Transformation of project-oriented companies – Prologue

With this blog series, we want to report on current developments in the field of corporate transformation and at the same time provide concrete tips for implementation. Every month we take up one aspect of the topic and present background information, potentials for improvement as well as solutions – from practice for practice.

The words “change” and “transformation” should not be missing in any set of slides, in any study or consulting concept today; they have clearly emerged as trend words in recent years. So is this just a fad or is “change” and “transformation” a real need of companies? Particularly in economically difficult times, with technological upheavals (keyword digitalisation) and disruptive business models (example: autonomous driving), the pressure on companies to rethink their strategic positioning and, if necessary, realign themselves is naturally increasing. To this extent, managers are considering how they can shape this change. Interest in concepts such as “transformation” quickly arises and the question of how these can be used to put a company back on the road to success.

Unfortunately, there is often a lack of clarity as to what is meant by the words “change” and “transformation”, what distinguishes them from each other and how they relate to “agilization”, “adaptability” or even “evolution”. Even if the impetus for a company often comes from the environment, i.e. from customers, markets or even competitors, different concepts lead to different results. In the following blog post we will go into these concepts in more detail, show their main drivers and expectations with regard to the results.

What does “transformation” have to do with projects and programmes? On the one hand, transformation is implemented in the form of projects and programmes. On the other hand, companies having a strong orientation towards projects and programmes are interested in increasing their adaptability/changeability. A study by KPMG together with the IPMA International Project Management Association sums up the context as follows: “In an environment of constant change and upheaval, successful organizations must be able to adapt and implement quickly, demanding more of project managers than ever before. The current edition of the IPMA Individual Competence Baseline (IPMA ICB Version 4) requires the project manager to have competencies for “Change & Transformation”.

Tiba Managementberatung has also been combining project management skills with change and transformation skills for over 30 years. The Tiba “4-Axis Model” provides the direction for project-oriented companies. In recent decades, methods and tools or PM software systems have been the main drivers of development, but now the tide is turning and the strategy, the organization and the people are more in focus.

Market upheavals, disruptive technologies and rising employee expectations require new strategies and a rethinking of the “true purpose” of the company. Today’s younger generation not only looks for promotion opportunities and pay, but also for degrees of freedom at work and whether the company makes a positive contribution to society and the environment. Leadership is changing from a hierarchical understanding to “supportive management”. Organizational structures are changing in the direction of more self-organization. The aim is to achieve greater acceptance among employees, improved responsiveness to change and an appropriate handling of complexity. The right mindset among managers and employees and a supportive corporate culture. All of this is taken up in the blog series.

Of course, there are a number of different procedural models, approaches and interventions within the framework of a transformation. It is also important that consultants with a systemic understanding do not “do” the transformation, but “accompany” managers and employees during the implementation. Although they always provide an external view and above all constructive feedback, they otherwise maintain a professional distance. Ultimately, the new solution found through a transformation should be accepted by management and staff. This is certainly much harder to achieve when there is a feeling of “not invented here”. In one of the blog posts, the management of transformations is discussed, and insights are given into the do’s and don’ts of successful practical applications.

Now we wish you a successful start into the year 2020 and look forward to the joint journey and exchange on the topic of “Transformation of project-oriented companies”.


Author: Reinhard Wagner, CEO of Tiba Managementberatung

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