Why Digital Transformation SUCKS… and 5 steps to avoid it!
Change is inevitable, progress is NOT.
We have all Heard the buzzword of the day: DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION. If you search it up on Wiki, you will find a definition that says:
"Digital transformation" may refer to the concept of "going paperless" or reaching a "digital business maturity" affecting both individual businesses and whole segments of society, such as government, mass communications, art, medicine, and science.
If you ask me, I think that the concept, starting with the name of digital transformation SUCKS. And the main reason is that, as my friend Tony Robin says: “Change (in this case transformation) is inevitable, but progress is not”. And the same applies to the digital world.
We have all seen in business the implementation of fantastic tools that got us nowhere, the development of applications that were never completed or tools that were never adopted by the community.
So here are my 5 points on how to avoid DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION, and instead replace it with DIGITAL ACCELERATION.
1) Find your WHY
As obvious as this sounds, it is a very important question. The people in charge of the business should really understand what is driving digitization. A common pitfall is trying to think that being in the cutting edge of technology will drive progress, and it usually the other way.
A good valid WHY involves a strategic alignment with the organizations’ long-term goals in terms of culture, improving the customer experience, the employee’s experience, reduction of cycles, etc.
If you can’t summarize your WHY in one phrase, think harder before going on with the project.
2) Focus on People
It is extremely common that a project fails not because it was a bad project, or a bad tool, but because the people who were going to use the product were not involved or considered.
A top-down approach is usually a self-fulfilling prophecy of failure, so always make sure that whatever technology you are implementing will benefit the people that will use it!
Involve your KEY members, share your WHY and find theirs.
3) Make it Simple
Simplicity is KEY in Digital Acceleration. Simplicity of the process being used, simplicity of the user interface and simplicity to find help about the tool.
So before considering the use of a platform, make sure that the process is simplified, that the tool will be as easy to use as possible and that people will be able to find help whenever they need it.
Simplicity means to keep what adds value and get rid of the rest.
4) Baby Steps
It is always very tempting to go ahead with a big project that will solve everything, including world hunger!! However, many times those dreams never become true.
The main reason is because big-scope projects tend to be more complex. So the recommendation is:
Break the project in mini-deployments that solve small problems. Come out with an MVP (minimal viable product) with the minimum functionality that you will need.
5) Reliability is KEY
Finally, consider in all Digital Acceleration projects a thorough testing phase. Nothing can kill a project faster than going live and finding that the process is wrong, that the tool is not working properly or that the information is inaccurate.
Yes, from this point on, the organization can pull it off on pure will but, especially if the users are your customers, they are not very forgiving, so you might as well do it RIGHT the first time.
Design, Build, Test and Support for Reliability
Now you are ready to get rid of digital transformation and focus on DIGITAL ACCELERATION.
Author: Ivan L Galvez, Sintesys CEO, March 2019.
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