Winning business digital transformation initiatives have a clear purpose. There is a business-driven reason behind them. They align to one or more strategic goals, such as increasing customer engagement, launching a new product, improving the existing customer experience, or making efficiency gains.
Defining the features and capabilities that will deliver these expected outcomes can be a frustrating exercise. The journey from concept to realization is rarely a straight line. You must align strategic business goals with capabilities that deliver features that achieve the sought-after outcome.
There are many opportunities to lose the way while designing your digital transformation strategy. Here is how you can make sure your digital transformation initiatives don’t end up failing to meet expectations.
Digital Transformation Strategy: A Partnership of Perspectives
The first step to creating a digital transformation strategy is identifying where it should live. Is this a business initiative that should be driven by the Marketing or Product team? Is this a technology initiative that should be driven by the IT department?
The reality is that most digital transformation initiatives belong somewhere in the middle. Often the best answer is to form a dedicated team that includes all existing and well-established areas of your organization.
It requires a partnership between all groups (Marketing, Product, and IT); consider it a partnership of perspectives that follow these steps to reach a successful outcome:
Identify target features and capabilities (so the delivery team can make them a reality)
Implementing a digital transformation strategy can be much more complex than it seems on the surface. There can be tension if the deliverables don’t meet expectations and desired outcomes are not achieved. The difficulties can be amplified when the whole process is working against a moving target.
Consider Agile Methodology As you put new features and capabilities in front of your customers, their reactions and responses, and your learnings from them, may well cause some reconsiderations in what is being delivered. Ultimately, this means that you must be flexible as deliverables are being implemented.
A well-structured and organized team that has a flexible approach is central to the success of a digital transformation plan— a perfect time to implement Agile methodology.
What is Agile methodology?
Breaks up a project into several phases
Moves business goals to defined features which are delivered as demonstrable components
How to Execute a Successful Digital Transformation
An extensive amount of time and effort goes into implementing a new business digital transformation initiative. Its success is imperative. Here are a few tips to boost success:
Be Informed It is essential thatthe target audience and the existing customer experienceare well understood. You can use customer interviews, customer focus groups, or other proven methods of collecting data on the existing experience. The better the team understands its customers the more likely they are to deliver successful outcomes.
Leverage Data Knowing data pointson the existing customer experience informs design considerations and can serve as a benchmark when measuring future deliverables. Ensure each release continually captures relevant data, and is used in future design and planning processes.
How will these changes affect the people within your organization?
Have you sought their input into these changes?
Do you have a change management plan in place to help ensure a smooth transition and maximize internal adoption?
Communicate Effectively Encourage cross-functional activities and place an emphasis on learning and implementing over perfection. Involve technical team members by keeping them well-informed about what might be considered business-centric discussions. Engage non-technical team members in the discussion of how features are being delivered.
Marry Business and Technology through Digital Transformation
A digital transformation will require a collaborative and cooperative partnership from across your organization. Build, nurture, and encourage cross-functional, highly collaborative teams.
Success lies in technology and business working together. Be well-informed about who you are building solutions for and keep your customer at the center of all that you do. Build data collection and analysis into your approach and then use that data to inform your decision making and achieve the best results.
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Michael is an innovative visionary with a successful history of collaborating with business clients to merge technology and business knowledge to uncover opportunities and develop solutions that have significant impacts on both business growth and profitability. He brings more than 25 years of experience in Application Development, working across the Software Development Lifecycle, leveraging a range of methodologies from Waterfall through to Agile, to successfully deliver complex and novel software solutions on time and on budget.