Five Ps of Change and Transformation

December 2, 2021
Dave Brady

While outcomes for large change and transformation projects are improving, much more needs to be done. A recent KPMG Project Management Survey report noted that less than 35% of organizations will deliver projects on time, on budget and with desired outcomes. Not only a troublesome forecast, it confirms what we hear from clients and executives we talk with.     

At Turning Point we take a systemic approach to projects that addresses one or more of the reasons frequently cited as causes for failure. We call this the 5 Ps of change and transformation; purpose, people, process, platforms, and projects. 

Taken together, the 5 Ps can assist leadership with a framework for how to successfully execute large projects. The 5 Ps are not mutually exclusive; successful large change and transformation outcomes require all 5 Ps to be addressed, and in sequence. 

  1. Purpose - Purpose conveys the “What” and “Why”. It solicits emotional buy in and support with vision and mission for all stakeholders; employees, customers, partners, suppliers, shareholders and sometimes community. Purpose addresses the core question, what are we doing, why are we doing it and what do we hope to accomplish? Purpose clarifies the importance as well as consequences if not done well. Purpose further clarifies what the journey looks like, the specific benefits and expected outcomes once completed. 
  2. People - People make it happen. The biggest key to success are the people involved in making it happen and those affected by it. It begins and ends with them. Soliciting their buy in and alignment to culture is critical to success.  
  3. Process - Process is what changes and transforms. Process defines how best to operate the business. Embrace the best of what is in place, reinforce what differentiates in the market, eliminate waste and define the future state including best practice. 
  4. Platform - Platforms are processes enabler. They are the tools that support the processes and changes necessary to realize purpose. More than just applications, platforms sit behind every process that runs the business, often designed to last for many years. ERP, CRM, Product Development, and Analytics are just some of the platforms that may be involved.  
  5. Project – Project is how it gets executed. Governance, decision making, project management, communication, change management, and alignment from executives to the shop floor. Project encompasses the execution disciplines required to succeed.

Clarifying purpose, engaging your people, optimizing your processes, deploying the right tools and managing the execution simply works. While the 5 Ps may seem like commonsense, companies often approach change and transformation leaving one or more of the Ps out or attempt to take the Ps out of sequence. Time and again this results in poor or failed change and transformation outcomes that we believe the PMI forecast clearly highlights.

This is the 1st in our 5 Ps of Change and Transformation series. Look for future editions to break down each of the 5 Ps in detail.

 Dave Brady, Turning Point President and CEO

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