The high-level transformation plan will usually contain the following 5 phases: planning, diagnostic, design, deploy and sustain. There is no doubt about the active nature of the first 4 phases but when organizations finally arrive at “sustain” is not always clear that this phase is also an active one. Since the maturity assessment is at the heart of this phase and it is frequently conducted by an area or a person outside of the process, leaders and teams might sometimes get the wrong impression by considering that they play a passive role within the sustain phase. On one hand, this is due to business transformations are treated as “projects” instead of “processes” so after completing the deployment phase and having fulfilled successfully its deliverables, for most process owners and teams is time to move forward to start another project. On the other hand, organizations are running their business transformation processes through multiple initiatives driven from different areas and sometimes designed by different consulting firms which in most of the cases end up competing instead of collaborating throughout the transformation process. However, to sustain not only the business transformation outcomes but also the “process” itself, it is important to have a clear understanding about “what” and “how” is being transformed to drive both continuous improvement and organizational learning processes.

Customer centricity and E2E experience management

Most of the transformation processes begun by putting customers first to develop customer centricity and by adopting an E2E approach to achieve an effective customer experience management. Although initials diagnostic detects initial opportunities by capturing the voice of the customers which afterwards are addressed by effective countermeasures for the root causes to increase both customers satisfaction and net promoter score (NPS), much more is required for an organization to become customer centric as well as to be able to manage customer experience through an E2E approach. To begin with, to open channels to capture the voice of the customer on regular bases is necessary to grasp customer’s feedback but this is not enough to ensure customer centricity. The next step is what the organization does with this information to put customers first in everything they do. Moreover, the organization must develop an E2E vision of the customer journey by identifying all the touch points and moments of truth, to effectively manage customers experience through internal and external partnerships. Furthermore, to ensure the organization is delivering a superior customer experience is not only necessary driving the continuous improvement of current services, products and processes but also innovation to be at the forefront of the industry.

Stable and dynamic value and work streams

Although it is important to reduce and manage effectively complexity at a process level, the business transformation requires to go further and to find the place of the process within value’s or work streams. During diagnostic, design and deployment phases, value’s and work streams were defined and in most of the cases functional relationships are not aligned with current organizational structures. After the deployment, fairly stable and dynamic processes are expected with operational effectiveness considering people, process and technology to maximize capacity at each step of value’s or work streams. Once in the sustain phase, is essential to establish how the organization will ensure the E2E approach of value’s and work streams which today might not be obvious by looking the organizational chart. What is more, the organization needs to monitor capacity vs. demand on daily basis while to be able to manage the current capacity new skills are needed. In addition, effective and efficient problem solving will ensure process capacity, but it also requires developing new capabilities within the team. Moreover, stable processes require not only standard work, but also mistake-proofing solutions embedded as well as knowledge management to ensure best practices are in place and in use. Furthermore, visual management makes easier for the team to distinguish “business as usual” (BAU) from problems, helping them to assess the impact of the later in capacity as well as if there are repetitive issues among them. Since the continuous improvement process is dynamic, therefore short- and long-term action plans are needed.

Agile management leadership, engagement and belief systems

The business transformation will create as an outcome agile management by reducing both spans of controls as well as the length of the management cycle. Besides creating a more straightforward organizational chart, daily and weekly dynamic staff meetings must be held to ensure frequent capacity management and performance reviews. Therefore, visual management as well as daily and weekly KPIs will help to create transparency in performance. But the real challenge for business transformation’s sustainability is leadership, engagement and beliefs systems which are the core elements of the maturity assessment as well as long-term goals. Firstly, to develop a “Gemba” approach, WILOs as well as “Huddles” can be used to transform the leadership style. Secondly, team’s engagement can be increased through coaching and talent development by using the GROW model and skill matrixes respectively. Finally, the beliefs systems maturity assessment can be easily and effectively performed through the defined key behaviours as well as a behavioural based rewards and recognition program. Therefore, an active maturity assessment can show people’s sense of purpose, alignment and team focus as well as leader’s role modelling, trust, transparency and “gemba” approach. To conclude, it is essential to understand that business transformation sustainability will rely on people and that is why they should be at the core of the maturity assessment which shouldn’t be a transactional exercise but instead a transformational experience. Thus, the role of those performing the assessment should not be the auditor’s one but instead they should act as coaches keeping in mind Galileo’s quote: “Nothing can be taught to a man, only it is possible to help him to discover it inside”.

Thanks for Reading.

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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