Delivering IT-enabled change: how to balance business and technology drivers

IT programmes underpinning business change are typically delivered through the IT group and often lack a clear business focus. As a result, technical drivers take over and decision-making becomes protracted, with technical and business stakeholders wrestling for influence. Ultimately IT-enabled change becomes IT-restricted change.

To deliver IT-enabled business change successfully, a new approach is required. Programmes must define the balance between the technical and business change required to achieve the desired business capability and give stakeholders a clear picture of what success looks like. Each programme should be led by a single programme visionary, focused on a precise vision and supported by an integrated, business-facing delivery team.

Adopting this type of approach to IT-enabled business change delivers three major benefits:

Balanced and respected leadership can make the difference between success and failure

In exhibiting three key characteristics ‒ proven delivery capability, respect from across business divisions and detailed understanding of business operations ‒ an effective leader brings all delivery functions together under a single unwavering vision. This translates into faster, more accurate delivery and achievement of lasting benefit in the business ‒ often surprisingly early in the programme delivery.

The right vision is essential for bringing stakeholders together to deliver business-focused benefit

A good vision makes the case for business change, bringing dysfunctional business silos together to deliver tangible business benefit. It clearly defines the business capability required in the future, providing a ‘target’ for the business change and technical change strategies needed to deliver it. It also sets out key success criteria so that performance can be monitored to ensure the expected benefits are achieved.

An integrated delivery team creates more value than the sum of the parts

Combining the teams responsible for user acceptance testing (UAT), business change and benefit management into one business-focused team creates additional value and improves risk management. For example, by working closely with the UAT team the business change and benefits management teams can increase their technical understanding. Similarly, increased awareness of business benefit helps to focus and prioritise the work of the UAT and business change teams.  As a result, issues are identified earlier and myths are dispelled. Stakeholders understand and adopt technology better and have greater confidence in the overall outcome. Decision making is more closely aligned to the delivery of programme benefits.

PA’s work with a UK government agency to implement a £100 million IT-enabled change programme demonstrates the effectiveness of this approach. To support the vision of the senior user, we established a business-focused team integrating the business change, benefits management and UAT functions.  As a result of our work, new ways of working were successfully embedded in the organisation alongside the new technology. The programme increased capacity in some business units by 30%.

To find out how PA can help your business to deliver IT-enabled business change more successfully, contact us now.

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