How to Avoid Failure when Running Digital Transformation Programs: Event Round Up

Our Retail Consultant, Josh Kelly, recently hosted a brilliant webinar alongside Digital Transformation Director Bilyana Georgieva, which delved into How to Avoid Failure when Running Digital Transformation Programs and unearthed some fantastic insights.

With a plethora of great advice shared over the webinar, we wanted to bring you a selection of the best points and questions raised. Whether you’re looking to jog your memory after attending or want to get a glimpse of what you’ve missed, this blog covers it all.

Set the priority – business as usual or the transformation

Before beginning to embark on a transformation, Bilyana highlighted how it was crucial to come to an understanding with every party involved in the transformation in regard to process priorities. For effective programs, you either have to prioritise your organisation’s business as usual or commit all resources and people to the transformation process.

Organisations that attempt to hedge their bets often find they perform poorly in both areas, losing valuable time and, in some circumstances, wasting significant financial investments.

By aligning this priority clearly at the start of a program, you not only allow yourself and your teams to function more consistently, but you create a concrete decision which you can refer back to in the future if objections are raised regarding timings, reports or resource allocation.

Consistently reaffirm the goal and value behind your transformation

For lengthy digital transformations, change fatigue is a common occurrence and oftentimes can be the driver behind early terminations or delays within programs.

Usually, this is a result of internal buy-in slowly decreasing as a transformation progresses, as it becomes more difficult for people to function as they had done previously. While this is natural, given the intense nature of some transformations, it’s crucial to stay on top of it.

One way to avoid this phenomenon is by ensuring your transformation champions are rewarded and recognised for their work in supporting the program. It can be easy to take support from across the organisation for granted, but taking the time to thank and highlight the efforts of your program champions will help them redouble their efforts and is likely to foster a greater sense of alignment from all the teams taking part in the process.

These rewards could be as simple as a certificate that acknowledges their role in driving the transformation, or they could even take the form of parties or team celebrations where you thank them in front of their colleagues, reaffirming and solidifying their position as transformation advocates and reminding everyone of the value the transformation will bring.

Looking for support from leadership – find their pain points

As with anything within business, if you want it delivered on time and as expected, you need to have the senior leadership on your side. Getting CTOs, CFOs, and CEOs onboard is no small task, but there is one approach that can increase your odds significantly.

For those in C-suite positions, it’s almost always about time. With busy schedules and long to-do lists, they often can’t put aside the time required to support and champion a transformation effectively. This is where you find out their top three pain points and utilise your transformation to lessen them.

For example, if the CFO you’re working with has a particular process that takes up a large chunk of their time, you can see if you can tailor the digital transformation to partly or completely solve that issue. This helps to convince the CFO of its value, and as it’ll make their average day-to-day easier, they’re almost certain to back your requests for resources or investment.

Repeating this process across all members of a leadership team is a surefire way to get them all aligned on your transformation goal and is a fantastic approach to ensure you get buy-in from across the business.

Counter budget pushback with cold, hard figures

The budget. The sticking point for so many digital transformations is that they never get off the ground. Navigating budget request pushback or denials is never easy. However, there is one method that makes your chances of receiving a sign-off far higher.

Often, transformations are turned down because teams aren’t aware of the value (financial and cultural) that they can bring. To solve this, you can use a couple of things when a budget is denied:

  • How much revenue the organisation will lose if processes aren’t modernised and kept up to date.
  • The potential fines or regulatory payments your organisation will incur if they’re falling behind industry requirements. (This is especially the case with cybersecurity transformations.)

These two examples are brilliant tools that can instantly communicate the value that transformation can bring to teams at all levels. Also, the reality is when someone opposes your request for financial investment; it’s best to have a counter which covers the program’s tangible financial savings, as leaning on potential cultural and process improvements can often be undervalued.

These great insights are just a peek into what was discussed in our How to Avoid Failure when Running Digital Transformation Programs webinar. If you want to be part of these brilliant conversations first-hand, keep an eye out as we have more Deltra events on the way.

If you’re currently looking to carry out a digital transformation of your own and want to find out how we can support you, you can reach out to us by clicking here.

A profile picture for Josh Kelly

Josh Kelly

7th May