By Mats Ouborg & Bas van Gils
Many organizations start their digital transformation without looking at their organizational strategy first. But what if you encounter halfway your digital transformation that your initial company’s strategy is not sufficient in a digital environment? Do you go back in redefining your strategy? And what does that mean for your digital transformation process that was already in place?
There is a big premium on going from strategy to realization in an effective manner. In our view, the main objective for digital transformation approaches is to realize the digital dreams of the organization. In the previous blog we introduced our vision on this playing field, which we have dubbed “STEP” (Strategy To Empower People). In this posting we pick up the story and zoom in on Strategy Alliance’s REALIZE approach for digital transformation.
The topic of digital transformation has been widely discussed in literature (e.g. Gouillart and Kelly, Rouse, and many others). Many definitions have been proposed. We have studied these definitions and boiled it down to the following: the coordinated effort to change the architecture of the enterprise, with a fundamental and sustainable impact on its digital capabilities and resources. Key aspects of this definition are as follows:
- The word “coordinated” suggests a people-first approach: leaders and professionals in an enterprise should collaborate to shape and execute a transformation
- The word “architecture” suggests that we have an impact on the fundamental organization of the enterprise
- The word “sustainable impact” suggests that we go beyond a paper exercise. The point is to have lasting results that will help the organization to be successful.
There are many disciplines that play a role in successful transformation efforts, such as program management, architecture, change management etcetera. A careful study of these disciplines shows that there is a lot of overlap in activities and deliverables. We have synthesized these into our REALIZE approach which is in the diagram.
In a series of upcoming blogs, we will discuss each of the areas of the REALIZE approach. For purposes of this posting, it suffices to point out the following:
- The blue “loop” in the background suggests that the approach is iterative and incremental. A first pass would give a big picture view of what we’re trying to achieve through a transformation approach, whereas subsequent passes refine and realize value
- Rather than jumping from ideas and strategies to a change portfolio, we introduce intermediate steps to a) make and visualize key decision that will guide the work on b) defining the architecture for the solution in more detail
So what makes this approach different? What are the key benefits of using the REALIZE approach for your transformation initiative?
- REALIZE reduces time to transform and is therefore a fast approach in realizing your digital dreams. This result is reached by the agile nature of REALIZE, using the 80/20 rule.
- REALIZE is highly intuitive and highly flexible because it allows to plug in your favorite techniques and allows for a adjustable pace of loops (one slow loop, or many fast loops).
- REALIZE satisfies high buy-in due to its collaborative nature using a co-creation process.
- REALIZE guarantees better decision making and reduces political power play because it follows a rational approach and uses principled thinking.
These four factors have been proven in number of practical cases in financial, governmental and automotive industries.
Are you interested in how your digital transformation process can be sped up? Or how our REALIZE approach could be of assistance to your organization? Please let us know! We are always willing to help you improve realizing your digital dreams!