We apply several transformation hacks inspired by innovation methodologies and agile practices when we work together with our clients with business transformation. These hacks speed up delivery in specific phases of the transformation and they energize the organization through a closer collaboration with clients and experts. We believe that we as advisors and the clients should demand more from the speed and effectiveness in a transformation journey.
It is a fact that we do not know the end state of a 12+ months journey, so we should not pretend like we do. What we do know is that we need to be swift in delivering continuous results, throughout the journey, that can be evaluated and improved. Now we believe that these agile hacks are on the verge to become the standard way of transforming businesses. Customers should expect it from us as consultants and not fall into old patterns of deliveries that are centered around activities. Results are what matter and not the activities.
Agile methods are nothing new. Since the first manifest was written, roughly 20 years ago, it has been the go-to methodology in the digital development arena. What is happening now is that these methods, which are in essence problem solving methods, are being used in more functional areas. Product developers are using design sprints to, within one week, get a new prototype designed, built and customer tested. Result and trust-based measurement frameworks (e.g. OKR*) have been around since the 70’s but are now being deployed in large global organizations on a wider scale. If these methods are being used in so many areas why should we accept that a yearly strategy process can take more than 6 months? Why should we accept that a project for designing a new operating model only delivers the first version after 2 months?
At Ascend we use several different methods based on the client’s situation and need. However, there are a few key methodologies we believe in and that everyone should apply when needed
- 3-4 days strategy sprints to set direction
- OKR* to measure continuous value (and not activities)
- Agile planning and prioritization applying a regular rhythm for continuous result delivery
- 1-2 days alignment sprints to ensure cross functional collaboration
- Simulation as tool for learning
* Objective and Key Results