Digital transformation is by no means an easy task. The term transformation itself is defined as a marked or complete change. Small changes can often be hard to implement so where do you begin when it comes to a transformation?
Here at Hart Square, we have spent the last 11 years supporting over 200 memberships organisations, charities and trade associations achieve their digital ambitions. Over this time, we have gathered a wealth of experience and knowledge on digital transformation projects and have seen that for many organisations it can be difficult to know exactly where to start. Based on our experience then, we wanted to share with you our 6 steps to begin your digital transformation journey.
Step 1: Identify what digital transformation will mean to your organisation
It is important to note that digital transformation will look different for every organisation. This being the case, it is essential that you identify what a transformation could look like for you.
Firstly, analyse and describe the challenges you are facing. What are the root causes of these problems?
Alongside identifying challenges, it is important to have a vision for the future. What are the strategic aims of your organisation?
Step 2: Analyse your current capabilities
Once you understand your core challenges and have a vision for what you want to become, it is important to examine your current ways of working and analyse what technologies are used across your organisation.
Understanding where you are now, what you’re currently capable of, and where you’re significantly inhibited, will allow you to identify the gaps and opportunities which digital transformation can address for you.
This will prove valuable throughout the decision-making process, for example when prioritising between initiatives which are competing for funding or resources, and put you in the best position for project success.
Step 3: Explore how digital can enable your change
Once you have identified your strategic aims and examined your current capabilities, you now are in the best position to explore how digital can enable your change.
At a high level, this involves exploring the technology investment options that would help you achieve your strategic aims. This can include decommissioning and replacing current technologies but equally can involve enhancing your current technology through upgrades, integrations, additional features, and by training employees.
Step 4: Get buy-in
To get your programme started and funded, it is crucial to get executive buy-in. Creating a successful business case will answer executives’ questions on the programme purpose, the benefits and resources required as well as timelines. The business case will support decision-making by providing clarity on options, costs and impact.
To achieve buy in, it is crucial to determine and communicate what is the best use of budgets and resources to create the most enabled versions of yourselves.
Step 5: Create a roadmap
Creating a roadmap is an essential step to ensure your programme has a flow and remains on track. Through effective planning and mapping the key stages to achieve your digital ambitions, you can prioritise projects within a timeline to complete the programme. It also allows your teams to remain accountable and aligned to the overall programme vision.
However, it is worth noting that a digital transformation programme can sometimes take years to complete. Therefore, the roadmap that you create at the beginning will need review, and may need adjusting, some time into the programme, allowing you to take advantage of new opportunities and to mitigate risks.
Step 6: Gather resources and expertise
Creating change on any scale is heavily dependent on the availability and skillset of your resources. Do not underestimate the importance of creating the right team to deliver your transformation programme. Ensuring your internal team have the right skills as well as capacity to deliver the projects, is essential to keep the programme moving forward and preventing burnout of your staff.
Where your team are expected to deliver the programme alongside their existing roles, you need to invest in back-filling day jobs for core programme and project leads, and in supplementing key business teams.
Alongside your internal team, bringing in external support can provide expertise and guidance on best practices and approaches, and well as valuable insight into how to navigate the tech landscape. This can help put your programme in the best position for success.
Are you looking to get started on your digital transformation journey?
Get in touch to find out how we can help you achieve your digital ambitions.