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10 Keys to Digital Transformation Wrap-Up: What Have we Learned and What’s Next

By 01.23.19
Reading time: 5 minutes

In the course of the past few months, we’ve explored the ten key requirements of a successful digital transformation for your business.

As mentioned in our kick-off blog for the 10 Keys Series, “We see success drivers during the digital transformation journey as a cycle where drivers come into play at different times with varying degrees of importance. You must think beyond each driver as a perfect relationship to the next because their value increases and decreases at different times.” As we’ve journeyed together through each step of digital transformation, this statement has held true, and it’s important to keep in mind that these steps aren’t meant to be linear.

Digital transformation can be compared to the process of undergoing an organ transplant.

When a transplant is performed on a patient, it’s generally done because it will drastically improve the patient’s quality of life. Although the stakes may not be as high within a business, there are times within the technology space where they must digitally transform to take the next step in their company’s evolution or to improve their ‘health.’ The business needs to innovate, or they’ll experience a loss of business or business disruption.

From the outset of an organ transplant, there is a substantial risk when introducing something foreign to the patient. It’s the same way with introducing new technology and processes for business; there’s a risk that your Salesforce instance may stray off course, but, done right with the 10 Keys as a guide, the chances of rejection are greatly reduced and a full recovery is possible, for patient and business alike.


Assessing the ‘Patient’ For Digital Transformation Readiness

Just as with an organ donor patient, a business must assess need, taking a hard look at their digital transformation requirements and establishing the scope of work to ensure they are planning out the changes the business really needs. Using our transplant metaphor, ‘transplanting’ a kidney when you needed a new liver would be disastrous! Establishing what is essential for the business is part of the Vision Led process, where the business develops a vision that drives every aspect of planning and prioritization across all business units and functional areas. This process includes strategy, planning, and buy-in from all stakeholders to ensure even and consistent support from all business units, up and down the decision-making hierarchy.

Promoting a vision-led approach goes hand in hand with being Value Focused. Outlining goals and outcomes and defining metrics of success ensures the vision stays on track. Much as there are metrics in place to determine if an organ transplant is going well, so too should a business put metrics in place that determine success or a need to make changes to the plan, allowing them to stay Intentionally Innovative.

Governance is also part of your ‘patient assessment.’  Proper program governance should be established with representation across all levels of your organization. This step is where you assemble your ‘transplant team’ and ensure everyone is on the same page, now and for the duration of ‘care,’ or, duration of the project. Communication channels need to be in place to drive expectation, alignment, and progress. Putting decision-making protocols in place, and establishing checks and balances for efficacy and compliance leads to successful outcomes, including choices made about technology.


Choosing the ‘Donor’ For Your Digital Transformation

Once your business’s Vision, Values, and Governance are established, you can make informed choices on what platform meets your needs now and into the future. Remaining Human Centered ensures your team is mapping the customer engagement points of contact that can be improved upon or included. The human-centered benchmark ensures you are choosing the right platform, or donor, to meet your need. Just as blood types must match for a successful transplant, your technology must meet the demands of your business through every cycle of implementation.

Establishing a ‘single point of truth’ for key data elements will only be as effective as your commitment to clean, ready data. You must ensure the donor and the receipt are as healthy as they can be to undergo the transplant, so too, must your data be sanitized are ready to move to your new platform. As we outlined in the piece Data Obsessed, this can be a challenge with existing legacy systems in the Financial and Healthcare/Life Sciences sectors. Fortunately, whether you have an in-house development team or not, Silverline can partner with you and your business to ensure your data is ready to be moved, shared, and leveraged.

Much like organ tissue, a project must adhere to a standard of quality and base metrics. Quality Built solutions begin with developing strategy and processes for data quality and integrity by including the use of architecture, testing, and delivery standards. Your strategy should include guidance and management measures for multiple environments and platform organizations. Include an effective method for monitoring and managing platform health just as a transplant team would create an aftercare plan for their transplant patient.


Fighting off ‘Infection’ and ‘Rejection’ of the Digital ‘Transplant’

Silverline’s Practice Teams focus on doing all we can to help organizations introduce technology to their organizations and make it stick. An organ transplant practice team has similar goals for their patients. When a surgeon performs an organ transplant, they don’t take off their gloves and mask, walk away, and never see the patient again! Aftercare is crucial for the transplant to be successful. For a business that’s performed a digital transformation ‘transplant,’ the same holds true: your business needs to stay focused on Continuously Delivering the solution and platform.  A plan needs to be in place to respond to end-user needs and manage requests. A methodology should be developed to track, resolve, and monitor issues to ensure you are adequately keeping pace with business changes and use scale. Regular enhancement releases should be staged and planned out into the future, based on ongoing requirements.

A care team for an organ transplant involves many people and processes to ensure the chances for rejection remain low. With platform innovation, your team needs to be Adoption Driven to avoid ‘rejection’ of the digital ‘transplant’ the business has undertaken. Stakeholders and managers need to be in alignment so the new processes, or ‘new organ,’ can be tracked to ensure the new technology is making a positive difference in the business.

To ensure any issues and concerns are dealt with promptly, protocols like Agile methodology keep your team on track and delivering actionable feedback that doesn’t fall between the cracks of the release schedule. By focusing on being Intentionally Innovative, your team will continuously generate new ideas for your program. You’ll be able to reset your priorities based on lessons learned through the feedback loops you’ve established with stakeholders and customers’ behavior, revising your plans based on your ‘single source of truth.’ If there is a ‘medication’ administered after the ‘transplant’ that isn’t effective, you’ll have the ability and tools you need to react smoothly and make the changes necessary to avoid complications. Your project roadmap will consider the need for funding changes and revision of metrics throughout each cycle.


Charting a Path Forward: Focus on Value

As emphasized in our introductory blog post in the 10 Keys Series Value-Focused, “Silverline prioritizes the value-focused mindset as a top factor for success because we believe focusing on value realization is crucial for actually getting back a reasonable return on the investment.”

2019 promises to be Silverline’s most successful year yet, and that success will be built upon our focus on value for our customers. Subscribe to our blog as we delve deeper into the potential a focus on value holds, or reach out to me at [email protected] to begin a conversation.


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