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Operating Model Transformation – Readiness Assessment

Transforming an organisation's IT operating model can be a complex and difficult process. Key to the success of an IT operating model transformation is to assess the scale of these challenges at the outset, and then to plan how they can be overcome to ensure the success of the transformation. This paper provides an insight into the transformation drivers and readiness factors, along with a suggested approach for conducting an assessment of how ready an organisation is for transformation of their operating model.

Transformation Drivers

For an organisation that is planning the transformation of their operating model, there will be a number of areas to be considered during the scoping phase. Understanding what is, or are the key drivers for transforming the operating model is essential. Drivers such as:

  • Digital Transformation: For organisations that are moving to digital services where a significant re-think of the operating model including the teams, roles and responsibilities and technologies is required.
  • Market Demands: Changes in the market landscape, such as new competitors, shifting consumer preferences, technological advancements, or regulatory requirements, can necessitate operating model transformation to remain competitive and relevant.
  • Business Strategy: Evolving business goals and strategies may require adjustments to the operating model to better align resources, processes, and capabilities with the organisation’s strategic objectives.
  • Cost Efficiency: Organisations often seek to optimize their operations to improve cost efficiency, streamline processes, and eliminate redundant activities. Operating model transformations may aim to achieve these cost savings through automation, outsourcing, or restructuring.
  • Mergers and Acquisitions: Consolidation or expansion through mergers and acquisitions often necessitates harmonizing disparate operating models, integrating processes and systems, and aligning cultures to realize synergies and maximize value.
  • Globalization: Organisations operating in multiple markets or expanding internationally may need to adapt their operating models to accommodate diverse regulatory environments, cultural nuances, and market dynamics while maintaining consistency and efficiency across regions.

Readiness Factors

Once the transformation driver(s) have been determined, the next stage may be to carry out an assessment of how ready the organisation is for transformation. This assessment may include a number of readiness factors which may vary depending on the transformation drivers. Factors may include:

  • Vision: The extent to which the organisation has a clear and compelling vision for the desired future state after the completion of the proposed transformation initiative.
  • Desire, Willingness and Resolve: The extent to which the organisation has the necessary motivation, commitment, and perseverance to undertake the proposed transformation initiative.
  • Funding: The extent to which the organisation has secured the necessary financial resources to support the implementation of the proposed transformation initiative.

Stakeholder Engagement

Many different stakeholders may be involved in the transformation of an organisations operating model, understanding their potential involvement, and planning to engage with these stakeholders as early as possible is an important part of the transformation planning.

Effective management of these stakeholders throughout the transformation programme is essential to ensure their buy-in and full commitment. A simple Stakeholder Management Matrix will help with understanding the different engagement strategies to be implemented for each set of stakeholders. For example:


Readiness Assessment Involvement

Transformation Programme Involvement

Engagement Strategy

Leadership Team



Manage Closely

HR Team



Collaborate Closely

IT Department Heads



Collaborate Closely

IT Colleagues



Keep informed

Assessment Model

Once, the transformation drivers, readiness factors and stakeholder engagement strategies have been determined, the next steps will be to carry out an assessment of the level of readiness using an appropriate maturity model. Note: The description of each level may vary depending on the readiness factor. For example, the maturity model set against the “Desire, Willingness and Resolve” readiness factor could look something like this:

Maturity Level


0 – Resistant

The organisation is resistant to change and is not willing to undertake the transformation initiative.

1 – Uncertain

The organisation is uncertain about the need for transformation and lacks a clear understanding of the potential benefits.

2 – Compliant

The organisation has made a commitment to the transformation initiative, and is actively working on a plan for how to execute it

3 – Proactive

The organisation is proactive in its approach to transformation. There is a clear understanding of the need for change, and stakeholders are fully.

4 – Leading

The organisation has an exceptional desire, willingness, and resolve to undergo operating model transformation.

In Conclusion

For any organisation planning the transformation of their operating model, a transformation readiness assessment should be considered that incorporates all of the transformation drivers and readiness factors that apply to the organisation, as well as creating a carefully considered stakeholder engagement plan.

Such an assessment will help the organisation identify which areas of readiness require the most focus and will provide crucial inputs into any transformation plans and investment business cases.

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