In brief

In brief

  • Companies across industries are embarking on large-scale transformations as dramatic market shifts drive reinvention.
  • Successfully executing a complex transformation requires a clear vision, an integrated approach and a focus on value.
  • Accenture’s transformation office provides a comprehensive framework for the journey—from strategy development to technology implementation.

More and more companies are investing in large-scale transformations as they reimagine their businesses for the future.

A majority of CEOs—six in 10—say they are under considerable pressure to deliver a successful digital transformation strategy, but these complex business changes present a significant challenge for leaders.1 A recent HBR survey found that 86% of nearly 700 respondents recognize that transformation requires a combination of the right culture, revised business processes and new technology, but only 20% rate their transformation strategies as being effective.2

There are numerous major transformation archetypes—including cloud transformations, digital transformations and operations transformations—and these aren’t discrete. Transformation programs are often overlapping and running in parallel, which requires continuous change and constant reprioritization to keep pace efficiently and effectively while also achieving the desired value outcomes.

Indeed, no two transformations are alike, but at the core, they are all centered around achieving the organization’s strategic vision, fostering financial growth and enabling a more nimble, responsive organization.

Accenture’s transformation office provides a holistic solution, helping companies through every step of the process, from strategy development to change management to technology implementation, while remaining firmly rooted in delivering value.

Here are some frequently asked questions about the role a transformation office plays in any reinvention and how Accenture’s comprehensive framework guides companies along the way:

1. What steps can businesses take to feel confident about their ability to execute a transformation?

True transformative organizations can grow their business while shaping the competitive landscape—but joining the ranks of these organizations is easier said than done.3

Research has shown that “the transformation journey is taking large enterprises at least twice as long and costing twice as much as originally anticipated.”4

Transformations can often become protracted and expensive. Common reasons include lack of executive sponsorship and organizational alignment, not enough resources dedicated to the project, a lack of integration, siloed governance and missing skills or talent.

Businesses can feel confident about their ability to successfully execute a transformation if they have a clear vision, an integrated approach supported by world-class talent and tools and a focus on value.

2. How is a transformation office different from a program management office?

A transformation office is much more than a traditional program management office (PMO), and it’s a necessary element of any large-scale transformation.

A transformation office improves time to value by maintaining focus on outcomes and setting the organization up for continued success, going beyond a traditional PMO’s primary focus on time and budget.

A well-executed transformation depends on preparing the entire organization to thrive in what’s known as the “future state,” or the way things will work going forward. The company will operate in a new way, people’s job descriptions will change and new partners will be brought in. You can’t underestimate the impact on an individual and organizational level, and a transformation office brings the talent along on the journey to make it work.

Our transformation office provides a bird’s-eye view of the myriad components of the transformation and helps the organization achieve high-level alignment on the shared vision while simultaneously unleashing innovation at the lower levels. Our approach strikes a delicate balance: coordinating the transformation from the top without impeding progress.

3. What is Accenture’s approach to a transformation office?

Our framework provides the necessary foundation for a successful transformation, bringing together all aspects from vision to value realization.

We collaborate with companies to create the overarching transformation design, which prioritizes and integrates multiple distinct initiatives, delivers the desired outcomes and is data-driven and focused on value. Our agile approach helps companies manage change and problem solve throughout the transformation journey.

We engage talent across the organization to adapt and adopt the new ways of working—preparing the organization to occupy the future state. And we serve as the custodian of the company’s vision, keeping the organization aligned as the competitive landscape shifts.

Accenture is your partner throughout the entire transformation—one with the breadth of experience to anticipate problems, quickly identify the best solution and help organizations adapt as circumstances change.

4. What are the key components of Accenture’s transformation framework?


A compelling vision is at the core of every successful transformation. It must be set with purpose, articulated with precision and communicated clearly, creating the persistent drumbeat that guides the organization.

360° value

A 360° value-driven approach delivers the promised benefits to the organization. It identifies, articulates, measures and ensures progress toward business outcomes.


End-to-end integration of transformation plans and solutions helps ensure that the vision and value are achieved. It provides the framework and architecture to align initiatives and pivot quickly.


A robust governance model and related controls can help lay the foundation for success. It is imperative to establish clear decision-making authority and transparent reporting, enabling the transformation to move at speed and adapt to change.


People are at the heart of the transformation. It is critical to engage the right talent at the right time, enable leaders as change catalysts, build skills for the future and embed the new ways of working into the organization.

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5. Why is having a clearly defined vision critical to the success of a transformation?

Without an actionable vision, a transformation can easily unravel into a list of incompatible projects that can lead the organization off track or keep it stuck in place.

In an HBR article, Accenture identified the number one challenge facing digital transformation as an “unspoken disagreement among top managers about goals.”5

Our research reveals that, on average, 95% of a company's employees are unaware of, or do not understand, its strategy. If the employees who are closest to customers and who operate processes that create value are unaware of the strategy, they surely cannot help the organization implement it effectively.6

It is impossible to articulate how a transformation will impact the organization, let alone create a common understanding across employees, if there isn't a common vision from leaders. But then comes the hard part: While a vision can set the compass in the right direction, you also need a road map to turn those aspirations into action. The vision must be embedded into the design, plans, prioritization and other day-to-day, concrete aspects of the transformation.

6. What elements do companies tend to overlook during a transformation journey?

A common pitfall is for companies to neglect to set up a robust governance model. But governance and related controls are the foundation of a successful transformation. It’s imperative to establish clear decision-making and transparent reporting, so the transformation can both move at speed and adapt to change.

Making sure people are given explicit authority to design solutions for transformation-relevant programs is also critical.

Finally, organizations should stay hyperfocused on assembling the right talent, including leveraging external partners in their ecosystem and orienting all their efforts around concrete value and business outcomes.

7. How important is it to have a partner throughout the transformation process?

Accenture not only guides the design and strategy of the transformation; we also have the experience to get you across the proverbial finish line. As they say, “Change isn’t a talking sport, it’s a doing sport.” Mobilizing your operating models, governance structures and processes is significantly different in practice than in theory.

A typical transformation will comprise multiple portfolios, spanning across business groups, functions and IT. When a problem occurs, the team on the ground has access to Accenture’s comprehensive knowledge and experience in the relevant area and can find you the answers, fast.

Accenture is your partner throughout the entire transformation—one with the breadth of experience to anticipate problems, quickly identify the best solution and help organizations adapt as circumstances change.

For information about how Accenture can help get your transformation on track, contact us.


1 IDC (Sponsored by SAP), Why Companies Fail at Digital Transformation: Clearing the Road to the Intelligent Enterprise, January 2019.

2 HBR, Rethinking Digital Transformation, March 2020.

3 IDC, Your Organizational Approach to Digital Transformation Is Likely Hurting Your Enterprise Resiliency, April 2021.

4 Gartner, IT Roadmap for Digital Business Transformation (Free Excerpt), 2020.

5 HBR, The Two Big Reasons That Digital Transformations Fail, October 2019.

6 Ibid.

Greg Douglass

Senior Managing Director – Technology Strategy & Advisory, Global

Cassie Walls

Managing Director – Technology Strategy & Advisory

Michael Sivo

Senior Managing Director – Strategic Accounts & Sales


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