The Waves in Business Transformation Management: A Conceptualization of how IT-Enabled Business Transformations Unfold
We examine IT-enabled Business Transformations (ITBT) based on three case studies of successful, multi-year ERP implementation programs. Given the inconsistencies in segmenting the different key periods in ITBTs in both literature and our cases, we sought to consolidate the common events or critical incidents in such initiatives. We label those key periods as waves, and the emergence of triggers and reactions thereunto in the management of business transformations. We show that business transformations unfold in four distinct waves: Wave 1 Concept Development, Wave 2 Blueprint Design, Wave 3 Solution Delivery and Wave 4 Post-Transformation. These waves are characterized by the occurrence of strategic- and program-level triggers to which organizations respond by invoking different management services. Our interpretive research provides a new conceptualization of ITBTs based on a service-oriented view of such initiatives. This view draws attention to managerial capabilities as a service to transformations, and how and when these capabilities are required to respond to triggering incidents. We outline propositions and recommendations for business transformation management.