Digital Transformation is everywhere, splashed across websites and publications, in all industries around the world. This single term, however, has a vast range of meanings. There is no one size fits all approach to Digital Transformation. Each company starts from a different place. Each company has unique capabilities and challenges. Each senior executive must tailor the company’s approach to Digital Transformation to fit their own unique situation.
The starting point for your company’s digital journey must be your business strategy – how you aim to delight your customers. This strategy will set your priorities:
- Installing a digital business model – whether a digitally enhanced business such as a product or service augmentation, a new digital business, or digital globalization.
- Achieving operational cost reduction or efficiencies that leverage digital technologies and worker enablement.
- Improvements in customer engagement, such as virtual customer service teams, contact centers or online engagement tools.
Investing in and pursuing such business outcomes can bring dramatic results. And yet we read every day about significant failures in large IT projects. What goes wrong? In Proudfoot’s experience the common missing link is finding high-value ways to use digital internally. How can you automate hand-offs between departments, do more effective digital marketing, create models that increase customer “stickiness”? Your people know how works gets done yet, often, they are not included in the system design and installation process.
Internal digital projects can deliver sizable results. They can be great change management tools that engage employees early, reduce scepticism and uncertainty about the impacts of Digital Transformation.
One of the best ways to get started and maintain momentum is by using quick, cross-functional employee crowdsourcing sessions. Our approach emphasizes tapping into your people’s deep knowledge, rapidly prototyping and testing, and creating ownership across the company:
- Prepare the team by defining clear, specific challenges and opportunities
- Align the team to understand the objectives and create one common vision
- Gather data, conduct interviews with experts, and encourage innovative thinking
- Document the challenges and opportunities in detail
- Define a value proposition with quantitative measures and specific milestones
- Identify inspiring solutions, together create a storyboard showing a solution (pictures and simple cartoons have great power to build alignment)
- Share inspirational stories, both internally and from other industries and companies
- Create storyboards and pictures of possible solutions – encourage creativity and humor
- Select the “best” storyboard in a positive fashion, don’t denigrate others’ creative ideas
- Engage specialists, experts and end users to add detail to the storyboard
- Define a prototype roadmap for the concept, with metrics and milestones
- Run the prototype with close monitoring and executive support
- Allocate and engage resources
- Engage customers in design and evaluation; most will be flattered to be included and will provide invaluable feedback
- Review feedback and decide on next steps and action plans including the implementation approach or further prototyping
While every company’s digital journey is unique, a well-designed employee crowdsourcing and prototyping approach works across many settings:
- Fail fast – Take a portfolio approach, run multiple workstreams and crowdsourcing sessions. Some will succeed, some will fail; but much better to “fail fast.”
- Think broad – cross-functional teams provide perspective and stimulate innovative thinking. The linkages and hand-offs between teams gets included early in the process.
- Work fast and have fun – crowdsourcing sessions should be quick, generally no more than two-weeks long. Harness the energy and enthusiasm of your people.
- Familiarity provides the details – participants should be the individuals that are closest to the challenge or opportunity and own the results.
Proudfoot’s digital approach enables management to identify the right digital change, lead their people, and manage processes and systems to achieve the necessary transformation.
We would love to help you with your journey.
Call me to find out how we can help.