Staffing Transformation Programs



This blog was originally published as part of Citisoft’s Outlook 2022

When discussing operating models, most asset managers and their partners think in terms of people, process, and technology. However, as roadmaps are built around a series of projects to upgrade legacy technology or enhance outdated business processes, they often miss the most important piece in their initial analysis—people. Likewise, when planning for the transition and eventual target state organizational structure, many managers overlook the importance of staffing considerations.

Major change programs have several critical success factors that influence the probability rate of delivering results on time and within budget but most firms underestimate the organizational transformation required to support a new operating model. Too often, the people side of these programs is either not addressed or not addressed adequately. The scope of these programs should include the change required to the process, technology, and people as well as the relationships between these dimensions.

Before a transformation effort begins, asset managers should focus on their people and the optimal organizational structure of the program based on the needs of the program vs. the needs of business as usual (“BAU”) activity. Having a clear understanding of internal resource constraints before the effort begins will enable leaders to identify critical program resource gaps that should be filled.

The biggest mistake we see organizations make is allocating full-time BAU resources to transformations on a part-time basis. Often, full-time staff have daily fluctuations in their business responsibilities that result in a reduction in the time they can spend working on the program. If they are assigned to a dependency-heavy workstream, their limited participation can have a ripple effect throughout other workstreams and the program in general. Since BAU work takes precedence over project work, these unforeseen delays can wreak havoc on the time and budget for the overarching initiative.

Asset managers typically depend on consultants to provide subject matter expertise and program management experience to help fill internal resource gaps. But not all partners are suited for all programs. Transformation success hinges on both business expertise and the assurance that transformation becomes a fundamental element of future- state BAU operations. So often transformation initiatives fail or provide sub-par results, because managers didn’t account for the changes that needed to be embedded into ongoing processes.

With so many transformation programs being driven forward in a time where operations, technology, and project talent is in high demand, successful programs will be lost and won based on the strategy around staffing and support.