Transformation projects

Context and Objectives

Projects in the life cycle of a company can be classified into two main categories: “technical” projects focused on developing a product, building a site…and “transformation” projects leading the Company from a situation A to a situation B.

Transformation-GTechnical projects are usually easily managed as they are an integral part of the core business of a department or a company. On the other hand, transformation projects are more complicated to handle due to the unique contexts and organizations. Thus, these projects are challenging to document, capitalize on and duplicate.

Transformation projects often impact transverse processes of the company and affect the various supporting organizations. They are often critical to the company’s performance and future.

A succesful transformation largely relies on its set up:

  • addressing the unforseen events,
  • managing change and achieving targets, together with the team,

The more complicated is the transformation project, the more sofisticated the project organization must be.

We point out both best practices and difficulties encountered when carrying out a transformation project.


Transformation projecs must be considered complex. Even an evolution process, quite frequent, requires highest attention and anticipation.

The company’s size impacts change processes as strategy evolution and organization modifications.

Each transformation project is unique. However, similar experiences lead to transferable competences.

We will focus on follwing milestones to consider:

Project Organization

Each project starts with nomitating a project leader and setting up clear rules.

Project Leader

The key role, driving the operational success of the project and the operational effeciency. It is therefore essential that the project leader is an experienced manager.

If the company is missing internal competencies, two options are possible:

  • To assign direct responsibility of the project to an experienced interim executive,
  • To assign responsibility to a company manager, supported by a interim executive with additional expertise.

Then the interim executive will act as a “coach”, a “right-hand man”, a “wise person” together with the internal project leader and his/her team.


The first tasks of the Project Leader is to define the project framework: to fix the various objectives (timescales, budgets…), to set up a project team, to organize achievable milestones, to qualify and quantify the required resources, to define the key performance indicators of the project and to communicate.


The project facilitator can have a key role. In the Company, he/she can contribute to the target achievement, supporting the project team to obtain necessary tools for proper execution of the mission. He/she can also positively contribute to any arbitrage issues.

To efficiently contribute, the facilitator must be involved in the definition of direct and undirect targets and should point out any unexpected collateral effect. He/she must be recognized as trustwworthy and neutral by stakeholders. His/her position in the company will contribute to his/her credibility and resepct from colleagues and superiors. He/she will have proper ailability to affently support the project.

To identify a facilitator is not a prerequisite to start the mission. However, if there is one, he/she must necessarily be involved from the very begenning of he project.

The Project Team

To be successful, a transformation project requires a project team, representing all functions and actors involved. Project team members are motivated, competent and available for the project.

Success relies on the commitment of all involved parties during the project’s life. Each team member should be identified and engaged in first stage of the project.

  • Any human related issue must be solved at first.
 The sooner an issue is resolved the less chances that it will escalade later in a critical phase.