Wins Matter: The Case for Incrementalism in Transformation



a thorough or dramatic change in form or appearance.

There is a tendency, when considering technology transformation projects, to always assume bigger is better. After all, as we can see from above, the word “Transformation” connotes something “thorough” or “dramatic”.  Substitute “bold” or “radical” and it still seems to fit.

A well-defined transformation should result in a grand vision. This is desirable. If you are going to engage in modernization, you must have a picture of the end objective. You have to aim big.

At B2P, we talk a lot about bridging the “Pillars of Transformation” -- Vision, Strategy and Execution. In the case of transformation, as we’ve said, we encourage the Vision to be big and bold. Depending on circumstances, however, the execution can be measured. Why? Because Wins matter. Never underestimate the power of Wins.

While the goals of transformations are typically operational and user experience efficiencies, there is a natural impulse to want to modernize and release the organization from the maintenance obligations of older technology. But as the requirements pile up, so do the costs. And as the costs compound, so does the likelihood of the project collapsing on itself as request for funds becomes too large for the organization to consider.

How to manage?  In addition to bridging the Pillars of Transformation discussed above, you’ll also hear us advocate for engaging in transformation that matches the realities of your organization and culture.  The realities of your organization may be that budget can only accommodate a fraction of the vision in year one.  Or the change management required may simply be more than your colleagues can handle at once.  Managing these realities may require measured and incremental approaches to transformation.

Perhaps you need to start with a proof of concept to engage more support. Perhaps the replacement of one system and its processes is the proof of concept that greenlights something larger.  

As you engage in transformation, it is important to remember the benefits outlined in the vision. It may be easier to realize the benefits of transformation by leaving some legacy systems in place. Connecting to them, limiting their scope through a new, modern front end, may be all that is needed to maximize ROI.

The goal of transformation is to see it through to its’ end and accumulate those benefits. The realities of the organization should determine the realities of execution. Successful execution

drives successful outcomes. A successful outcome is a win. Say it with me one more time – Wins Matter!