This Perspective now explores what the critical factors of an effective Digital transformation programme are. Whilst every Digital transformation journey will be unique, there are some common characteristics of an effective transformation programme.
Characteristics of an effective Digital Transformation Programme
Outlined below are 4 key characteristics that make an effective Digital Transformation Programme, no matter its objectives or form.
1. Sponsor and lead from the very top
The transformation of the operating model to embrace Digital goes right to the heart of organisations. For commercial and third sector organisations, this means sponsorship by the governing board and the CEO being responsible for execution. For governmental departments, this means sponsorship by the relevant ministerial or senior civil service representatives.
2. Create the right conditions and maximise pace
Transforming the operating model at pace will require close collaboration between senior executives to break down the barriers to progress and to make tough but vital decisions. Consider creating a Digital transformation oversight board that has the responsibility for creating the right conditions for transformation and ensuring the right focus remains in each of the programmes under supervision.
3. Be clear on what digital means for your organisation
Because of the breadth and depth of change required, focus is the key to shaping and running a successful transformation programme. Study your markets thoroughly and use models like the one provided in this paper to breakdown the Digital initiative into a portfolio of programmes, each with a clear set of objectives and KPIs.
4. Create a portfolio of programmes, each with a clear set of objectives and measures
Reshape the organisation to ensure Digital and technology are an integral part of everyone’s objectives. Cybersecurity is as much about training and organisational awareness as it is about firewalls and anti-virus solutions. Good data is increasingly critical to an organisation’s effectiveness and its management should be everyone’s concern
Focus on optimising the use of Digital technologies in every customer contact. From marketing through on-boarding and service delivery, excellence in Digital interaction requires co-operation from the front office and back office alike
Leverage the same cloud services being exploited by the start-ups. Apply lean thinking to eliminate every single source of unnecessary cost. Adopt agile methods as the default
Digital products and services
Work out how Digital technologies can be used to transform your offer to the market and compete with the start-ups. Take a Digital-by-default and mobile-first approach to all new and existing products. Launch an intrapreneurship programme to capture the latent ideas in the workforce and increase engagement
Whether it is more data scientists, user experience experts or lean process gurus, Digital will influence the shape of the workforce. Consider establishing centres of excellence and encourage experimentation by teams searching for answers in different parts of your Digital programmes
A challenge of leadership
Digital is primarily a challenge of leadership. Rather than executing a single large scale change, adapting the operating model to embrace Digital is about preparing to be more fleet-of-foot and then continuously adjusting course to navigate what will be an almost constant and often unpredictable flow of disruptive forces.
This concludes a series of three short insights on Digital and the Operating Model. The series explored how Digital is unique and is transforming markets, how organisations can harness and embed Digital and what the critical success factors are for an effective Digital transformation programme. We hope you found the series engaging and useful.