If you are acting as an intermediary, offering commodity products with little differentiation, have unhappy customers, inefficient internal processes or large barriers to entry in your industry, you are at great risk of being disrupted!
If you aren’t addressing your existing challenges and problems or feel the pressure of rapid change, you’re dead in the water.
If the honest answer is no, you’re vulnerable to being disrupted!
The biggest challenge large institutions face is being able to change and adapt as rapidly as smaller business to meet ever changing customer requirements. Behemoths often don’t stay customer centric, yet customer centricity is so key to any business operation.
Everything I do to help change an institution is with the sole goal of satisfying customer needs, wants and demands. Using principles from the Agile Manifesto and Lean Startup principles, I’ve helped even the largest corporations to achieve rapid, positive change.
If you don’t know the answer to this question, you’re in trouble and in desperate need of help! And if you do, and they’re not happy you need to act quickly to fix this or risk losing them for good. Customers, whether internal or external, have escalating expectations. They crave hassle free or ‘frictionless’ engagements with your organisation or function. They expect a good design, a great User Experience. In project delivery, the Agile Manifesto sums it up nicely when it says, “Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuously delivery…” Contact me to learn how to make happy customers by engaging them correctly in all aspects of the product life-cycle covering marketing and development, design, delivery and embedment.
Are you delivering products and services but your customers (or staff) aren't using them?
This is all too common and actually there could be loads of reasons for customers not using products or services you’ve delivered. Over and above what I think is most crucial and obvious, which is to talk to customers, I focus on two other key aspects.
The first is data and the second is people. By data, I don’t mean how you generate, capture or gather data whether it be via surveys, phone calls, talking to Marketing or Sales, NPS, or other, I mean how you use data to confirm that there is a market need and how you use data to build products and services which make a real difference to your customers. Have you have answered customer needs and wants, have you made the interaction great, have you created a unique and differentiating experience? I look at how data informed your decisions and identify how aligned the resulting actions were to your market need and what your customers asked for.
The other aspect is people and I like to remember the quote by Henry Thoreau, “things do NOT change; WE change." Ideally you want to create products with a User Interface which is easy to use and doesn’t require much training to adopt utilising techniques gamification as an example (think about how much training you required to use Facebook or Uber or AirBNB) but this isn’t always possible. If it’s complex change you need to manage the people side of change and do so using industry best practice frameworks, methodologies and processes.
I’ll leave you with this… according to Prosci - a best practice change management firm - effective application of change management increases the success rate of organisational change to as high as 96%! Just imagine the implications of getting this right for your business!
Without effective controls to measure benefits - and not just financial benefits - during and after project delivery it’s near impossible to know whether you have realised a return on investment. Understanding Benefits tracking and Realisation and how this works in practice together with who, when, what why and how is required so money invested delivers the intended returns.
This one is about portfolio management and every organisation I've worked with has a tough time balancing demand for change to the available supply. What do you prioritise and do first? Tools which provide utilisation and capacity reporting are required to understand the available supply, which is part of the answer but, more importantly, the demand should be prioritised and aligned to the business strategy based, primarily on ROI and benefits (you can also include other factors like business performance, whether a change is discretionary or mandatory, etc.). Once the demand is prioritised, you can then match resources, budget and people, to the prioritised demand in a transparent manner in conjunction with business and stakeholders. Business are then positioned to make decisions regarding which projects are resourced vs. those which will be queued for later delivery or when supply is available. An added benefit of doing this prioritisation is that if a new project is added, or an existing one stopped, delivery teams know which project is next in the line based on its priority.
Address silo working by learning how to get business on-board through co-location, daily stand ups, scrums, collaborative software applications covering team communication, knowledge, task, workload management, and more. Investigations in the root causes for impaired project delivery uncover that business involvement, accountability, participation in project delivery is essential for delivering successful projects and services.
Understanding the connection between change management, project delivery and business benefits and results is a key contributor to overall project success. Learn how to create long lasting and meaningful engagements with business to improve management of services and the delivery of projects.
Times really have changed, and so should you as there are many more effective and efficient solutions than e-mail. For communications there’s Slack, Google Hangouts, Zapier, Jabber, Whatapp , Microsoft Messenger and many more. For project management there’s Rally, Trello, Basecamp, and Pivotal Tracker to name a few. There’s also a plethora of open source systems which can be customised and integrated into Content Management Platforms like Wordpress (which this site is built on) which provide smooth integration across multiple applications. FinTech Start-ups are utilising a wealth of fit for purpose technologies to manage their projects and businesses. What are you using?
Still spend time documenting customer requirements in lengthy documents (that ppl don't read) before any delivery takes place?
Disappointed when you get to the end and the output isn't what you expected/needed?
Perhaps, the slow pace of change is hurting your business, and it's driving you bananas?
Yeah? Unfortunately, it happens all too often! What's critical is knowing how to identify and adapt to deliver what you need. It's one system when you build software and expect continuous changes and something else entirely when you build, say, a Vespa GTS 300 Sport (my favourite).
Pick me to help you build and deliver change aligned to whatever it is you want to achieve.
While the right processes, tools, methods and the like are important, its people that deliver change and play a big (if not the biggest) role in transforming organisations for the future. And it’s people who need to embrace new changes as it’s delivered. In fact, remembering to focus on people is particularly true in a time where companies are focused on keeping pace with the constant - often tech driven - change that’s needed to remain relevant and competitive, with more and more products and services being implemented across the organisation.
I help by working with forward thinking companies to create people lead cultures which include: creating agile project environments and organisational structures that bring cross-functional product teams together and break down silo working which results in high levels of collaboration as well as ensuring that continuous training becomes a core organisational competency and not just an ad-hoc or worse, once off intervention.
Designing and managing a plan is an acquired and highly sought after skill. Even then with the best plan in the world often things don’t go according to the plan. What’s important is HOW one responds to change be it a change in scope/requirements, budget, timelines or other and WHY this agility is often essential to remain competitive and relevant.
We all know the risk that implementing change introduces, as well as why it's paramount to safeguard production environments. The balancing act is to provide the organisation's life blood, its customers, always on, always up, 24x7 availability of services while implementing change and therefore risk on a continuing basis. Based on the root cause analysis of failed changes I've conducted, a major part of managing this risk is proper testing. And when digging deeper I often find that what’s tested in non-production environments (UAT, SIT, etc.) is not the same as what’s tested in production because the environments differ. They are simply not like for like. The reason they differ is because most companies are constrained by the cost to procure hardware, the time to procure it as well as the on-going effort to manage these test environments. That’s where I advise and help companies to think differently, like start-ups and fintech, by exploring the many cloud computing services available which allow companies to provision environments at the click of a mouse and a fraction of the cost thereby removing hardware-based resource, time and cost constraints. The result, fit for purpose test environments, more change, high availability services and happy customers
There are a number of strategies you can employ for managing legacy infrastructure, including enhancing and maintaining what you have, replacing it or doing nothing. Other option which is becoming increasingly popular is to partner with FinTech companies (yes, partner with the competition) who offer what you can’t because they’re not constrained by legacy infrastructure. Careful assessment of which strategy is suitable is required and must take into account factors such as cost, integration, maintenance including on-going support and required skills. Difficult decisions as customers’ expectations escalate and the world moves fast toward digitization.
One of the biggest pitfalls for change management deployment is failing to treat “operationalising change management capabilities & competencies” as a project and a change to manage.
It’s essential to avoid this pitfall and make ‘great change management’ a core competency for your organisation.
You need someone who understands the urgency for change. You need an advanced problem solver, a quick learner and someone who enjoys continuously changing and challenging environments and roles.
I’m an experienced Change Management and Technology professional with 20 years of experience across 13 countries. Specialising in the development, management and delivery of transformational change, IT Services and robust governance frameworks, I've led large transformational programmes across many time zones & cultures for firms such as Barclays Africa & Standard Bank.
I always aim to be a big picture thinker. A problem solver. Someone who never loses track of what really matters: improving customer experience; standardising & enhancing processes; and increasing profitability in the businesses I work with.
I'm also always looking for ways to improve myself. I'm currently studying towards a BSc (Honours) Degree in Digital Technology, Design and Innovation.
I spend most of my free time with my wife and two young boys, family and friends. I'm a keen water skier, love the outdoors and enjoy squash and golf when there is time. I play in a once a month Texas hold 'em poker club. I enjoy reading and love following business, property and tech trends.
I’m particularly interested in disruptive innovations, currently taking great interest in the development of 3d printing, the Internet of Things, self driving cars, AI, wearable tech, and companies like UBER, AirBNB, Google, Apple, Github and Bitcoin.
Duncan D’Abreton —
Process Specialist at T-Systems South Africa (Pty) Ltd
Jamie Loden —
Financial Services Professional
Elan Hoffman —
Enterprise Technology Sourcing Consultant at Barclays
Mike Connolly —
Delivery Project Executive at IBM
Andrew Bainbridge —
Global Head, Commercial Clients at Standard Chartered Bank
David Price —
Chief Operating Officer - Barclays Africa
Haven’t found the right candidate for one of the job titles below and need an interim leader/manager?
Project ManagerEmerging markets IT consultantChief Information OfficerITIL specialistCustomer Services consultantProject Change ConsultantAgile specialistHead of OperationsHead of Special ProjectsProgramme ManagerContinuous Improvement specialistHead of Change StrategyHead of Change GovernanceIT DirectorPrince II specialistHead of ProjectsChief Operating OfficerHead of IT ServicesPortfolio ManagerHead of Change
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