To develop a high-level plan to transform the organization’s current way of working it is the first step on the journey. The Operating Model has a current state at each of its key components: Work, Management and Beliefs systems. There is a current way of executing the organization’s process and a target state where the capacity is maximized and stabilized within each process. Also, the organization’s leadership reviews and manages performance in a certain way at the current state. It is expected that in the target state they adopt a customer centric E2E approach to make the best possible use of capacity while creating transparency in performance to reduce the management cycle. Finally, there are current beliefs within leaders and teams that underlie decisions and actions within the organization which must be transformed to develop a sustainable new way of working. A high-level plan must contain three phases: Planning, Diagnostic and Target State. Within each phase there must be transformation activities planned for each of the three systems within the Operating Model. The “Steering Team” within the organization’s upper management must be established to Kick Off the transformation, Validate the results of each phase in Phase Gates Reviews (PGRs) and afterwards follow up the Maturity assessments because the transformation is a process not a project. The transformation is driven from “within” not pushed from “outside” self-initiative and agency is essential at each organizational level through the whole transformation journey. If the upper management buys-in, they are going to persuade both leaders and people from the very transformation kick off and will provide support and guidance at each phase by walking with them side by side through the whole journey.

Planning: Scoping and Success Measurement

Since the transformation is not a project but a process, to define the scope at work systems level is to identify E2E workstreams with a customer centric approach. These workstreams are value “high-ways” within the organization, for example to capture value for the shareholders within Finance core processes Source to Pay, Order to Cash, Record to Report and Plan to Project there are workstreams with leaders, teams, suppliers and customers that must be defined. Then short and long term quantitative and qualitative goals must be established within each workstream with a leader and team accountable for successfully completion. The scope at management systems level will be related to create transparency in performance and the reduction in the management cycle. Leaders need to define daily and weekly KPIs tiered to those monthly and quarterly reported. As a success measurement leadership metrics must be in place to ensure that each process has transparency in its performance on daily or weekly basis. Finally, the planning phase to transform the beliefs systems starts with the Kick Off and the upper management message to the organization. Then it is followed by a Lean Awareness training at all levels to create readiness that will allow the organization to be opened to insights in the Diagnostic phase to drive the individual as well as organizational learning processes. A Lean Check In Survey could be very useful to measure success and organizational readiness.

Diagnostic: Baseline and Analysis

The baseline and analysis processes within the Diagnostic phase at work systems level are run by workstream with leader and team. Identified GAPs at the interphases with customers and suppliers it is very important to make visible the current baseline and alignment between performance and expectations. Also, the “Pain Points” within each process must be not only identified but prioritized followed by a People, Process and Technology RCA to reach the Root Causes which must be also be prioritized. At management systems level this phase encompasses the design of White or Digital Boards to deploy visual management per workstream with a clear distinction between BAU and problems. While Whiteboards usually work very well with local teams, Digital ones by using SharePoint or Power BI can help complex matrixial organizations to integrate regional and global levels. Ownership must be achieved at each organizational level ensuring the data is entered without delayed, errors and with integrity. Then the “Terms of References” (TORs) for local, regional and global staff meetings must be established with daily, weekly and monthly frequencies ensuring a reduction in the overall management cycle. At beliefs systems level, the new Profiles and Skill Matrixes for leaders and teams within each workstream should be defined. Also, the high performance “Key Behaviours” aligned with organizational values should be established at all organizational levels.

Target State: Roadmap and Capacity Management

A Target State Roadmap must be designed for each workstream to increase delivery performance and right first time while reducing touch time ensuring the successful completion of short- and long-term goals, both quantitative and qualitative. Detailed Actions to address the Root Causes of GAPs and “Pain Points” including responsible, accountable and due date must be part of the mentioned Roadmap. The RACI approach might be helpful to avoid accountability gaps in the work systems transformation. The Capacity created by the countermeasures must be annualized and quantified to be manage by the leadership by making the best possible used of it. The management systems target state starts with the Kick Off of the daily and weekly staff meetings to create transparency in performance. These short and very dynamic staff meetings are sometimes referred as “Huddles” because of they are quite common in American Sports and it will be highly desirable for the leaders to bring to their meetings the same “Sport” spirit. The transformation of the beliefs systems starts with Role modelling, Coaching and R&R to develop Leadership, Talent and key Behaviours with therefore an overall more flexible organization as an outcome. Only those organizational that really want transformation will be transformed due to “God helps those who help themselves”.

Thanks for Reading.
Kind Regards.

Marcelo Sauro is an internationally experienced performance and improvement senior manager. He holds an Executive MBA and Master of Science degrees and has helped people and organizations to transform themselves. Not only he led E2E transformations in Global Business Services, R&D, Supply Chain and Finance organizations at all levels within the LATAM and EMEA Regions, but he is also experienced in several industries including Life Science, Healthcare, Insurance, Fintech, Technology, Telecoms, FMCG, Chemicals, Automotive, Energy and Mining. Since 2015, he has been researching and developing content in agile and resilience through Value Ways, while working under contract for customers such as MetLife, Novartis, Vertiv (Emerson NP) and Experian among others. Previously, he worked for more than 7 years as Master Black Belt for a LATAM-based consulting group, which had ASQ, Qualtec and Oriel as business partners. Prior to that, he worked for more than 10 years at BASF and GSK in positions of growing responsibility in the area of Operational Excellence. Marcelo is currently working at Ferring's “International PharmaScience Center” (IPC) for the Global R&D organization in Copenhagen. To find out more please visit

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