by Thomas Clarke –
Today’s organizational leaders are constantly bombarded with reasons to prioritize their organization’s digital transformation initiatives.
Although most people recognize digital transformation’s promise of increased productivity, enhanced customer engagement, and collaboration, one key element is often missing when the rubber hits the road: How should digital transformation be led?
The RCG team is here to provide ways that you, as a leader in your organization, can not only drive a digital transformation strategy but also successfully prepare and guide your team through ups and downs along the way.
The Importance of a Digital Transformation Strategy
Digital transformation is not a trend or a waypoint on the way to other IT initiatives. Instead, digital transformation should represent a new organizational mindset and culture for innovation. This means setting up the mechanisms and culture to engage with your organization’s internal and external stakeholders to:
- Evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of your core business processes.
- Identify and implement initiatives that add value to your customer’s user experience1.
- Lay the foundation for an adaptable IT infrastructure that increases collaboration, forms new partnerships, and rapidly introduces new services.
- Reimagine how information is enabled, shared, and consumed in your organization with the end goal of empowering data-driven decisions.
It’s easy to get behind initiatives that promote these gains, but it can be more complicated to align them to a schedule and budget, build sustainability, and connect them with larger organizational strategic goals.
That’s where having a digital transformational strategy comes into play. At a high level, a digital transformation strategy:
- Captures business drivers that underpin the your enterprise strategy
- Identifies gaps between business drivers and existing IT capability
- Prioritizes initiatives based on an aligned set of strategic goals
- Aligns teams and stakeholders around common, measurable outcomes
- Focuses your team and resources on the right efforts
- Outlines the plan of action and the key players needed to achieve your goals
5 Key Elements to Bringing Your Digital Transformation Strategy to Life
How does your organization go from having a well-written digital transformation strategy to having an actionable blueprint for change? Tackle these five elements to bring your digital transformation to life.
1. Identify and break through roadblocks.
Understand that the road will not always be smooth and detour-free. Instead, proactively empower teams to identify roadblocks early, develop solutions, and implement them. This requires ensuring that individual project managers understand the “commander’s intent”2 instead of assuming change will be similar to their previous experiences.
2. Remind stakeholders of the bigger picture.
Transformation isn’t always about big leaps and jumps. Instead, digital transformation can also take the shape of smaller “wins” that build on an existing core capability or lay the groundwork for a bigger effort down the road. Ultimately, these incremental steps not only capitalize on your organization’s existing strengths but also multiply and accelerate transformation benefits.
3. Demonstrate that transformation is a priority.
It’s one thing for your organization to “put its money where its mouth is” when planning budgets and schedules. It’s another to get active, consistent engagement from your organization’s executives. When teams implementing the transformation see executives “in the trenches,” and available to make key decisions and risk determinations when it counts, it speaks volumes about the importance of transformation.
4. Identify and analyze key enablement dependencies.
Like any business process, innovation will not reach its full potential when siloed. During the beginning stages of a project’s implementation, identify key system, process, and role intersection points. Doing so helps you account for adaptations and builds required engagement early, preventing costly rework or delays later in the process.
5. Recognize the “growing pains” of change.
Despite all of the talk about technology, AI, and data, an organization’s most important asset is its people. Effective leadership of digital transformation cannot happen without understanding the role of proactive, regular change management support. This requires not only providing staff with the necessary training and support to be a successful part of the change but also constantly assessing readiness and remaining flexible to the impacts that new innovations and challenges3 can have on your existing strategy.
There’s No Time Like the Present
Digital transformation is a must in today’s connected world. How each organization faces the realities of change—and the roles its leaders play—are unique to each one.
A digital transformation strategy that speaks to the culture, talents, and vision of your organization is vital. It allows your organization to harness the innovative ideas, new technologies, and exciting changes that lie ahead and use them to your advantage instead of viewing them as disruptions to your “business as usual.”
In any digital transformation strategy, roadblocks, delays, and surprises are inevitable. An experienced partner like RCG not only gives you the foresight to anticipate and mitigate common trouble spots but also provides personalized guidance through every step of digital transformation
Want to learn more about what it takes—and what it feels like—to have a digital transformation strategy that excites your organization and makes an innovation mindset a part of your organization’s culture? Contact the RCG team to learn more now!
1. The Enterprisers Project "What is digital transformation?" Retrieved from https://enterprisersproject.com/what-is-digital-transformation
2. LEB (2016, Oct 6) "Commander’s Intent: A Framework for Success" Retrieved from https://leb.fbi.gov/articles/featured-articles/commanders-intent-a-framework-for-success
3. Gartner (2020, Jan 1) "How to Lead and Enable Digital Transformation" Retrieved from https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/how-to-lead-and-enable-digital-transformation