We hear a lot about digital transformation. True digital transformation is complex, risky, and difficult. We asked our most experienced change leaders what it takes to get it right…
Steve and James have been leading complex transformation programmes for decades, working with dozens of organisations across industries, markets, functions and technologies to help Boardrooms unlock value through digital change. They have seen a lot; from incredible success stories to unrecoverable attempts, from programmes that ran like clockwork to those that struggled from day one.
We asked them to look back across their careers and asked them one simple question:
“What does it take to get it right?”
Consulting Director, Steve Calder, said, “Looking back over the last 30-years of delivering digital transformation, in some respects every transformation is unique which is why there aren’t any perfect, one-size-fits-all Project and Programme Management methodologies… no matter what people try to sell you! That said, there are certainly commonalities we can use to guide us on the right path.
Most programmes get into trouble because of a combination of the following four transformation dragons:
I think of these as the four ‘transformation dragons’ that are waiting to catch you out: Outcomes, Focus, Experience and Complexity.”
CEO, James O’Sullivan, added, “This is a great starting point. If we think about how we avoid each dragon, we can start to sketch a path to success.
Steve added, “Looking back across my experience delivering digital transformation, I have seen a temptation to think that technology enabled change is different. But good practice is good practice when it comes to strategic change. At the same time there are distinct practices that underpin good technology enabled change:
These are a build on and not a replacement for good practice on how best to avoid the four transformation dragons.”
What is the difference between succeeding or not?
James said, “It sounds so simple, and with the right people, working in the right way, it can be straightforward. The key difference in driving success is the team. No person is an island, and no strategic change can be a success through the success of the critical few.
Ultimately, transformation is about people and success is based around the ‘power of the team’. Of course, everyone has their own individual roles to play, accountabilities and responsibilities to deliver upon and live up to, but the collective power that is brought to bear through collaboration is a barometer to its success.
You can often tell whether a programme will succeed on day one by observing the team who will deliver it. Are people going to do the right thing? Will they deliver on their commitments? Is everyone focussed on making a real difference? Will they build mutual trust and earn respect? If yes to all, then the chances are the programme will be a real success.”
It is all about the ‘so what?’. If you look around your table, do you have the right people working together in the right way? If not, that is your initial challenge to address.
Our consulting team has over 1,000 years of collective experience in delivering digital transformation across all market sectors.
So, what does it take to get digital transformation right?
Getting the right people to work in the right way…and to watch out for the four dragons.
If you want an open and honest conversation about how to approach, and lead your transformation programme, then please give Project One a call for a chat. We are experts in leading complex, business-critical change and transformation. Our recent industry recognition places Project One as #2 in a sea of 1,200 UK consultancies for effective Project and Programme Management.
Programme assurance, recovery or implementing change, our change experts work with you on your most complex business transformation.
Recognised as a leading management consultancy by the Financial Times, we deliver complex change and transformation programmes.