Salesh Aswani

In the context of a ‘Digital Transformation’ project, success depends not only on the type of technology being implemented. It is how three factors – People, Processes, and Technology -intersect to achieve the strategic goal.

One aspect of digital transformation that is mostly overlooked is the People aspect. People within an organization drive the culture and also by extension, the Digital Transformation projects undertaken. For any Digital Transformation project to be successful there are a few prerequisites to be achieved by the initiator or someone who leads such a project:

1) Complete buy-in from the C-Suite .

2) Ownership of the project should be with a team that can most influence direction. Usually this will be a team:

  • Whose leader reports directly to the CEO.
  • That is a profit center.

These two points are imperative prior to starting a Digital Transformation project. The rest of the points below are critical, but lower priority for determining a successful outcome.

3) The team should be composed of people who understand the organization’s end-to-end value chain, and can see with lucidity both sub-tasks as well as the big picture.

4) Strategic objectives to be achieved must be clearly defined:

  • Quantified, forecasted Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) as they provide a baseline against which delivered results can be measured.

5) Scope of the project should be agreed up front, and controlled at all costs during implementation. In the event that scope has to be scaled back, it should be done in order to ensure delivery of a quality project.

6) Technology and the technical team or vendor who will partner on the project have to be selected based on:

  • Size of the organization.
  • Culture fit between organization and partner.
  • Cost threshold (including the highest authority that provides approval for each level of costs).
  • Internal organization skills of assets, specifically people involved in the project.

As you can infer from the aforementioned points, these cover three elements of a Digital Transformation project i.e. People, Process, and Technology in the hierarchy of importance, with the People aspect rising above all others.

In closing it is the people – and by extension, the organizational culture – that will ultimately determine the level of success achieved, as well as perception of success by the organization.