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Be the transformer you are meant to be

Due to constant technological changes, new challengers in the market and an evolving workforce, project managers have to adapt. Are you a project manager or the transformer of the future? Strategic transformation happens through programs and projects that deliver value. Capabilities are uncovered to help accelerate value delivery. Research by Project Management Institute and other organisations have identified five critical capabilities required to stay ahead in today’s business environment.  

1. Transform mindset

Remember when you first started a new role or activity? You had all the drive in the world and you felt like you could do anything, but now you’re hitting a wall. Well it may be time to transform by adapting your mindset to build capability.

A mindset is a set of key principles designed to better enable collaborative work and deliver continuous value through a “people first” approach. Change comes from combining the right mindset with the capabilities to rapidly sense and adapt to external and internal changes that are necessary to obtain adequate results in a productive and cost effective manner.

2. Transform thinking

Systems thinking aims to understand a system by examining the linkages and interactions between the components that comprise the entirety of that defined system to allow transformation within an organisation. “System” - we hear and use the word all the time. We may say “this task is not performed efficiently; I need to come up with a better system”. Systems may be thought about as having clear external boundaries (closed) or having links with their environment (open).

An open system perspective is more common and realistic. It’s been said that systems thinking is an essential key management competency. As markets become tightly intertwined and as the pace of change continues to rise, project managers will be required to become “system-wise” and start applying systems thinking principles in practice.

3. Transform teaming

Integration research framework defines the causal links between organisational, processes, stakeholders and effective integration to improve program performance. Improving performance is a major concern for organisations. And joint effort is key when it comes to greater outcome for all parties.

It’s no wonder why leading companies like Apple and Deloitte have teamed up to help companies transform the way they work by maximizing maximising their processes to bring ease to the workplace through iPhone and iPad. As part of the joint effort, Deloitte also created best in class Apple practice, dedicating 5,000 strategic advisors to solely focus on assisting organisations in their transformation, from customer centric functions such as retail, services and recruiting processes, to R&D, inventory management and back office systems.

4. Transform tailoring

One size doesn’t fit all so it’s essential to tailor your Agile Transformation to meet your organisation’s requirements. Aligning around the wrong solution does have pitfalls as by definition this solution may not include critical elements necessary to the organisation which will create some more complexity instead. Significantly, organisations should learn to understand what path works for their unique transformation requirements instead of following an established path.

5. Transform change management

Transforming Mindset, Transforming thinking, Transforming team and Transforming change management - It is like a recipe, mix these elements for effective change.

Most successful business transformations in history are led through the right culture changes enabled by change management initiatives coming from the top down. Mid-level and frontline employees shouldn’t be neglected in the process as it will be a much easier to implement change if they have been consulted on issues that will affect their role early on.

When implementing change, leaders should define important behaviours necessary to the success of the initiative and model these behaviours right from the start. Employees will understand transformation is occurring only when they see the behavioural change happening at management level. 

Project managers are faced with constant challenges and must learn to think more logically and analyse how to solve organisational challenges through break through mental models to remain relevant in the future.


About our PMI collaboration:

Robert Walters has teamed up with the Project Management Institute to organise Meetup events for professionals interested in learning and developing their skills in today’s business environment. Our aim is to deliver value and shape the future. Interested in coming along to the next event? Get in touch to receive the latest event updates. 

Looking for the next step in your Project Management career? Register your interest here

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