business transformation strategy consultant

Business transformation strategy represents a complex and dynamic process that fundamentally restructures an organization’s strategy, processes, and systems. While each instance of business transformation may possess unique characteristics, several critical steps remain foundational to a successful change management plan. A comprehensive business transformation framework ensures a smooth and practical transformation.

This framework should encompass various elements, such as defining the vision and aims of the transformation, assessing the current state of the business, identifying the gaps and areas of improvement, developing a roadmap and action plan, implementing the changes, monitoring and measuring the progress, and continuously refining the transformation approach as needed.

Steps for managing business transformation strategy

This managing business transformation article will cover the following steps:

  1. Implementing business transformation
  2. Vision and strategy
  3. Solid leadership
  4. Accurate planning and scope of works
  5. Establish a governance and program management office (PMO).
  6. Build program structure and source talent
  7. Implementation of your business transformation
  8. Integration of the business change and transition to BAU
  9. Tips for getting business transformation right
  10. Why do business transformation programs fail
business consultants dicussing business transformation strategy

Business transformation is a complex process that requires careful planning, strategy alignment, and implementation. 

1.    Implementing business transformation

By following such a framework, organizations can streamline their business transformation strategy efforts, minimize risks, and achieve their desired results in a timely and cost-efficient manner. It also enables them to engage their stakeholders, promote transparency, and build a culture of continuous improvement, which are critical for sustaining the transformation and driving long-term success.

Identifying the capabilities required to achieve strategic goals comes next. These capabilities may be areas that need significant improvement or redirection, or they may be things the company needs help with presently. Deloitte defines each capability based on these six factors:

  • Mission: the purpose, method, and ability derived directly from the strategy.
  • Insights: compiling, communicating, and using data to make decisions.
  • Integration: rules, roles, and decision-making responsibilities.
  • Processes: well-defined and efficiently designed processes that lead to desired outcomes.
  • Technology: the hardware, software, tools, and services required for the capability.
  • Talent: the skills and experience required for the capability to succeed, including the allocation of existing staff and the recruitment of additional team members.

2.    Vision and strategy

For an organization that aims to drive change, having a well-defined vision of how an improved business should function is essential. It is necessary to ensure that this vision aligns with the strategic goals and business case and that all stakeholders agree.

To develop a strategy toward this vision, the business needs to define its “Target Operating Model” and evaluate its status. This process involves identifying the gaps between the present and desired states and determining the measures required to bridge these gaps.

A comprehensive understanding of the business’s current state is necessary to identify areas that require improvement or automation to enhance productivity. Mapping out the people, processes, and systems that support the delivery of products or services to customers is a crucial step in this regard. Once this analysis is complete, it becomes easier to assess areas that require improvement or automation, which helps define the vision for the future.

3.    Solid leadership

Appointing capable leaders to oversee and support the transformation program is essential.

Successfully delivering any business transformation requires appointing a Program or Transformation Director who can ensure smooth, timely, and cost-effective transformation delivery. This individual must possess the requisite experience and skills to manage the entire business transformation process from end to end.

In the face of a constantly evolving business landscape, many companies have begun to hire permanent leadership talent to help them connect evolution with strategy, coordinate the necessary work, and provide support. This trend has given rise to the position of Chief Transformation Officer (CTO), who is influential at the C-suite level and interacts with all other business functions. The CTO provides companies with the necessary understanding, vision, impact, and focus to bring about change.

From their position, a CTO can guide every part of the business in achieving successful change. They serve as the face of transformation, setting the tone, inspiring enthusiasm, and challenging existing wisdom. Like a drill sergeant in the military who demands daily push-ups and 10-mile runs, the CTO is focused on making the organization fitter to sustain the effort over the long term.

It is critical that senior leadership be committed to the transformation program, and the CEO, CFO, or another board member should serve as the transformation sponsor. The CEO is the most likely candidate to sponsor such a program, followed by the CFO, CIO, and, if it involves a manufacturing company, then the CSCO. This is not surprising, given that cost saving is one of the critical drivers of business transformation. The CFO, CIO, and the Transformation Director are typically the most involved in setting up the transformation program.

4.    Accurate planning and scope of works

A clear strategy is necessary to achieve your company’s vision, which will help you develop a detailed transformation roadmap. The implementation plan outlines all the sub-projects required for the transformation program. It determines the changes needed, as well as when they should occur. Each sub-project should have clear team members, objectives, scope, milestones, RACI, timeframes, and budget. Identifying all the workstreams, functional areas, people, processes, and systems affected or involved in the transformation.

Generating change momentum requires managing and prioritizing the program’s scope of work to demonstrate early success. Proper planning for the “people side” of the transformation is also essential. Unless your organization undertakes many change projects, bringing people on the journey can be challenging by explaining the “why” and communicating effectively.

Careful planning is necessary for external communication as well. It would help to consider how and when to communicate changes to customers and suppliers. All these aspects need to be planned meticulously.

5.    Establish a governance and program management office (PMO).

Treating your program as a changeable entity that can be adapted to meet new challenges throughout your transformation journey is considered best practice. By creating a central Programme Management Office (PMO), the Programme Director can provide program governance, oversee all parties involved in delivery, manage risks, and modify the transformation roadmap to ensure the program stays on track. The PMO is responsible for monitoring progress and informing the transformation sponsor and the board of regular updates.

To manage the business transformation strategy, business leaders should be appointed to oversee each workstream, such as IT, HR, sales, marketing, supply chain, and finance. These leaders must align with the transformation’s goals and possess the capacity, data, and skills to inspire their teams and drive change.

6.    Build program structure and source talent.

To achieve successful changes in your business transformation strategy and project, having the appropriate executive capability at each stage is crucial. This means having the right people in the right roles at the right time. However, relying solely on your current executive team to meet these requirements in a disruptive environment is often unrealistic. Even the most accomplished business leaders may not have the necessary experience and knowledge to handle every situation without external assistance.

Souring External Talent

Business leaders may realize that they lack the internal capability to deliver a successful business transformation strategy, which is why a proportion of the transformation team is usually sourced from external talent. They require specialists with specific skill sets to help implement the transformation successfully. The right experts can provide organizations with the knowledge, project management tools, document templates, change management frameworks, governance guidelines, and typical project team structures to deliver the required step change. As a result, business leaders often seek external help. In-demand executives have strong sector knowledge, enabling them to understand the market, accurately evaluate business performance, and build a high-performing leadership team to move the transformation forward. Therefore, the best methodology is to create blended groups of internal and external talent to manage each change sub-project and achieve the desired end vision or Target Operating Model.

7.    Implementation of your business transformation strategy

The business transformation process is a complex and time-consuming undertaking that may take several months, or even years, to complete. It is important to note that the journey towards transformation can only be initiated after taking the first step. One of the fundamental aspects of this process is engaging staff members effectively. The program leadership should ensure that a dedicated team should be put in place to oversee the implementation of the business transformation initiative. They facilitate the change management process and ensure employees are on board with the planned changes.

Remaining flexible and adaptable is also crucial to a successful business transformation. New challenges are bound to arise, and it is essential to be prepared to address them proactively. The Programme Management Office (PMO) should have a plan to handle unexpected roadblocks. It should regularly re-evaluate and reassess the implementation plan to ensure it remains appropriate and can be adapted. The PMO can ensure that the transformation initiative stays on track, reporting is consistent, stakeholders are engaged, and the program can achieve the desired outcomes.

8.    Integration of the business transformation strategy and transition to BAU

Once a change has been implemented, the business transformation strategy program continues. Integrating new systems or working methods into the business can be complex and time-consuming. For instance, if you have moved to a new HR outsourcing partner with a different HR system (i.e., SAP), it is essential to integrate it with other critical systems in your organization, such as benefits, payroll, analytics, data management, and financial control systems. The new system affects all employees in the company, so it is crucial to provide them with the necessary training to use it effectively.

9.    Tips for getting business transformation strategy right

A business transformation strategy involves reorganizing an organization’s resources, operations, and strategies for better performance and growth. The ultimate objective is to increase revenue, curtail expenses, enhance customer satisfaction, and optimize workforce efficiency. However, completing a business transformation can be an overwhelming task that requires careful planning, execution, and management. To help organizations navigate through the challenges that come with it, here are ten valuable tips to consider.

Strategic planning

Knowing when to act is critical. Often, when you realize your business is in trouble, it may be too late. Therefore, recognizing the need for change and knowing when to act is crucial.


It’s essential to have a leader who understands the required qualities for effective leadership and is willing to take responsibility for implementing changes. Transformational leadership is critical in driving any change or transition within companies.

An integrated approach across functions

A combined approach to people, processes, and systems is necessary. Since a change in one aspect of your organization may impact others, you need a truly integrated approach that looks at all parts to succeed.


Appoint a sponsor and program team responsible for the transformation. Business transformation programs that involve a ‘people’ and an ‘organizational structure’ workstream have a better chance of implementation success.


Focusing on bandwidth is fundamental. If you’re asking people to help you deliver change, you need them to have the time and focus. Bringing in interim executives can be valuable, as they bring a high energy, broad expertise, and the correct language to empower internal teams.

Clear vision and end-state

Creating a clear vision is essential. Agreeing on a clear vision of what your evolved business will look like is crucial. The challenge is maintaining consistency and alignment around all elements of it. Having a dedicated change management team can support this transition.

Engagement and communication

The success of a change program depends on employee engagement and communication. Transformational leaders can motivate, inspire, and convince everyone in the business to join them in pursuing the vision.

Resources to manage business transformation

Structure and resources underpin success. Therefore, appointing a sponsor and program team responsible for the transformation is vital. Maintaining a governance structure and regular cadence with communication and milestones is essential to support the change journey.

Understand the impact of the business transformation strategy

Recognize that a change program involves many parts. Therefore, changing the organizational design of your finance team may impact your procurement, IT, and HR teams. You need a unified approach that looks at all parts to succeed with your business transformation program.

Engage external support

Finally, recognize that the capacity to deliver a business transformation strategy while simultaneously running the business as usual (BAU) is fundamental. Bringing in interim program and functional executives – either as backfill, dedicated program resources, or as specialist additional capacity – can be valuable to the program and support the leadership vision.

10. Why do business transformation strategy programs fail

Developing and executing a business transformation strategy is a complex process that demands cautious planning, alignment of strategies, and proper implementation. A successful business transformation strategy can help a company achieve significant growth and profitability. However, numerous factors can jeopardize the entire process.

One of the companies’ biggest mistakes during a transformation is declaring victory too early. A successful transformation requires a rigorous plan aligned with the company’s objectives and sustained over the long term. If budgets are not aligned with goals, performance and governance discipline can suffer, resulting in an unsuccessful transformation.

Failure to clarify resources leads to overworking and missed deadlines, as people are on the project while still needed in day-to-day operations. With clear owners and accountability for actions, it’s possible to embed rapid decision-making and reinforce new mindsets to keep the transformation moving. Failure to do so can lead to delays and disruptions, derailing the entire process.

Finally, companies that need to refine their processes as they go are more likely to experience setbacks during the transformation. Leaders who prioritize transformations as the main event, invest in tangible changes to business-as-usual structures, processes, and systems, and maintain a long-term mindset can give their organization the best chance of achieving the full potential of its transformation. According to McKinsey’s research on successful business transformations, many companies restocked their initiatives by as much as 70 percent after the first year to maintain momentum for the challenges ahead.

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Want to unlock value and tackle big business transformation strategy questions? Our Noirwolf global team can help! With a customized approach, we deliver results on business transformation. Contact us to start the conversation and unlock the value that matters for your organization. Check out our recent business transformation guide and change management process articles.

About Noirwolf

Noirwolf can be your reliable partner for taking your business to new heights. We specialize in strategic planning, growth strategy, leadership development, and business transformation strategy consulting. Our comprehensive services include leadership development consulting, change management consulting, early-stage program management, organizational development, and executive coaching. We can create a personalized plan for your success. Book a complimentary strategy consultation today and experience the difference Noirwolf can make.

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