Deloitte: Transformation Nerve Centres boost digital change

By Janet Brice
How TNCs are the critical cornerstone of a successful digital industrial transformation by creating visibility, intensity and accountability...

The key to creating a digital industrial transformation that delivers results to your organisation is a high performing Transformation Nerve Centre (TNC), according to Deloitte.

Taking a step-by-step look at the future of digital industrial transformation, Deloitte focuses on the benefits of a TNC in their latest paper, What it takes to execute large-scale and lasting transformations.

“A TNC can be a critical piece of the transformation program. The TNC creates visibility, intensity, and accountability, cornerstones of successful transformations,” says Deloitte.

What is a TNC?

According to the report, a TNC lies at the centre of an organisation and is chartered with comprehensively managing the planning, execution and the outcomes of a digital industrial transformation. 

“The sheer complexity, scope and ambiguity of transformation require dedicated capabilities to architect the transformation, orchestrate across multiple intersecting threads of work and track progress against goals,” says Deloitte.

A TNC also sets the transformation agenda, drives communications with stakeholders and makes the critical decisions needed to drive the program forward.

In a bid for leaders to ensure consistency and build credibility, Deloitte outlined the role of TNS during the digital transformation of a company. This can be categorised into three pillars: 

Spin up design and launch and wind down workstreams. Lead internal and external communications and support change management efforts across the enterprise. Seek out external perspectives and advisers.

Leverage technology and data to continuously improve efficiency. Lead and manage the ‘transformation zone’ investments.

Maintain a network of internal transformation ambassadors and provide board updates and establish a track transformation metrics, timeline and budget.

“Throughout the transformation, the TNC should consistently emphasise agile execution and decision-making - dynamic, real-time, and data-driven,” comments Deloitte.

“Centre leaders should challenge executives and workstream leaders to consider the organisation’s growth aspirations and to take on calculated risks while looking forward. The TNC should also actively facilitate discussions on trade-offs - financial, operational, or strategic - and the risk of inaction with business leaders who struggle to embrace the transformation.”

The report points out that once the goals have been set the most critical element of executing successful transformation is the team.

“The most effective centres are a combination of art and science - or nature and nurture,” says Deloitte. Teams should aim to include individuals with leadership capabilities, program management capabilities, experience navigating the organisation and an ability to deal with complexity, seniority, and bandwidth (science). “They should be able to innovate, invoke trust, and stay dedicated to the transformation’s goals (art).”

Deloitte’s experience in shaping end-to-end transformations reveal seven characteristics of high-performing TNC’s – these include:

  • Cross- functional
  • Independent
  • Dynamic
  • Bold
  • Communicative
  • Externally supported
  • Innovative

One aspect unique to TNC is ‘transformation scoping’ in which an organisation should take on a manageable task of digital change which is not too big but not too insignificant. “We’ve seen repeated success with dynamic scoping, in which the TNC takes charge of setting goals for shorter periods or agile execution sprints of eight to 12 weeks.

“Rather than committing resources and capital to the end-to-end transformation of the sales function over two years, the TNC might break this up into six to eight efforts, each focused on a separate but critical component of the sales transformation… In this way, the TNC provides line of sight into the overall goals but makes each element more achievable,” comment Deloitte.

In order to deliver, the report cites a successful transformation leader needs to have the following five qualities:

  • Bandwidth - to fully commit to the demands of a digital industrial transformation 
  • Deep understanding - of the company’s customers, markets and operations 
  • Risk appetite - to take on challenges and stick to the goals 
  • Authority - to make transformation-related decisions in partnership with the CEO
  • Influence - with other executives so that decisions are implemented effectively

“True transformations are inherently challenging to manage - they often come with high expectations, tight timelines and a wealth of scepticism among stakeholders. Yet when executed to plan, a digital industrial transformation can recast the fortunes of a struggling business,” concludes Deloitte.

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