We recently launched a Digital Transformation Workshop in response to growing demand from our customers for help in getting their Digital Transformation programmes off the ground.
Entering the digital transformation market has been an eye-opener. Our observations are:
- Everyone has their own definition of what Digital Transformation means for them. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but it makes assembling leading practices and advice very difficult, as the sheer breadth of digital transformation programmes is astounding. As an industry, I’m sure we will over time, recognise the common themes in the successful programmes and distill these into some good practice guidance.
- Digital Transformation is being shaped by software vendors. This is a major challenge. Organisations looking for help in achieving their digital transformation agenda are often faced with a vendor landscape where the suppliers have “the answer”. The big problem here is they haven’t sought to understand the question, in terms of the business challenge, the desired outcomes, the success indicators, the stakeholder landscape and so on. This over emphasis on the software solution results in a poorly defined digital transformation agenda, which is set up to fail before it’s even begun
- Agile development doesn’t mean you don’t need project governance. Digital Transformation programmes must deliver tangible business outcomes on an iterative basis. This sounds tailor made for Agile development approaches and spurred on by the solution-lead approach described above, the programme is initiated.
However, the basics are seldom in place. For example, stakeholders are not identified, there is a lack of consensus on the definition of the programme and its outcomes. An agile development approach delivers iterative and rapid outputs, but they fail to meet the original outcomes envisaged if they are not documented nor agreed upon by the business stakeholder community.
- No-one really knows where to start. Digital Transformation is obviously a popular buzzword. We know that digital transformation activities are being initiated from the boardroom, from technology teams and from business teams. However, there is a disconnect between the boardroom and these business and technology teams. This a common understanding that “something needs to be done”, but a lack of consensus on exactly what’s needed and how to start.
We don’t profess to have all the answers. But we do know how to initiate a major business change programme. We understand the importance of defining the outcomes, getting consensus and defining success criteria at the outset. First and foremost, we understand that outcomes are delivered through a combination of process, governance, organisation and technology change. Critically, we also understand that lasting change is unachievable if there is an imbalance of one of these facets.
To discuss more about your Digital Transformation objectives, please get in touch.
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