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The Business Transformation

Podcast 020 – Severine Trinh-Foot – The human side of transformations, ensuring that people are involved and how they understand the change

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“Stop holding onto the past; open yourself and your mindset, and be open-minded to new solutions, processes, and new ways of working - Severine Trinh-Foot”

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Check out our latest podcast with Business Transformation and Integration Director Severine Trinh-Foot. 

Severine has been a business advisor, group transformation director, program director, integration director, global program manager, stakeholder, and compliance management lead partner for over 20 years—nearly 30 years. She is currently an associate with international PMI partners. She has held numerous positions as a business advisor, group transformation director, program director, integration director, global program manager, stakeholder, and compliance management lead partner. 

She is a former Big Four partner with KPMG in France, the UK, the US, and Brazil. She is known for delivering complex projects for global companies and high-growth startups. She is focused on the human side of transformations, ensuring that people are involved in how they understand the change. And so the change happens.

  1. How to motivate and integrate companies?
  2. Critical success factors to be successful in the transformations
  3. What is the approach? How do we get these transformations motivated and gain momentum?

Join this conversation and learn the key takeaways; you can do that in your team and organisation too!

Stop holding onto the past; open yourself and your mindset, and be open-minded to new solutions, processes, and new ways of working”

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Read Full Transcript

Heath Gascoigne (00:02):

Okay, now gimme a second. I’m going to read my little spiel. Okay. Hello, my name is Heath Gas and I am the host of the Business Transformation Podcast. And this is the show for business transmitters who are part business strategists, part business designers, part collaborators, and part negotiators. Business transmitters have moved past just business design and includes oversight and implementation of those business designs and business transformations, and include stakeholder management, coordination, and negotiation. If you work in strategy, development and implementation and work to ensure that that strategy is aligned to the business design as well as technology, then you’re probably a business ter. This is the show where we speak to industry experts and professionals to share their stories, strategies, and insights to help you turn around, start and grow your business transformation. Welcome to the Business Transformation Podcast, and in this episode we are talking to one of those industry experts.

We are speaking to sever Severine, ting Foot. I hope I’ve pronounced that right. Um, Severine, um, transformation and m and r, uh, m and a integration director who has led many e R P finance strategy and implementations, post m and a integrations across IT, sales, finance and HR turnarounds driven by cost reduction, performance and growth. Severine is a former big four partner with k g in France, uk, US, and Brazil is known for delivering complex projects for global companies and high growth startups. Severine is focused on the human side of transformations, ensuring that people are involved, how they understand the change. And so the change actually happens. Sever’s career spans over 20 years, is quite close to 30, is currently, um, associate at the global PMI partners and held several, many positions as business advisor, group transformation director, program director, integration director, global program manager, stakeholder and compliance management lead partner at the following companies as just a, a snapshot. Um, Tim’s Water and the Neptune Energy Auto Autoliv, hallmark Cards, sharp Electronics, Sage Shell, and kpn G to name, just a few. Whoa. Severine, thank you for your time. That is an impressive cv. How are you?

Severine Trinh-Foot (02:18):

I’m great. Thank you for getting that summary.

Heath Gascoigne (02:21):

<laugh>. Good to you. Wow. Yeah, some, sometimes I’ve read a, read the summary to some, some guests and they go, wow, I didn’t realize I’d done that much. And they’re like, <laugh>? Yes. Yeah, you have. They said, well, yeah, well done. Time passes. The next thing you know, we’ve got this massive impressive list. Okay. Because you have such a, um, a long and vast, uh, expansive career, we will, um, as is tradition on the show, we will keep it to three points so that, um, one that we can stay on track and the audience can follow along. So, um, given that you have a extensive m and a, uh, and m and a has its, um, challenges, um, so let’s talk about first our how do you motivate and integrate companies? That’s the first point. Second point is the c s s, the critical success factors, the three to four maybe more of factors that you look for to be successful in the transformations that need to be there. And number three, what is your approach? Let’s save your 30 day, the setup and startup. How do you get these transformations up and motivated and get momentum?

Severine Trinh-Foot (03:19):


Heath Gascoigne (03:20):

Okay. Okay. First one, how do you motivate?

Severine Trinh-Foot (03:23):

Right? Yes. So that’s a big question. Um, I’ve had this recurring, recurring question from various sectors, big and not that big companies usually international, they have, uh, so you mentioned a few there mm-hmm. <affirmative>, where we, we were actually doing disintegration work. You know, the, the typical head office who has the vision, and then you have the, and they want to implement a lot of things. And then you have the, the different, uh, subsidiaries in different parts of the world. So you have the culture as well, which is also a, a player mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And, um, they also have their project. They also want to do things. So how do you, what is the priority? Yes. And people get lost because, you know, they, they are kind of pushed by head of office to have to integrate, but they are, have their day to day, they have their operations, and we know today how, how difficult, you know, the current situation is, uh, in terms of, uh, supply chain, uh, energy, uh, cost increasing, so, you know mm-hmm. <affirmative>,

All those, those, uh, uh, operational companies need to deal with that. Yep. So, okay, let’s, uh, the, the, you know, very, um, very, uh, openly, we need to listen. I always start with having one-to-one conversations, you know, half an hour with the key stakeholders of those countries, understand what they, what make them teach, what are their issues and all of that. You gather a lot of facts, you know, and from all functions. It, uh, hr, uh, sales, operation, supply chain, you know, you do need, and obviously, you know, ceo, cfo, you do the C-suite as well, so that you have points of view from the top as well as, uh, people working in the, and

Heath Gascoigne (05:36):


Severine Trinh-Foot (05:38):

In the operations. And what does it mean integrate? What does it mean working together for them? You know, what they don’t want to lose. And they, they really want to know what’s in it for them, you know?

Heath Gascoigne (05:50):

Oh, okay. What’s in it for them? That’s a common theme has come up there.

Severine Trinh-Foot (05:54):

Exactly. At the end of the day, are all human

Heath Gascoigne (05:57):

<laugh>. Yeah. I think and, uh, sorry, didn’t drop there, there Severine. The, so for the listeners there, this is a common theme. Um, I sort of said for, for disclosure, Severine and I have not met before. Um, Severine just happens to be in the uk, also in, in London. Um, so not, not there’s a bias towards the UK or London. Um, that’s, but Xen has a vast experience that includes many continents, us, the Europe, um, and, and Asia and, and South America, and has just said, and for the W F I M, so the what’s in it for me? So the W I F M, so what’s in it for me? So what is, so that’s a, that’s a interesting thing because we’re talking about from a people’s perspective, right? That what is it, what, why is that important? Because people are attuned to that channel of their own channel. What is in it for them? So Casey, the audience missed that, that that Serena said it almost straight away. Is that what’s in it for me? Okay.

Severine Trinh-Foot (06:55):

Yeah, yeah, yeah. At the, at the end of the day, whatever we want to do, we have to take into consideration that this change is not technology, it’s not process, it’s people. Oh. So yes, as long as they don’t understand, you know, uh, what is the change going to bring them, what is this integration going to bring to them, then there is not much points, you know, it, it may happen, but it won’t actually not gel. Really not integrate Yeah. Or transform, you know, whatever it is. So it’s really, really important, you know, to make sure that we have all those points, those issues, we build a plan of that, uh, transformation. Yeah. Including all those pla all those points, Uhhuh, <affirmative>, and we make sure we involve those people we’ve been talking to.

Heath Gascoigne (07:51):

So the stakeholders.

Severine Trinh-Foot (07:53):

Exactly. Yeah. In one way or another, you know, as key, uh, players as, uh, being trained as testing, you know, somehow everybody from has a role so far need Yeah. Has a role. Small launch, you know, and that’s how you start building this team. And as soon as you start having this kind of objective common mindset, then here you go. You’ve won it. You, you are, you are starting building a consensus, and they are, they can see where we are going. Okay. And that’s, uh, that’s really, really important.

Heath Gascoigne (08:34):

Okay. So you see lots of great points there. So at, at, at the start, you said one thing about culture, and when you’re talking about global companies, uh, I think the subtlety there, in case the audience missed that, that the culture may change in different parts of the country. And so I think that what you were talking earlier about having those initial conversations is understanding that culture and how differs differently and, and across the, across the globe. And I think that when you’re talking about head office or headquarters, they have a vision or aspiration, and that the next part is how does that translate from the head office guys upstairs and head and, and headquarters translates to those different, as you, you said, subsidiaries, how does, what does that actually mean for them? And then you, your approach was to have those one-on-one conversations with, with up and down the organization at the, um, so I’m just playing back for the, the audience’s perspective. The, so the, the, uh, the C-suite all the way down to operations. And so with that key point being what’s in it for me?

Severine Trinh-Foot (09:37):


Heath Gascoigne (09:37):

Yep. Okay.

Severine Trinh-Foot (09:39):

Yes. And it, it goes very well to our second point, which is all around, you know, what are the key, uh, success Yeah. Factors. Yes. Because, you know, basically what we need is a very strong sponsor, you know, at, at the end of the day, leadership need a leadership. Exactly. You know, someone strong, whoever it is, who has a clear vision, because again, we are humans and we follow <laugh>. Yes,

Heath Gascoigne (10:10):


Severine Trinh-Foot (10:11):

So we, we, uh, we like having someone who knows where the company is going. It’s going Yep. Has a clear vision. Uhhuh <affirmative> has some clear objective principles. It’s terrible when there isn’t

Heath Gascoigne (10:26):

Yeah. When there

Severine Trinh-Foot (10:27):

Isn’t sponsor.

Heath Gascoigne (10:28):

Yep. You know,

Severine Trinh-Foot (10:29):

You know

Heath Gascoigne (10:30):


Severine Trinh-Foot (10:30):

Nothing happens.

Heath Gascoigne (10:32):

<laugh>. Oh, yes, yes. Nothing. Absolutely. The, I I harp on it about, uh, bit about the four causes of program, a transformation program, failure, it’s lack of business user involvement. Number two is lack of leadership, senior, senior leadership, three changing and changing requirements. And four is incomplete requirements. And, and so the, the, when I talk about these points is that none of them, I do the do with technology nor process. It’s all to do with people. And then you said it right there, leadership. That’s strong leadership. It’s like that, that can’t be, um, under, what’s the word, undervalued, under recognized that, uh, without strong leadership, you’ll go nowhere.

Severine Trinh-Foot (11:12):

Exactly. So it needs to be Yeah, exactly. Someone at the CX level, I would say, just to make sure, you know, that he, whatever that person is going to, uh, bring. Yeah. And given in terms of vision, it’s, it’s going to be respected. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, at the end of the day, we are still quite hierarchical, you know? Yes. And in the company, you do listen and you do follow a C E O, CFO

Heath Gascoigne (11:42):


Severine Trinh-Foot (11:43):

CIO for sure. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it can be even two people. I quite like having projects where have A C F O and A C I O, for example, are sponsors. That works well. You know, having a, someone from the function, the business, and someone from the IT side. So, because there is always an IT aspect in any transformation. So, you know, in their,

Heath Gascoigne (12:04):

That’s interesting. Okay.

Severine Trinh-Foot (12:05):


Heath Gascoigne (12:06):

So two, two sponsors a function Yeah. Function,

Severine Trinh-Foot (12:09):

Very, very strong sponsorship, uh, c communication, which is also back to your, one of your four points communication top down on bottom up. So top down, you know, it’s usual town hall newsletters, uhhuh, making sure this is regular, and you communicate what goes well. Yes. And also what doesn’t Yep. You know, the delays and why people want to be, uh, treated as adults. Yes. And they want to know exactly what’s happening, you know? Yeah. It’s much better, much better actually.

Heath Gascoigne (12:46):

So saying it’s best, best to communicate something than nothing, right?

Severine Trinh-Foot (12:51):

Absolutely. Yeah. Absolutely. Regular communication.

Heath Gascoigne (12:55):

Okay. So, you

Severine Trinh-Foot (12:56):

Know, back to these team spirits, um, and obviously you communicate the good news, the success, and you celebrate those success. That’s great. Yes. Yep. And bottom up, uh, you know, surveys very good, white paper fairs, uh, anything where you get some feedback from

Heath Gascoigne (13:16):

Operations users, from

Severine Trinh-Foot (13:17):

People who are working on those, uh, changes. And that is, uh, really, really important. And any point on the survey, you know, any feedback point should, needs to be addressed.

Heath Gascoigne (13:30):

Yes. Not just, um, uh, what is it? Like, uh, empty promises.

Severine Trinh-Foot (13:35):


Heath Gascoigne (13:36):

Yes, yes. People will feel like their voices aren’t getting heard. So what’s the point of participating? Absolutely.

Severine Trinh-Foot (13:40):

Yeah. Yes. Because what that this does is that they can, you know, the company, the people in the company can see that the project is, is actually delivering, saying what they are going to do.

Heath Gascoigne (13:55):

Yes. They’re going to very important. Yeah.

Severine Trinh-Foot (13:57):

Yeah. And they are answering all the points, and they, they, that means credibility.

Heath Gascoigne (14:04):

Yes. So

Severine Trinh-Foot (14:04):

This is really, really important.

Heath Gascoigne (14:06):

And so, so, so, so the, to cut you off here, so the, the, the point there for listeners is, is really with these changes in we talk integration and, and global companies, and the, the part there about credibility, what’s credibility is about relationships, about building trust. So, um, absolutely. Yeah. So trust these, like you said, an important thing there about they communicate and communicate the, um, what, what the things that are going well, more the process. But a client that I recently helped, um, when I’d started the project, had already been going for a year, and, um, said, okay, so what have we got a business change person on here? Communications, oh no, we don’t have one. I said, well, oh, you told me you did when, uh, you brought me in here. But same, you don’t, and they think that someone else, like the program manager or program office can do, do to that.

The activity I was going, whether you can or not is, is one thing, but I think what you gotta do is actually do this communication. And they say, well, don’t have anything to communicate right now. And I said, I’ll tell you what, if you don’t communicate, and this project has been running for 12 months already and you haven’t communicated, I’m gonna tell you what’s happening in the business. Now, they’ve seen a whole lot of consultants rock up and no one’s talking to them. So they’re, they’re, you probably just put the fear of God in them. And if not, absolutely. If not, that’s very true. Yeah. This

Severine Trinh-Foot (15:21):

Is worse actually, because it’s gossip

Heath Gascoigne (15:25):

<laugh>. Yes. Yeah.

Severine Trinh-Foot (15:27):

And, uh, yes. And, uh, people are completely focused on that rather than working, so that’s really, really bad. Yeah,

Heath Gascoigne (15:35):

Yeah. Yeah. That’s the, the loose lip sync ships. So it’s best to, to address those issues. And I said to them, when I started, I said, okay, here’s the process we’re gonna follow, and we are just gonna share the process. They said, well, we haven’t done anything yet. I said, that’s fine. We’ve got to show them the journey. You, we’ve gotta take these people on a journey.

Severine Trinh-Foot (15:56):

Hmm. So, a few more points around change management, people communication. I would, uh, add, uh, adhere is, uh, obviously, you know, you need to assemble that cross-functional strong project team, Uhhuh,

Heath Gascoigne (16:11):

<affirmative>, that’s a cross-function team, both

Severine Trinh-Foot (16:12):

Without, yeah. Say the cross, that would go even further. It’s cross-functional and cross-country, Uhhuh, <affirmative>, you know, so you, you do involve people from the different countries, and that also really helps with the, uh, integration. Uh, I like this expression, but don’t cling the past, you know, don’t, just don’t, don’t, you know, because the problem is that, you know, you know your current situation, you know how you work, and the transformation is bringing something different, something new. Yes. But the idea is that you don’t, you don’t hold onto the past, you know, the way you work. Yep. We open, open yourself, op open mindset to open-minded Yep. To look at that new, new solution, new process, new ways of working. New

Heath Gascoigne (17:03):

Ways of working as well, say. Yep.

Severine Trinh-Foot (17:05):

Yeah. Yeah. So that, that’s very important. And that’s, it’s, it’s a good principle, I would say.

Heath Gascoigne (17:10):

So don’t hold on to the past.

Severine Trinh-Foot (17:12):

Yes. Not, no, don’t hold on to the past. Okay.

Heath Gascoigne (17:16):

Absolutely. I’m gonna quote you on that one.

Severine Trinh-Foot (17:17):

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I would say also, you know, do create the change management plan, you know, comes plan, training plan. How is that going to be addressed right from the beginning? It’s not just training in the new system, it’s actually, we’ve just been talking about ways of working process mm-hmm. <affirmative> and so

Heath Gascoigne (17:38):

On mm-hmm. <affirmative>, how their life is changing.

Severine Trinh-Foot (17:40):

Yes. And, you know, I usually, uh, if it is not there already, and it’s not that often there, think about end-to-end process, you know, so it goes, I, I I bring this kind of concept of, you know, process owner, same as, uh, the data side. You need to have data owners, but you have process owners,

Heath Gascoigne (18:03):

So the business and technical sides almost mirror each other, so. Exactly.

Severine Trinh-Foot (18:08):


Heath Gascoigne (18:08):

Yes. So for our colleagues, our, our listeners there, you know, there’s usually two parts to a program, business and technology. There is a lot of focus on technology generally, because they can quantify the costs. And so when they present their argument, there’s a dollar figure associated with it. And because it’s a dollar dollar figure, mostly it’s a large one that they, one, they can dictate what goes on because they seem to be spent where the money is spent. But they also have a well-defined process and structure away how they argument their, or present their argument. So that’s on the technical side, data side. And so on the business, they, what you’re saying is they should also have in the same as a data owner, they have a process owner, the same roles apply for the different domains.

Severine Trinh-Foot (18:53):

Absolutely. And that goes right into the business. Um, and that actually links to the, you know, uh, fourth, fifth, uh, critical success factors, which is all around the process. And it, and I quite like putting them together because they are so intertwined, so linked. Um, um, so you, you do need to leverage your best practice, you know, everything that really works well. Yeah. You know why throwing it out of the window? No, it’s, it’s good. It works. Let, let’s keep it uhhuh, obviously, if we can. That’s a good point.

Heath Gascoigne (19:37):

Yep. Okay. I like, I like that point. Um, so yeah, when we, when you talk about the end-to-end experience, end-to-end process is that when I, I do something similar when coming on with, um, clients and we say, what’s the user journey? What’s the user experience like? And I said, what do you mean by that? I said, what’s the touch points? How do they integrate, interact with the company? What’s the good points? Cause we, we don’t wanna throw the good things away, right? We don’t wanna throw the baby wave of the bath water, and what’s the bad points we want, the pain points wanna improve, and then what’s where, what’s in, what’s in scope and proven opportunities to address those pain points. And they go, that’s interesting you say that. And I said, yeah, well, I said, why is that? Because in one, one client I joined, they were, they knew they’re gonna replace the IT system.

So the first thing they did on the project is they did an RFP and they went straight to the market for the, for requirements or to the, for, for a supplier. And then they sent out an email to all the users and said, tell us what’s wrong with the system. And I said, you just gotta be careful with that because you’ve just asked what the pain points are. You didn’t ask what’s the good points, because you will literally do your, your point there. You will throw the baby away of the bath water, you will throw away the good stuff, and you want to like leverage the good practices, keep the good stuff.

Severine Trinh-Foot (20:49):


Heath Gascoigne (20:49):

So for our,

Severine Trinh-Foot (20:51):

On my process. Exactly. Yeah. Yes.

Heath Gascoigne (20:53):

Yeah. And so, and I like what you’re saying there, process. Mm-hmm. Yeah. I, I, a lot of my arguments I have with my, my colleagues on these programs is they start talking over these conceptual things like services or capabilities, and we need more people to do this new capability. And I said, so where are these people actually sitting? Where, what do they do in this? And so what they do is they’re doing, they’re executing some process, so tell me the process. And they’re like, they don’t wanna talk about processes. They say, well, actually, if you’re making a change, you’re making a change in a process.

Severine Trinh-Foot (21:26):


Heath Gascoigne (21:27):

Yeah. So, so to the audience, don’t overlook the processes.

Severine Trinh-Foot (21:32):

I always come back to my roots from KPMG with Brown Paper, redesigning the process with the end users from across the functions. So imagine procurement to pay process. Yeah. Uhhuh, <affirmative>. So you would have people from pro procurement, from sales, from finance,

Heath Gascoigne (21:53):


Severine Trinh-Foot (21:54):

Together. Yeah. And we map all the process and we look at the pain points and the best practice Yeah. So that people are, you know, they can see Yeah. How they work

Heath Gascoigne (22:07):

And the dependency

Severine Trinh-Foot (22:08):

Usually. Wow. We’ve never done that before. Yes. And, uh, you start having discussions and if you have that good base, you know that that good ease, as we say, current situation.

Heath Gascoigne (22:21):

Yes. Yes.

Severine Trinh-Foot (22:23):

You can use it really to, to create your new solution. Yeah. So that, yeah, that’s absolutely important.

Heath Gascoigne (22:30):

You know, the, what I, I find with clients is when you, you go and, and you talk to them and say, we need to understand the, as is the current state. And what I find is those that either have been through these projects before that, then they hear this term, current state and processes, and they think, oh my goodness, this is process, this activity has never gone to end. It will go on and on and on mapping the current operating model and say, well, there’s two ways doing it. There’s deep dive and there’s light touch. And given where we are in the general consensus, let’s just get a general consensus. We don’t have the time nor capacity to, to, you know, very detailed process mapping.

Severine Trinh-Foot (23:11):

Yeah, exactly. Exactly. I mean, even in half a day or a day, you do achieve a lot if you have the right people around the table. So Yes. It doesn’t need to take so much time.

Heath Gascoigne (23:21):

Yep. I, I like what you say with the, the, the brown paper as, uh, you write it literally, right? It’s Yeah, yeah, yeah. Visually. Yes. Yeah,

Severine Trinh-Foot (23:30):

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So, uh, other good points, you know, on the IT side is, um, uh, well, you know, we won’t go into too much of this subject, but Drew embraced the cloud, you know, the cloud technology is a fantastic one.

Heath Gascoigne (23:50):

Yep. Embrace. Yep.

Severine Trinh-Foot (23:51):

Less and less, uh, clients actually are thinking, no, we won’t go cloud. I heard that a lot 10 years ago. Now it’s really, really becoming, uh, more into the norm.

Heath Gascoigne (24:04):

Yeah. Yeah.

Severine Trinh-Foot (24:05):

It does bring a lot of, uh, sense and good, good, uh, good thing that the, the company doesn’t need

Heath Gascoigne (24:12):

To care that. So care. So for comparison, there, the other option, right, is on-premises where there is no Yeah, no ability to, we, I have the sort of a current client right now is there’s no ability to access the systems unless you’re inside the building. And so the, the challenge of that is access to getting those onsite. And I think the challenge of people when they say, wanna go cloud, they go, oh, how, how safe is it? You know, how stuff is in the cloud and if it gets attacked and the sensitive information. So yeah. So there is a, a, there is, I think, I think there’s the time of the laggards, right? That people were slow to adopt it. Now it’s pretty much, we’ve got mass market and everyone is like, that’s to, to the cloud. But the cloud on its own, or by itself is not immune to, uh, well, it’s not the, the, what’s the word? Panacea solution. That’s, you know, yes. Go cloud may be cloud first, cloud based, but there is also, um, issues and concerns that you need to be aware of, like asset, uh, as access, as well as, um, security issues.

Severine Trinh-Foot (25:15):

Absolutely. Uh, we did touch a little bit on it. Uh, another very important point is that any, any problems is the data, data cleaning, you know, for whatever you need to do, have your data in good order. And we are back to having, you know, people owning those data in the, in the operation so that it stays, it’s well defined and it stays clean. Yes. How many programs are actually delayed because this cleaning phase takes so long. Yes. Uh, so that is, you know, I, I just wanted to touch, uh, on, on the data side cause it’s, it’s really important.

Heath Gascoigne (25:59):

Yep, yep. I think, well then I, when I go with the clients, and we talk about when you, they’ll say, we want a new way of working. And I see, so what does that mean? Actually, you’ve only got four levers. People, process, technology and data. And so, so if you wanna change a new way of working, we’re gonna change one or all of them. And then, so what, usually people when they talk about technology, they forget about, well, technology is interesting, but what it does is just move data around the building. And if you, if you technology is good, it can move it, you know, and from unstructured to structured and at the speed of light and all these different things. But there needs to be one, a process to it and some governance around it.

Severine Trinh-Foot (26:34):

So you’re back to your <inaudible>.

Heath Gascoigne (26:35):

Yes, yes, yes.

Severine Trinh-Foot (26:38):

Um, at KG we were saying that people, technology, uh, IT, and control. And because it was a loaded firm, we were talking about control. And uhhuh data is really the important one as well. Uh, in along that line, you know, we, we have been mentioning testing. Yes. You know, test, test, test, test. Yes. Uh, before you are, you really are, you want to go live, as we usually say. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, those functions, those operations, they need to be sure they are comfortable. 100%. Yeah. Yeah. With that new So

Heath Gascoigne (27:24):

Yeah. Solution, new solution, yes.

Severine Trinh-Foot (27:26):

Yeah. New process, new, uh, ways of working.

Heath Gascoigne (27:28):

Yep. So test, test is

Severine Trinh-Foot (27:30):

Yep. And that should read that. That takes time. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it takes time. And, uh, but it’s really, really important. And it goes along with training, uh, everybody.

Heath Gascoigne (27:42):

I, I think you, you, yep. Karen, go. Sorry.

Severine Trinh-Foot (27:45):

I would, I would say on the training side, that uh, the training shouldn’t stop when the project is finished. It should really carry on, you know, as on a continuous basis. Yep. People need to have someone or a chat box or something that they can rely on to go and ask questions and so on. So that, you know, they don’t go back into their

Heath Gascoigne (28:09):

Old ways of, of ways of working. Ta da. Yep. Yeah. Cause it’s, it’s people in habits, right? So Absolutely.

Severine Trinh-Foot (28:16):

Yes. We’re back to the people. So

Heath Gascoigne (28:19):

<laugh>. Yeah. So, so yeah, interesting point there about the test, test test, right? Depending on, um, where the project is, if it’s close to the, maybe the critical path or drop dead dates, and then maybe a technology have built their solution and it’s, you know, it’s, they’ve done some system and integration testing, but in terms of user testing, not so much. And then it’s like, well, let’s just roll it out. And they go. Now I, what I’ve found is that, uh, the business is less wanting to maybe cause technology is breathing down their throat just to implement some system that there’s less wanting to test it. Uh, either it’s on an m v MVP or pilot on a small population or a small process. So they can, one, get used to it and see if that solution is fit for purpose before doing the full build.

But there, I think there’s a little bit of, and then talk about the agile mindset, right? And, and whether, uh, and I think then that even that name Agile is a bit misused, that being used to trying something new and Mm. And being used to it, not working and failing and, and lessons learned to go, okay, what did we learn from that experience? Um, so we, I think we, when you’re saying test, test, test, it says Yes, test, test, test, and be prepared that, that you might not get the result. But I think that you, you did say there that you must allow the time

Severine Trinh-Foot (29:36):

Yes. Because it is going to test may fail and need to understand what’s, what’s happening and Correct. Yes. You know, have that kinda cycle. Um, so I would conclude that, uh, list of CSFs we’ve been discussing with two points mm-hmm. <affirmative> one, which is around, uh, budget. You do need to have a budget for that program and the business case, you know? Yep. And the business case is not just to get the budget, but it’s also, it needs to be tracked not just until the end of the program, but afterwards to make sure that whatever the benefits change

Heath Gascoigne (30:17):

Yep. Is

Severine Trinh-Foot (30:18):

Bringing the benefits No, just the tangible ones, but all the ones we’ve, we’ve, you know, been thinking of. Yes. So that’s super important. I I I I usually see business case super sophisticated and then it’s kind of dropped, you know, people don’t follow it, follow it through.

Heath Gascoigne (30:37):

Yeah. Yeah. Okay. And yeah,

Severine Trinh-Foot (30:39):

Along the line of this, there is this decision making, you know, we are in a project mode. It needs to have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Uhhuh. <affirmative>. Yep. And it has to have a certain momentum, you know, a certain, uh, base Yep. Speed, you know, a bit like a marathon. Yep. Uh, you can’t just leave it to drive too long because people are fed up and, uh, nothing is happening. So you do need to think about a

Heath Gascoigne (31:12):


Severine Trinh-Foot (31:13):

Yes. A nice way to take the decisions.

Heath Gascoigne (31:17):

Yep. That doesn’t slow down the momentum.

Severine Trinh-Foot (31:20):

Yes. That is usually an issue.

Heath Gascoigne (31:23):

Companies, so the, the governance need to be structured in such a way to allow the business, the program to progress at a steady speed.

Severine Trinh-Foot (31:30):

Absolutely. And that is a critical point.

Heath Gascoigne (31:33):

Yep. Okay.

Severine Trinh-Foot (31:35):

You know, it’s, it’s hard to get companies to actually take decisions. Um, there are either, you know, putting the responsibility on someone else head office against, uh, versus the, uh, countries, you know mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But at the end of the day, uh, that’s, oh, that’s why we have people like you and me to help them make those decisions.

Heath Gascoigne (32:01):

Yes, yes, yes. Yeah. Yeah.

Severine Trinh-Foot (32:03):

More than cons, <laugh>. Yep.

Heath Gascoigne (32:06):

Uh, yeah.

Severine Trinh-Foot (32:07):

Okay. So I think we’re getting to our last question

Heath Gascoigne (32:10):

Is third point. Yes.

Severine Trinh-Foot (32:11):

Yeah. How do we set up, how do we start? That’s always the, the the $1 million question. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, what do you do for the first month? We’ve actually alluded a lot, uh, on, um, on all of those, uh, this beginning and uh mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I would like to quote, um, I was listening to another podcast this morning about eu, Kip Shack, you know, the, uh, uh, marathon runner under two hours, the kind of super, uh, athlete <inaudible>. He’s fantastic. And he’s saying he’s not looking for success, he’s trusting the preparation, the planning. Ah-huh. <affirmative>, he’s done the training, he’s done preparation, and then success just goes with it. And I thought that was amazing and very, very applicable to all of this. So why I’m saying this is because those first, you know, weeks are all about planning, preparation, knowing where you are going basically. Yes. And it doesn’t need to take too long. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So first,

Heath Gascoigne (33:24):

Uh, who was the name of the marathon runner, sorry?

Severine Trinh-Foot (33:27):

Ude Kip

Heath Gascoigne (33:30):

Ude Peach

Severine Trinh-Foot (33:32):

Kip. He’s the Kenyan runner.

Heath Gascoigne (33:35):

Oh, okay. I will find, excuse me, get his spelling his name. Correct. Yep. Carry on.

Severine Trinh-Foot (33:40):

Uh, so yeah, firstly, first when I come in, um, in the cloud, I like that my role is announced properly, uh, by the sponsor Yep. To, so that it is very clear what I’m there for. So that is really the

Heath Gascoigne (33:55):

First thing. Announcement. Yeah, that’d be helpful. So everyone knows who you are, it knows what your intention is. Yep.

Severine Trinh-Foot (34:01):

One to one. We discussed that with all the key stakeholders that we’ve discussed.

Heath Gascoigne (34:07):

Yep. So on the C-suite down to operations and across the business in the different functions,

Severine Trinh-Foot (34:12):

Different countries, everything. Um, understand what has been done. I hate Uhhuh reinventing your will.

Heath Gascoigne (34:21):

Very good point there. Yes. Yep.

Severine Trinh-Foot (34:23):

Usually things have, you know, have happened. Um, so, you know, reading, uh, looking at everything that has been already happening is, is very important so that you don’t, uh, waste time basically.

Heath Gascoigne (34:39):

Yes. And I think that that goes, sorry, that goes a long way with the stakeholders as well, that they feel that that work and effort they put into that previous activity has been used. Otherwise they feel, uh, oh, here’s this guy just like the last one, uh, the same old thing

Severine Trinh-Foot (34:54):

To start all over again.

Heath Gascoigne (34:55):

Yeah. Yeah. And then you lose do you said earlier credibility.

Severine Trinh-Foot (35:00):

Exactly. Yep. So, um, and I would say that then you start building an understanding of what is the scope, what are the objectives, principle, vision mm-hmm.

Heath Gascoigne (35:15):


Severine Trinh-Foot (35:16):

Yep. If they are already defined, great. If they are not, then they need to be defined. Yes. And that, you know, in that first kinda steering committee meeting you have with your sponsor, then that’s what you need to feedback

Heath Gascoigne (35:33):

Yeah. What you have and what you don’t have, and then go fill in the gaps.

Severine Trinh-Foot (35:36):

Yes. Cause the scope, the plan, the team, uh, is really, you know, the four elements that, uh, you need to start with. You know, having a high level plan, companies always need to know where they’re going, you know, you know, one year, two year plan, you know, a like the roadmap mm-hmm. <affirmative> that is really, really important. And then, and then we start, you know, whatever is missing then is going to, you

Heath Gascoigne (36:03):

Fill in the gap of, of

Severine Trinh-Foot (36:04):

Those work streams. And, uh, usually there is a, uh, current situation, understandings. So design phase, which we discussed, and then we go into, uh, what is going to be that solution that to be, and we’re going into implementing it. So it’s, uh, and it’s a lot also down to, you know, uh, getting, composing that team. And we’ve, we discussed

Heath Gascoigne (36:33):

The cross-functional as well. Yep. The cross-functional cross-country team building that team as well. When you’re building that understanding, they’re building the team and that team consisted of cross-functional and cross-country.

Severine Trinh-Foot (36:45):

Yes. And I would go even further on this one. You know, it’s not just thinking, okay, if we need to be very square on this, if we need people part-time, full-time on that project, then how are they going to be replaced?

Heath Gascoigne (37:01):

Yes. The backfill. Yes.

Severine Trinh-Foot (37:02):

The backfill, how are they going to be, uh, evaluated? You know, is that going to be part of their objective? Because we need to take this transformation, which is going to last one year, two years Yep. As a fantastic opportunity for people to grow. Yes. So, you know, I think it’s really important to take it like a, a part of their career and, uh, have some objectives against it, some

Heath Gascoigne (37:33):

Incentives, some some metrics that they can measure their progress against. Yeah. Yeah,

Severine Trinh-Foot (37:38):

Yeah. Yeah. And I, I have had some clients actually putting some incentives mm-hmm. <affirmative> because they know how hard work it’s going to be. Yes. So, uh, they, the, the, the close, you know, the kind of one full-time, uh, team has been rewarded cause they’ve been working, uh, nights, weekends, and things like that, so mm-hmm. <affirmative>, all of that needs to be addressed.

Heath Gascoigne (38:01):

And you touched on that briefly before about celebrating success. So that all ties into ah, yeah, yeah.

Severine Trinh-Foot (38:07):

Yes, yes, yes, yes. Okay. That’s it I think for the moment. Um,

Heath Gascoigne (38:12):

Alright, so just so on that last point there, so the audience, if there, you missed that to the last point for getting started is first there needs to be an announcement. So this is, it’s helpful for the communication so that we know what you’re there for. You’re not, I think when they, people see consultants tune up and there’s no announcement, they go, uhoh my job’s at risk. And then yeah. When you, and if we, we just talked about people, you’ve gotta bring people on the journey. They’ve been communication’s all big part of it. So first there’s announcements, then you have your one-on-ones from the C-suite down to operations. Uh, you are having them cross-functional, the different finance, it, hr, et cetera. Um, you’re understanding the key point there. So you’re building, I think, a strong rapport, uh, that you are reusing and understanding what the work was done before.

So you, you are, you’re picking it up and, um, not, not re as you, you, you said your words that you’re not reinventing the wheel. Um, so it goes a long way to that credibility. And so the lower earnings, if you’ve not picked it up already, there’s a strong element here about people. So you gotta look at people and, uh, you even said it yourself. The, you’re not doing process change or technology changes as a people change. And then you are building up your understanding and your, your points there of scope, objective, vision, principles and the the plan and the team. Um, and if they’re not there, so what was missing, then they’ll fill in the gaps and, and, and then take that to, that was you take it to the steering committee, um, and your, and part of that is your high level plan, your one to two year plan.

And then with your, if you’ve, they’ve probably at that point, if they’ve not got their work streams set up, then set up the work streams, start the work, um, and then you, with your, with the teams being the cross-functional and cross-country. And that the, the, the key part there, and I think it’s often missed, is that the, you are making sure when the people coming onto the project, they’re coming on full-time, part-time, that they have the capacity to be there. If they’re part-time, they’re hunt their, their part-time 20 hours a week or 10 hours a week is 100% there. They’re not worrying about or got the laptop out and they’re trying to do the b a U at the same time. Cause you won’t get anything from them. So you, so for, for all the project leaders out there, we talked about one of the critical success factors being leaders is that you’ve gotta make sure that when you bring staff on the project, that their role is backfill in the background so that they can be present on the program while they’re there.

Severine Trinh-Foot (40:28):

Fantastic sir. Well done.

Heath Gascoigne (40:31):

<laugh>. Okay. Yeah. Fantastic. All right. Okay. So we’ll wrap it up there. Um, sever. Yes. Thank, thank you very much. Thank you for your time. Thank you. Thanks for your insights. Um, so what will happen now is that the editor will get his hands on it and Neil will publish it. I’ll let you know, um, on, on LinkedIn, um, when it’s available. And then you can, um, share around if you like or do what you want for it. Okay. <laugh>. <laugh>,

Severine Trinh-Foot (40:53):

Thank you so

Heath Gascoigne (40:53):

Much. Bye. Pleasure. Thank you. Enjoy your day. Bye-bye. Okay, good evening. Okay, bye.

Heath Gascoigne Business Transformator

Heath Gascoigne

Hi, I’m Heath, the founder of HOBA TECH and host of The Business Transformation Podcast. I help Business Transformation Consultants, Business Designers and Business Architects transform their and their clients’ business and join the 30% club that succeed. Join me on this journey.

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