One of my early consulting engagements was for a large consumer products division of a Fortune 50. They were implementing a significantly large technology upgrade that changed the way people worked and changed the way they interacted with each other across functions. This became one of the most successful projects I had the privilege of working; it implemented on time, under budget, with no disruption to the business, and exceeded benefit targets.

There were several factors that led this project to success, not the least of which was a solid team structure, with the right people. Organizations will often take people out of the business to work on projects. We didn’t do that here. We left people in the business and had them accountable for project deliverables through their functional leaders, and the functional leaders became the first level project team. It meant extra hours for them because they were still accountable for delivering business operations every day.

We topped this off with a strong project leader who had significant business experience across the enterprise. He had the insight to ensure that project goals supported the organization’s purpose, and he led project meetings ruthlessly toward these goals – sometimes creating healthy conflict in which the team engaged to resolve. These factors were a major component of what led us to success.

Here are a few characteristics of a well-designed, highly performing change implementation team, like the one described above:

  1. The team leader has adequately demonstrated leadership skills.
  2. The team leader has enough functional and cross functional knowledge.
  3. The team’s goals support the organization’s purpose.
  4. Team meetings are focused on topics relevant to its goals.
  5. The team is completing work in alignment with its goals.

How does your organization stack up?

Dedicated to your profitable transformation,


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