How to Create a Visual Transformation Plan – the AS-IS/TO-BE Methodology

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Transformation can be an overused buzzword. However, if we define it as executing a complex cross-functional program with both business and IT stakeholders, it becomes more concrete.

But it doesn’t get any easier. The hardest part of any transformation is getting stakeholders aligned to agree on “what good looks like” once the change is complete.

At Dell Technologies, we’ve “cracked the code” to helping customers achieve transformation. We’ve recently introduced new ProConsult Advisory services. These services help customers gain consensus across silo’d stakeholders. They leverage our experience of “what good looks like” and create actionable outcomes that customers can begin executing immediately. The services are available in three different levels – Base, Core and Plus. The difference between them is the depth of analysis that we do and the format of the deliverable.

We use the same approach, our AS-IS/TO-BE methodology, for all the ProConsult Advisory services. It’s a globally consistent methodology that applies across any transformation area – multi-cloud, business resiliency, end user computing, applications, etc. Whatever it is, we provide a consistent delivery experience with uniform deliverables.

Because pictures are more impactful than words, all of the deliverables are visual representations. We’re not producing a 100-page document that will just sit on the shelf. We’re providing something that can hang on a wall, be used to easily communicate a transformation strategy, and referred back to for tracking progress.

  • ProConsult Advisory Base is a one day workshop that produces an executive summary that has best practices and transformation examples based on industry standards and data.
  • ProConsult Advisory Core is a 3-week engagement where we create a deeper understanding of the transformation issues. The deliverable is an executive vision map that has a general plan and technology vision based on high-level customer data. This service is good for less complex environments.
  • ProConsult Advisory Plus is a 6-week engagement, and its deliverable is what we call the transformation canvas. It’s a detailed, more extensive analysis that’s good for more complex environments.
Figure 1 shows ProConsult deliverables from all three engagements.

The AS-IS/TO-BE Methodology – Building the AS-IS

Let’s take a closer look at the methodology using the “Plus” deliverable. We start with a Discovery Phase. We interview stakeholders and review existing documentation. We look at things like IT architecture, the technical environment, projects that are in process, business drivers, etc. We look at both technical and business requirements. What we do is create the AS-IS state as shown in Figure 2. This is the current view of all the elements of the environment that are relevant to our analysis.

Figure 2. Sample ProConsult AS-IS Section

In the Vision and Principles sections shown in Figure 3, we document existing vision and goals. Examples here might be to enhance the customer experience, reduce time to market, or monetize data assets. We also develop Guiding Principles. These Guiding Principles are key drivers for developing the TO-BE state. Some examples might be: automate everything, buy vs. build, or meet regulatory and compliance standards.

Figure 3. Sample ProConsult Strategic Vision and Guiding Principles

As we work on all these areas we’ll find out what the challenges are, what needs to be improved in the future state, and we document these in a detailed issues list.

We then build out a draft of the AS-IS, Strategic Vision, Guiding Principles and Issues, and we hold a workshop with the stakeholders to review and validate the information.

When we review the issues, we rank them Red, Amber or Green as shown in Figure 4. Red is when there is an issue that needs to be addressed immediately. Amber is when there’s an issue that needs to be addressed, but it’s not as urgent. Green is when it’s still an issue, but it may not need to be addressed right away. At the end of this workshop we have a “big picture” view of the current state that everyone has agreed on.

Figure 4. ProConsult Sample Issues List

The AS-IS/TO-BE Methodology – Building the TO-BE

Next we use our experience and best practices to build out the target, or TO-BE state as shown in Figure 5. The TO-BE state will address the issues that we looked at, and it will be aligned to the strategic vision and guiding principles. In this multi-cloud example, you can see recommendations for an infrastructure architecture, application placement across traditional and cloud environments, how people and processes will change, and the types of services that will be provided to end users.

Figure 5. ProConsult Sample TO-BE State

As we develop the TO-BE state, we look at the timeframe for execution, and we create a Transformation Roadmap as shown in Figure 6. The roadmap has workstreams for the governance, applications, operating model, and technology changes that are needed to achieve the TO-BE state. It shows detailed activities, and dependencies or links between the activities, over the timeline. We also identify some “quick wins” for things that can be executed immediately.

Figure 6. ProConsult Sample Transformation Roadmap and Benefits Analysis

Finally, we identify the benefits. We project current and future costs over the identified timeframe, and build out IT run rates and a high-level investment profile that shows the costs and the expected savings. It will cover both the financial impact as well as “soft” benefits or outcomes.

After we create the draft of these sections — the TO-BE, Transformation Roadmap, and Benefits — we get the stakeholders together again to review and validate them. At the end of the review, we have a “big picture” view of the target state that everyone has agreed on.

The AS-IS/TO-BE Methodology – The Results

So in 6 weeks we produce a visual representation, a transformation canvas that can be hung on a wall in an office or in a conference room. It can be used to track progress and to show the project strategy and goals to all of the IT leaders and executives.

But the most important thing is that the process will create consensus across stakeholders with clear next steps that can be started the next day.

For more information, visit and take a look at this animated video.

Are you ready to transform?

About the Author: Denise Partlow

Denise is a Director of Product Marketing for Dell Technologies Consulting Services. She currently leads a team of professionals responsible for formulating and executing marketing strategy for Dell Technologies consulting services portfolio.
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