These days it is hard to pick up an industry journey or business publication without seeing the term ‘Digital Transformation’ (AKA Dx). The basic premise of Digital Transformation is the adoption of digital technology by businesses to transform, streamline and improve services, workflow and business processes. These initiatives involve a systematic review of non-digital or manual processes to replace these inefficiencies with digital processes and might include replacing out-of-date technologies with new, more effective digital technologies.
“These new technologies and processes must be an integral part of the work and must amend or replace the more manual tasks and convoluted workflow with improvements that every user can recognize and appreciate.“
For most businesses, the focus of these projects is on the structure, architecture and technology transformation. But, in order to succeed, this type of initiative must include engagement with business users and team members and, as with any type of change, getting your team members to adopt new tools and technologies and new ways of working can be a challenge.
When it comes to Digital Transformation, business user and team member concerns typically fall into three categories. In this article, we discuss those three user concerns and how the business might mitigate concerns and achieve cooperation in the ranks.
Here are three user and team concerns that can (and will) throw a roadblock in your Dx path, if they are not addressed in the project plan:
Difficulty – Start talking about new technology, augmented analytics, the automation of processes and the use of data to make decisions, and your team will run for the hills. Why? Usually because they are afraid the solutions and techniques will be too difficult for them to learn or will take too much time to use. Remember, they are used to doing things the ‘old fashioned’ way and these new tools will seem foreign and unfamiliar to them at first. You can address these concerns in a number of ways. First, be sure you DO choose tools and technologies that are easy enough for your business users to embrace and adopt. Secondly, provide a transition period so that they are not under pressure to do it all the new way on the first day. BUT, give them a deadline and then disconnect any old software or solutions by a certain date so they are not tempted to use the old technology as a crutch. Finally, provide easy access to support among the ranks. Do not make them wait days for an IT staff member to come and help them. Train an advance team of champions who work on the same teams and in the same departments. Choose people who have a reputation as a leader and are already good at technology AND have the patience and availability required.
Distraction – When faced with this type of change and transformation, team members often fear that they will spend so much time learning, using and collaborating with these new tools and processes, that they will not be able to get their core work done on time. They know they are expected to fulfill obligations and achieve goals and objectives in order to succeed in their position and they are probably already overwhelmed with too much work. New technologies and processes MUST not be a distraction or a separate path that takes the business user away from their important tasks. These new technologies and processes must be an integral part of the work and must amend or replace the more manual tasks and convoluted workflow with improvements that every user can recognize and appreciate. Businesses should never ask their team members to take their eye off the ball in order to accommodate a new concept or idea. These new concepts should always be perceptibly better and immediately communicate value to the team member and the organization.
Diminishing Returns – Remember that your team members are human beings and they are motivated to do a good job but they will also expect to see the rewards and the benefits for their own career. If they perceive the addition or replacement of technology, or the changes in workflow and expectations for collaboration and data integration and dissemination as a goal that will fade or as a responsibility that will create more work but not result in value to their career, they will not be anxious to adopt the new tools or processes. If, on the other hand, the team members understand the value to them and to the organization and the team and individual evaluations set expectations for embracing these new processes and tools, the team member will see the benefit in career opportunities and evaluations.
“..in order to succeed, this type of initiative must include engagement with business users and team members…’
If your business wishes to succeed with its Digital Transformation initiative, it must adequately and honestly address the concerns of its business users and team members and ensure that they receive the support they need. If you want to build a comprehensive foundation within your own organization, start here to explore our Digital Transformation Support Services, and our Offshore Software Development opportunities. Read our Digital Transformation White Paper to discover the fundamental importance of and path to Digital Transformation.