1. UNDERSTAND THAT DIGITAL INNOVATION IS HAVING A DRAMATIC EFFECT ON YOUR BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY RIGHT NOW
Digital innovation and strategy aren’t just changing how we work; they are also changing the nature of work itself. Every single industry is experiencing a seismic shift as a direct result of this revolution, and those who fail to keep up risk losing market share to more digitally innovative competitors.
Executives and their departmental leaders must understand both the general and industry-specific trends that affect their business. Even if your business is not yet embracing these changes, your competitors likely are. Recognizing both the potential for your own business, and the risk from your competitors, is the first step to planning your digital transformation.
What digital trends are affecting your industry? How will it affect your business if your competitors take advantage of these opportunities, but you don’t?
2. START IMPLEMENTING YOUR DIGITAL STRATEGY FROM THE EXECUTIVE LEVEL
When digital operations exist in silos, there is little opportunity for digital transformation. Many businesses take this approach, allowing different teams to work on various initiatives with minimal collaboration.
While this method has its merits, an effective strategy must be sponsored and advocated from the top-down.
Without an overarching digital strategy supported from above, it is almost impossible to achieve company-wide digital transformation.
Does your business need help identifying and sponsoring your digital strategy from the executive level?
3. UNDERSTAND AND IDENTIFY THE STRATEGIC AIMS OF YOUR DIGITAL STRATEGY
There are many reasons why businesses pursue a digital strategy: to improve efficiency, to keep up with industry trends, or even just because it’s “hip”. However, at the most basic level, your digital strategy should have just two essential missions:
- To get more of your products and services into the hands of your customers.
- To grow your market share and establish your business as an industry leader.
Unless your digital strategy is achieving these two objectives, it is a waste of time and energy.
Does your digital strategy have the right strategic aims and are you accurately measuring outcomes?
4. PERFORM AN HONEST EVALUATION OF YOUR CURRENT DIGITAL CAPABILITIES
Evaluate your current digital capabilities and determine if they are sufficient to meet your short and long-term goals. Even if your goals seem unachievable with your existing resources, there may be opportunities to scale your in-house capabilities or augment them with outside talent.
Once you’ve evaluated and compared your capabilities to your goals, you can set a realistic plan in place to build your team, expand your capacity, and start implementing a digital strategy that will outclass your competition.
5. ALIGN YOUR DIGITAL STRATEGY WITH YOUR BUSINESS OBJECTIVES
Simply having a defined digital strategy is a major accomplishment, but for it to be useful, you must promote it. Demote the execution of your digital strategy to a “by the way” issue will ensure painful failure.
Instead, you must make sure your roadmap is understandable for all employees, and demonstrate how it aligns with your global business objectives.
Your colleagues may think they are too busy fighting daily fires to focus on digital transformation, so publicly show how your digital strategy will help them achieve their long-term business objectives.
6. A SUCCESSFUL DIGITAL STRATEGY WILL SOLVE USER PROBLEMS
Users will be the definitive judge of how well you have defined and implemented your strategy. User expectations and needs should be a key driver of any digital initiatives, and their responses to changes should act as a barometer for your digital success.
Is your current strategy delivering solutions to common user problems?
7. FOCUS ON IMPROVEMENTS THAT WILL DRIVE BUSINESS OBJECTIVES
Just because you can improve something does not mean you should. Before applying resources to ask yourself and your team:
Will this move us dramatically closer to meeting our objectives?
Focus your efforts on high-return improvements that will move you closer to becoming best-in-class. Continuously evaluate your roadmap and verify you aren’t investing resources in diminishing returns.
Is your current digital strategy delivering significant improvements in critical areas?
8. DEFINE DELIVERABLES – OR RISK MISSING TARGETS
Implementing your Digital Strategy requires an appropriate blend of people, platforms, processes, and experiences. To bring all these resources together and achieve a successful completion you need much more than just a strategy – you need a roadmap.
Define in your strategy and roadmap the items that must be produced, changed or eliminated to execute it efficiently. By assigning priorities and making it undeniably clear who is responsible for each deliverable you significantly improve the likelihood of a successful project.
9. BE REALISTIC
Balance the complexity of your projects to suit your strategy, roadmap, and the impact you want to have on your customer’s experience. In many cases, smaller tweaks can deliver the most significant changes, particularly in the case of UX. Start by asking “what needs to be fixed today?”
Sometimes the biggest game-changers will take time and significant investment. Instead of trying to achieve everything at once, establish a clear list of priorities and put a realistic roadmap in place. This way you can ensure your project stays on course.
Are unrealistic targets pushing your blueprint off course?
10. EXECUTE, EVALUATE, AND REPEAT
Prioritizing, sequencing, and performing your activities are the most critical parts of any digital strategy. As you implement each item on the blueprint, measure the results against your business objectives.
By honestly evaluating the implementation, you may find that your roadmap needs tweaking – this is normal. Make your adjustments, and keep moving. A holistic view of the process will prevent project clash, unrest and a loss of confidence in the strategy.
A comprehensive blueprint will ensure
your digital transformation is both timely and effective.