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How to make sure your Digital Transformation is Successful

31 March, 2020

Us humans are naturally reluctant to change. But when it comes to changing the way we work and our workplace to eventually make it better for ourselves it shouldn’t be an issue. Right? With that being said, there are some things you should be more attentive to during the change to make sure it’s successful. Because when it is - you’ll love it!

When you and your company is undergoing a digital transformation there will be difficulties. We don’t want to be negative, but as in all journeys – the path isn’t always free from obstacles. But, by knowing where the most common speed bumps and potholes are, you can look forward to a smooth journey without stops and reparations. So, here we go - the most common mistakes in a digital transformation. 

Not having a strategy 

One of the most fragile parts of the process is implementation. Whether it’s your own IT department or an external supplier who’s implementing the software a lot can happen at this stage. Having an implementation strategy means you have planned the entire process, received advice from your stakeholders, weighed the pros and cons of different tactics and so on. 

Failing in the implementation can have serious consequences. Let’s say you missed planning for company training, the part where you teach everyone how the new technology works, you’ll have setbacks in the rollout and lose both time and money. That’s just one example, but you get it - you need a strategy. 

Let’s be pragmatic: You’ll want to go through these parts

    • Create a detailed needs document for your supplier
    • Plan out the implementation in a calendar 
    • Allocate responsibilities 
    • Plan for communication activities
    • Plan for training 
    • Create a system for feedback 

Making ill-informed decisions

There lies a potential threat in making ill-informed decisions. And making ill-informed decisions is more likely if you don’t include the end-users in your decision making. The end users are, of course, your coworkers. A successful rollout culminates in the software being used seamlessly in the end-users everyday life. So what do they need? How do they want it? It’s also important to ask frequent users as well as those who’ll use it less. 

The key to making the right decisions is to start a focus group. A group that should be made out by a variety of your coworkers so that there is as much diversity in the group as possible. A diverse group will give you a better understanding of different perspectives and how different users will act and what they need. 

In this focus group, you will be able to ask all of the questions you need to make better decisions but you will also have a group of users you can implement the change on first. That way you get to practice the implementation in order to evolve it before rolling it out in the entire organization. 

Not prioritizing communication

We’re sorry but we have to be a bit cliché for a moment: communication is key in change management.

Therefore, you should have a change communication strategy when implementing a digital transformation. For example: what information needs to be communicated and at what point in the process? Telling everyone everything at the same time might not be a good idea. Try to identify so-called ambassadeurs from different departments and communicate with them first so that they can help you bypass the information on. To succeed you need people to buy-in. 

Stressing too much 

One of the most common mistakes in a digital transformation is rushing it. Even though it’s always appreciated to be energetic and get things done there are risks to that attitude. Stressing parts of the implementation often means you ignore red flags and problems along the way just because you want to get things done quickly (and because of that making ill-informed decision). Pause and reflect along the way. You’ll thank us later. 

Mistakes in the budget  

This kind of mistake is seldom a result of bad maths. We’re not accusing anyone of being uneconomical. The reason we make mistakes in our budget is simply that there are items in the budget we forget to consider. 

For example, many organizations forget to weigh the cost of implementation. The amount of time and resources it takes to implement and maintain that software needs to be accounted for in the budget. That is why it’s always beneficial to choose a software which is easy to install and administrate. In that way, you cut those costs significantly.  

No follow-ups 

A common mistake during a digital transformation is forgetting to plan follow-ups. You need to address questions as:

      • How is everything going? 
      • Is there any feedback? 
      • Have we hit any speed bumps?

If you don’t plan any follow-ups, you might end up believing everything is fine when in reality it’s not. 

The best way to tackle this is to create a feedback system beforehand. So when you roll out the new change your coworkers already know where to turn with their feedback. That way you save a lot of time and hassle.

If you pay attention to these things you will have a much easier road to success. A digital transformation doesn’t have to be a terror if you’re just prepared. With that being said, you can’t prepare for everything - remember that unpredictable things can occur and don’t panic.

Here you can read about how our customer WABCO, used Meetio in their digital transformation.

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