Financial institutions often have to implement large change initiatives which sometimes take years to complete. In our previous blog, we discussed some of the steps needed to ensure that initiatives can be executed successfully. In this blog, we touch upon one of the key elements for successfully implementing large change initiatives; the creation of a shared vision.
A shared vision forms the basis for successful implementation and can be used as a compass for steering. It describes, among other things, why you’re working on the initiative, what its shared goals are, and what its benefits are for each stakeholder (group) involved. A shared vision ensures that everyone knows and shares a common understanding of what they are working towards and is centered around answering the Why, What and How.
Defining why you’re working on an initiative forms the backbone of a shared vision. It is important to acknowledge that different goals can exist. Defining the common goal is of major importance. This section should answer the question: “Why are we undertaking this initiative?”. However, that answer is often more complex than it might look at first. For example:
- Why are we starting this project right now (instead of in 1, 2, or 5 years)?
- Why does the initiative consist of the components it does?
- Why …
Answering the “why” requires embedding the perspective of every stakeholder, both internal and external. For example, regulatory change initiatives are often seen as “must haves”, which may result in overlooking potential business benefits that can be realized.
Another aspect of the shared vision is communicating what you are working on. You want to capture what your tangible deliverables are and the benefits that will be realized with the implementation.
Benefits can and will differ per stakeholder group. Defining these benefits in a shared vision will strengthen the case for implementation and the buy-in from the organization. Tracking the realization of these benefits is a vital aspect in making your shared vision come and stay alive.
Finally, your shared vision should lay out how you intend to achieve the targets you have set. Here, you should focus on governance; general infrastructure, having your (delivery) teams in place, and having the right knowledge available. For example:
- Is the proper infrastructure in place to make this initiative succeed? If not, what steps need to be taken?
- How are people working together across the project? In siloes? Is that a blocker?
- Who’s involved? Are they the right people? How are they involved? How are they held accountable?
- Is the correct governance in place? If not, what needs to be set up?
This section should always include how you are going to measure progress. This allows you to track whether you’re delivering the benefits for each of the stakeholder groups.
At the same time, it’s important that collection and correction of data for benefits tracking does not become a goal by itself. Try to stick to existing metrics, like net promotor score, etc., that you already have and can leverage without a great deal of extra investment.
As ACE, we believe that the creation of a vision should come from the organization itself. If a vision is going to work, it has to be part of existing processes, ideas, and beliefs already present in the organization. The process of defining a shared vision can be difficult and time-consuming. Therefore, we can help you.
In addition to having a shared vision on paper, embedding the shared vision throughout the organization is even more important. People need to be able to tell and repeat the vision, so that it resonates in the organization.
If you’d like to learn more or to discuss how ACE + Company can help with your large implementation projects, contact us to schedule a cup of coffee and a chat.Back to Successful Implementation Starts with a Shared Vision