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The secret of a successful change: Transformational Projects and their key steps


Transformational projects


Something needs to change

This is usually the motto for transformational projects, i.e. projects that bring about major change. They are usually triggered by a sudden opportunity (business potential, external pressure or the emergence of a new technology), which is located at the urgent-accurate end of the Eisenhower matrix. Their purpose is to improve the performance of the organisation and to create new capabilities and value that will be reflected in the organisation’s performance.

These changes are usually initiated by senior management, and although the concepts of urgent and important are often used in connection with such projects, excessive haste can be detrimental. For example, it is advisable to wait until a new, immature and expensive technology becomes more affordable. It is also important that the company sees change as an opportunity, driven by internal motivation rather than external circumstances.


Risks and challenges

As with all change, transformation projects carry a number of risks and challenges, so these 3 areas need to be addressed from the start!

Clarify priorities

One of the main challenges that companies face when undertaking this type of project is the proper prioritisation and clear communication of these priorities to employees. The project often runs alongside general activities, and as a result, companies face difficulties in allocating resources appropriately. Setting the right priorities can help to ensure that transformation projects do not disrupt the day-to-day running of the company and ensure that resources are allocated to the most important tasks.


Supporting change management

Everyone is afraid of change, especially when it is major. Members of the organisation may fear losing their position, their job or that their responsibilities will change significantly. Such fears can significantly hamper projects, so change management is essential to success. Proper communication and opportunities for participation will reduce the fears of the employees concerned.



The third challenge is the complexity of the project. Transformation projects can involve many professional aspects, organisations and stakeholders. This technical complexity can cause problems in managing projects, especially if the company does not have the right resources and expertise.


The secret of a successful transformation project

It lies in communication. At the start of a project, or even before the project is launched, management needs to plan its communication strategy carefully. It is a good idea to involve a change manager from step zero, who can start preparing colleagues for the transformation in good time and support them along the way.

A key factor is to communicate messages appropriately and at the right time. Messages should be clear and convey the project’s objectives, benefits and new workflows. The communication plan should be tailored to each team and colleague, taking into account employees with different backgrounds, expertise and ideas. Communication is important not only at the first milestone, but throughout the project. Messages need to be clear and it is essential that they really reach people.

Change management is another key part of project management. Change can easily cause employees to worry about their future, so project management needs to ensure continuity and stability of work. When introducing new workflows and systems, it is important to be clear about expectations for employees and to clarify exactly what changes the project will bring to the lives of individual colleagues.

Change management needs to include processes to ensure employee involvement and to help with the transition. It is important that the project management pays attention to individual needs and supports employees with the changes.


Transformational actors

The success and effectiveness of transformation projects depend on a number of factors, including the roles and responsibilities of the people involved in the project. The actors and roles in this type of project can vary depending on the nature of the project, the size of the organisation involved and the culture of the organisation. However, in general, actors need to work in concert with each other for the project to be successful.

The first and most important actor is the customer, who is the initiator of the transformation project and who defines its objectives. The client is usually part of the top management and expects the project to be successful and to contribute to the goals of the organisation.

Also a key player is the project sponsor, who is the person or group supporting the project. The sponsor is responsible for ensuring that the project is tailored to the needs of the organisation and provides the necessary resources to complete the project successfully. The sponsor is of paramount importance in the initial phase of the project, when the objectives and expected results are defined.

The project team is the group that implements the project. The project manager leads the team, oversees the project and coordinates activities. The project manager’s tasks include drawing up the project plan, meeting deadlines and supervising the team’s work. Project team members are usually professionals with different skills needed to deliver the project, such as developers, designers, analysts and data analysts.

The communication team is also a key actor in the transformation project, responsible for developing and implementing the communication strategy and for informing and liaising with stakeholders. The role of the communications team is to ensure the support and commitment necessary for the successful completion of the project and the effectiveness of communications throughout the organisation.

Employees are also essential actors in the transformation project, whose role is to contribute to the success of the project. Employees need to understand the project’s objectives and outcomes and be willing to change and move to new ways of working. Employee involvement and commitment is critical to the success of the project.

The role of influencers, who are located at different levels of the organisational hierarchy and have a strong influence on their colleagues, is also cardinal in the transformation project. Influencers can help to convince employees of the importance and benefits of the project and help to smooth the introduction of new ways of working.

Structure of a transformation project

Structure of a transformation project

The first step is to clarify the reasons for implementing the transformation project and get the decision-makers to accept them.

The second step is to understand the project and clarify where the company wants to go from where.

The third step is to break down this journey, identifying the individual steps in the business needs from which each project can be derived.

The fourth step is the implementation of the project, based on the methodologies used by the company.

The fifth and final step is to carry out the back-testing, i.e. the summarisation of the project results using both tangible and intangible indicators.


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