Everyone (almost!) can have clever ideas and define new visions and strategies. Implementing them is what matters and, above all, the peopledelivering value and benefiting from such strategies. This applies a fortiori to digital strategies which require combined functional-technical-data, system and talentstrategies.
Changing mindsets: do not put all hope on the system
Implementing new digital strategies requires a solid understanding of a number of key parameters: budget, maturity (impact from legacy and vision for the future), roadmap (capability prioritization) and ability to change (culture). This equation translates directly into the ability of an organization to transform itself, at what pace and sequencing.
The ability to change links to the organizational culture: how people are onboarded, how they learn or are allowed to learn, how change is implemented (from simplecontinuous improvement to more transformational change), how people are rewarded, how success and failure are managed, how decisions are made, how the organization communicates across functions, how are business priorities informed, etc.
Future ability tochange mindsets, as well as ability to align to existing mindsets in implementing future changes, might depend on a combination of the above factors.
Digital roadmap positioning: assess the ability to implement and adapt to change
Priorities change. Does the digital roadmapchange, how and how often? Positioning new ideas and plan require a robust understanding of five core characteristics:
Supporters and detractors (key stakeholders who are able to make decisions or who need to be aligned to support the business change).
Theiragenda and beliefs (understand who will gain or not from the change, if and how they are likely to take ownership of the roadmap or elements or it).
Theirability to change vs theability of the organization to change (assess agility and adaptability of the people and their functions).
Theirnetwork andsphere of influence (identify change leads to represent positively the implementation of the change).
Theirlearning path andlearning style (focus on how people want to learn, how they think it is best for them to learn, also how learning practices have evolved within organizations).
Positioning change within the enterprise must be inclusive – yet directive – obtaining the sufficient levels of “alignment” and “buy-in” across the leadership teams and key stakeholders.
First change the people: improve existing processes and educate users before considering new systems
Digital solutions return most value when they bridge enterprise silos and help people collaborate. They often link to choosing and integrating an enterprise system to support new data and process strategies. Three key questions when embarking on such journey include:
Is the organization able to implementprocess change using its current teams and systems?
Does the enterprise understand thecurrent pain points (not only symptoms but also root causes) and is it able to size business implications (cost of data errors, data or task duplication, process gaps, lack of execution governance, etc.)?
Can the business support the prospectivechange journey and cope with the required mitigation, complexity and uncertainty levels?
Can thelegacy data be cleansed to align to current processes and systems, as well as be assessed for compatibility and transformation to align to the new system structure?
Are the currentintegration landscapes understood and aligned to the support the above data quality requirement?
Does the currenttraining andskill management framework able to support the transition to the future solution?
Transformational changes are better understood and accepted by organizations when the focus is on enabling change (building capacity and capability), rather than imposing change (change or die). This approach reflects how change actually happens. It forces change leaders to be realistic about what is required and how long it will take to implement and realize value.
Author: Lionel Grealou
Founding Director & Consultant of Xlifecycle Ltd and contributor for engineering.com
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