How To Create An Environment For Success During Digital Transformation
Back in 2011, the phrase “digital transformation” was in vogue in tech-based opinion pieces as a passing phenomenon and a response to the changing times. Back then, Capgemini (along with Massachusetts Institute for Technology Center for Digital Business) defined it as “the use of technology to radically improve performance or the reach of businesses.”
More than a decade later, the expression has far more resonance.
These days, digital transformation means applying new technologies to radically change processes, customer experience and value. Firms are looking to rapidly upskill the digital expertise of their workers and subsequently deploy an agile way of working.
In this article, let’s examine the numerous factors that need to be considered to successfully apply a digital transformation strategy and the benefits that might be realized by doing so.
Buy-In From Leadership
It may sound obvious but getting senior management buy-in is key. Digital transformation, as the second word implies, is a major organizational change. We are all familiar with change management theories; the same lessons apply here.
Communication about change and its expectations are key to engendering buy-in and achieving your goals. CEOs need to stand front and center at the outset of a transformation, communicate the vision and explain why the change is necessary in order to make digital transformation a priority.
Generally speaking, the more you can demonstrate the value a digital transformation is bringing, the more it becomes a self-funding entity. As the ROI becomes visible, the momentum and support will increase.
Clear Targets And Easy Wins
Along with leadership buy-in, you also need clear and achievable targets. Key milestones need to be agreed upon and communicated much like any other transformation or organizational change. For the early milestones, there needs to be some “low-hanging fruit,” targets that can be easily achieved and that help build momentum to keep the process moving in the right direction — which can also help increase buy-in.
To achieve this goal, it’s crucial for team members to know the “face” of the project. When a transformation project has visible leadership, it is easy for teams to reach out, especially when they hit snags when trying to achieve the easy wins early on. They will know who is monitoring the progress and who is ensuring that the tactical day-to-day elements do not distract from the overall strategic objective.
Agile Best Practices
In order to build and maintain speed, it’s critical to make fast and accurate decisions about when and how to allocate resources. Because of this, digital transformation projects are always better considered from an Agile project management perspective.
Agile places speed as one of its core elements, and work is broken down into bite-sized chunks with an emphasis on continuous reassessment and reflection on changing planning and priorities. This enables teams to maintain momentum while still allowing focus to remain on the core business, especially customers and service delivery.
The potential for upheaval within an organization increases with the change brought about by a digital transformation project, and so it is vital that you train your team to acquire the capabilities and skills needed to adjust and thrive in the transitioning environment and the new environment.
A digital transformation project relies immensely on the human element. A key factor for success, therefore, is ensuring your team has the skills to match any new applications and systems. In order to help make this a reality, develop a clear communications strategy with education at its forefront. Everyone needs to understand the “why” behind the changes in order to drive toward engagement.
The changes within the organization — and the benefits they bring — often lead to changes within the actual operating model. When one considers that this is the “perception” customers might have of an organization, it is crucial to ensure that the changes are communicated, along with benefits, to fully realize the true potential of the new technological infrastructure.
Finally, there must be some groundwork and fertilization to ensure that a digital transformation project is successful.
Technology alone will have enormous benefit, but just as important — and just as challenging — is to ensure that the changes are applied to an environment that is prepared to accept them with the minimum effect on day-to-day business and the focus on service and clients.
This article originally appeared on forbes.com, to read the full article, click here.
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