As part of the final stage of the transformation, the Transition and Business Integration Workstream focused on support and transition of the Business Transformation programme’s knowledge, practices, and processes back to the organisation. The aim was to enable Inland Revenue to progressively take on the responsibility for delivering change, allowing the programme to step away and gradually wind down.
This would ensure the organisation was set up to deliver continuous improvement as part of its ongoing business to reflect the needs of customers and any future changes in the tax and social policy landscape.
Take a planned and managed approach
A key success factor was that we started to develop a planned and managed approach to transition from programme mode to what would become ‘business as usual’ as early as possible. It’s important that the transition is structured with adequate time and resources as it is not something that would happen on its own with a programme of this scale.
We started the transition and business integration work when a team was in place to design Inland Revenue’s future operating model in July 2020. This was 2 years before the Business Transformation programme would officially end.
We first did some mapping to identify the high-level business transformation services and activities that would need to continue after the programme closed. The questions we tried to address together with the future operating model team were: what are those things we do today in the programme from a future operating model point of view, where do those things fit, and what do we need to do?
Based on the design of the new operating model and results from our mapping, we developed the Business Transformation transition planning approach. This outlined when, how and to whom business transformation services and activities would be transitioned. Timing of transition to specific parts of the organisation was aligned to the transformation programme deliverables and the establishment of the operating model changes.
Following on from that, we created and put in place the following:
- Organisation impact assessment and Change implementation plan.
- Stakeholder engagement and Communications plan.
- Transition readiness framework for primary stakeholders to contribute to a readiness assessment at key checkpoints leading up to and during transition.
- Knowledge transfer approach for transferring both explicit and tacit programme knowledge into an online repository of:
- templates, and
- other collateral in areas like business design, change management, communications, delivery and testing that can be easily accessed across the organisation.
- Responsibility transfer plan that set out how and when the transfer of responsibility of activities from the programme to business as usual would occur.
- Detailed transition plans by group including the transition roadmap of when and to whom responsibility was planned to transfer from the programme. As part of this, we conducted detailed mapping of services, activities, processes, and so on to make sure we were not missing anything.
Progress on transition and business integration was tracked through regular reporting and at the appropriate governance forums.
Partner with leaders across the organisation
We approached the transition and business integration as a partnership between the programme and groups across the organisation, gradually shifting responsibility for driving the transition from the programme to the various leaders. This was key to ensure a smooth transition of process and appropriate services and activities from the programme move to their new owners at the right time.
A year and half prior to the programme’s closure
Readiness was programme-led to make sure stakeholders in both the programme and appropriate groups in the organisation were aware of the transition, understood transition accountabilities and responsibilities, and prepared for the transition.
One year before the programme ended
Transition readiness gradually shifted to the appropriate groups.
This shift was aligned to the establishment of the new operating model. Once the future organisation was in place, we worked closely with the newly-confirmed leaders to develop the transition details for each organisational area. To progress transition planning and decision-making, we had regular joint working sessions with leaders and representatives.
Over time, our role in the workstream shifted to facilitator:
- helping groups work on the finer details such as addressing gaps in the transition of business transformation services and activities
- mapping out where the appropriate tools and business processes that the programme is responsible for will move within the organisation, and
- identifying and understanding the integration points with other groups.
The Business Transformation programme could in some ways be considered like scaffolding, supporting Inland Revenue as the new groups and teams are being established. The programme’s scaffolding structures were significant at the beginning and then it progressively came down until nothing remained of the programme leaving Inland Revenue’s new operating model.
Give your people a proper send-off
As a programme wraps up, people leave to their new or substantive roles within the organisation or leave altogether. It is important to not only complete the appropriate administration processes but to thank people for their contributions and give them a proper send-off.
As we wanted to let people leaving the programme determine how they would like to be farewelled, we created a community on our internal social media site called ‘BT Leavers‘ for people to use as an option to say goodbye to their programme colleagues as well as recognise those who were leaving.