Integrative Improvement Blog

The integrative improvement blog discusses and provides commentary on the latest topics in the business performance improvement sector.

5 steps to a smooth digital transformation

5 steps to a smooth digital transformation

A meaningful digital transformation will require your organisation to rethink all aspects of how it operates. This change is necessary to maintain growth in today’s highly competitive marketplace. To successfully transform, your business needs a plan of action that is centred around the customer and the people within your company who get the work done.

Some leaders may well feel that the very term ‘digital transformation’ has become so widely used that it has become unhelpful. But, like it or not, the business mandates behind the term – to rethink old operating practices, to experiment more, to become more agile in your ability to respond to customer needs – are here to stay.

We’ve entered a new age of manufacturing, a technological revolution that will change industry forever. From rapid prototyping and R&D to production and performance analytics, digital transformation in manufacturing is poised to impact all aspects of business – from organisational structure to how value is generated. It’s therefore quite understandable that taking the first steps of a multi-year digital journey can feel overwhelming.

Following are some immediate, actionable things to help you during the crucial first few months of your digital transformation process:

1. Start with buy-in and commitment from your executive team

This will always be the first action for any transformation. And the reason is simple: if your C-suite doesn’t buy in or understand, situations may arise where changes need to be made, but the people trying to make those changes don’t have the authority to do that.

2. Communicate the benefits to build engagement

Traditional financial and competitive rationales are important but not enough to engage employees’ hearts and minds. Articulate how digital transformation will improve the way people do their jobs — making their work easier, better, faster, or more fulfilling.

5 steps to a smooth digital transformation3. Identify experimental projects to build momentum with small wins

In most organisations, you tend to find three groups of people: those who want to change, those who don’t, and those who are on the fence. If you start promoting those small projects and successes early, then a lot of those fence sitters will soon be encouraged to join in.

4. Encourage the adoption, not deployment of tools

Most technology deployments miss the true value of their digital investments: collaboration among actively engaged users, smarter decision-making, increased sharing of best practices and, over time, sustained behavioural changes. Encourage employees to adopt digital tools and technologies. Do so visibly – through role modelling, gamification, rewards, or any other methods.

5. Institutionalise new work practices

Encourage the transparency, core process standardisation, and operations efficiency that digital technologies provide. And ensure that your most important managerial decisions are based on the power of data and analytics.

Read the article Executive Standard Work: the formula for optimal performance to find out how you can standardise your work processes for optimal efficiency and better time management.

Building digital projects and relationships between teams takes time. Understand where you’re going, but don’t necessarily try to get there too quickly.

The TRACC framework helps organisations build standardised and integrated good practice and performance capacity across their Plan, Source, Make and Deliver functions. Simultaneously it accelerates their collaboration and alignment capacity to build world class end-to-end value chains, enabling the organisation itself to become the ultimate source of sustainable competitive advantage.
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