Achieving positive outcomes for digital transformation programmes is tricky, with research suggesting that 70% of such programmes fall short of their objectives!

In our experience, a common obstacle to digital transformation success is a phenomenon we call the Programme Staffing Paradox.

Don’t worry, we’ll explain what this is later in the blog post!

This is why we created our Programme Staffing Playbook. It has 5 actionable strategies to help your organisation overcome the Programme Staffing Paradox – setting your programme up for sustained success.

In this blog post, we will explain what the Programme Staffing Paradox is, and explore the 5 actionable strategies from our Programme Staffing Playbook.

What is The Programme Staffing Paradox?

Think back to the last digital transformation programme you were involved in.

In the first few months, what consumed the majority of your focus?

If you are like many of our clients, we suspect your answer is programme staffing. For example, you were either:

  • Preparing long briefs.
  • Chasing your agency.
  • Reviewing piles of CVs, or
  • Interviewing several people.

However, with a huge chunk of early activity on a programme spent on staffing, it probably meant there was less time to spend on programme delivery.

There is a conflict of interest here! This dilemma of whether to focus your attention on programme staffing OR programme delivery is what we call the Programme Staffing Paradox.

Why is the Programme Staffing Paradox Important?

On the one hand, programme staffing is important. As without a top-notch client-side team holding your fort, you are at a high risk of ending up with a programme that delivers late and costs more.

On the other, best practice theory demands that your primary focus in the early stages of a programme should be on critical-to-success activities such a business change and stakeholder alignment.

Failing that, the odds of digital transformation success will be decimated. The consequences in terms of investments of money, time, and organisational effort time are profound.

However, if organisations get it right they can set themselves up for sustained success. For example, according to the Boston Consulting Group, digital leaders achieve earnings growth that is 1.8 times higher than digital laggards.

The consequences in terms of investments of money, time, and organisational effort time are profound.

The Programme Staffing Playbook – 5 Strategies For Success

In our Programme Staffing Playbook, we argue that digital leaders can transform their digital transformation programme with a reimagined recruitment approach.

Below we have summarised the 5 key strategies from the Playbook…

Programme Staffing Playbook

1) Stakeholder Alignment

The first key to achieving programme excellence is stakeholder alignment. With everyone in the team working from the same playbook, chances of programme success will be greatly improved.

To achieve stakeholder alignment, the leadership must govern the transformation with an agile mindset. This means engaging stakeholders deeply and serving as an effective escalation point for teams.

The leadership should also be transparent and acknowledge that the change may be difficult for the team.

2) Business Change

Something common in every great company is that they have a great vision. The vision is a compelling picture of the future that aligns stakeholders around the purpose of the transformation.

Nevertheless, many organisations don’t understand how to craft a compelling vision for change that will gain widespread commitment within their organisation.

To create a strong vision it must be backed by a set of strategic imperatives and quantified business outcomes.

Many organisations don’t understand how to craft a compelling vision for change that will gain widespread commitment within their organisation.

3) Building a client-side team

High-calibre talent in your client-side team will both speed up and de-risk even the most challenging digital transformation projects.

To build a high-quality team, the organisation needs to attract and retain best-in-class professionals, addressing both digital expertise and broader skills.

However, companies often do not have a mix of the skills they need. It is, therefore, important that organisations identify skills gaps and resource externally if needed.

4) Reimagining Recruitment

Access to on-demand talent is a high value and frequent need for programmes. However, programme staffing is time-consuming and 100s of hours can be spent on recruitment.

Helpfully, other ways of onboarding can solve this problem. For example, externally through a managed service provider.

A reputable MSP will be focused and aligned with the programme objectives, helping to attract best-in-class professionals for your major programme. Increased focus on programme delivery will also enhance your chance of transformation success.

Our belief that talent is best sourced externally. With our Programme Services, you can build an amazing client-side team without spending 100s of hours on recruitment.

5) Commercial Messaging

There are significant problems with conventional hiring, which is why we believe resourcing talent externally, rather than internally, is the best solution. However, this reimagined recruitment approach will need organisation buy-in.

The 5 key positioning statements (which can be found in the Programme Staffing Playbook) explain the key messages you can convey to your commercial stakeholders. This will help satisfy commercial concerns and swing the resourcing decision your way.

What’s Next?

With years of experience working on major digital programmes, we know how time-consuming programme staffing can be.

Consequently, this is why we believe resourcing talent externally, rather than internally, is the best solution.

Download the Programme Staffing Playbook so you can begin crafting a stellar programme staffing strategy.

Programme Staffing Playbook