By Rafael Sweary, Co-Founder and President, WalkMe
Digital transformation has become a business continuity imperative during the pandemic. According to a prediction from IDCCompanies will be investing a staggering $ 2.3 trillion per year in digital transformation through 2023. However, a large part of this investment is actually lost. A report from McKinsey shows that 70% of major transformation programs fail to achieve their goals.
There is increasing pressure for executives to accelerate their efforts to keep up with the competition. As tempting as it may be to tackle transformation projects with the latest technology, technology alone cannot be the main driver of success. There are many ways to achieve a successful digital transformation that will further increase the value of the company. However, many fail at the final hurdle due to poor planning in advance. As any high school teacher will tell you, don’t prepare, don’t prepare.
Start with the why
Large format Change management efforts Usually either several business units or the entire company are involved. The complexity of a successful transformation should not be underestimated. It is therefore crucial to start with the why. Why do you start the initiative and what does success look like?
Before making an expensive software purchase, it is important to consider the impact it will have on your day-to-day business. This does not mean thinking about your end goal, but rather considering the messy center. How will you achieve your desired result? Who needs to be involved? What are the possible bottlenecks? How will the introduction affect other business processes, departments and technologies? When you know all of the requirements, you can get a complete picture of the scope of the project, align key stakeholders, and ultimately let senior management buy you in.
Get the buy-in
When you are sure that you have assessed the feasibility of the transformation and understood the complexity, it is time to start the hard work of convincing your stakeholders. All levels have to buy into the project. Senior management needs to align with a shared vision, leaders need to understand the goal of the transformation and how it will affect their team and goals, and finally, individual team members need to be incentivized to support success.
Whether it’s the sales manager who needs to know how a new CRM will help them achieve and exceed their goals, or the Head of Human Resources Whoever is responsible for aligning the company’s workflow needs to communicate the effects of changing from macro to micro. Employees need to see the big picture as well as understand the day-to-day impact on their work. This requires a strong top-down vision and an even stronger communication plan. When it is ensured that all business areas are responsible for their own KPIs and are supported in their achievement, every team member can work towards a common goal every day and at every point of contact.
Find the right people
Setting the vision and ensuring alignment will undoubtedly ensure a higher probability of success. One of the basic requirements for success, however, lies in the composition of the team: Successful companies have digitally savvy managers in key roles.
Typically, one or more people must be responsible for the widespread success of the project at the operational level. Many companies work with a systems integrator or an outside party to ensure cross-functional alignment. However, there is also a growing trend towards adding this feature in-house. In some organizations, the job of the Chief Digital Officer (CDO) is to drive success. McKinsey Reports Companies that use CDOs are 1.6 times more likely to achieve a successful digital transformation.
Special roles will also be created for integrators who are responsible for harnessing the business potential of new technologies. Making sure your team has someone who straddles both the business goals and the technological realities of a transformation project will ensure that internal disputes are handled objectively and diplomatically.
Another new but thriving role is that of Digital adoption professionalwhose job it is to ensure that, once an implementation has been successfully completed, all Users are involved in the technology and use it to the maximum effect, which leads to a greater likelihood of long-term success.
Create a flywheel
There is an iterative process for any large scale Change management. Business leaders responsible for making the transformation effective tend to rely on it huge repositories of data to make informed decisions throughout the project lifecycle. However, the tech stack is constantly changing: integrations, processes and platforms are updated asynchronously, which can lead to disruptions within a large project.
Within a complex tech stack, problems arise that affect multiple systems (customer data is not correctly cataloged) and the temptation is to fix the problem (manually update the data) rather than step back and identify the cause of the problem identify. However, this approach often leads to unforeseen problems later in the deployment. Instead, leaders should focus on leveraging insights from user data. That way, you can quickly decipher a problem, implement a solution, immediately understand whether it was successful, and if not, correct the course. Creation of a continuous flywheel of measurement and action.
Focus on the user experience
After all, no digital transformation can really be successful without user acceptance. As we approach a future where remote working plays a role permanent Users need digital guidance to master new technologies. Without this, organizations will struggle to achieve the cross-functional collaboration that their transformations depend on.
The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.