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How to Build a Digital Transformation Plan

Define the strategy

The first step, just like creating a new business model, is defining your vision, strategy and goals. What are you trying to accomplish? What are you trying to change? Your vision should involve all business units and ensure complete alignment. You then need to create a business case to justify the investment. Changing business models, however small the change, always comes with a price. Understand what you’re asking for and have a clear outline of short term, near term, and future term objectives – it’s OK to reach for the stars at times, but make sure the majority of your goals are realistic and obtainable.

Assess current state vs target state of the business

In order to do this, you need to concentrate on the three components of digital transformation: people, processes and technology. Start by defining your current business model, determining your level of digital maturity (more on that in a minute), and assessing your competitors. From there, you can build your targets and run a gap analysis. Here’s what you’re looking for:

People

Deploying a digital transformation strategy relies heavily on people and culture. You want to encourage a company focused on customer excellence with people who thrive on collaboration, being innovative and growing their skillset and they need to be passionate about what they do. This needs to come from the top down. If Executives are not on board, the negative mentality will quickly trickle down the ladder.

Pro Tip!

If there’s anyone in your business with “digital” in their title, you likely have yet to truly create a culture focused on digital transformation. Transforming the business is not one person’s job – everyone is responsible.

Processes

An agile or lean business model is one that creates flexibility while keeping operating costs at a minimum. Rather than spending weeks in back and forth meetings about possible new products, spending months on design and development before actually rolling it out, agile businesses run in sprints, making quick updates frequently in order to keep up with market and business needs.

These days, everyone expects things NOW. Consider how irritated you get when Netflix takes 30 seconds to buffer a video. Or when your smart thermostat suddenly stops adjusting the temperature when you go to bed. Your customers have the same expectations – they want up-to-date solutions that work quickly and perfectly in the moment, every single time. Agile business models promote ongoing innovation and allow enhancements to be made quickly. They fail fast and move on even faster, keeping operating cost waste at bay.

Tools

So how do you implement an agile business model? Besides investing in strategies like scrum meetings and customer feedback engagements, you have to deploy the right tools. More importantly, your tools need to be fully integrated and should enable cross-department collaboration. There should not be a focus on constantly building out your own IP, but looking to outside vendors, competitors even, to supply applications and tools to boost your own services and processes.

Use the chart below to assess where you are in your current digital efforts to understand which areas you need to spend more time developing.

Build a roadmap

Once you understand where you currently fall with your people, processes and tools you can begin to build a roadmap for change. Outline the vision based on a fully transformed business and build a project plan to remedy each gap from your assessment. Be sure to include benchmarks for success and include change management along the way.

Implement and monitor

Once your roadmap is ready and everyone is on board, it’s time to implement change. It is critical to keep in mind that, generally speaking, people don’t do well with change. Even with the right team in place, change takes patience and an abundance of over-communication. Train your team and train them often. Consider taking the time to outline how a very basic scenario would play out in an agile environment. Explain what tools are in place and how they work with each other and encourage adoption champions. And of course, don’t forget to monitor and track for knowledge gaps and process roadblocks.

Stay ahead of your competitors

Deploying a new business model can be tough and can certainly feel like a daunting task. If you want to keep up with the market and stay ahead of competitors, it’s the right move to make, but you don’t have to go at it alone. FIll out the form below to start your digital transformation and we’ll be in touch soon.

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