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McKinsey and Pinipa nailing business transformation

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Hot off the press is the latest and always excellent McKinsey insight on how to beat the transformational odds.  The research is based on their global survey and is an ever evolving view into what makes transformation successful.

It’s no surprise that transformation is still managed badly, is generally unsuccessful and just 26% of respondents felt that they had reached successful outcomes.

When we started Pinipa, we could clearly see that there was a problem to make business transformation work in an ever changing world.  This thinking isn’t new, we’ve all heard about this methodology, that planning mechanism, so and so consultancies revolutionary 10 step transformation and go buy hundreds of  books on slight variations of the above.
We aren’t saying taking a structured approach isn’t valuable, but we believe that no matter what approach, it needs to take into consideration the dynamic and emotional way people work.

Our view is simple.  We built a clear, engaging and collaborative change platform that puts transformation activities front and centre to employees to get them and the leaders actively involved.  Pinipa uses a simple structure based around open collaboration that is a more inclusive approach to programme planning and execution.  Change management no longer becomes auxiliary to the programme, it becomes the core driver to the transformation.
So it’s always to our delight to see that McKinsey releases their own insights to business transformation completely aligned to our own values and objectives we’ve built into our change platform.  I will list their key findings and explain how we support that with Pinipa.

The power of action—and communication
McKinsey found that those organisations that spent more time actually driving activities around the transformation were more successful.  But some activities were better than others.  Enterprise wide transformations were 12 times more likely to succeed where senior managers actively communicated the story.  The key activities that had the most impact when leaders communicated progress and updates, implications to individuals and consistently aligned the transformation story around organisational goals.

Pinipa aims to create an ongoing, visible story for a change initiative. Rather than being told what the implications are, we enable employees to work this out for themselves and share this so it is included in plans.  We also connect the dots between feedback provided, benefits or risks raised and actions taken. This ongoing conversation is particularly power were there are ‘stakeholders’ (we call them people :)) across geographic locations.

How this works in Pinipa:

  • Every programme in Pinipa has a sponsors message front and centre to give employees context where the transformation is taking the organisation and why it’s important
  • The programme team sets the overall Strategic Objectives to guide employees when posting ideas and converting to projects.
  • The programme overview allows those involved to quickly give feedback on the discussion board, @mention others who need to be involved or to realign the plan before it changes

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 09.20.37

Lead, don’t manage
McKinsey states that leadership in transformation is as important as day-to-day work. Leadership can’t be delegated to a project office or consultants. Those leaders who spend time on the ‘shop floor’ during transformation have 5.3x more likely success. However, employees who are affected by the transformation but didn’t play an active part are twice as likely to declare the transformation unsuccessful.

What is unique about Pinipa as a tool to support transformation is that it is designed for employees, not the project team.  This creates a platform for leaders, the project team and employees to co-create change, having ongoing conversations, raising issues and even taking ownership to make things happen – rather than relying on the project team. It also gives leaders an opportunity to listen, challenge and participate on an ongoing basis, wherever they are.

How this works in Pinipa:

  • Ideas gives everyone an opportunity to be involved early in the planning stage.  Getting input on all the things the business could do differently to meet set goals from both leaders and those on the ‘shop floor’ create diversity of input, leading to more creative solutions, and means projects build positive momentum very quickly.
  • Enabling leaders and employees to invite others to the programme on the People page creates an environment of personal commitment and virality to create ‘pull’ rather than ‘push’ needed to actively engage people in the change.

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 09.23.24

Choose the right people and empower them
Involving team leaders is only half the battle. McKinsey states that for transformations to truly succeed, companies must think about the role that employees play as well as their people needs across the organization.  An effective strategy is to include those active and engaged in the initiative and hold them accountable for delivering against a metric or project.

This is a the heart of what Pinipa is about. The power of empowering employees and from early in the process is what we set out to unlock, and with it the value that brings to both the people and organisation. Our recent posts here highlight the value employees bring over going straight to the consultants.  Once employees contribute ideas which become projects, this creates a emotional hook that is difficult to achieve and maintain otherwise. This removes PMO burden and empowers those with the most institutional knowledge to execute.

How this works in Pinipa:

  • Those best Ideas are converted into Projects and the owner of the project can be assigned to anyone, including the original idea owner.
  • Once a project is assigned to the project timeline, the employees provide suggestions on how to deliver the project.
  • From these suggestions, people can like or vote, comment, and project managers can create milestones, actions, benefits and risks.
  • The GANTT or plan is then automatically created and easily updated, to make sure activities and milestones are aligned across the programme.

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 09.25.01

Prepare for continuous improvement
Finally, McKinsey highlighted that once the transformation was implemented, it is always important to keep open a channel for improving daily work and to link back to the broader company strategy.  For example, in organizations where people understand how their individual work supports the company’s broader vision, executives are 5.5 times likely to say the transformation has been successful.

Pinipa recognises that business change isn’t a point in time occurrence.  As McKinsey has previously suggested, organisations need a platform for change to continuously adapt to an ever changing world.

How this works in Pinipa:

  • Pinipa has built a simple Portfolio view that means people in the organisation can be aware of all the transformation efforts that are happening and contribute to those that may impact them.  Keeping these channels open allow for continual feedback and reflection on what’s been delivered in the past.
  • By having employees actively involved from the beginning, Pinipa encourages massive change initiatives to be broken down into bite sized chunks that anyone can take ownership, creating an environment of ongoing, iterative change.

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 09.28.22

So what’s next?  We’re busily working with our customers to make transformation better, faster and cheaper.  Building great software isn’t easy. It involves constant experimentation, minimal planning, inclusiveness between developers and customers, to be responsive to feedback.
Sound familiar?

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