Execution and Delivery and the crucial role for digital innovation. Find out here what execution is, how to manage it properly and plan for it in all its steps, in this article you will discover how to successfully meet the challenges of innovation in the company

Execution and delivery, “Excellence in execution is what keeps a company competitive.” – Tom Peters

Quotes on business execution abound, but the central point is clear: a strategy in itself, no matter how brilliant, cannot guarantee success without competent implementation. It is precisely flawless execution that leads to the results.

Execution is not only implementation but also creation. It is what brings ideas to life and turns them into concrete reality.

In the business and innovation context, the concept of execution and delivery is fundamental and refers to the delivery and launch phase of an innovative project.

It is the process through which ideas, solutions and innovations come to life and become operational within the company or in the marketplace.

Delivery involves more than just execution; it involves detailed planning, effective implementation, and careful management of resources to ensure that solutions are delivered in a consistent and shared way, in functional manner, and aligned with business objectives.

According to EY research , 50 percent of CEOs in Italy plan to make significant investments in enabling technologies, a sign that there is a major cultural shift in our country and that there is a willingness to move seriously in the direction of digitization. Along with the willingness to invest, which is the first step to truly enable innovation in Italy, for successful technological transformation, companies need to apply a balanced recipe of implementing a mix of different technologies on the one hand and pairing people with the right skills on the other. Hard and soft components together are the key to business success“.

CTA why change management is critical

In this article we will address the following topics:

In the context of innovation, delivery is therefore particularly significant. It can be the point at which innovative ideas find or lose their impact. Effective delivery allows you to capitalize on the opportunities presented by new solutions, bringing them to market with timeliness and accuracy.

Performance aptitude is not simply a “set it and go easy,” but requires constant evaluation and adaptation. The best performers, whether individuals, teams or companies, are those who smoothly and flexibly optimize execution tactics. These possess the capabilities to maintain the necessary constant momentum and control over time to ensure a high level of performance.

What is the intersection of execution?

Execution represents the intersection of perseverance and delivery (see the image of Intersection 16 below). Perseverance without results is like going in circles, a vain effort. On the other hand, delivery without perseverance leads to isolated but not influential results. When combined, however, they form the formula for effective execution.

Perseverance

In the context of execution, perseverance represents a constant and focused concentration on the goal. There is a fine line to walk between productivity and stubbornness in terms of perseverance. If productivity is focus, and it is the path taken, then resilience and persistence will certainly guide toward effective execution.

Lack of effective delivery can undermine the value of innovative ideas, preventing them from returning reliable insights and successfully contributing to business growth. Conversely, imprecise management of execution and delivery run the risk of plunging the company into immobility toward innovation by not returning useful certainty to control with certain deliverables.

Success usually does not come on the first try but through continuous iterations and adaptations to overcome obstacles and deal with unexpected changes. While some contingencies can be anticipated, it is not possible to proactively anticipate all of them.

Persistence does not always mean repeating the same action, but rather failing quickly and moving on to the next iteration. Each successive step should be an improvement over the previous one. It is a matter of conscious decisions guiding the execution process, recognizing that identifying what does not work is just as important as identifying what does work. TheAGILE process identifies exactly this kind of cyclicality to optimize processes.

Delivery

In most cases, those who develop the strategy are not the same as those who manage the delivery. Before delivery occurs, there is a process of interpretation to translate the intended outcome. Upon delivery, an assessment is made of how well the result matches the original expectations, and this is where 2 out of 3 times surprises emerge.

CTA why change management is critical

Execution and delivery are everything: Benefits and Challenges

Usually innovative projects have rather structured schedules, these do not always manage to be adhered to, the reason?

No serious consideration has been given to the inevitable process of change management that must first be addressed in the organization.

Typically, modern platforms claim an average time of about 6 weeks for delivery of an “Enterprise” project. This would be the expectation. However, is it really realistic to expect the result to materialize in 42 days? Certainly, this prospect may have strong commercial appeal for those who have been waiting for months for small changes, and in theory it may well be so, but…

No, it almost never happens!

The reason lies as mentioned in 4 fundamental elements of change management that must all be aligned first for the digital transformation process, the elements are:

  • Culture
  • Communication
  • People
  • Software/platforms

Thus, there are many aspects that must converge in a narrow time frame so that people can follow and understand the meaning.

The actual average of a project? 2, 3 months in the best case, that is, when the company has people in-house who are already trained on the subject and are familiar with the difficulties of execution.

CTA why change management is critical

Change management, or change management, represents a crucial aspect within modern business dynamics. Addressing and implementing effective organizational changes has become imperative in a rapidly changing world. Change management is a process that therefore must obviously be done before execution and delivery and is the necessary and indispensable preparation of an organization for managing an innovative process.

This discipline focuses on managing the impacts, resistance and transitions that result from substantial changes, whether technological, cultural, structural or strategic.

At its essence, change management seeks to guide organizations through the delicate stages of transformation, facilitating a smooth transition and minimizing possible obstacles that could undermine the success of change initiatives.

Balancing the need to implement a project quickly with the need to ensure specific outcomes in processes can be a complex challenge. Often, the risk of having to meet stringent deadlines along with the compactness of the processes to be converged can lead to incorporating the same prior inefficiencies within the digital innovation process.

Does innovation not scale and get adoption? “Regular,” you have an execution and delivery problem!

CTA why change management fails, the causes

Killer Phrases in an Innovation Project.

The launch of a new digital project is a crucial moment for any company, but sometimes it is accompanied by signs that can turn out to be real alarm bells. The “killer phrases” that emerge during this phase can indicate significant risks and raise doubts about the success of the project.

1 “But yes…if the innovation is good, it will implement itself.”

This statement reflects a naive belief in the inherent effectiveness of innovation. There is no saving technology, but rather organized teams and methods that can bring significant changes in productivity, savings and efficiency.

2 “I know my chickens.”

If the sales manager or operation manager says, “I know my chickens,” that could be a red flag. This sentence suggests a superficial knowledge of the situation without having really delved into it. It may conceal an assuming attitude, since assuming is riskier than verifying.

3 “We specifically have an innovation manager for this, he does everything.”

If you hear this statement during a business innovation project, it is not necessarily a red flag. However, if this phrase indicates total delegation without manager involvement, it might suggest a lack of involvement in innovation.

One notices the challenges only by immersing oneself in real situations. For this reason, we have designed a unique training program aimed at team development through experiences that simulate common difficulties faced by companies during periods of change. Are you interested in exploring this topic further? Learn more about our Gamification Masterclass 2023 here.πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡

CTA find out how to achieve change management with Gamification Masterclass

4 “Either use the software or think about working.”

This statement by employees during a digital implementation project indicates a problem. Technology becomes a hindrance to work rather than a facilitator. Effective technological innovation is transparent to the eyes of the user; it becomes a neutral element. To get there, however, requires precisely in ternal work in change management to thus enable proper execution and delivery.

5 “With the new platform we’ll get crazy results.”

This statement indicates a lack of awareness of what is realistic to expect from an instrument and what is primarily in people’s charge. The innovation process does not revolve around purchased tools, but focuses on engaging and changing people.

6 “It’s done! The supplier will show up in 2 months for go live delivery!”

If a manager explains that they are working with the step partner differs, he suggests a delegated partner development approach. In this context, the process is basically day-to-day work, often involving external consultants or support on a daily basis for a shared process of innovation and implementation.

7 “nothing works in this platform we thought better”

By the time you hear this phrase, of course, it is already too late and the omelette is done. The reason? always the same one has severely underestimated the necessary internal effort that must be devoted to developing the solution and engaging people. In fact, often the risk lies in the training phase, where concepts and operating logic conveyed in the training phase (perhaps quickly) have not really been acquired with dominance internally by the managers of the ‘company. In this case problems of incorrect compilations, incomplete data sets, and vaguely expressed desiderata immediately give any outside eye an idea of the situation.

After exploring these folkloric expressions of the challenges in an innovation project, let us examine the main challenges that companies face in this context.

types of change management

Change Management as the Basis for Perfect Execution and Delivery

l Change Management is critical to ensure effectiveness in execution and timely delivery of projects. Key principles of change management that contribute to this include:

  1. Focus on Organizational Needs: Set clear and measurable goals based on the needs of the organization.
  2. Proactive Risk Management: Identify and manage risks associated with change proactively.
  3. Involvement of All Levels: Ensure the involvement of all levels of the organization, from top management to employees.
  4. Clear and Effective Communication: Maintain open and clear communication channels to ensure that all stakeholders are informed and involved.
  5. Ongoing Monitoring and Evaluation: Constantly assess and monitor the progress of change to ensure alignment with established goals.

By adopting these principles, organizations can successfully navigate through change processes, ensuring that project goals are achieved effectively and on time.

  • Want to take a closer look at how to deal with change and break down all obstacles? read the change management guideπŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡ here.

CTA change management guide
  • We now analyze these common problems in detail throughout the article, highlighting Problem/Solution formula counts which approaches may be best.

    Addressing these challenges requires a delicate balance: providing powerful tools such as digital innovation while neglecting the necessary preparation and adaptation would be just like providing “an airplane without properly training the pilots”…well the results may not be quite as desired.

 Change management resestance
  • Common Problems in the Delivery of Digital Innovation Projects.

    Thus, we realized that despite the best efforts, the path of inaccurate execution and delivery is more frequent than we think.

    Let us now delve deeper into the previously mentioned points and analyze individual problems and solutions:

Impediments and difficulties with change management
  • We now analyze these common problems in detail throughout the article, highlighting Problem/Solution formula counts which approaches may be best.

    Addressing these challenges requires a delicate balance: providing powerful tools such as digital innovation while neglecting the necessary preparation and adaptation would be just like providing “an airplane without properly training the pilots”…well the results may not be quite as desired.

change-management-strategy

1 Corporate Culture in Change Management:

Issue:

Corporate culture can be a significant obstacle in the change management process. A company with a rigid culture resistant to change may find it difficult to adapt to new strategies or processes. Lack of flexibility and adherence to traditional methods can limit innovation and efficiency.

Coping Strategies:

  • Assess and understand the current corporate culture: Before implementing change, it is critical to understand the organization’s current values, beliefs and practices. This will help identify aspects of the culture that can foster or hinder change.
  • Effective communication and employee engagement: It is crucial to clearly communicate the reason for the change and its benefits. Involving employees in planning and implementing change can help create a sense of ownership and reduce resistance.
  • Develop leaders who promote change: Leaders should be examples of adaptability and flexibility, promoting a culture open to change. They should be trained to manage change effectively by providing support and motivation to their teams.
  • Celebrating successes and learning from failures: Recognizing and celebrating successes, even small ones, can increase confidence and enthusiasm toward change. Likewise, learning from setbacks and adapting accordingly can help build a resilient corporate culture.
  • Implement training and development strategies: Providing training and development opportunities for employees can help build skills needed for change and promote an open and flexible mindset.

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CTA find out how to achieve change management with Gamification Masterclass

2 The Communication

Issue:

Ineffective communication is one of the main obstacles in change management. Lack of clarity, inadequate transmission of information, and failure to explain the benefits and objectives of change can lead to confusion, resistance, and even failure in transformation projects.

Coping Strategies:

  • Develop a clear communication strategy: Before beginning the change process, it is essential to develop a communication plan that clearly outlines the goals, expected benefits and impact on staff. This strategy should include the methods and timing of communication.
  • Use multiple communication channels: To reach all employees, it is important to use multiple communication channels, such as email, meetings, newsletters, and internal platforms. This ensures that the message reaches all levels of the organization.
  • Involve execut ives and managers: Executives and managers must be the first to understand and support change. They should be trained to effectively communicate change to their teams, serving as ambassadors of change.
  • Listen to employee feedback: Communication should be two-way. It is important to listen and respond to employee feedback, addressing their concerns and questions. This can help identify potential obstacles and adapt the change strategy.
  • Continuous and consistent communication: Communication should not be a one-time event, but an ongoing process. Regular updates on the progress of change and sharing of successes can maintain employee enthusiasm and commitment.
  • Training and support: Provide appropriate training to employees to help them understand the change and new procedures. Ongoing support during the change process is critical to maintain engagement and reduce resistance.

This process is achievable through processes of engaging the different levels of management within an organization. Through co-design and assessmenttables, paths of approach, involvement and co-design can thus be created directly with stakeholders.

This makes it possible to enter into the specific relationships between Managers, Executives and Employees, define in detail the desiderata of “processes and needs” and thus break down barriers and obstacles to real and smooth collaboration.

These communication strategies can therefore greatly improve the effectiveness of the change management process by ensuring that everyone in the organization is informed, involved, and aligned with the change objectives.

CTA the power of co-design in co-design during a change management process

People Management

Issue:

Resistance to change is a common challenge in the business transformation process. Often, employees are reluctant to change their routines and ways of thinking, fear uncertainty, and may not understand the benefits of transformation. This can create barriers to collaboration and progress.

Coping Strategies:

    • Promote a change in mindset: It is crucial to encourage employees to adopt an open and flexible approach to change. This can be done through workshops, training sessions and meetings that emphasize the importance of adapting to new situations and continuous learning.
    • Encourage collaboration: Creating opportunities for employees to work together on projects related to change can promote mutual understanding and the sharing of ideas. This may include cross-functional teams or regular brainstorming sessions.
    • Clearly communicate the benefits of change: It is essential that employees understand not only what is changing, but also why and how it will translate into benefits for them and the organization. Communication should be clear, consistent, and continuous.
    • Actively manage cooperation and discussion: Providing opportunities to meet with working tables, activity CO-design sessions, and co-design of solutions can be a winning practice. Actively managing feedback obtained through open discussions can help reduce resistance and build trust.
    • Skills development training and support: Provide targeted training to develop the skills needed to cope with change. This may include time management, problem solving, and effective communication.
    • Celebrating small successes and learning from failures: Recognize and celebrate successes, even small ones, during the change process. This reinforces the trust and commitment of employees. Likewise, openly learning from failures can encourage a positive attitude toward change.
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3. Technology Strategic Approach vs. Plug and Play:

Issue:

The choice between the‘adoption of structured technologies and “plug and play” software solutions represents a dilemma in change management. While structured technologies offer organic and modelable processes, they require a greater commitment of time and resources. In contrast, plug and play solutions offer rapid onboarding but may prove less flexible in the long run.

Coping Strategies:

  • Assess business needs: Before choosing a technology, it is crucial to assess the long-term needs and goals of the business. This will help determine whether a structured or a plug and play solution is more suitable.
  • Advantages of structured platforms: Structured platforms offer greater flexibility and can be adapted to meet specific business needs. They are ideal for long-term strategies where customization and integration with other systems are crucial.
  • Benefits of plug and play solutions: These solutions are ideal for immediate and specific needs, offering rapid implementation and ease of use. They are often the best choice for tactical operations and to meet urgent needs.
  • Balancing strategy and tactics: There is no a priori right choice; companies can benefit from using both types of technologies. For example, a structured platform for core operations and plug and play solutions for specific and immediate needs.
  • Preparing for evolution: While plug and play solutions may be limited in terms of evolution, it is important to have a plan for how these can be integrated or replaced in the future, aligning them with the business growth strategy.
  • Training and support: Regardless of the technology choice, it is critical to provide adequate training to employees to maximize the use of new solutions and minimize resistance to change.

By considering these aspects, companies can take a balanced and flexible approach to technology adoption, choosing the best solution based on their specific needs and long-term goals. This approach allows the advantages of both types of solutions to be exploited, optimizing the effectiveness of the change management process.

Want to learn more about selecting partnerships and solutions in the digitization process? read the full article entitled ” Make or Buy, which partner to choose for the digitization process, here. πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡

Collaborative Approach with Partners:

Issue:

The vision of delivery as a continuous process, more like a partnership than a product installation, thus requires a cultural change. So we are talking about a Day by Day type of work with partners and not in slots.

This too may represent a cognitive bay, the ‘approach to this type of collaboration is far less familiar to companies that are instead helped by the market to demand and “have in the short term a product.”

Some companies may therefore be seduced by a faster approach based on plug and play transactions , but these may not fit the innovative logic in the research intent.

Coping Strategies:

  • Focus on building long-term relationships with partners, rather than single transactions.
  • Implement open and transparent communication between company and partners, facilitating information sharing and coordination of activities.
  • Encourage a mindset of continuous learning and adaptation, recognizing that success in the digital environment requires constant flexibility and collaboration. In time, relevant information of value will emerge distinctly.

In conclusion, managing the difficulties in implementing digital projects requires a holistic approach that takes into account variables such as corporate culture, employee skillsand the nature of the implemented solutions themselves.

Awareness and flexibility are key to successfully meeting these challenges in a rapidly changing world.

CTA find out how to achieve change management with Gamification Masterclass

Gamification in the execution and delivery process

Gamification, or the application of typical game elements in non-game contexts, can be a powerful tool in the change management process, both in the execution and delivery phases. Here are some tangible benefits:

  1. Improved Motivation: The use of playful elements such as challenges, competitions, feedback and rewards can significantly increase employee motivation. This approach makes the learning and adaptation process more engaging and less stressful.
  2. Learning Facilitation: Games can simplify complex concepts and help employees better understand new processes and systems. Gamification makes learning interactive and hands-on.
  3. Increased Engagement: Through gamification, employees can feel more involved in the change process. Healthy competition and playful goals create a stimulating and engaging work environment.
  4. Improving Collaboration: Team games can promote collaboration and teamwork, crucial aspects in any change process.
  5. Continuous Evaluation of Progress: Scoring systems and leaderboards allow progress to be monitored in real time, providing immediate feedback and motivating employees to continuously improve.
  6. Reducing Resistance to Change: Gamification can reduce resistance to change by making the process more engaging and less intimidating.
  7. Effective Results Measurement: Games make it possible to measure outcomes clearly and objectively, facilitating analysis of the impact of change.

In summary, gamification transforms the change management process into a more dynamic and interactive experience, dramatically improving team building and cooperation. This element becomes crucial to the success of organizations in the implementation phase of change.

CTA delve into the gamification guide here to find out how to shape your business and organizations in digitization

Conclusions

In conclusion, while attention to external market news and competitors has become obsessive for some organizations, on the other hand we have value in execution and delivery that substantiates their true competitive advantage.

Companies therefore need to put the importance of internal execution at the center long before any other strategy, for it is this that enables value to be created on an ongoing basis in any organization, allowing the virtuous circles of growth to be triggered.

In fact, it is the latter that is one of the key success factors of an organization. Well-managed execution is the foundation on which a healthy functionality of a business model is built, whether it is product offerings, service offerings, or digital innovation. It is through effective delivery that ideas are transformed into actions,giving definite feedback and giving companies deep knowledge and firm directives about their business model .

Delivery then is in effect an execution model capable of creating a lasting competitive advantage for any organization.

CTA seek advice on your company's digitization issues

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