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  • Writer's pictureOliver Nowak

Creating a Digital Transformation Battle Plan

Assess Digital Readiness

  • Business Impact

  • Change Readiness

For a business to digitally transform it relies on three components: culture, technology, and process - in that order.

Throwing money at technology solutions does not achieve transformation if the people of that organisation aren’t bought in. So, the first step in any digital transformation has to be people-led. Are the people ready?

Next, the road to transformation is long and complex, and it needs to be built on strong foundations. A good understanding of the current technology estate is critical because the rest of the processes and workflows will be built directly on


Then finally the critical transformation begins when we start to look at process. Where is our data flowing from? How is it brought together? Which manual processes can be automated? What can be consolidated, standardised, or removed entirely?

Only once this has been understood can a clear conclusion be drawn on how a digital transformation will impact the business and the scale of change it is ready for.

Set Focus Areas

  • Which business models and processes are you going to focus on?

  • Create a digital transformation strategy?

Based on the scale of transformation that the business can cope with, you can start defining how your as-is state differs from your intended-to-be state. What business models are going to be affected and how can the processes involved be redefined?

From here a strategy can begin to be formulated. What will that intended-to-be vision of the future look like? Why are you going about change? Why now, why here?

Assess & Prioritise

  • Create business cases that calculate benefits, ROI, and total cost of ownership

  • Select the Big Wins & Low hanging fruit that is going to get buy-in to your digital strategy

Once your focus areas have been selected, you want to start to focus on your how. What projects are going to gain the largest buy-in to your strategy from the word go? It is important to keep your most powerful transformation asset in mind, your people. Creating business cases that analyse and evaluate the benefits to your employees and the way they work, the expected return on investment and the total cost of ownership post go-live will help you prioritise.

Create a Roadmap

  • How does the technology strategy link back to the business objectives?

  • What does the journey to digitisation look like?

As you detail your digital future and how you’re going to get there, it is important to link this back to the overall future of the business. Is your strategy helping achieve the business’ core objectives?

But not only that, how can we create a digital roadmap that informs and even sets the wider business objectives of the future.

Refine your Programme using Design Thinking

  • Does it meet customers’ needs?

  • How are we tracking relative to expectations?

As you advance through your digital transformation strategy it’s important to refine it using Design Thinking. This is the iterative process of seeking to understand more and redefine a problem to come up with alternative solutions as you learn more than was apparent with your initial perspective. Again, it’s a people approach. It’s all about learning more about the people you are transforming your processes for. Is it as beneficial as you estimated going in? Is adoption tracking the way you expected? Is it changing the way your people are working for the better?

Employee feedback will be essential during this phase. Success will hinge on the lines of communication you’ve got between your end-users and your strategic decision makers.

Governance of Digital Transformation Programme

  • Executive Engagement

  • Regular Value Realisation studies against the baseline

  • An eye for continuous innovation

Executive engagement is going to be key to providing that all important seal of approval for your digital transformation programme. But over and above that, they are the ones that steer the strategic objectives of the business as a whole and the better incorporated digital can be in this, the more successful the programme is going to be.

In addition to that, it’s essential to maintain disciplined governance of your digital transformation programme to ensure it stays on track relative to expectations. What we commonly do to support customers in this space is run a Business Value Assessment which produces expected benefits and ROI, among others. This serves as a baseline that allows us to run 6-monthly Business Realisation Studies to see how progress is tracking against expectations.

As discussed above and worth repeating, the most successful businesses develop a Design Thinking Mentality. It’s important to iterate the development of your programme, is there more you know now than you did when the programme was initially setup? Have other areas for innovation opened up that could see you advance even further above the benefit estimates from the original Business Value Assessment?

All in all, this is not a hard and fast definition of success for a digital transformation programme. But this is a formula that we have seen succeed many times. Those that follow these steps give themselves the best chance for success. As a trusted Advisor within the digital transformation space, we would be more than happy to discuss with you how we can support you in the creation and development of your digital transformation programme. If you would be interested in learning more, please get in touch with us at or reach out to me personally at

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