The recent lockdowns around the world have stress-tested the ability of firms to keep to their business plans. However, the same crisis has actually increased the need for change, particularly to exploit digital and cloud technologies.

Whilst Powered Enterprise was designed from the outset to deliver cloud-based digital transformation across each of the major business functions, it is the Powered Enterprise delivery methodology and our collaboration tools that means together with you, we can implement functional transformation even when we are all working remotely. Here, we explore why that is so.

Linking talent, environment, approach & assets

KPMG Powered Enterprise was built in the cloud, and for the cloud. This means that it is ideally suited to the virtual world. However, being able to deliver complex change remotely runs much deeper than using cloud technologies. It is about having an entire transformation method of delivery and collaboration that is cloud enabled.

To deliver a transformation project virtually, not only is the right cross-functional talent needed – both onshore and offshore, but also an approach that is suited to delivering large-scale transformation remotely, a wide range of accelerator assets that can be deployed virtually, and crucially, an environment that was designed from the outset with the execution of virtual activities in mind.

Virtual delivery activities rely not only on virtual collaboration, but also on real-time insights that support decision making as well as a continuous program governance that can be executed virtually.

Methodologies matter again – the Powered Execution Suite

Until the recent lockdown, KPMG professionals had assumed that the key strengths of our methodology for Powered Enterprise (part of the Powered Execution Suite), were its ability to get clients to a better place sooner, and with lower project risk. These are still laudable objectives, as are some of the integral parts of this approach –the ability to start with the model answer (our target operating models), the ability to bring change culture to organisations that lack one, and the ability to make lasting change that can adapt over time to changing market conditions and emerging technologies.

The ability to deliver a transformation remotely (which is inherent to the Powered Execution Suite) is often regarded as somewhat of a soft benefit. Among many things, it helps to overcome the continuous challenge of having the right talent in the right place at the right time. It helps to blend onshore local market expertise with offshore technical and process expertise.

But the COVID-19 lockdown has demonstrated that KPMG member firms can successfully deliver functional transformation projects irrespective of who is where. For example, we had a few projects which, at a critical stage in their project cycle, were still delivered on time (one or two were mid go-live).

Other transformation projects have actually begun during lockdown. A large contributor to being able to do this is how KPMG professionals use our detailed target operating models early on in the vision-validate stage. The target operating models bring a strong visualisation of how processes, people, governance, service delivery models and data insights can be optimised for your chosen technology platform. For example, how procure-to-pay can look on the Oracle platform, in your organisation, with your specific service delivery model.

This visualisation gives you much more comfort around the direction you are taking and what might need to change to get there. It is a bit like stepping into an exact replica of the make, model and specification of a car you’re about to have built but giving you the opportunity to make some changes before the factory presses the ‘go’ button.

Approach and guiding principles to virtual engagements

Whilst the tried and tested methodology for delivering Powered Enterprise engagements (Vision – Validate – Construct – Deploy – Evolve) is already well suited to virtual engagements, KPMG professionals have developed some additional guiding principles that help make things run smoothly.

The guiding principles cover three main areas:

 1. Virtual program governance.
 2. Virtual program collaboration.
 3. Conducting virtual sessions.

For 1 and 2; our principles cover topics such as maintaining senior sponsorship (as opposed to letting that slip for expediency), staying connected throughout the day, ensuring that the functionality of the delivery collaboration tools are fully exploited, being even clearer about roles and responsibilities, finding the right balance between personal contact and collaboration tools, being prepared to escalate when activities are not completed on time, promoting virtual team building activities, seeking continuous improvement and not being afraid to pick up the phone to discuss and resolve real-time issues! This is all good governance and collaboration practice, but even more important in a virtual project.

For 3; conducting virtual sessions, we think the following is important:

For each virtual session, we pre-assign roles for facilitator, presenter, screen pilot, technology lead, scribe, participants. All roles need to be fulfilled (but one KPMG professional can choose to hold multiple roles) –however, there should only be one facilitator, one screen pilot and one technology lead to make the session experience more seamless.

Furthermore, we schedule smaller working sessions, focus on mini discrete workshops, ensure the right people are included (especially decision makers), provide a structured agenda for every session, share materials in advance, thoroughly plan each session, limit remote sessions to 2-3 hours, keep cameras on so participants can see who is speaking, set the stage at the beginning how we want participants to interact, document and distribute after the meeting.

Again, much of this is project management good practice anyway, but even more tuned into working the virtual world.

Finally, the table below outlines the collaboration tools KPMG professionals use for supporting the delivery phases and activities associated with a KPMG Powered Enterprise engagement.

These tools are designed to support the collaborative process of a Powered Enterprise functional transformation program. Being cloud-based makes them even more ideal for use in a virtual deployment.

Our investment in these tools was already beneficial to Powered projects, and is even more so in the current world we are living in.

Delivery phase Outline activities covered Collaboration tools exploited
Vision Review meetings. issue tracking, interviews, surveys, leadership workshops, Other workshops Collaboration tools exploited Clarizen, Confluence, Jira (workflow management), MS Teams
Validate Workshops, review meetings, issue tracking, additional SME input, demo & testing sessions, organisational engagement, operational team identification meetings Aris, Change Frame, Clarizen, Confluence, Jira (workflow management), MS Teams
Construct Organisation readiness, review meetings, issue tracking, code development, configuration and development objects issue tracking, file transfer, testing sessions test results tracking workshops Bitbucket, MOVEit Change Frame, Clarizen, Confluence, Jira (workflow management), MS Teams
Deploy Review meetings, file transfer, testing sessions, daily cut-over meetings, organisation readiness. surveys, go-live decision meetings, knowledge transfer sessions, transition sessions MOVEit Change Frame, Clarizen, Confluence, Jira (workflow management), MS Teams
Evolve A selection of the activities above, depending on scope. Change Frame, Clanzen, Confluence, Jira (workflow management),MS Teams

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