Six Steps for a Successful Digital Transformation

There is a lot of excitement surrounding digital transformation. Many organizations run with the process without considering the value behind the transformation and considering exactly what it involves. When it comes to implementing a digital transformation, there are certain steps that can ensure the change is a success. We spoke to Mark Etwaru, an independent management consultant and thought leader who specializes in digital transformation, to find the top six steps that he suggests to organizations in order to help them achieve a fully successful digital transformation. 

1. Gain and maintain the support of senior management.

Gaining and then maintaining the support of senior management is vital in ensuring that the transformation is seen through. Senior management are the people who can get individuals prepared and engage in change management upfront. Gaining their support means ensuring your access to the best tools, trends and thoughts in the industry and guarantees that your implementation will see the preferred results. Maintaining their support, however, assures that the transformation will be seen through to completion. Having a positive relationship with senior management is vital to safeguarding the success of your digital transformation.

2.Look beyond your own industry.

Organizations consistently look toward their competitors to see how these other companies have handled similar situations and transformations. Successes in digital transformations are not limited to within your own industry. Looking outwards can offer you differing approaches that may drive your transformation toward success, approaches that may have been missed by having an inward perspective. Being open to new approaches means you’re more likely to stumble upon the best solution for your own organization.

3. Define your current processes.

Defining your process is a step that is often overlooked. This is because many companies already think they know how they operate. But putting your plans on paper and using process mapping tools to define your current model can make the whole process easier to understand. Understanding where you are today and your current position in the transformation means you can understand easier what direction you are going in and where you need to be in the future. Simply put, defining your process helps the whole process run smoothly.

4. Plan for transformation and have a great value case behind it.

It goes without saying, plan your transformation! Ensure your plan answers every question that will come up throughout the process and more importantly, make sure you have a good value case behind the plan. When you present the transformation to senior management you are then prepared to show the value of the transformation and the exact steps of the process you are going to take. This will go some way to gaining and maintaining the support of your leaders, as we mentioned earlier in this post.

5. Evaluate the talent within your organisation.

Your organization is likely to be filled with people who have wide skill sets beyond what is required in their current role and these skills may be what are needed to enable your transformation. Finding talent within your organization will offer you a support network for the process of change. Outside of the transformation, evaluating your talent means, as an organization, you can discover which skills you are lacking overall which can be tackled through up-scaling or bringing in new talents.

6. “Measure twice and cut once.”

After completing the operating model for your transformation, everything can seem too good to be true. In this position, re-evaluate your model and from that make the necessary changes. Look at the model from people, process and then technology perspectives. Looking at these different perspectives a second time means you can question in depth if they are the right solutions and practices to enable your goals.

To learn more about how Mark Etwaru drives successful digital transformations download our exclusive interview.