According to research from Plutora, 70% of digital transformations fail to reach their goals. The reason for this astronomical digital transformation failure rate has been attributed to everything from complexity to poor organizational structure.
While the journey is different for every organization, there are some critical activities that both leaders and their teams must be engaged in, ideally, at the start of the project to ensure that you’re on the right track.
In this post, we introduce three activities that you can implement today to ensure your organization doesn’t fail at the agile transformation. Here’s our summarized video with the main points. You can also read a more detailed version below.
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Vision And Charter
Like any successful initiative, all participants must be aligned on the vision and goals. The vision has to go beyond “we are going to be agile so we can save money and increase time to market”. It has to inspire and tie directly in with the business goals and objectives. Unlike other initiatives, this cannot be created in a board room with top executives and leaders only. For agile to be successful, goals and charter require input from the people that will do the work. It’s an excellent opportunity to leverage the “whole-team” approach of development. The leadership team should identify individual contributors with influence and understanding of the current organizational climate. Remember change is difficult, so factor empathy into your goals and the charter to reduce anxiety, gain support, and ultimately build trust across the organization.
ASSESS YOUR ORGANIZATION
Invest in assessing the gaps between vision and reality. A good assessment will contain qualitative and quantitative baseline measures of your organization’s enterprise agility and maturity. Because culture will be the core challenge, it’s essential to interview teams, understand their concerns, and identify the misalignment with the existing corporate culture. Gaining a third-party assessment gives the team a channel to provide transformation feedback without the risk of retaliation, which inevitably builds a stronger, unbiased snapshot and gap analysis. This is key to digital transformation success.
Empower champions at every level and ensure they are supported by external resources to make them successful (training, coaches, time, and expertise). Making changes will be a cultural shift that will require emotional and technical support. Champions will be faced with challenges that will require coaches and consultants with experience in similar situations. They will need a clear understanding of their roles and also help the rest of the organization understand how their roles and responsibilities will change. Training will help teams understand and prepare for the changes in pace, experimentation, iterative value, and collaboration.