Organizational Transformation: Being Fit for the Future
Gayatri Appaya

An increasingly competitive landscape, business expansions, and evolving customer preferences are prompting organizations to look inward and change business models, operations, and team structures. Unforeseeable events like the COVID-19 pandemic have made the case for organizational transformation even stronger. Companies now realize that they need to take a strategic approach toward building business resilience and agility, and thus prepare themselves for disruptions in future.

Be Future Ready: PMI’s Organizational Transformation Series

With an unpredictable business environment looming ahead, a large number of organizations will want to transform themselves and become more adaptive to change. However, research from McKinsey indicates that 70 percent of complex, large-scale change transformation programs do not reach their stated goals because the approach is top-down, thus creating hurdles and resulting in failure.

As project managers, this is the time to prepare for these future shifts where work models will be flexible and responsive, and not just remain in the hands of senior leaders. Recognizing that organizational transformation is the way forward, PMI has introduced the Organizational Transformation Series, where project professionals will be taught the process of knowing, doing, and designing transformational change.

Through nine interactive modules that take under 10 hours to complete, project managers will learn what it takes to cultivate and implement significant operational and cultural change within an organization, allowing them to support a company-wide transformation in any industry, from any level. The first in the series – Organizational Transformation:

Foundation – is powered by PMI’s Brightline®, an initiative aimed at providing project leaders with the building blocks and fundamental knowledge needed to understand how organizations transform efficiently and effectively.

In this edition of Manage South Asia, we share insights from the leadership at Robert Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions Pvt. Ltd (RBEI) on their recent organizational transformation, highlighting the project management frameworks, methodologies, and practices that the company adopted.

#FitForFuture: 135-Year-Old Brand All Set For a Rejig

RBEI is a 100 percent owned subsidiary of Robert Bosch GmbH, which offers engineering solutions to its partners worldwide. It is Bosch’s largest business unit outside Germany, with 20,000 associates working from India, Vietnam, and Mexico.

In 2020, the company decided to position itself as a ‘best-in-class software company’ that is a great place to work. It wanted to showcase ‘Brand Bosch’ as an innovation-focused company that offers an empowered and enjoyable work culture to its employees.

Though RBEI was set up in 1990, it belongs to a company with a 135-year-old legacy, which makes change complicated.

“Given the demands of a constantly evolving market, technology, customer expectation, and society, we decided on implementing organizational transformation,” says Subbaramu G, general manager at RBEI, and the program manager for the organizational transformation initiative.

Branded #FitForFuture, the program has four strategic levers focused on competitiveness, excellence, global delivery network, and cool software company.


• #Fit.Excellence focuses on delivering benchmark products, services, solutions and projects with best-in-class quality and competence.

• #Fit.Competitive looks to increase the company’s competitiveness by aligning with business units at Bosch to take on more responsibility and seek more opportunities.

• #Fit.CoolSWCompany looks to reorganize the RBEI so as to accommodate future work models. This means honing new styles of leadership, radical collaboration, associate empowerment and providing employees with global career opportunities. A rebranding exercise has transformed the brand identity, making it synonymous with best-in-class software, while also focusing on innovation, empowerment and fun. RBEI encourages a culture of openness and trust by projecting leaders as connectors.

• #Fit.GlobalDelivery has positioned RBEI to become more flexible and global in their outlook, to react faster to changing customer demands, strengthen global delivery capabilities and ensure seamless service to customers.

“While excellence and competitiveness are the backbone for the business to stay relevant, the cool software company culture is an identity that we want to promote. The global delivery network is an engine for us to deliver seamlessly by leveraging our wider presence,” explains Mr. Subbaramu.

The transformation is being conducted in a project-oriented way, with each strategic imperative being considered a project, which means that it is time-bound, has a fixed budget, and a defined change result. The transformational change at the end of each of these projects would be integrated with standard organizational functions.

The company has identified 20 such strategic imperatives from an organizational transformation perspective, all under the umbrella of the #FitForFuture program. “All these projects are interconnected in some way. Thus, we have adopted an agile methodology for executing them,” says Mr. Subbaramu.

For instance, RBEI wanted to enhance organizational competency to deliver future business through artificial intelligence and the internet of things. For that, the company needed to upskill its associates, hire new talent, integrate with industry associations, and pilot use cases. Given

that enhancing organizational competency was linked to areas such as hiring, talent management, and innovation, RBEI executed this in an agile manner by organizing program increment workshops at a defined frequency between all interconnected departments. This has helped to ensure holistic planning and execution.

As the project manager, Mr. Subbaramu liaises with team members from different departments to ensure smooth execution. It ensures accountability and results in a time-bound manner. In addition, the company has involved younger employees to make the initiatives relevant to the young, and has engaged with external agencies to get an outside-in perspective.

RBEI has fostered change agents, especially younger talent, to give them a sense of purpose and identity within the organization. That has helped the organization win their support to drive the transformation passionately.

The transformation program that started in 2020 has been split into 20 strategic projects with a goal to realize their benefits in 20 months.