An Insider’s Perspective : Navigating Detours on the Digital Transformation Journey image

An Insider’s Perspective : Navigating Detours on the Digital Transformation Journey

Share this post...

This is the second part of our recent conversation with a digital insider. With senior digital and marketing roles at leading global companies, she’s been in the front seat for several digital transformations. Read her earlier insights: An Insider’s perspective on how to drive your digital transformation.

Good news! The digital transformation program has been green lighted by the CEO and planning is well underway. Before shifting into high gear, consider these insights from a digital insider on how to best navigate common detours on the journey.

A quick definition first. Our insider defines digital transformation as the shift from projects to deliver technology to building products and platforms that enable the business. Drawing from her deep marketing expertise, she recommends harnessing the power of a product mindset to effectively steer digital transformation. Key to the successful implementation of product-focused mindset is the role of Digital Product Manager. This manager acts as translator between IT and the business and is empowered to drive prioritization and decision making.

Here’s how to navigate your digital transformation journey and the pivotal role of change management in keeping your efforts on track:

Leadership that inspires
As with any big initiative, the senior leadership team should be aligned and visibly on board. Our digital insider takes the role of leadership a step further. To drive digital transformation, you need leaders who can inspire the rest of the organization to take the leap and believe, yes, this is the right thing to do.

Maybe it’s the CEO or the head of a business unit who has earned this level of credibility with other leaders. A leader who inspires can help IT and business teams bridge their gap and trust each other enough to be willing to try new ways of working and in some cases, give up a level of control.

Pivotal role of change management

Advise on leaders who could work across the organization and inspire trust and credibility. Identify opportunities for leaders to share the digital transformation journey and lead discussions and dialogue. Create materials for the leaders to use in meetings and discussions.

Manage the dynamic between the IT and Digital teams
The skills and priorities of IT leaders and Digital leaders differ more than you may think. IT teams tend to deal with aging back-end systems whereas the Digital teams are focused on trying new systems and tools. Naturally, the IT team prioritizes stability and continuity and has a low risk tolerance. The Digital team, on the other hand, is likely pushing the boundaries to unlock new opportunities.

Pivotal role of change management
Change management can act as a mediating force between the different teams: Recognize IT teams may feel anxiety around losing some control. Help leaders understand the dynamics and competing priorities of the IT and Digital teams. Identify and facilitate working sessions between the IT and Digital teams. The most effective way to transform is incrementally. Share the milestones and outcomes for each step of the process to minimize the level of perceived risk while demonstrating progress.

Build patience with a vision
In a world where a project’s value is measured by annual budgets and time-bound outcomes, the value of a multi-year digital transformation can be tough to quantify. Setting up a digital transformation for success requires time and money without a ready or easily defined ROI. You’re often funding teams, not projects. Some organizations don’t make it past this initial investment phase.

Pivotal role of change management
Help define and share what overall success looks like and the milestones we’re planning to hit along the way. Share the success stories, including recognition of team members who are playing a key role in the transition from how you work today to what’s needed for a successful digital transformation.

Grow the team
Talent is an issue as good digital people are hard to find. Every organization tries to grow their own people, but it can be hard to do organically. Our digital insider recommends finding experienced digital talent in the marketplace who can then turn around and nurture the ability of in-house or external junior professionals.

Pivotal role of change management
Explicitly clarity the strategy to the team to simultaneously hire outside and grow talent from within.

Keep your digital transformation on track with an experienced change management team. Contact us.