Comprehensive transformations demand attention at the start of the program in order to not get bogged down along the way. To help clients successfully setup and execute their transformation programs, BearingPoint has developed their own holistic framework and possesses the necessary ‘approach’ expertise and industry knowledge to apply it.

Very often transformation programs have been running for a long time when the program comes to a - sudden - standstill. Research and experience show that there is ample reason for that.

As experienced consultants in this area of expertise we see that change and transformation initiatives start among a small group of (change-)initiators. Assured of the importance of their transformation idea(s), they storm ahead and establish a “coalition of the willing”. As soon as sponsorship and funding are secured, a (small) team of trail blazers is appointed to mold the initiative into a program. And that is where all the problems start…

A frequently seen (re)action to the task of ‘initiating a change or transformation program’ is to recruit project managers to develop plans and execute the change. The general appetite is to provide proof that the basis for the transformation program initiative is legitimate and jump straight into action.   As time passes, progression starts to falter due to endless discussions and unclarities.

What if the change initiators would have taken more time to think through the setup of the transformation and develop a clear structure, which outlines the approach?

Research shows that many organizations are struggling with managing transformations:

Key transformation figures

  • 48% of executives believe their organization is only somewhat or not at all prepared to successfully execute a business transformation today.1
  • 77% of leaders view a lack of a broader business vision, and 75% an unintelligible end-goal for the transformation2
  • Interviews with 600 people closely involved in software development projects finds that even at the start of a project many people expect their projects to fail!3
  • More than a third (37%) of executives say that the greatest execution barrier they face in transformation is underestimating the significance of changes to their organization’s operating model (including the refocusing and revitalization of cultures)4
  • 73% of business leaders cite a lack of executive mandate and leadership as a barrier to success, and 53% see a lack of metrics to measure success differently as holding back meaningful change.5

These figures show that it is difficult to successfully execute a transformation, but also that it is not impossible! Successful transformation can also be achieved in your organization!

Every transformation is different because every organization is different. However, to make a transformation successful, it is important to make sure that all the components are in place, at the start of the transformation. And here starts the challenge for a successful transformation.

Curious what the necessary components are?

BearingPoint developed a methodology, the Transformation Bridge©, to set-up and manage transformations. In the following section this methodology will be briefly explained.

The Transformation Bridge framework

The methodology defines all elements that need be in place when setting-up and running a transformation program. It can be used as a guideline to take the right steps. On the highest level the Bridge consists of five core components:

Pillar 1 - Transformation vision & strategy

Creation of a shared vision on why the transformation is needed, what it looks like and how it will be achieved.

Pillar 2 - Program set up & approach

Definition of the program organization, way-of-working and resourcing.

Pillar 3 - Transformation execution & benefits

Realization of the agreed upon benefits by running the execution.

The Cover stone - Governance & Performance Management

Monitoring, reporting & managing the progress of the transformation.

The water - Change Management

Effectively handle the impact on people during the transformation.

One level deeper, the bridge consists of twenty-three building blocks that each focus on a key element for programs. Together the building blocks create the program that allows for a successful transformation.


Building Block


vision & strategy

Case for Change

The Case for Change initiates a possible transformation and drives the transformation Vision & Strategy process.

Holistic end state design

The Holistic End State Design defines the end goal of the transformation and will guide stakeholders during the transformation.

Business Case

The Business Case will track the necessary investments vs. the achievable benefits and checks the viability of a successful transformation.

Transformation roadmap

The Transformation roadmap shows a high-level approach how the end state will be achieved. Not all transformations can be reached in one go because of their high impact and can therefore benefit from an incremental approach.

Work Breakdown Structure

The Work Breakdown structure describes all relevant core work components that need to be performed in order to realize the desired intermediate/end state. This feeds back into the business case for cost assumptions.

Set-up & approach

Integral Planning

The integral Planning builds upon the Work Breakdown Structure but considers the overall timeline, dependencies and critical path.

Program Architecture

The program architecture describes the different program entities, the different work packages in scope for the program entities and their relationship.

Project Definition

The Project Definition describes WHAT and HOW of each program entity in detail.


The way-of-working describes the (core) program processes, procedures and tools.

Resourcing and Team Set-up

The Resourcing and Team Set-up describes the staffing of each of the teams in the program, how they will be recruited and onboarded.

Delivery Management

The delivery management describes the delivery method, such as agile / scrum, and is determined on a project or work stream level.  

Transformation Execution &

Acceptance Management

The acceptance management describes acceptance management mechanism. Once the underlying projects or work streams start ‘producing’ the client organization must be ready to review and accept the deliverables

Knowledge Transfer

The knowledge transfer describes how the accepted product / deliverable and related knowledge can be transferred to the client organization

Go Live Support

The go live support describes how the organization get support from the program to use the product / deliverable

Strategy Execution Readiness

The strategic execution readiness describes how all the strategic actions are identified and tracked. This is important since the desired products / deliverables are part of a bigger strategic plan.

Benefits Realization

The benefits realization describes how the transformation program is monitored and how the defined benefits in the business case are realized.

Governance & performance management


The Governance covers everything concerning the organizational structure, governance bodies, roles and responsibilities. It also concerns the definition of performance criteria, tools, processes and procedures.

Performance Management

The building block Performance management describes how the performance of the program is monitored and managed.  


Change Readiness

Assess change readiness to determine feasibility of program + input for program plan

Change Impact Analysis

The change impact analysis determines the difference between as-is and to-be situation for each plateau to determine impact of change + input for mitigating impact

Mobilize and engage management & Staff

This building block describes how the internal organization is supported in implementing the change strategy and mobilizing departments and people.

Assess Change Effectiveness

The change effectiveness is assessed after the transformation has taken place. The transformation team has to be dismantled and their responsibilities carried over to the organization

Using the Transformation Bridge

Building a program using the Transformation Bridge methodology follows a sequence as key elements are interlinked. For every building block it needs to be determined what needs to be done, given the transformation at hand. As every transformation has its unique characteristics and context, the outcome of a building block will differ every time. But the fact that you need to consider the building block does not.

For example, defining the end state is something that can be a relatively simple thing to do when everybody is familiar and aligned with the goal of the transformation. But when the end state is new and unknown it will require more effort and a different approach to get the ‘holistic end state’ designed.

So, for all building blocks an approach and desired output or results need to be chosen. BearingPoint uses its knowledge and experience as well as best practices when helping clients setting-up transformations.

Get in touch

With a methodology like the Transformation Bridge, you can design your transformation program in the right manner, right from the start in order not to fail ones embarked on the journey. Talk to our experts to see how your transformation program should look like.

David Bergsma

Annelieke Hoenderkamp
Senior Manager


Source references
2. Forrester 2016
4. KPMG Succeeding disruptive times
5. Forrester 2016