“Digital” Transformation

transformationMany folks are talking about the ‘digital’ transformation that is happening across many industries and businesses today.  These folks mention digital transformation as if its something new or different than any other transformation project that companies have had to undergo through their lifetimes.

Last week I read a post titled “Why most digital transformation projects will fail (and how to make sure yours doesn’t)” written by Martin Gill, VP and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research.   Martin provides a very good overview of why he believes most digital transformations will fail (and I agree wholeheartedly with everything he writes).

The interesting thing about Martin’s article is that he doesn’t focus on the ‘digital’ aspect of the transformation. This is significant because transformation isn’t really anything new. Companies have had to transform their business models or they’ve died.  Digital transformation is nothing special olr new…its just another change that companies have to undergo to remain competitive.

They key for ensuring a successful transformation of any kind is proper change management. Whether that transformation is a digital transformation or the ‘next’ transformation to come along, if you can’t implement a well managed and properly planned change management project, your transformation project will fail.

At the end of his article, Martin gives his advice for ensuring your digital transformation project succeeds. He writes:

The way organizations have been planning and managing large-scale change is no longer fit for purpose.

We need a new approach. An iterative, customer-centric, and agile approach. One in which your digital strategy is engaging, easily consumable by all your key stakeholders, compelling, and, above all, responsive to the inevitable change we all face.

Notice that he leads off by stating that the key priority for ensuring success is a quality change management approach.  He doesn’t talk about getting buy-in for ‘digital’ or some other topic…he talks about the importance of change management.

If you want to ensure your digital transformation project (or any other transformation project) succeeds, make sure you have a good idea in how to enact change within your organization. Without proper change management, any transformation you undertake is doomed to failure.

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