You realize that your old business model can’t keep up with your growth strategy. The increasing disconnect between your operating processes and the systems that supports them are becoming more obvious. You are reading everywhere about “digital transformation” and “business disruption”, and even your management team and shareholders are all “experts” in these subject matters. They keep asking, when is your organization jumping on the bandwagon? If this is you, don’t worry, you are not alone.
You are part of the 84% who believe digital transformation is essential to your company’s future but only 3% have actually successfully completed an enterprise-wide implementation. You must redefine your technology landscape and deploy a robust project that will impact all areas of the business while avoiding disrupting the organization’s day to day operations.
Embracing technology transformation is easier said than done. But minimizing business disruption and dips in performance levels is not as hard as it seems (we know it sounds too good to be true, but trust us — we wrote a whole book on business technology change). The key is establishing some guidelines to support it.
How to Support Your Digital Transformation
Frame it. Communicate with your employees. Over and over. State the “from… to…”; share your vision and how you will realize it.
Explain it. Unexpected disruptors deviate your employees’ focus. Don’t panic and fill in the blanks, make sure they get the information needed as the transformation progresses.
Resource it. You need a dedicated core team for the transformation. They are responsible for the end-to-end implementation of the project. The core team is supported by a network of appointed subject matters experts (SMEs) and change agents. This group provides advice and serves as an extension of the core team inside the organization. Finally, stakeholders/users ensure the business keeps going.
Stage it. Break the project in small chunks (90-day mini projects) to allow the organization to digest the change, manage the disruption and appreciate the benefits of the transformation. This makes it easier for you to manage budget and resources.
Practice it. Create a plan for users to adopt the key skills necessary to embrace this transformation. Expose them to prototypes, simulations, test environments and allow them to practice and become familiar with the future state.
You will soon realize one-time projects will no longer be enough to support the pace of technology transformations. Instead, you will need to constantly plan, frame, explain, resource, stage and practice the ever-changing technology landscape that your organization will demand to stay relevant and competitive.