Sam Button, Head of Growth, Roar Media
Sam Button explores the organisation of digital transformation, why transformation efforts can fail and the environment in which it thrives.
Only 37% of organisations report successful implementations of digital transformation projects, with only 1 in 3 stating that it was easy for their company to internally source the necessary piloting & rapid-prototyping skills for digital solutions. With the majority of organisations struggling to source the skills & personnel required for successful digital implementation.McKinsey & Company, How the Implementation of organisational change is evolving, Nov 2018
The majority of projects are failing due to volatility, uncertainty, complexity & ambiguity. Therefore, it is essential to streamline processes and prevent wastage of time, resources and cash. A project must have clear pathways and goals to succeed but also requires constant testing and evaluation, it is important to be agile and adaptable to new conditions but also paramount to avoid spending a vast amount of time and resources on tangents which defer from the original planned outcomes. However, this can be easier said than done, global organisations with multiple omnichannel touchpoints and a vast customer database; have been generating data for years in unkept CRM systems which fail to communicate. Aligning these databases can be a painful process without algorithms & automation but is vital if you are looking to achieve a streamlined and lasting customer database which can be analysed and manipulated to ensure the retention & loyalty.
However, it is also the entirety of your digital systems and projects that require constant spring cleaning; regardless of the methodologies you use. Businesses need to change at speed, the ability to adapt quickly is a key reason for success and there is a real need to evaluate systems and tasks which are detrimental to the time to market or implementation date of your digital project.
Assessing the current environment and potential distractions, maintenance issues and delays is all part of establishing a masterplan, it is vital to clear the way for the digital innovation journey you are about to undertake. One of the most important factors of any digital change is the people who are driving them, you need to make sure the company is thinking people first and technology second. It is important to ensure the thoughts of the workforce are aligned with the business goals and importance of digital transformation, so they have a good understanding of what could potentially delay this process. Teaching your teams to work more efficiently leads to quicker realisation of goals and positive outcomes, increasing the motivation for change within all individual employees, including end-users.
People naturally resist change, if that change is being forced upon them, as we are creatures of habit and psychologically already feel our performance is optimal. However, we actually adapt all the time by choice without realising, this is especially true with our working patterns. It is important to spend time on this transition after initially introducing the idea to your colleagues, there is a need to closely monitor and cultivate their interest within the project. This can be done through delegation, as giving ownership increases pride taken and gives the lead a chance to sell internally within their team and outwardly to other departments. Competition, the gamification of tasks in teams can significantly increase the speed at which this is completed as well as the quality of the work, this also creates a more social and enjoyable working environment. Additionally, you may look to incentivise parts of the project as well as the overall goal, working towards milestones is much sweeter if there is a reward for your hard work and dedication.
Personal professional development is a great way to retain staff and increase their own sense of value within the company. Coaching and qualifications as part of a digital transformation project is beneficial for all individuals, whether they be in tech teams or end users and also creates a more knowledgeable workforce who are less resistant to change. As long as the individual feels they are growing with the company they will believe in the organisations vision and that they will benefit from helping the business strive for those goals.
We are also able to harness behavioural science to encourage employees and exude confidence, the people within an organisation can be the biggest drivers to promote the importance of innovation projects and benefits for everyone within the organisation. Constant feedback throughout maintains happiness and involvement, enabling workforce should feel the organisations appreciation of the adaptations they are making and taking onboard their concerns.
Digital transformation is constant and can be messy, therefore a way to reduce the impediments that slow and complicate is a necessity. Look to have a performance plan in place with elements that can be appraised and perform regular reviews on an individual, team and company level, giving feedback and a statistical analysis on results.