Sriram Balasubramanian
December 20, 2018

Check-points for traversing the exciting journey of End-to-End business transformation

Sriram Balasubramanian has written an article on his interpretation of the Global State of Operational Excellence Survey Report - Critical Challenges & Future Trends - 2018/2019.  Click here to download the full Survey Report 2018/19.  

The Most Comprehensive Study of Critical Challenges and Future Trends within Operational Excellence

With nearly 1000 respondents, 37 insightful questions, detailed analysis & insights from 40 industry thought leaders, and the BTOES Insights executive team, this 130 page report is recognised as the most comprehensive study of critical challenges and future trends within Operational Excellence, and is considered a key resource for the industry. Areas covered include:

  • The Critical Operational Excellence Challenges faced by executives.

  • The Current Scope of Operational Excellence.

  • How is Operational Excellence success measured?

  • Key Findings & Roadblocks.

  • What are executives focusing on over the next 12-18 months?

  • What have been the greatest developments?

  • What are the key drivers pushing change in Operational Excellence?

  • Industry Perspectives.

  • Small, Medium & Large Corporation Perspectives.

  • Detail Analysis & Insights from BTOES Insights Executive Team.

  • Detailed Analysis & Insights from 40 Industry Thought Leaders.

  • Analysis of key themes, including Cultural Transformation, Customer Delight, Sustaining an Operational Excellence program, Need for end-to-end Business Transformation, Keeping up with new technologies/impact of digitalization and Leadership Buy-in & Understanding.


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pillar%20page%20line%201Check-points for traversing the exciting journey of End-to-End business transformation

End to End business transformation

The primarily goal of any Operational Excellence program is to bring about a systemic change in the way of working and nurture a “new normal” that enables the organization to deliver its business results in a seamless manner. Often such ambitious programs fall short of required changes and it ends abruptly as another failed attempt at change, with a premature end or a sub-optimal state, with partially delivered results.

It is therefore no surprise to me that end-to-end business transformation emerges as the 3rd biggest challenge in this survey of 2018, ranking only below cultural change and sustaining operational excellence, which are obvious requirements of any program. Click here to read the full Survey Report 2018/19. 

Based on my experience with business transformations across multiple industries like Pharmaceuticals, Chemicals, FMCG and several others, the success rates of Operational Excellence programs can be significantly enhanced by focusing on a few check points detailed below:




Defining clear objectives of the program: A clear understanding and articulation of the objectives of the excellence program right at the outset is a pre-requisite. Though this is obvious, the scope of the program is often defined hazily and informally, coupled with a weak accountability and tracking through the lifecycle of the program. Scope definition and sign-off with the project sponsor is critical before the start. It is advisable to clearly detail what items are in-scope and what are out-of-scope of the program to ensure focus. Click here to read more Articles on The Global State of Operational Excellence: Critical Challenges & Future Trends - Research Report 2018/19.

Check-points for traversing the exciting journey of End-to-End business transformation




Implementation approach: A formal project management approach is crucial to ensure success of any transformation initiative. It provides a clear direction and time-line towards which the entire team can work on, in a structured manner, enabling a clear commitment on resources required. Identifying and ensuring the availability of an experienced and highly skilled, independent project manager to drive the initiative till conclusion is often another big challenge.


An experienced project manager deftly uses Project management methodology skillfully and leverages his knowledge of using standard templates to define and monitor the scope, ensure accountability, governance to manage risks and deliverables. The project manager with a single-minded focus, formally defines and reviews the program on a periodic basis, with necessary management interventions in a professional manner.




Understanding the levers for change: In any excellence program, there are 2-3 key levers which clearly impact the outcome of the program. The team should work with a clear knowledge and sensitivity to these levers to ensure smooth implementation. Levers could be process-based or people-based. This is where involvement of experienced colleagues from the within the system and periodic management reviews help to keep the program on track.




Enrollment and engagement: The key to successful implementation and sustenance of the program is to actively enroll and engage the right people across all levels. Early involvement, induction, reviwew workshops, continuous knowledge campaigns and active engagement ensure that the energy levels of each resource engaged in the program is channelized positively and aligned to the program objectives.


Check-points for traversing the exciting journey of End-to-End business transformation




Utilization of suitable process and system enablers: A structured use of processes and systems ensures that the program is driven by a sustainable set of enablers. Continuous training and development on usage of these enablers helps in realizing and sustaining the benefits of the program.

E.g. A system-based enabler helps accelerate the program through effective use of re-usables, including documentation and templates.




The people factor: This is perhaps the most critical link to success of any program. Often overlooked or underplayed, identifying the right set of process champions from every area as part of the governance team is a challenge. The mix and motivation levels of project champions often determine the fate of critical programs. A carefully chosen team of high potential leaders enables the organization to channelize focused energies of all team members towards the program objectives. Most successful programs attribute their success to such high-performance teams, who help in surmounting exceptional challenges, achieving great results.


Successfully run Operational excellence programs often propel organizations to achieve a big step-change in their maturity levels, which otherwise takes years to achieve using incremental methods. This is also an opportunity for the organization to institutionalize and broad-base effective use of well-known approaches like Lean Six Sigma and project management. It is a Win-Win for both organizations and its leaders to build such enriching and long-lasting competencies and experience that could be cascaded to further nurture its pipe-line of young leaders through similar engagements in multiple areas.

Thankfully, for achieving an organizational change through End-to-end transformation, we can still rely on time-tested methodologies and basic principles. Change in this case is just a refreshing outcome!


Want to learn more? Download the full Report.
Check-points for traversing the exciting journey of End-to-End business transformation


About the Author 

Sriram Balasubramanian: Check-points for traversing the exciting journey of End-to-End business transformation

Sriram Balasubramanian

Head of Business Process Managementat, BASF SE

Sriram is a Supply Chain professional with 20+ years of global experience in India, Europe, Asia and USA. Check out his LinkedIn page.

He has diverse multi-sector experience - FMCG, paints, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, cement, Hi-tech, beverages, education and consulting. He has successfully led strategic projects in planning, manufacturing, distribution, logistics, procurement & IT. He has expertise to assess business situations, identify core issues from an overall perspective and recommend & implement suitable sustainable solution. He also is a strong team player with expertise in building and managing high performance teams.


The issues in this article are just one of topic areas that are going to be discussed at the Business Transformation & Operational Excellence World Summit & Industry (BTOES19). March 18-22, 2019, Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando Resort®

BTOES is the industry’s biggest and best, senior-level, cross-industry gathering of Business Transformation & Operational Excellence industry leaders and senior executives.

It also hosts the Business Transformation & Operational Excellence Awards, which showcase globally the most outstanding organizational achievements through the application of Operational Excellence programs.

The summits hosts a number of private forums for C-Level & Global corporate-level leaders as well as business unit heads.

With over 150 speakers, over 100 sessions, 12 Keynotes, 9 Track Themes, 5 parallel tracks, 60+ track sessions, 50 roundtable discussions, 20 Interactive Workshops, 6 Thought Leader Panels, 5 Leaders Boardrooms, 5 co-located events, the Industry Awards Program, Site Visits, 20+ hours of social networking including 2 gala cocktail parties, dinners, numerous group activities, this is the ultimate event to benchmark, network and drive Operational Excellence to the next level.


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There is a strong focus on Cultural Transformation, Customer Delight, Sustaining an Operational Excellence program, Need for end-to-end Business Transformation, Keeping up with new technologies/impact of digitalization and Leadership Buy-in & Understanding. We dedicated two tracks to advanced technologies, such as AI, Machine Learning, RPA, Predictive Analytics, Blockchain, Cloud infrastructure etc.


The agenda is designed to encourage active meaningful conversations though all day enhanced networking and interaction opportunities, including

  • All-day Refreshment & Themed Breaks

  • 1¼ Hour Hot Breakfast Networking Sessions

  • 1½ Hour Hot Plated Networking Lunches with Topic & Industry Sector focussed tables

  • 1½ Hour Roundtable Sessions by Topic & Industry Sector.

  • Keynote & Themes Panel Sessions

  • Hosted Welcome Receptions from 5.30pm

  • Expanded more lavish Awards Program

  • Newly launched Night Summit for attendees to meet after dinner

For more information or to discuss the summit in more detail please schedule a call below,

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