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The Recipe for a Successful Digital Transformation

Short Read

Ingredients:

  • An ecosystem of digital specialists
  • Data and research
  • Time from key stakeholders and employees
  • An open mind, primed for innovation and change

Time:

An absolute minimum of 6-12 months to deliver meaningful change.

Serves:

Your customers and employees with a better experience.

 

Method:

  • Gather research and data

You will need this information to validate the objectives of the project. It will be key when the team start to create assumptions around the customer needs and the experience that needs to match up to it.

  • Set the objectives of the project

The most vital part of the project is to have a clear set of deliverables and objectives to work from. This should include a time plan but should allow for flexibility as step 3 can uncover additional considerations. Also set measures of success – what does success look like? How can you use data to measure the results of the project?

  • Scope technology

Understand the technology, software, hardware or tools that will be needed to achieve the project objectives. This can often lead to a change in time/budget required but it is better to be discovered now rather than later down the line.

  • Create an ecosystem of specialists

Form a team of specialists that are required to deliver the project. This can include product owners, project managers, technology specialists, developers, engineers or UI/UX/service designers.

  • Engage your employees/stakeholders and assign responsibilities

Assign responsibilities to your internal teams and key stakeholders. The project won’t move without sign off at regular stages of the process, and won’t progress without support from the people on the ground who understand the business and its customers.

  • Agree on the process

With a team, objectives and tech specs in place, you should be good to get started. All that’s left to agree on is the process of development and delivery. Many digital transformation projects work in agile methodology with weekly sprints. But this isn’t a one size fits all process. It all depends on the team and deliverables required at the end of the project.

  • Discover, define, develop, deliver. Repeat.

Any (good) design process follows these steps. Discovery is a research phase that allows designers to understand the problems and needs of the business and its customers. This is followed by a definition phase that outlines how the problem can be solved and often manifests itself in the form of wireframes or user journeys. The develop phase consists of creating mockups and prototypes of the solution. The develop and deliver phases can work in a cyclical manner as you constantly iterate, test and evolve until you have reached a definitive solution ready for testing with real customers.

  • Beta test

Use a sample of trusted customers/users that can give you qualitative feedback as well as raw data on how the product/service is performing. Take learnings from this and iterate further if required.

  • Launch and learn

Once you’re ready to launch your solution to your customers, remember to keep gathering data to measure the success of the project and to learn if certain aspects of the experience can be improved upon.

  • Celebrate

You’ve done it! And it’s time to acknowledge it. It will probably have been an emotional journey but take time to reflect on the process. Review the successes and flag the considerations for next time. And don’t forget to reward the people who were fundamental to the project’s success. It may just help you recruit them for the next one.

Are you considering a digital transformation?

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