BRM - Module 5: Business transition management
The video below is the first lesson in this module, and is part of the Business Relationship Course
The ‘Business Relationship Management Professional’ foundation course
Module 5 – Business Transition Management
Lesson 1 – Introducing Business Transition Management
Welcome to module 5 lesson 1!
In this lesson I’ll introduce Business Transition Management
Topics covered include:
The purpose and value of Business Transition Management The relationship of the Business Relationship Manager role and Business Transition ManagementAnd
The challenge of organizational change
Ok, you’ve seen the diagram on your screen before. It represents how the business might fail to get the full benefit of the Provider’s capabilities and resources – how value ‘leaks’.
Significant leakage can be associated with the transitioning of new services into operational use. In the case of a new IT service, installing hardware and software is the easy bit – it’s the people that are the challenge.
It’s this area that Business Transition Management addresses.
So, what is Business Transition Management? Well it’s an approach for managing the human dynamics before, during and after implementing a business change initiative in order to prevent value leakage.
It encompasses all the sorts of things you might expect: stakeholder management, communication, change leadership, managing commitment, overcoming resistance and so on.
I’ll be talking about many of these things during the course of this Learning Module.
Business Transition Management ensures that business areas impacted by an initiative are identified, understand and are prepared for the business transition - not just the technology transition. Its purpose is to minimize disruption to business operations and therefore to ensure that the full value of the project is achieved.
I want to draw your attention to the phrase ’business transition’ – this is significant. When an IT service provider brings a new service into operational use, its focus is usually on the technology aspects – the hardware and software. But IT services support business activity; if a new service is introduced then inevitably the business activity it supports will change. Indeed, technology can often transform the way businesses operate and therefore the way people (both staff and managers) work.
To get full value from a new service the business must transition its own people and organization from the current way of working to the new.
There are a number of terms used to describe the approach to transitioning individuals, teams and organizations to a desire future state – for example, ‘organizational change management’, or simply ‘change management’. We use the term ‘Business Transition Management’ to put the focus on the transition your business partners must make to achieve the full value of an initiative.
BTM identifies the changes needed for a successful initiative. These might include changes to: processes, behaviors and mindsets, language and terminology; roles; organizational structure and reporting relationships; culture; day-to-day operations; and physical locations.
OK, let’s do an exercise to explore what sorts of issues Business Transition Management might have to handle.
Plan to spend 20 minutes on this exercise and don’t forget to check out our ideas in your Exercises document.
The Lune Associates Case Study provides essential background information for this exercise.
What sorts of changes in the business might Business Transition Management have to deal with at Lune Associates?
Business Transition Management is useful in a number of ways:
It identifies who is impacted by a business transition and the network of sponsors, change agents and advocates needed to make the changes happen and paves the way for strong and sustained sponsorship It engages stakeholders, creates buy-in, and prepares individuals and groups by determining who should be engaged and how (e.g., communication, involvement in design, training, etc.)And
It helps Business Partners plan their ‘readiness’ activities for a smooth cutover when the initiative is implemented, and ongoing business operations beginDoing these things helps ensure you harvest the full value you anticipated from the initiative.
Let’s now look at the value of Business Transition Management to Business Relationship Management. BRM can have two roles in transition: Transition Advisor, and Transition Leader in the implementation of the BRM role.
In its role of Transition Advisor to Business Partners it must ensure that business transitions related to Portfolio Initiatives go smoothly so that they are successful and enable the full business value to be harvested.
The initial introduction of Business Relationship Management into an enterprise is in itself a significant initiative which must be carefully managed. In that circumstance the Business Relationship Manager has the role of Transition Leader and must ensure smooth adoption of the BRM role; that the BRM role works effectively with other key Provider and Business Partner roles, and to ensure that business demand is effectively shaped and that Provider supply is well coordinated to enable the highest value from the Provider investment portfolio.
As a Business Relationship Manager you do not need to be an expert in Business Transition Management or organizational change.
Youdoneed sufficient BTM skills to help Business and Provider Partners to be successful.
And youdoneed to know when and how to engage skilled transition or change specialists.
As a Business Relationship Manager you should be advising and encouraging your Business Partners to carry out Business Transition Management activities; if they don’t then they’re not going to get the full benefit of the new service and in extreme cases the initiative may completely fail.
You should educate your Business Partner on the BTM activities and the value of each one of them.
You need to know which BTM activities are critical to the success of an initiative and alert your Business Partner to any areas of risk.
And you must identify where organizational change expertise is needed and then partner with specialist change teams.
The figure on your screen was drawn by Omega Point Consulting to illustrate the Myth of Change. This myth is the common belief that change is easy; that all you have to do is explain to those affected why the change is desirable, why the Future State will be so much better, how the problems of the Current State will be solved. If you can do that, then people will get on board and work to make the change happen with energy and enthusiasm!
Of course, experience teaches us that people don’t respond like that. They have their own agendas, their own hopes and fears, their own values, and their own perspectives. For a variety of reasons people can be reluctant and even hostile to change. Successful organizational change must take into account these human aspects.
It’s been observed that a successful transition can only happen when certain conditions are satisfied. These can be expressed in terms of the formula on your screen, known as Gleicher’s formula.
This formula for change was originally created by Richard Beckhard and David Gleicher, and later refined by Kathie Dannemiller. It provides a model to assess the relative strengths of the factors affecting the likely success or otherwise of an organizational change program.
There are three factors that must be in place for a successful change initiative:
Urgency for the change – this is based upon the dissatisfaction with how things are now
The vision of what is possible – this represents the clarity, feasibility and relevance of the proposed future state.
And the first, concrete steps that can be taken towards the vision – this represents practical steps to get to the future state.
If the product of these three factors is greater than Resistance then change is possible.
Because U, V, and FS are multiplied, if any one of them is absent or low, then the product will be low and therefore not capable of overcoming the resistance.
To ensure a successful change the organization must articulate and communicate the reasons for the change, which could be a matter of pointing out the consequences of not changing. It should create and communicate a clear vision of the planned future state and some quick wins to get the ball rolling.
The figure on your screen illustrates four common ways that 'pain' drives change.
In my experience the strongest motivator of change tends to be a current problem! If your company is running up substantial losses then it will be relatively straightforward to persuade people of the need to change.
Of course it would be better if the company had made some changes before it started losing money. Often the warning signs have been there for some time – declining sales, revenues, market share or customer satisfaction for example. It is a fact that it’s much more difficult to sell the need to address a future problem but that’s just what successful change leaders do.
Opportunities are an even more difficult sell – particularly when they are in the future. A skilled change leader will be able to express the failure to grasp a future opportunity in terms of current pain.
Pain alone is generally not enough to drive change - people must understand why the current state is unsustainable; what unwanted conditions exist today or will exist in the future; what opportunities we are unable to take advantage of today, or will not be available to us in the future.
The people must understand the remedy. How will the future state address the current state issues? How compelling is the vision? The remedy should be communicated with a strong element of What's In It For Me - i.e. the remedy (and the pain!) should be audience-specific!
And lastly they must understand the Path. How will we get from the current to future state? Again, this needs to be communicated with a strong audience-specific slant.
The successful transition leader will communicate the pain, the remedy to that pain and the path to a future state that addresses the pain.
Here’s another great picture from Omega Point Consulting!
The idea here is to use the analogy of ‘jumping off a cliff’ to help explain the way people typically perceive major change and how to approach change so as to maximize the probability of success and minimize the stress of the transition process. It can be very useful in the education of stakeholders and transition leaders.
The reality for many people is that being asked to change is akin to jumping off a cliff. The distance between the current and future states is so wide that we cannot just throw a line over or build a bridge. We must first descend one cliff and then ascend the other. And what we are asking everyone affected by the change to do is to walk to the edge and jump!
There must be some incentive to make people jump. Typically, the incentive is a combination of factors. Current pain will tend to push people over the edge. A compelling vision of the future state will pull them toward the other side. Knowing what factors will most influence specific individuals or groups is helpful so that you can plan when and how to ensure those factors are in place. Knowing how the dynamics of opinion leaders play out in the organization can help focus attention on getting influence leaders/opinion leaders to jump and bring others with them.
Change leaders and change agents should remove some of the fear of “making the jump.” For example by recognizing the need for a period of adjustment and setting performance expectations accordingly.
Achieving a state of competence, comfort and confidence in the new state takes time. Ways to help individuals “make the climb” include providing an overall road map of how the change will happen, along with formal training, documentation, success stories, coaching and mentoring.
Focused communication is vital throughout the change.
Ok, we’re almost finished but before I wrap up this lesson here’s a quiz to check out what you’ve learned
OK that completes this introduction to Business Transition Management. You learned that the BRM role acts as a transition advisor to the business partners regarding business transitions related to portfolio initiatives, and as a transition leader regarding the transition related to implementing the BRM role itself.
You also learned that in order to engage people in strategic change you must have a compelling reason to change, a compelling vision for the new state, and a meaningful path to get started on the journey to the new state.
The next lesson is Lesson 2 where we’ll study how to build urgency for an organizational change.
Move on when you’re ready