We applied design thinking to identifying the potential blockers of business transformation across three sample countries in Europe. What we found was a backlog of 120 issues. With the top 10 leading to 1,500 days of lost productivity every year. The next step was to tackle the priority issues and release the business from its shackles.
However, our analysis found that the problem was far larger than originally thought. By hosting workshops across the rest of Europe, we identified 240 issues that could not be resolved through the company’s original approach.
At the core of all our work are the principles of Value, Flow, Quality (VFQ). In this case, defining the value behind each of the issues allowed us to prioritize action. Shifting the mindset from project to product management helped optimize the flow of work. And including everyone from day 1 while encouraging fast feedback meant teams could build at pace and with higher quality outcomes.
The attention to value became a consistent narrative and led to teams focusing on products rather than projects. For example, introducing the concept of organizational experimentation – moving away from monolithic, waterfall projects with huge budget requirements towards a more agile, value-oriented model.
This included standing up a technical squad to build a global compliance, forecasting, reporting and optimization platform. One that would enable the company to meet biofuel regulations within each of the countries it operated in. And would add value by standardizing the company’s approach and reducing the errors that had impacted cashflow by some $85M per year.
By placing experienced consultants into the business who could communicate with the leadership team, we demonstrated what good would look like and gained buy-in to tackle further issues. Our teams were also set up to pass on their skills and capabilities so that when our engagement ended, the company’s own teams could continue to help the business transform.