As a company, we all go to our yearly retreats, or something similar, in order to find out where we want to go and how we want to change. “Let’s become DevOps” or “How about migrating to the Cloud”, just to name a few… which are on most organizations’ mind right now and for good reasons: they can help improve development process, efficiency, and thus, overall business.
These questions are more than regular planning… they impact strategy and the whole organization leadership. This is when we should think about putting together a Journey Management plan, a new approach or map for the whole organization to follow.
But how do we get there?!… what should we focus on?!… what kind of questions should we ask ourselves?!…
(Quick note: This document is by no mean a training on the methodology but a high-level description so that you can understand the essence. Also, this is one version of a Journey Management Methodology and there are several out there following different approaches with different flavours. You are free to pick and choose and even combine.)
When we start something, we focus on what THAT is – meaning “It’s a Technical thing” or “It’s more of a People Thing” and so on. We categorize what we want to accomplish without thinking that nothing works in silos.
Journey Management is not just about changing ONE thing… it’s the whole Business that changes and it impacts EVERYTHING. When you change something somewhere, there are repercussions all over and this must be thought through.
That’s where Journey Management comes into play. It helps you focus on achieving your overall business goals by setting and adjusting accordingly the appropriate course of action to reflect the business needs and changes.
Taking DevOps as an example which resonates today – it’s easy to forget that it’s NOT just about New Processes and that it impacts the entire organization. Your employee’s commitment to change and success in communicating those changes must also be addressed.
When you add a Journey Management approach to your Change Process, it puts in place a controlled discipline.
So, when we layer this in the overall process, you get:
The Goal? … it’s ALL ABOUT BUSINESS RESULTS!
Obviously, you do not kick start a Journey Management process for all initiatives because it would make everything too heavy and overly bloated, process wise and implementation wise.
It impacts a lot on processes, departments, people and infrastructure so it’s not as simple as just distributing a new user manual. Also, you have other initiatives happening which requires attention without forgetting what was put in place before.
But the good news is that although there is no magic recipe to introduce a Journey Management process, several methodologies can be combined to create your own if it helps to achieve your goal.
At Emyode, we chose to implement our “3 Weeks Evolution” methodology to our journey management to establish the different goals, steps and milestone in our journey.
“Every 3 weeks, the end users benefit from new functionalities tested and deployed in production. This enables all parties to validate project status faster, adjust if necessary, optimize resources, and deliver value every 3 weeks.”
This “3 Weeks Evolution” methodology is ingrained in our philosophy, it is part of everything we do.
The effort of a Journey is what manages your business results and what drives your Future Business Capabilities.
The funny thing is that when you look at what needs to be done as part of Managing a Journey, it doesn’t look complex… but DON’T BE FOOLED. Planning a journey management can be complicated, and to implement it… even more difficult.
True, it’s not always easy, but it doesn’t have to be painful – we learned a number of best practices based on Emyode’s experience in the field – that’s what we called GOLDEN RULES.
SCOPE, PLAN AND MAINTAIN
This is “making sure that we determine and ensure the organization’s position on the venture”:
- EXPECTATIONS: You know that to get something approved and done, you must have a Sponsor behind you. Get their perceptions of the reasons for and the nature of the changes.
- COMMITMENT: Help build the Executive Commitment to the objectives and maintain commitment throughout the change process.
- CONTEXT: Ensure you assess and update continuously, during your Journey, the critical aspects associated with all changes to maintain your goal.
- THE COURSE: The approach has to be recursive throughout the entire process. Keep your End Goal in Mind to ensure that you always stay on the right path.
- ASSESSMENT: Develop an approach to continuously assess the organization’s progress, ownership, commitment, leadership and sponsorship… to ensure that you always have “the Team” behind you!
These 5 points lead the road to implementing a successful journey management. Our “3 Weeks Evolution” approach allowed us to maintain control while moving forward step by step.
As much as we like to assume that everything is fine, and everybody is happy, we can’t really know for sure unless we continuously assess the progress of our journey in terms of ongoing context and course of action.
A good approach is to:
- SUSTAIN EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP: Rally the Executive Personnel to effectively keep leading the change at various levels within the organization. They HAVE TO feel empowered to take the change and truly believe it will help them. Keep the spirit up! Maintain a close eye on them and always get their pulse.
- SUSTAIN OWNERSHIP COMMITMENT: Keep in mind the “people” side of change. Establish a change network, such as a Communication Plan, through which people are kept informed.
Hopefully you got the gist of what a Journey should be… and why it adds value to ANY changes you’re trying to make to your organization. As I have mentioned, this is a layer you add to other methodologies in order to just get that additional “wow”!
Best of luck!