Kent Lefner, Chief Transformation Officer, Sandcastle Change

· Transformation

Your business is being disrupted from the inside. Are you ready?

PMI calls it the new “project economy” where projects represent half of the core value companies deliver, the other being public facing services and products. They share that we are seeing a ‘paradigm shift’ where projects are moving from back office functions to enablers of front office delivery and value.

broken image

But, PMI also tells us that nearly 12% of all project spend “…is wasted due to poor project performance”(1). McKinsey tell us that 70% of completed projects fail to meet defined objectives(2). Depending on who you ask, anywhere from 30% (3) to 98% (4) of transformation programs are abandoned before completion or fail to meet all project objectives at completion. The numbers are dizzying and hard to keep up with.

The people at the Institute of Neuro and Behavioral Project Management believe they know why many companies will find it difficult to rise to the challenge and adopt effective internal project operations: People. It’s the way our brains work that undermines our ability to reliably perform tasks such as estimate project timelines and cost. This is especially acute when under a time pressure because our bodies behave differently than when time is not a factor (5).

This is growing into a dizzying list of bad news for purveyors of business value from internal project.

Those companies who can harness an effective ability to deliver value from internal projects will successfully navigate this disruption and out-perform competitors who are unable to keep up.

We, at Sandcastle Change LLC, believe that the single most compelling factor that can influence value creation from projects is the maturity of a companies ability to effectively navigate change. We call this “Transformation Readiness”. It’s the degree of effectiveness and maturity baked into a companies internal collection of abilities that all come together to drive value. The problem is, “Transformation Readiness” done right is complex.

It is often a topic discussed by companies that already enjoy a healthy degree of maturity in other areas of their business. Over time, they have grown to see the fruits of transformation and believe that maturing their ability to effectively transform can lead to significant competitive advantage and even industry disruption. And, there are some big success stories to substantiate that belief. It is for those companies that we created the Transformation Readiness Framework.

The Sandcastle Change Transformation Readiness Framework is founded on 7 core factors of transformational success that are universally recognized as key internal abilities. The factors are informed by over 100 different attributes across the business. We then map the factors to existing leading practices such as PMBOK for Project Management, Agile for project operation, ADKAR for Change Management, ISACA for governance, risk, and control, and others. We assess maturity based on those factors and we apply or improve existing practices along this framework.

This framework has been used with companies for over 20 years across a wide range of industry, size, age, geography, and organization. It was not a surprise to us when two companies saw over 80% of projects completed in the first year with 100% of them producing measurable business value after applying the Transformation Readiness Framework.

The beauty in this framework is that it is a meta-framework that actually creates logical relationships across multiple frameworks to unify them into one operating project model. It allows companies to quickly identify and reliably improve areas of project immaturity based on the wisdom collected over time across the globe with pragmatic solutions to apply to companies of different types, sizes, ages, and organizational maturity.

Learn more about Sandcastle Change, LLC and our Transformation Readiness Framework at

(1) Pulse of the Profession 2020, Project Management Institute. 2020.

(4) Project Management: Improving performance, reducing risk. PWC, 2014.