“Identify the needs and gaps of your plan to align to your project vision”
Rahul Maheshwary, CEO
No plan is perfect. There will always be surprises. But many of those surprises can be anticipated and incorporated into your plan if you focus on the details that drive your plan.
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.
Document your required resources
We all have our wish list of things we’d like to have. An unlimited budget, experienced staff, ample deadlines, and the best technology would make projects much easier. But chances are if you are pursuing a digital transformation project, you have limited resources and are under pressure to deliver results.
That’s why it’s important to focus on what you really need to accomplish your project. Be thorough, but realistic. You’ll need resources that include:
- Systems. What systems in your company will be affected by digital transformation? Often, your ERP system will be affected since it connects the entire company. If you’re still using spreadsheets, manual processes, and outdated databases, those will be affected as well.
- Talent. Who in your organization can contributed to your project? Make sure you ask permission and clear their work schedule so they can help. Include them in the project vision so they understand their role in the project.
- Time. Time is the most limiting factor we must all face. Use your best estimate for how long tasks will take, but build in leeway for surprises.
- Budget. Estimating the cost of your project can be tricky, especially if you have not done this type of project before. One of your big expenses may be consulting fees, but buying the expertise you need (especially technical expertise) will help you in the long run.)
Assess your systems
Digital transformation is targeted at building a solid digital core for all of your applications. That means that you’ll need to do a thorough assessment of your existing systems from both a technical, user, and customer viewpoint. Make a list of your applications, both current and needed, placing them into three categories:
- New additions. What new applications do you need?
- Retain. What existing software is just fine for the long term?
- Upgrade. Which systems need an upgrade to a newer version?
- Automate. What systems and processes need to be automated? (Hint: if you’re using spreadsheets, it’s time to automate.)
- Retire. What workhorses are ready to retire? (Make sure you tell the users in advance so they are prepared for the retirement party!)
This list will help you see the magnitude of the digital transformation you will undergo and the potential resources you’ll need (equipment, consulting, training) to put them in place.
After working with over 30 clients, including Fortune 100 firms, I discovered that every plan has a gap. You typically don’t have the time or budget you want and you may have to buy technical expertise. But the one consistent gap is industry knowledge. If you only know technology from the inside of your company, you’re missing out on industry trends, what works and what doesn’t.
Choose a knowledgeable consultant to assist you in planning your digital transformation project. If your budget doesn’t allow for that, then get value-added consulting from your trusted business partners. As always, industry conferences and events can also broaden your horizons.
Finally, compare your roadmap to your strategy. Will this roadmap help you reach your vision? If not, take some time to reflect and revise to ensure the map will take you where you want to go.
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.