Companies executing a digital transformation in an effort to keep up with the pace of business change today and all its competitive challenges need to consider a lot of strategies when doing so. A recent article from Panorama Consulting reminds us that setting the right expectations comes first.
Starting with a statement of project scope, you need to then develop the business case – why are you implementing new technology in the first place? – and then work out the elements of ROI (return on investment), and the corresponding budget and timeline. Clear understanding of expectations must then be communicated throughout the organization.
Timelines, let alone budgets, are often very difficult to estimate. Changes to both are inevitable. But you can help your planning by considering a few aspects that are often overlooked. Among the key project tasks Panorama’s consultants advise organizations to remember are:
- Quantifying specific benefits you hope to achieve, such as visibility into real-time data, visibility across functional areas, reduced inventory and decreased days to close
- Developing a master data management strategy and data migration strategy
- Conducting an organizational readiness assessment
- Developing and executing an organizational change management plan
- Assessing staffing needs for each phase of the project, and possibly augmenting your staff with outside resources
- Working with functional leads to map current and future state business processes and identify pain points
- Working with functional leads to define requirements, validate requirements and schedule software demos
- Recruiting stakeholders from different departments, business units and locations to help define requirements
- Distributing workshop guides to prepare employees for requirements gathering workshops
- Prioritizing functional requirements into three categories (mandatory, value-add, nice to have)
- Balancing the need for software customization with the cost of training
- Reskilling employees whose jobs will become automated
- Meeting with the vendor for an organizational design session
It’s a lot of ground to cover, but considering these details before you commit can save a lot of time, money and frustration, and go along ways towards ensuring your digital transformation project’s success.