Business Transformation Management Methodology

Any radical organizational change can be termed business transformation. Typical transformation projects include mergers and acquisitions, business process outsourcing, and the introduction of shared service centers, enterprise software, and initiatives motivated by sustainability requirements. Unlike business process re-engineering, which closely focuses on business processes, business transformation requires a more holistic approach.

Methodology Description

SAP Business Transformation Services (BTS) has created a methodology for successful implementation of transformation projects: the Business Transformation Management Methodology (BTM2), also available as a book.

Comprising four phases: ENVISION, ENGAGE, TRANSFORM, and OPTIMIZE, the methodology integrates discipline-specific technical and methodological expertise from transformation-relevant subject areas. The BTM2 provides real-world guidance and support for transformation projects by bringing together the disciplines of Strategy, Value, Risk, IT Transformation, Program, Project, Change, Process, and Competency Management.

While Strategy, Value, and Risk Management set the course for business transformation, other disciplines enable the transformation process. The discipline of Meta Management incorporates topics such as culture, values, and standards. It orchestrates work streams involved in business transformation projects.

The BTMhas been used and validated in a number of business cases, such as the pilot roll-out of smart metering technology at a major energy provider. For more information on BTM2, please contact BTS.

Management Types

Every business transformation is different. The success depends on the complex interplay of actors in a multifaceted ecosystem. According to this understanding, the focus of meta management as the fundamental discipline in BTM2 lies in providing a frame that helps to manage the complexity of business transformation.

Meta management is a general discipline for business transformation, which is based on a holistic and integrative management approach. Meta management is business-driven value-oriented, and integrates three pillars, namely: management disciplines, transformation lifecycle and leadership. A business transformation process is only successful if the leaders are aware of their roles and communication and have established a solid culture. These meta management principles are also sketched in this chapter since their implementation constitutes an important basis for the success of the overall BTM2 framework.


In summary, the following (general) guidelines need to be considered to execute a successful business transformation project:

  1. Orchestrate the individual management disciplines as an integrated and holistic approach.
  2. Specify the cascade of the overall transformational goals for each management discipline and organizational member.
  3. Install and establish the transformation lifecycle with the four phases: envision, engage, transform and optimize.
  4. Assign roles and involve the business transformation manager in the process of transformation.
  5. Create commitment across all involved parties and facilitate the buy-in from all important stakeholders and employees.
  6. Cultural environment is set by skillful use of communication in order to provide a clear purpose and good understanding of transformation need, benefits, risks and change needed.

Source: Stiles, P., Uhl, A., Stratil, P. (2012). Meta Management. In A. Uhl & L. A. Gollenia (Eds.), Handbook of Business Transformation Management Methodology. Farnham, UK: Gower. p. 13

Strategy Management describes how organizations or organizational units can successfully plan transformation alignments and implementations. A frequent cause of failure is an erroneous or inaccurate planning of a transformation strategy.

This discipline systematically guides through the six major steps of developing a transformation strategy and explains the integration of essential aspects such as transformation need, transformation readiness, stakeholder management, options for action and the integration of a transformation plan. Strategy management primarily addresses the envision phase of the transformation lifecycle, where a strategy is developed. Strategy development refers to the selection of appropriate team members, collection of data, analysis of transformation needs and readiness, design of a business vision and a business model, and the definition of an integrated transformation plan.

Source: Uhl, A., Houlder, D., Schmid, D., von der Horst, M. (2012). Strategy Management. In A. Uhl & L. A. Gollenia (Eds.), Handbook of Business Transformation Management Methodology. Farnham, UK: Gower. p. 31

Value Management manages the value of an investment throughout the entire lifecycle of a solution. VM ensures and supports the alignment between IT & business processes and company strategies. VM should be seen as a pragmatic approach to drive value adoption in business & IT investments.

View on Value Management
Value Management describes an approach and a set of tools and techniques that organizations can use: a) to identify the potential business value of a transformation, b) to decide whether the investment is both worthwhile and achievable, and then c) to manage the elements of value through to successful delivery. The value management approach outlined is based on proven techniques for identifying, planning, managing and evaluating the benefits of a business transformation. It depends on the engagement of stakeholders in the preparation of the business case and benefits plan to create the knowledge and commitment required to realize the benefits.
Stiles, P., Uhl, A., Stratil, P. (2012). Meta Management. In A. Uhl & L. A. Gollenia (Eds.), Handbook of Business Transformation Management Methodology. Farnham, UK: Gower, p. 57

Risk management provides fundamental guidance to the planning, development and effective execution of a business transformation. Hence, it is essential that business transformation managers seek to manage those risks that relate to the process of transforming an organization towards a desired future state and those risks that relate more to the possibility that this desired state becomes either obsolete or sub-optimal.  

In other words, effective risk management is needed to minimize the unpredictability associated with transformation related initiatives. Moreover, successful business transformation requires that sufficient attention be directed towards managing different categories of risks at both the strategic and operational levels. Organizations need to go beyond simply addressing risks that are inherent to an individual business transformation since, in isolation, such aggregation provides only limited guidance to those seeking to understand and manage the complex interdependencies that surround strategic risks. Such risks have been found to represent some of the largest threats to successful business transformation. Consequently, effectively managing strategic risks supports successful business transformation. 

Risk management within BTM2 involves the following steps:

  1. Envision: 360 degree strategic risk assessment addresses the identification and assessment of strategic risks. Risks can be identified using such tools as scenario planning. The outcome of this step is a strategic risk map with a consistent and aligned 360 degree view on key strategic risks for the business transformation.
  2. Engage: Risk analysis and Risk response plan involves the assessment of underlying business cases of proposed transformations in light of potential risks. Generally speaking, the impact of risks is assessed based on cost, schedule and deliverables.
  3. Transform: Execute risk response plan and monitor risks refer to the monitoring of the emergence of risk events or execution of planned responses. During this step a status report of risks is provided to the steering committee of the transformation programme and programme reviews are conducted at set milestones.
  4. Optimize: Review and evaluate risks encompasses inspection and improvement of risks and opportunity identification. This step is most likely to be successful if an open risk dialogue is created between management and the board and critical alignments of strategy development and execution are monitored.


Source: Furneaux, B., Janasz, T., Schild, T., Klimmek, R. (2012). Risk Management. In A. Uhl & L. A. Gollenia (Eds.), Handbook of Business Transformation Management Methodology. Farnham, UK: Gower. p. 85

Business process management (BPM) has evolved as one of the most important management capabilities today. Also in BTM2 it plays an essential role as an enabling factor for successful business transformations. Where does this importance come from? The answer is fairly simple: Since processes essentially are what organizations do, transforming organizations essentially means changing an organization processes. Therefore, the body of knowledge on contemporary business process management can contribute a lot to BTM2.

The specific focus of BPM within BTM2 essentially lies on the design of new processes implementing new business practices. In particular, BPM within BTM2 addresses the following steps (referring to the transformation lifecycle) for business transformation success:

  • Envision: create the big picture of process management. Essential steps comprise both designing an enterprise process framework and assessing the organizations process maturity. 
  • Engage: conduct specific action in order to perform process-related work. Most significantly, this involves both analyzing as-is processes and innovating to-be processes. In addition, a governance structure needs to be put in place to frame the implementation of new processes. 
  • Transform: conduct work aiming at implementing the new processes according to the to-be processes. This relates to technical implementations but also to organizational implementations comprising the definition of performance indicators as part of the process controlling. 
  • Optimize: carry out continuous monitoring in order to find ideas for continuous improvement of the processes. 


Source: vom Brocke, J., Petry, M., Gonser, T. (2012). Business Process Management. In A. Uhl & L. A. Gollenia (Eds.), Handbook of Business Transformation Management Methodology. Farnham, UK: Gower. p. 109

Transformational Information Technology (IT) management has different objectives. First of all, it evaluates the impact of current IT processes, IT competencies and IT systems on business transformation and vice versa. Additionally, transformational IT management defines IT-related success criteria for business transformation. Transformational IT management safeguards the design, implementation, roll-out and deployment of business transformation. It enables operations, maintenance and support of transformation deliverables. Last, but not least, transformational IT management also covers operations (continuous improvement).

Transformational IT management within BTM2 addresses the following steps (referring to the transformation lifecycle) for business transformation success:

  1. Envision: assesses and enables solution readiness of the organization. For this purpose, an analysis of the organization‘s transformation maturity is conducted with special focus on IT and operational capabilities.
  2. Engage: defines to-be IT analysis and assesses gap to as-is. Defines the application, data and technology architecture. Sets up a transformation roadmap.
  3. Transform: deploys IT operations and services and implement IT governance.
  4. Optimize: improves IT operations and services and manage IT lifecycle management. 


Source: Winter, R., Gubler, P., Wortmann, F., Elting, A., Schultheis, W. (2012) Transformational IT Management. In A. Uhl & L. A. Gollenia (Eds.), Handbook of Business Transformation Management Methodology. Farnham, UK: Gower. p. 145

People and their abilities and motivations are one of the main wild cards in business transformations. Business transformation often involves a change of, or introduction of new elements to, the corporate culture which may lead to a misinterpretation of corporate signals and values, and a shift in power structures, both of which may entail serious constraints to the success of a business transformation unless adequately managed.

Addressing and managing these human elements through organizational change management therefore forms an integral part of every business transformation. Specifically, change management deals with the people who have to change their ways of working because of a business transformation. It deals with their expectations, their needs, their abilities, their motivations, their concerns and their resistances. In general, we believe that organizational change management efforts should involve specific interactions, interventions and coaching, as well as broad and personal communication with the aim of aligning executives, involving management, and engaging employees.

Organizational change management within BTM2 addresses the following steps (referring to the BTM2 transformation life-cycle) for business transformation success:

  1. Envision: Set up a foundation for an effective organizational change management with respect to governance and assess organizational change readiness.
  2. Engage: Initiate a definition of a comprehensive communication strategy and performance management that is related to both the particular transformation project team and the organization at large.
  3. Transform: Apply and adopt stakeholder management, communication management, and performance management.
  4. Optimize: Receive feedback about the level of success of already implemented interventions. 


Source: Kohnke, O., Reiche, S., Balla, E. (2012). Organizational Change Management. In A. Uhl & L. A. Gollenia (Eds.), Handbook of Business Transformation Management Methodology. Farnham, UK: Gower. p. 169

Business transformation requires a longer-term and often major change in the competences of team members and the management. For example, when transforming an HR department from an administration-oriented unit to one providing strategic consulting, not only the competences for transformation, for example, in the area of leadership, must be trained. Numerous team members previously working primarily in administrative roles must first be prepared and suitably trained with regard to their new strategic consulting competences.

Competence and training management provide qualification and enablement of selected key groups with respect to (1) the competences required for business transformation and (2) the strategic core competences vital for future success of the company.
Competence and training management within BTM2 addresses the following phases (referring to the BTM2 transformation lifecycle) for business transformation success:

  • Envision and engage: During these phases, the company need and objectives are specified with respect to business transformation strategy implementation. The need and objectives are then compared with the results of the as-is analysis.
  • Engage, transform and optimize: These phases develop training measures for the identified gaps, foster the learning transfer and, eventually, analyze the success of the measures.


Source: Pimmer, C., Haefliger, J., Blumer, F. (2012). Competence and Training Management. In A. Uhl & L. A. Gollenia (Eds.), Handbook of Business Transformation Management Methodology. Farnham, UK: Gower. p. 199

Program management serves as an overall vehicle for the transformation effort. It aims to support the implementation of the decided strategy in order to achieve the expected benefits in business transformations. A program is defined as a group of related projects managed in a coordinated way to obtain benefits and control unrealized when they are managed individually.

A project, on the other hand, is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result. Projects tend to have definite start and finish points, with the aim of delivering a predetermined output, giving them relatively clear development paths from initiation to delivery. Programs, on the contrary, exist to create value by enriching the management of projects in isolation. Programs typically have a more strategic vision of the desired end goal, but no clearly defined path to get there. Therefore, program management is expected to deal with the uncertainty surrounding the achievement of the vision, whereas projects work best where the outputs can be well defined. As project management is embedded within program management, this chapter will predominantly focus on program management, with project management being discussed as a tangential topic.

Program and project management mainly address the engage phase, with some also playing a role in the transform phase for business transformation success:

  1. Engage: During this phase, programs are set up and executed to deliver the specific benefits identified by value management. Furthermore, programs are coordinated and its components and projects are integrated. Last, quality requirements are identified and the need for additional capacity and skills is evaluated
  2. Transform: This phase monitors the allocated budget and time to ensure that they are not exceeded throughout the business transformation. It also considers realistically how much effort it would take to complete a business transformation in terms of duration and cost.


Source: Rosemann, M., Recker, J., Safrudin, N., Marketsmueller, R. (2012). Program and Project Management. In A. Uhl & L. A. Gollenia (Eds.), Handbook of Business Transformation Management Methodology. Farnham, UK: Gower. p. 217