Once you have launched your transformation program, your greatest challenge will be keeping momentum to overcome the onslaught of inertia and competing priorities. If your vision is big enough and business objectives real, then it is worth the effort it takes to keep things moving toward your goal.
There is a natural cycle that occurs after a transformation program launches. There is an immediate surge based on the excitement that things are going to change - that it is really different this time. For the first 4-6 months there is a wave of energy. It is crucial that some early wins are put up on the board during this time.
After this initial period, inertia will begin to set in. Your team will begin to get hit from different sides with the latest "new priority" and they can start to get distracted. You will also enter what is called "the trough of despair" when your team is putting forth a lot of effor trying to solve some bigger problems, but the wins are not coming quite as quickly. They will be at risk for becoming demoralized and disillusioned.
It is at this moment that your team will need you the most. You need to encourage them, reward them and remind them how important the transformational program is to the organization. It is easy to get focused on the latest "fire" and forget the importance of the transformation you began with such fanfare. It is just as easy for you to get distracted. During this time you need to focus on a few key areas:
Leading your organization through a transformational process may be one of the most difficult things you ever do, but it will also be the most rewarding. It takes real commitment and real leadership, but the result is an IT organization that is fundamentally changed for the better.
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