Do transformation initiatives always require pre-defined goals?

523 views35 Comments

Senior Executive Advisor in Software, 10,001+ employees
One of the underlying goals of a business transformation effort is to address the organizational silos that are created between the business and developers. It’s hard to decipher what is urgent when you don’t have a clear set of goals and priorities, which causes friction among teams. If you’re using modern methodologies for product development, engagement should focus on developing software that aligns with business priorities. The business and developers are collaborating and working towards the same goals, thus breaking down those silos. It’s important to work with leadership to identify business outcomes that need to be achieved within a defined time frame in order to establish a sense of urgency for that transformation. This helps teams recognize the gravity of the situation, which sets the tone for their activities.
Director of IT in Education, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
Vision drives goals/achievables.  Collaboration and engagement can spawn creativity which can lead to transformational experiences, which can enhance vision.  So, transformation isn't necessarily dependent upon specific goals, rather goals can be born out the creative journey to transformational ideas, that ultimately support vision 
Chief Information Officer in Education, 5,001 - 10,000 employees
Not at all. Transformational initiatives can come from grass roots movements or from well thought, deliberate goal oriented work. Initiatives can also fail with lack of direction (no defined goals) or by having goals that are too rigid. Transformation takes hard work and needs to be purposeful. Goals don't need to be predefined but they should come into play at some point to ensure you know when to celebrate the transformation or do a course correction. 
CIO in Finance (non-banking), 10,001+ employees
Yes, but they can start as general goals and evolve to more specific ones as project matures.
CIO in Software, 51 - 200 employees
I have seen extremes - One where we have an extreme well defined 5 pager, 20 point, tied to executives goals, well balanced score card and other where we started with 'We needed to do something to survive in next 3 years'. It depends on ability of program managers to handle uncertainties and project management triad. It also depends on what external substances we want to handle. I have been on every echelon of execution and I believe top management has it easy when they define it very well. 
My view - we should always harmonize and realign where we are - every quarter. Typically goals should not change but I wont write it on stone

Chief Information Security Officer in Healthcare and Biotech, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
Yes for sure. Else it will be doing just a transformation without any out-come. I believe every transformation should have clearly defined out-comes; so that ROI can be measured. 
CTO in Software, 2 - 10 employees
While it is useful to have predefined goals before embarking on a transformation initiative, sometimes the goal can be "we can do this better, let's figure out how".
CIO in Healthcare and Biotech, 51 - 200 employees
 Without defined goals and direction the initiative is almost certain to fail
Senior Director of Engineering in Software, 501 - 1,000 employees
I believe any initiative (transformation in particular) need to have very clear goals.

A team behind an initiative needs to know what success looks like.

There should also be a very clear alignment of the expected outcomes and have measures to assess how close we are from achieving them.
CIO / CDO in Construction, 10,001+ employees
just look at how many of transformation journeys fail or underdeliver - apprx 80%+
one of the several factors is the lack of a clear driver/reason/motiv - like: “what business problem are we trying to resolve” or “what business opportunity are we trying to tap into” or “what new value proposition/service offering are we trying to create” … etc etc … long story short: no clear vision/strategy/objective/goal/purpose, no success!

Content you might like

Accountability - There's no system for accountability - we just rely on people keeping their word33%

Innovation - There's a structured process to contribute an idea and see the eventual outcome and decisions52%

People - Our company finds it difficult to do any of the above33%

People - Laggards hold things back but certain people and teams make it happen31%

General - We find it difficult to do any of the above15%

IT - We are held back from most of the above by legacy systems and a dependence on IT24%

Processes and Workflow - We've reached a point where email, chat and documentation have been replaced with accountable tasking and repeatable processes17%

Processes and Workflow - We publish processes or documentation and try to keep it up-to-date13%

Something else (comments below)1%


5.6k views7 Upvotes2 Comments

CTO in Software, 201 - 500 employees
Without a doubt - Technical Debt! It's a ball and chain that creates an ever increasing drag on any organization, stifles innovation, and prevents transformation.
Read More Comments
48.6k views133 Upvotes326 Comments