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Journey Management Methodology
11 February 2019
by Daniel-Jean Simard

INTRODUCTION

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.)

 

WHAT

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!

 

WHEN

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.

 

HOW

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.

 

GOLDEN RULES

  • Expectation, Commitment, Context, Course, Assessment… use these 5 key words and other ideas to COMPLEMENT the methodology you’ll be using. For example, if you want to go DevOps, InfoTech Research group is a good base to start working with and adapting to your journey.
  • Try to also think CONTROLED EVOLUTION – you might have grand ideas, but you still need to go step by step.  A good approach is to think “3 weeks evolution” in order to keep it under control. 

 

SCOPE, PLAN AND MAINTAIN

This is “making sure that we determine and ensure the organization’s position on the venture”:

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.

 

GOLDEN RULES

  • It’s important to have a good Program Management Team in place in order to maintain control.
  • Keep assessing your Risks and manage them (more about RISK MANAGEMENT METHODOLOGY) in order to minimize any “go/nogo” decision.
  • Also try to implement scheduled STEP BACK ANALYSIS PROCESS throughout the initiative (again, stay tuned for my blog about STEP BACK ANALYSIS METHODOLOGY) in order to minimize road blocks.

 

MEASURE

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:

 

GOLDEN RULES

  • DO NOT underestimate implementing a Communication Plan. It is mandatory that during your Journey you build a STRONG support structure of motivated people and true leadership who will also own the change and motivate others to do the same… use your Program Management Team.

 

CONCLUSION

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!

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