One of the greatest risks to strategic change is that executive attention moves on after the program is chartered. It is not enough for sponsors to develop strategy and then turn the program over to the implementers. However, when the focus is on tactical delivery, it is easy for leadership to move on to the next set of problems before sustained value is realized. To keep sponsors engaged, program leaders need simple, yet powerful ways to communicate the importance of executive engagement throughout the journey.
Business Capability Strategy
Marianne Broadbent and Ellen Kitzis write about technical managers vs. trusted executive leaders of the enterprise. Technical managers are experts in the mechanics of IT. They “keep the lights on and do it cheap.” This role is essential, especially in today’s environment of cost-cutting and rationalization of services. However, this role can also minimize the impact for good that technology can have on the organization. Increasingly, information and technology are the business, even in industries where IT has traditionally been on the sidelines. It is rare to have a business capability that is not driven by technology. Because of this, IT must be more than just the plumbing. Far beyond enabling the business, technology, when done right, can transform the enterprise and open up new and powerful ways of doing business.
Although each program is unique, many transformation efforts share fundamental challenges. These are often the result of leadership and management issues rather than technical skill deficits. One of the insights from the study of program failure is that the most influential factors are centered on aligning executive and user stakeholders around objectives, support, and adoption rather than technical implementation skills.