Strategy and Transformation

Planning for Digital Transformation

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Digital Transformation programs based on new Content Management Systems (Sitecore, Optimizely, Adobe, etc.) are expected to have an immediate impact on both strategic and tactical goals.  While the immediate impacts are the primary focus, the long-term plan is to enable the organization to:

  • Improve customer conversions by improving one or more aspects of the sales funnel
  • Retain customers through exceptional customer support
  • Create ambassadors to extend beyond traditional marketing
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Digital Transformation programs start with establishing the platform and framework for continued improvements across the organization.  Successful programs have a defined roadmap established from an assessment of the current and future state.  An assessment covers operational, technical, business, and creative areas to create a realistic and efficient program roadmap.  Typical areas covered during an assessment are:

  • Current state
    • Business goals
    • Key pain points/challenges
    • Branding
    • Technical architecture and platforms
    • Content Strategy
    • Operational Model
  • Future state
    • Business value/improvements
    • Platform technical architecture
    • Operational model
    • Organizational Change Management
  • Roadmap – moving from current to future state
    • Key business goals for each step in the roadmap
    • Identify key business milestones and contingency plans if milestones are missed
    • Content Strategy
    • Technical Architecture Implementation
    • Branding
    • Operational model implementation
    • Communication and training plans

The result is a Digital Program roadmap based on priorities, budget, and operational and technical feasibility.  Additionally, the roadmap is based on several key principles to ensure success:

  1. Establish communication and training plans.   In order to realize an organization’s investment, adoption is critical.  Adoption is accelerated with the appropriate communication and training.   Change Management identifies, manages, and mitigates risks and disruptions to decrease the time required to realize productivity gains planned by the project.
  2. Do not over-allocate key resources.  Implementing a new platform requires significant time commitments from key product owners within the organization.  These resources will normally have two jobs until the new platform goes live.  The bandwidth of key resources becomes a limiting factor of how quickly change can happen.  Balancing time commitments and/or separating responsibilities to multiple resources are critical to retention.  Program progress stalls when there is burnout and program attrition.
  3. Verify resources have the necessary skills.  New platforms have new capabilities and require resources to acquire new roles and responsibilities. Whether the roles are new resources or existing resources, an organization needs time to train and adopt.  Typically, these roles require a combination of business awareness, analytical analysis, and technical acumen.  Technical acumen is not necessarily coding, but an understanding of data and system use.
  4. Gradually take advantage of features.  It allows the organization to build a foundation with new capabilities.  Most Digital Transformation projects require tool/platform replacement.  The new tools/platforms enable organizations to immediately take advantage of basic capabilities and grow into more advanced features to support evolving business goals.
  5. Accelerate once the foundation is in place.  Once the core tools/platforms are in place, an organization can accelerate through incremental changes.  The organization gradually tests roles, processes, and tools to identify the optimal change.  Gradual change minimizes disruption to the organization and validates direction (roles, processes, or approaches).  This is an Agile approach to enhancing the organization.  An organization wants to succeed quickly to achieve business value as soon as possible.  On the flip side, an organization wants to fail early to minimize the negative impact of incorrect assumptions.

In summary, planning and setting realistic expectations enable organizations to adopt and deliver on Digital Transformation promises.

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