Project Management

Executing Large Transformation Projects

A complete overhaul project is pretty infrequent for an organization, but it does occur. In an article for Project Smart, Swadhin Mishra and Preeti Jain elaborate on their opportunity to be a part of a few different large global transformations spanning across the world.

The Big Story on Large Change

Large transformation can cost a corporation hundreds of millions of dollars and is a risky endeavor. As a result, it is imperative to properly plan a budget. There are a plethora of dimensions that should be analyzed before arriving at a set number; this will drastically decrease the chance for an error. To put it bluntly: the cost should not outweigh the benefit. To gain a more realistic picture, one should begin planning by looking from the bottom up. Begin by engaging vendors and reference peer organizations to gauge how the numbers compare. It should also be ensured that the right person is in charge and that high buffer margins are kept in place in case of unforeseen adversity.

The team can make or break a program, so it is vital to have the right collection of people involved on the project. A well-defined structure from the beginning will help guide a team in the right direction. Large transformations will call for an equally large and diverse team, so establishing expectations will help to utilize everyone’s different skill sets. It is equally important to ensure that the team is committed, and only to expand when it is definitely the right time and there is good reason to do so.

A large program has an equally large amount of dependencies. The mix of a variety of products and countries and other aspects demand these dependencies to be carefully monitored, and classified as risks if they are not as expected. They will likely be a complicated aspect to the project and it can be difficult to integrate them into the program, but if regularly visited, this difficulty can be maintained.

Pursuing Better Governance

Stakeholder management is the management of both internal and external aspects to the business and is under the direct control of the project manager. All stakeholders should be identified, classified, and managed accordingly. This relationship should also be as transparent as possible. Having a good relationship with vendors will help to ensure project success.

Project governance can help dictate what type of execution is best suited for a project. The skill set of the people involved and the readiness of the team make the largest impact on implementation. The analysis phase is vital to success and can help to minimize technical risks.

There are three approaches to implementing transformation in multiple countries:

  1. Execute the project in the first location and, after it is successful, move to the next.
  2. Gather requirements for all locations and establish a common solution.
  3. Take an approach somewhere in between the above two; gather global requirements, but only implement them one country at a time.

It is best to start design and development early for a project, and the initial step should address the most complex of these. Addressing the most complex first is actually better for the project as a whole, a different approach than the normal suggestion to build up morale. Testing is important along the way, to ensure all is going according to plan.

A large transformation may initially seem daunting, but it is a task that is entirely feasible and even worthwhile. You can read the original article here:

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