Transformation vs. Continuous Improvement

Shashank is a program management professional with expertise in agile implementation and transformation. He has 11 years of global experience in portfolio and account management, delivering transformational solutions to clients.

On a lot of occasions during my career leading digital transformations, I have been asked what the difference is between transformation and continuous improvement. In today's world, the word “transformation” has become a cliché, with every organization across the industry using it in one form or the other.

Let me quickly tie the word to my forte: agile transformations. Most organizations would say, "We’re agile—we moved from the waterfall world of delivery to agile!" But then they also admit they have yet to reap the benefits of the change incorporated. You wonder why, because you assume they would have already done the right things on their transformation journey.

Transformation is not very different from continuous improvement. However, it’s very important for organizations to know what they are and what impact they can have to accomplish the goal they are trying to achieve.

Transformation is the change that you want to bring about. It could be people, processes, technology or structure. These changes are not necessarily at the organizational level; they can be at a business unit or even at the team level.

To identify what really qualifies as a transformation for an organization, it's important to define the desired state of the end goal. This is a state that you would like to reach to overcome your …


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