42nd Street Company (#42stc)

Succeeding with a large scale digital transformation … hmmm!

By on July 5, 2017

Today’s lunch conversation centered around large scale digital transformations and how to succeed.

Popular wisdom has it that less than 90% of digital transformations succeed.

Some fresh thinking may be required.

Imagine someone is just getting started, what advise would you give?

Here’s what we came up with:

  1. Refrain from thinking about what you do as a large scale transformation. You are much better of breaking what you want to do into a large set of much smaller missions to be accomplished.  Shaping demand, curating your backlog of things to do in addition to chunking and sequencing of the things you are able to do is essential for success. Use the ideas from winnable mission management
  2. Establish an environment where you can experiment, test, play and learn. No one can figure it out from the beginning – you fall into the trap of making the biggest decisions when you have the least insight. Take it one step at a time and be razor sharp in keeping an eye on new insights and opportunities as they present them selves. Most ideas are bad. If you work with talented people, able and willing to learn, it doesn’t matter so much where you are starting from and where you think you are heading. You will soon have a much better plan to guide you.
  3. If you are forced to stop ahead of time, make sure that everything you have done until that moment makes sense. Don’t bite over more than you can chew – the biggest enemy of all is sunk cost and inability to explore new options because you are just in too deep on yesterdays best decisions – which today turns out to be a really bad idea, if not the worst. Use the ideas from agile organization.

2 + 3 are the essence of agility – create an environment where everyone has the freedom to perform and opportunity to contribute – and make sure that as an organization you manage at the speed you can afford to lose.

Aside from the above suggestions, you may want to have a look at game changing beliefs to help set yourself up for success.

Good luck!