“Failure to plan is planning to fail.” Dwight D. Eisenhower
Rahul Maheshwary, CEO
It’s not uncommon for me to receive calls and emails from business leaders in a desperate situation. Their IT leader may have left the company, a consulting firm over-promised and under-delivered on a project, or they found they just don’t have the expertise to complete a project, especially a Digital Transformation initiative. More often than not, they failed to properly plan for the tasks and resources necessary to complete a successful project.
I’m CEO of Captivix, a leading digital transformation firm that helps companies become more successful by using digital technologies. We’ve worked with dozens of firms to transform their businesses using a proven framework that you can find out more about in our video series. Building a strategy is the first part of a DT transformation and you can find our unique approach by watching this video series.
Step 1: Build a culture of transformation
Digital transformation is more than just digitizing your information and implementing new processes. It’s a whole new way of doing business that’s driven by three factors: people, capabilities, and communication.
The first step is to make sure you have the people in place and that they are prepared to guide the rest of the company where they’ve never been before. Digital-savvy leaders should be in place to boost your capabilities and ensure clear and effective communication throughout the organization.
Step 2: Identify internal transformation initiatives
Companies pursue digital transformation for various reasons, often to improve operational efficiency and cut costs. Digital transformation initiatives can be very effective at achieving these goals. Implementing or upgrading an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is a common example of an internal transformation initiative. Making critical information available enterprise-wide will often immediately improve efficiency and effectiveness. A mobile ERP will build upon this capability, giving field sales reps, remote workers, and company road warriors access to the information they need anywhere.
Step 3: Identify external transformation initiatives
Where internal transformation is focused on improving productivity or reducing costs within the organization, external initiatives are often targeted at customers and other users outside of your company. Examples of these projects include implementing or upgrading a sales portal or eCommerce system.
These initiatives are incredibly valuable because they often enhance the customer experience and potentially increase revenue. An upgraded website or eCommerce application may improve your brand image and make your products more accessible to a wider audience.
Step 4: Lay out the roadmap
Internal and external initiatives define the requirements of what you want to achieve. Your roadmap will determine the time, money, and resources required to implement the technology necessary to achieve your goals.
The result of these initiatives is improved productivity and cost savings that can often pay for the cost of the project. But without a plan in place that includes necessary people, technical, and financial resources, these initiatives will be frustrating, not cost-saving.
After a thorough evaluation based on multiple factors, initiatives are prioritized within your digital roadmap. These priorities and technologies are put in place to support your employees, not the other way around. Technology works for people, not dictate how work should be done.
In my experience, a roadmap of 90 days or less is ideal. While you may have a long-term vision of what you want to achieve, variables (time, money, people, and tech) tend to change more rapidly. The pace of technological innovation makes detailed tactical planning more than 90-days out subject to constant revision.
Step 5: Use an Agile Approach
If you’re in the tech world, you probably know what the Agile Framework is. It’s an approach that uses an incremental approach to software development, building upon successive accomplishments to ensure the end product is acceptable to the user. We use an Agile approach to identify needs and deliver software, in small chunks, that the user can see and use to make sure it works as intended. It helps developers to course-correct early in the project if the results are meeting expectations. Agile is much preferred over a traditional “Waterfall” approach, where you must wait until the end of the project and hope what you get is what you wanted! Agile is an important approach to incorporate into your plans to ensure a successful digital transformation outcome.
Captivix helps leading companies execute successful digital transformation strategies, providing expertise in ERP, Mobile, eCommerce, Web, and Data Intelligence. Our SPEC framework helps business leaders digitally transform their business using proven strategies. For more information on how you can use this framework for digital transformation, by watching our video series.