacity, and access to knowledge via smart machines, creates enormous opportunities for entrepreneurs and innovative managers alike.
Digital transformation is the profound and accelerating transformation of business activities, processes, competencies, and models to fully leverage the changes and opportunities brought by digital technologies and their impact across society in a strategic and prioritized way. According to a recent study by Accenture and Oxford Economics, the increased use of digital technologies could add US$1.36 trillion to the total global economic output in 2020.3
Today, smart machines (digital cognitive systems) are gaining human capabilities (biological cognitive systems), such as recognizing voices, processing natural language, and interacting and learning with the physical world through vision, smell, touch, other senses, mobility, and motor control. In some cases, these machines do a much faster and better job than people at recognizing patterns, performing rule-based analysis from very large amounts of data, and solving structured and unstructured problems.4 Business processes and whole industries will be transformed.
The digital disruption has already started:
• Uber is the world’s largest taxi company but owns no taxis (cloud-enabled mobile location based services).
• Airbnb is the largest accommodation provider but owns no real estate (cloud-enabled lodging services).
• Skype is one of the largest phone companies but owns no telecommunications infrastructure (cloud-enabled communication services).
• Alibaba is the world’s biggest online commerce company but has no inventory (cloud-enabled retail services).
• Facebook is the most popular media owner but creates no content (cloud-enabled social network services).
• Netflix is the largest movie house but owns no cinemas (cloud-enabled entertainment services).
• Amazon is the largest retailer but produces no products or services (cloud-enabled retail services).
• Massive open online courses (MOOCs) are the largest schools but have no campuses (cloud-enabled education services).
• Apple and Google are the largest purveyors of software applications but don’t write apps (cloud-enabled mobile app services).
• IBM Watson is emerging as the largest cognitive solutions platform but does not require customers to hand over their proprietary and unique datasets (cloud-enabled cognition as a service).
The digital revolution is rapidly transforming the fundamental nature of a wide range of public and private organizations and revitalizing their digital business models across industries—including healthcare, finance, logistics, education, manufacturing, retail, hospitality, transportation, telecommunication, e-government, energy, utilities, agriculture, and more. This revolution provides the means to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, sustainability, and innovativeness of product and service offerings through the following:
• the design and provisioning of new types of service offerings (Uber, Airbnb, Kindle, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linked-In, online banking, and microfinance);
• the performance of some activities using automation (cognitive assistants, such as Apple Siri, IBM Watson, Microsoft Cortana, Google Now, and Amazon Echo; the sidebar lists several examples);
• industrialization that often improves existing service offerings by separating a service’s traditional production (backstage) from customer contact (front-stage), thus enhancing storability, transportability, and access to knowledgebased service offerings (such as tax software, online classes, or patents);
• the design and delivery of outcome-targeted customer experiences (a key element, given that many digital transformations are a mix of customer experience optimization and process improvement-and cost savings);
• facilitations of new types of service system coordination through new and improved value propositions and governance mechanisms (Apple apps, ITunes, online broker systems, information markets, open innovation platforms, financial engineering, mechanism design, auction technology, and so on);
• reductions in the cost of backstage and front-stage service activities (such as semi- and fully automated call centers and other types of service centers);
• improvement in customer-perceived service quality (for example, the ability to standardize elements of service as well as mass-customize or personalize to the individual when appropriate, or to transition from mass production to configure-to-order supply chains that achieve productivity and customer responsiveness);
• the integration of customers into service creation and delivery (self-service education, healthcare information systems, business-to-business solutions, IT outsourcing, and the commoditization of business processes, applications, and technology); and
• the delivery of knowledge-intensive professions (such as business consultant, physician, software engineer, legal counsel, financial advisor, or university professor) to labor-intensive employment in hospitality, personal services, transportation, and many others.
The overall goal of digital transformation is to increase the productivity and creativity (decision making, connectivity, innovation, and augmentation) of individuals and organizations. Digital transformation will let organizations address market needs much more quickly than used to be possible, enabling higher levels of collaboration for sharing information much faster. Greater innovation and outcomes result as businesses have access to pools of knowledge and resources outside their walls via advanced ICT (such as smart devices, mobile, cloud and fog computing, big data and analytics, social media and networking, cognitive computing, and artificial intelligence).5
If you would like to know more, click here
Sustainability: the elusive element of process improvement
Inspired by the dramatic improvements demonstrated, many companies have undergone a process improvement (PI) programme and have found that the application of PI techniques has led to significant improvements in operational areas. Over the long term, however, many companies have found it difficult to sustain the original improvements made during kaizen “breakthrough” or “Blitz” type activities. This phenomenon has led the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ Industry Forum to investigate what causes some improvement activities to have high levels of sustainability and others lower levels of sustainability.
Industry Forum is a non‐profit making organisation set up by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and the Department of Trade and Industry to improve the competitiveness of the automotive sector in the UK. The method used to improve competitiveness is to conduct “hands‐on” improvement activities in companies throughout the UK. These improvement activities have been conducted using PI techniques pioneered by the Japanese automobile manufacturers. Industry Forum conducts several types of improvement activities including MasterClass, supply chain activity and team leader training. This research studied the MasterClass activity (Bateman and Brander, 2000), which is a PI activity that occurs over three months and in many organisations acts as a catalyst and foundation for continuous improvement (CI).
At the time of the research, Industry Forum employed 32 engineers and in addition had six seconded Japanese Master Engineers, two each from Honda, Nissan and Toyota and two UK Master Engineers seconded from General Motors and Volkswagen.
The purpose of this research was to identify enablers that could be employed by the Industry Forum engineers and change agents within organisations to improve the sustainability of PI activities. At the beginning of the research there was a large number of ideas from total quality management, change management and lean literature that could be relevant to the sustainability of the PI activities. In addition, the experience of Industry Forum engineers and academics in the field provided other more specific enablers. However, it was not clear from this mass of possible enablers which were significant and likely to have a high impact on sustainability. The aim of the research was to synthesise a “short list” of the most significant enablers.
The principle of lean manufacturing, of which process improvement is an element, was brought to the attention of the West by the publication of “The Machine that Changed the World” by Womack et al. (1990). This was followed by “Lean Thinking” (Womack and Jones, 1996), which was more practitioner focussed. In addition, there have been many Japanese inspired books that have been focussed on company specific production systems (Ohno, 1996; Shingo, 1989; Cusumano, 1985). Since then PI has been adopted by many companies and there have been many case studies from companies outlining their successes in PI (Jowit, 1999; Sumner Smith, 2000; Griffiths, 1998).
In response to papers extolling the virtues of PI there have been many papers that identify issues with applying PI techniques, in particular focussing on problems with sustainability. Griffiths describes how Perkins Engines, from a PI activity, managed to achieve a 41 per cent improvement in operator productivity and a 25 per cent reduction in cycle time. He also states that it is often easy to make gains initially “But it is much more difficult to sustain”. Friedli (1999) identifies that a half‐hearted approach can cause problems and Mackle (2000) emphasises that a long‐term approach must be taken to avoid cynicism and backsliding.
Jorgensen et al. (2003) examine the role of the team leader in CI. In their longitudinal case study based in Denmark, Jorgensen et al. (2003) identify that there was a gap in perception between the senior management and team leaders in terms of enablers that were in place. The senior managers perceived enablers to be fully present whereas in reality they were in place in name only. For example, senior managers stated that “restructuring to a team organisation” had occurred whereas the team leaders stated the existing production shifts had simply been renamed, whilst other teams of team leaders never recognised themselves as teams at all. Team leaders also reported that although they were given initial training, this was not followed up with further development to help them establish team identity. For other enablers, it appears that senior managers had taken a “tick box” approach without gaining proper understanding. Jorgensen et al. (2003) state “Top managers believed the enablers referred to as ‘training in CI tools’ and ‘clear strategy’ were in place but other members of the organization were not aware of them”. This reflects a desire by senior managers to take action to resolve problems and put new working practices into action, but in reality they are rarely prepared to undertake more radical changes required to resolve the root cause of problems.
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Strategic transformation process: Toward purpose, people, process and power
Across the world, public and non-profit sector leaders face an extremely turbulent socio-political-economic environment. This environment creates additional risks and uncertainties for organizations and may hinder a leader’s ability to act strategically. Addressing these complex, constantly evolving conditions requires leaders to develop processes that involve the organization’s stakeholders and that create organizational conditions for self-generation, creativity, resilience and action planning. In this paper we provide an organizational-level, integrative framework for the strategic transformation of public and non-profit organizations to assist leaders who are committed to effective stewardship of their organizations. The Strategic Transformation Process involves an intense dialogue among organizational stakeholders designed to create a new vision, negotiate priorities, minimize risk, and create action plans and a commitment for change.
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Process improvement through performance measurement: the balanced scorecard methodology
One of the hallmarks of leading‐edge organisations – be they public or private – has been the successful application of performance measurement to gain insight into, and make judgements about, the organisation, and the effectiveness and efficiency of its programmes, processes, and people. The balanced scorecard (BSC) is a widely used management framework for the measurement of organisational performance. The BSC concept suggests that the state of processes of an organisation can be best assessed by taking a “balanced” view across a range of performance measures. This article seeks to offer an insight into the BSC, the key features of the concept and issues that must be addressed in its implementation as a process improvement technique. Further, it identifies the BSC methodology as a means of deploying strategic direction, communicating expectations, and measuring progress towards agreed objectives.
The challenge of assessing performance
Literally, performance measurement (PM) is the process of quantifying past action (Neely, 1998). PM systems historically developed as a means of monitoring and maintaining organisational control, which is the process of ensuring that an organisation pursues strategies that lead to the achievement of overall goals and objectives (Nanni et al., 1990). In attempting to change the focus of an organisation, Brignall (1992) suggests that PM is a key agent of change. Even when an organisation has attained such a focus, however, PM plays a vital role in maintaining attention on changing customer requirements and competitor actions. PM is a key factor in ensuring the successful implementation of an organisation’s strategy (Fitzgerald et al., 1993). Business and business unit performance needs to be measured in relation to the objectives identified in the planning process. Attention to PM in the context of modern business has been focused on by the admission that financial information that had traditionally been provided to organisations for control and management purposes was no longer adequate for fully effective PM to be achieved.
Dixon et al. (1990) suggest that inappropriate PM is a barrier to organisational development since measurement provides the link between strategies and actions. Inappropriate measures lead to actions incongruent with strategies, however well formulated and communicated. Appropriate measures should provide and strengthen this link, and both lead to attainment of strategic goals and impact on the goals and strategies needed to achieve them.
Need for a range of performance measures
The importance of PM in an organisation has been emphasised by many authors. Oakland (1993) suggests that measurement plays an important role in quality and productivity improvement to (cited in Sinclair and Zairi, 1995):
• ensure customer requirements have been met;
• provide standards for establishing comparisons;
• provide visibility and provide a “score‐board” for people to monitor their own performance levels;
• highlight quality problems and determine which areas require priority attention;
• give an indication of the costs of poor quality;
• justify the use of resources; and
• provide feedback for driving the improvement effort.
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Process Improvement and Management
The purpose of this chapter on “Process Improvement and Management” is not about performing the systematic methodology for process improvement; it is about creating an optimal environment for effective implementation of process improvement and management within an enterprise business.
In a previous chapter, we have indicated that the (production) line activities designed to support realization of the operational concepts include projects and operations that matter the most. Projects and operations have fundamentally different objectives.
A project is a sequence of unique, complex, and connected activities having one goal or purpose and that must be completed by a specific time, within budget, and according to specification. It is a temporary effort undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result. The purpose of a project is to attain its objectives and then terminate. Projects are therefore utilized as a mean of achieving an enterprise business intended strategy. They conclude when their specific objectives have been attained. Operations are ongoing and repetitive efforts, the purposes of which are to sustain the enterprise business. When their objectives have been attained, operations adopt a new set of objectives and the work continues.
Although projects and operations sometimes overlap, both share the following characteristics: they are constrained by limited resources; they are selected following analyses of their added value in terms of costs and benefits to the enterprise business; they are performed by people; and they are planned, executed, and controlled.
Characterizing and Defining a Process<