How to ensure the success of a digital transformation plan
In this time that we live marked by the pandemic and its consequences, in a new paradigm coined by Jamais Cascio (in an article published in 2020) as BANI (Brittle, Anxious, Non-linear, Incomprehensible), where the unstable has given way to the chaotic, with sometimes unpredictable results and situations that are incomprehensible, which forces organizations to a continuous process of adaptation to new conditions and rules.
In this context, how to accelerate change in an organization to create competitive advantages adapted to the present environment and sustainable in the future? Developing a digital transformation process that redefines the business model, with a focus on people and customers, and relying on technology.
The digital transformation plan
More and more organizations have a digital transformation plan aimed at structural, organizational and business change that defines the way forward and allows its evolution, relying on the advantages offered by technology so that it continues to grow in this new environment. It is an exercise in which it is established:
- What is the current starting situation.
- Where do you want to go.
- What factors, rules and conditions define, and more importantly, will define the environment in which you operate.
- Who will lead, direct and monitor the way forward.
- How it will be implemented.
- Which internal levers need to be strengthened and which of the external levers can be supported.
- What good environmental practices are inspiring and can be adopted.
Without a digital transformation plan, there is a risk of undertaking partial initiatives that do not respond to the global needs of the organization.
What factors determine the success of the digital transformation plan?
There are several elements to consider:
- Define a realistic plan and roadmap, oriented to results and with a clear focus on real benefit, with initiatives of an integrating nature, not isolated, and planned in time according to business priorities.
- The implementation of the plan requires an adaptive, flexible, iterative and scalable process since it is long-term. Begin the process with a project that allows its implementation and results in the short term in an area or activity to scale to the rest of the organization. So that, you will work in an agile and flexible way, and the first results will be displayed quickly.
- Identify who will lead the digital transformation process. Define a governance model with horizontal and vertical functions to ensure that the “right people do the right thing”; Only in this way can resources be used responsibly and value can be created for the organization.
- Evaluate systematically and continuously, monitoring the progress of the plan through the tracking of defined objectives and indicators, to detect corrections and ensure success in the implementation of the plan.
- Adapt the culture of the organization to the new context, with new ways of doing things and tools such as Lean and Agile, ensuring that change reaches all levels and they have an active role. It is important to define mechanisms that integrate processes, people and systems. A digital transformation plan is not only the implementation of technological solutions.
- Motivate continuously, especially in periods of transition and uncertainty, encouraging the participation of staff and listening to their contributions, ideas and fears. Promote skills, both soft skills and digital, so that they are prepared and feel safe for a change. And communicate the what and why of the process, its status and the results that are being obtained.
- Always think about the client, that the transformation process is focused on providing greater value (increasing the speed of response, more competitive product, offering new services, reaching more clients, etc.).
- Relying on partners with experience in the design and monitoring of the digital transformation plan from a strategic approach, with methodology and tools based on both knowledge of the business and the technologies associated with the activity, which empowers the team responsible for leading the change and play a facilitating role.
- Establish surveillance in order to be up to date with the evolution of technologies, know good practices and success stories, what the competition does, new customer behaviours, changes in the environment, etc., in a systematic process that allows obtain information and knowledge to evolve the digital transformation plan and adapt it to new contexts.
Changes are happening, and at an increasingly accelerated rate, forcing organizations to be able to adapt in an agile and flexible way. Technologies play a fundamental role as a facilitating tool for this adaptation, as well as a driver for the development of new business opportunities.
The implementation of a digital transformation plan defines the path to follow for the future evolution of an organization in the new and challenging environments that arise.