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3 Tips for Success in Digital Project
Here we share three tips that we think are especially important to keep in mind in any digital project
Digitalization, digital transformation, and Chief Digital Officer (CDO) are words and roles that have become part of many companies' strategies. But what exactly are they, and why might it be a good idea to break that big strategy down into smaller projects?
Digitalization is about using technology to renew, simplify and improve different parts of the company. Investing in digital solutions can be crucial for companies' profitability and long-term survivability. This is precisely why it is so important that companies succeed with their digital transformation programs. We know from experience that it is not easy to navigate such initiatives; the opportunities and pitfalls are many and varied. Often, we underestimate the complexity behind even the simplest technical solutions.
It is tempting to think that you can buy a piece of technology, implement it and generate value. Unfortunately, this is very rare. Even the smallest solution represents a change; in general, we humans are rather resistant to change. It is not without reason that Gartner created a "hype cycle"; they illustrate how long it takes from hearing about innovation until it is actually an effective, usable technology and then eventually accepted by us “simple humans” for use in the business. In this article, we'll consider three areas that can be especially important to consider in your digital strategy.
1. Break the large project down into several smaller projects to ensure delivery
As we highlighted in the introduction; complex changes are often needed to initiate a technical solution. A minor change can affect large parts of your business. If that change impacts several disciplines or the interfaces with external suppliers, there is a high probability that the project is now complex. Experience shows that such projects often face challenges when getting past the requirement specification stage. Why is that? Because there are so many different needs to be considered, it is difficult to clearly define the project boundaries. For every new person you talk to, there are new demands and new impacts. The steps from initiation to successful completion can become almost insurmountable.
Summen av små endringer gir store resultat
In such initiatives, it is important to break them down into manageable sub-projects, with sub-goals, and prioritize them according to what provides a quick win and at the same time moves you towards the final goal. Then in each, determine what you can deliver yourself and engage experts to solve parts of the task you cannot. This way you can move the process forward at some speed. It is easier to resolve small projects and it is easier to adapt to the change and opportunities they deliver. Perhaps the ultimate goal changes as a result, but that is often for the better.
2. Plan your project from a holistic perspective
By this we mean; even if you are going to buy and install a technological solution, the plan for implementing the change must take into account three additional important areas:
- The whole technology lifecycle; installation, real-world testing, deployment, and support
- How the change impacts employees and how they collaborate
- How the change affects the way people work today
To be successful, planning to deliver all these elements in parallel is essential. This often means that different fields of expertise must be utilized to deliver the project. Technical expertise, subject matter experts, and change agents.
Many companies invest significant sums of money and effort in IT systems to deliver digitization within the business and then don’t achieve the desired effect when that digitization meets actual operations. In this picture, your employees are crucial resources for unlocking the digital potential that you have invested in. Therefore, your digital projects need to be organized with this in mind.
3. New ways of working require having the right infrastructure
The new flexible working world requires a new need; people want the freedom to work productively, regardless of where they are located. If you are going to work from anywhere, it is important that you have equal access to all data and information whether you are in the office, at home, in client offices, on-the-road or at a remote site. As an employee, you expect it to be safe to log on from anywhere. The way information is accessed and found must be the same, otherwise, it will be difficult to work efficiently. You also need to be able to openly collaborate with your colleagues wherever that is currently located. All this requires the right infrastructure. Many companies are therefore investing in a digital journey toward a cloud architecture. The road there may seem overwhelming as your employees are trapped in a spaghetti of old and new solutions. To enable your digital strategy, it is important to make sure data availability is on the agenda; this is the foundation for a lot of your digitization journey going forward. Addressing this properly will benefit many of the challenges around the wider issues of information ownership, security, and integrity going forward.
Before investing – ensure that the need for new technology is rooted in actual business needs! Most technologies are designed to meet a particular need but they can also provide a lot of additional opportunities and potential pitfalls. The introduction of new technology alone is no longer a competitive advantage – the benefits lie in the unique interaction between technology, processes, business culture, and your people.
Are you thinking of going on a digital journey?
Please contact us!