It’s been said that you must make a choice to take a chance if you want anything to change. This is especially true for business leaders implementing a digital transformation within their organization.
Whether rolling out new software, installing new performance metrics, or simply updating a legacy ERP, change is hard because you’re dealing with the most unpredictable of all business factors – people!
Savvy business leaders understand implementing a Digital Transformation requires buy-in from all stakeholders including customers, vendors and employees; they must empower their team, remove risk, and leverage internal and external resources.
So, when you’re ready to implement a digital transformation within your organization, here are some guidelines to consider.
- Get the vision right. What exactly do you want to achieve? Make the case. The “reward” to the organization must clearly outweigh the “risk.” People hate change. Never make change just for the sake of change. It’s too traumatic.
- Develop a roadmap with achievable milestones. Winners plan, and planners win. Be sure to develop a project roadmap that includes some short-term goals which provide easy “wins.” This will help develop and keep momentum going as you move along the Digital Transformation continuum.
- Build a team. Recruit a team of “change agents” from all layers within your organization. Be sure to include a project “champion” to help drive the process.
- Build consensus across the organization. You can’t just dictate change in today’s business environment. Use your team to help stakeholders understand why change is necessary and, most importantly, what it means to them.
- Communicate. Communicate. Communicate. Whether with face to face meetings, video conferencing or written communication, provide a platform for consistent communication. At every opportunity, reinforce the project vision, celebrate “wins” and provide status updates.
- Set realistic expectations for implementation. Even the most enthusiastic change agents within your organization have their regular jobs to perform. Don’t set your team up for failure with unrealistic deadlines, skimpy budgets, or a lack of dedicated human capital.
- Remove “risk” from the process. It’s okay to “fail” if everyone is working diligently toward a mutually beneficial goal. Only if your team feels its “safe to fail” will you get the transformation you’re looking for. Otherwise, the human tendency is to stick with what you know.
- Provide training and support. Whether it’s a sports team or a business, every successful organization needs the proper training to be successful. Whether its additional certifications, seminars, webinars, networking or other professional development opportunities, make sure your team has the tools its needs to succeed.
- Consider outside expertise. Time is often the enemy of change. Everyone on your team has their regular assignments and internal projects often get relegated to the “back burner” while an outside resource can provide additional expertise and view your project as their primary objective.
- Prepare for the unexpected! No one can foresee everything, but prior to project initiation, develop a contingency plan for where you think the project may get off track. What if the project leader resigns mid-project? What happens if the company doesn’t meet its quarterly revenue goals? What technology is on the horizon that might allow your competition to leapfrog your innovation? Remember, if things can go wrong, they probably will.
- Stick to it! Don’t abandon the project when other priorities inevitably come along. For the change to move forward, everyone within the organization needs to see “real commitment” from senior leaders. Otherwise, the vision comes across as just another management fad.
- Acknowledge and reward the “Transformation Team.” Never underestimate the importance of recognition and appreciation. Employees like to know whether they're doing good, bad or average, so it's important that you tell them.
Change is never easy. It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t, everyone would do it. But today’s forward-thinking business executive understands that the “smart change” offered through Digital Transformation delivers both improved profitability, cost-savings, and operational effectiveness. So, if you ready to have a conversation about how Digital Transformation will positively impact your bottom line, please email us at email@example.com.