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I graduated from Liverpool University with a degree in Geography in 1999, and seeking variety while I decided what I wanted to do long term with my career, I began my management consultancy career at ...

Kirsty Nethersell, Partner

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Our Partners and consultants share their perspectives and thinking on topical issues.

Covid-19: Making the difficult choices for your programme

Large business transformation programmes tend to come with a complex rationale and business case. When external circumstances change, these get challenged. Programme sponsors, programme managers, transformation  directors and CFOs are each left with difficult decisions. Sunk costs, business expectations, and commitments made to senior executives and shareholders  can make it challenging to reach the right conclusion in a short space of time.

Evaluating options objectively 

Every so often, organisations therefore need to make the space to have a fact-based conversation which goes beyond day-to-day transformation delivery and extends into a more existential discussion: do we keep going, do we stop the programme altogether, or do we pause (if at all possible)? And by doing so, should we divert resources to new programmes that can better respond to the challenge of our new external circumstances?

The Covid-19 pandemic of 2020 has made such inflection points more common, but outside of this immediate context, they have been and will always continue to be, a feature of all large, complex transformation initiatives. In such circumstances, how do you make the right decisions and, once you do, what happens next?

So how to assess my programmes?

Transformation programmes need to be assessed on their own merits with the support of experienced transformation professionals who have seen similar situations on multiple occasions. However, any such conversation is best had in a structured manner.

In this article, we help to do this by describing four options, their implications, and what the picture might look like in any given environment which would lead you to adopt them.

If you are interested in learning more about any of the topics raised in this article, please contact Piers Virik.

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