A lot of planning needs to happen before you begin a transformation project. And if you don't do the planning, you are more apt to fail.
It's easy to underestimate the level of people engagement required. Many companies don't put their best people on a transformation project because their best people are running the business. But if the business is going to be completely different, then you probably want the best people working on the larger problem.
Companies also tend to set up a transformation, like an information-technology project, with a narrow focus on the time and cost of the people involved. They want to piecemeal it, rather than starting from the holistic view. A transformation is more multi-dimensional, and it is an emotional journey. It isn't just "we want to go from here to here." It's "we're going from here to here, but what are the steps and the vision that get us there? What type of people do we need when we get there? Do we have them and what are we going to do if we don't?"
A business case for transformation is much different than a day-to-day business case. The day-to-day business case is all about your "as-is" situation, and it's often done with one direction to obtain one specific end result. The business case for transformation needs to take into account your "go-to" position and your options.
In a transformation, things can change, and you cannot be saddled with, “Well, we have to go back to the drawing board.” It's scenario planning. That will then set up how the delivery of your transformation needs to be shaped.
A company that focuses on revenue during a transformation will never change the fundamentals of the business. The flawed thinking is "we need to transform our product suite in order to get more revenue from our customers." Doing that doesn't fundamentally shift the delivery of those products to the customer.
Most of companies' costs come from the servicing and the fulfillment of a product. Companies that focus on products and revenue instead of those costs will find most of the costs are not eaten by the customer choosing those products. Therefore, if you leave those back-end processes untouched, you will most likely harm customer advocacy and you will still bleed cash.
if you don't have your strategy done, you can't articulate it in a vision and you cannot have a culture that is willing to change so you can be successful. You can't have two out of three. You have to have three out of three in order to come out of the starting block. Accomplishing that also creates the transparency for the organization to move forward, as well as a sustainable level of business agility. After all, by the time you're finished with your transformation, whatever it is, you typically are starting on another one.
Companies think a decentralized transformation process can be efficient, but It just doesn't work. You'll never get the organizational efficiency needed to complete your transformation if department heads are all operating on independent projects, in their own silos. A typical organization has, for example, a marketing department, a sales department, an IT department, and so on. Each one of those could run its own set of transformation activities.
But if you have the vision and the strategy and you have created the culture of “this is actually going to happen,” you should be able to create the business cases and assign them to each department, with the metrics each will be measured on. Another benefit is that things that are learned in one area can be transferred to another.