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While digital transformation remains a big buzzword, it's been reported that more companies fail at digital transformation than succeed. So what would you say is the first sign that a company's digital transformation initiative is bound for failure?
Dr Alexander Samarin Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
They organise a Digital Transformation department. Remembering QM.

Thanks,
AS
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BTW the Russian government just created a digital ministry.
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kritika pandey Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
The First Sign That a Digital Transformation Initiative Is Bound to Fail is Lack of consensus on what digital transformation means. Lack of a clear transformation strategy was cited by 35 percent of executives as a key barrier to achieving its full digital potential, according to Wipro Digital.

I wrote two articles on Digital Transformation. I think that can help the audience to clarify the signs, trends and other questions related to digital transformation.
References
  1. https://www.softwaresuggest.com/blog/digital-transformation-five-ws-need-know/
  2. https://www.softwaresuggest.com/blog/trends-digital-transformation-2018
Kritika Pandey (Software Analyst)
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Bogdan Nafornita Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
When the decision makers' only criterion is implementation cost.

This means they are unable to employ any kind of imagination on other potential benefits of digitalization. So they will never be able to reap the benefits from their digital future.
CEO, Co-founder, profluo.com
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Max Young Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Blog Writer
It's being led by technology and business doesn't (at least) control the purse strings.
References
  1. http://www.capbpm.com
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Stuart Chandler Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Blog Writer
There are host of tell tale signs but very quickly, when there is no Sr Exec support in making the difficult and key operational "change" decisions then the program is in troubled waters and probably starring down failure. Digital transformation is a challenge and cuts across the organization thus Sr Exec governance and decision making is imperative. Without that- funding, conflict resolution, strategic alignment etc which are all key underpinnings don't exist to erect the digital house.
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Jose Camacho Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Unfortunately, many companies are investing millions in digital transformation, forgetting the most important aspect, the business transformation.

To obtain the potential benefits of the digital age, it is not enough to automate what exists, it is necessary to rethink business strategies, what new advantages can be offered to customers, what business process changes are required to reach the new objectives, and just after that, starts a process of transformation with the security that each new process implemented brings the expected benefits.

Starts the digitizing process without a solid relationship with the required business transformation, is a shot in the dark that you trigger but you never know when should stop, probably lead you to spend more and more until dead.
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Ian Gotts Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
It is incredibly difficult to change the culture and direction of a large organization. Digital transformation is probably the hardest as it challenges the business models that underpin the entire company.

Therefore the threat needs to be SO HUGE that everyone from the very top sees the "burning platform". History is littered with examples where the threat was SO obvious yet ignored: Blockbuster, Toys'r'us, Kodak etc

Here are top 10 with some fascinating insights
https://www.collectivecampus.com.au/blog/10-companies-that-were-too-slow-to-respond-to-change
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Emiel Kelly Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
When customers still don't like your services and products after implementing alle the hipster digital stuff.
Sharing my adventures in Process World via Procesje.nl
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Sounds like the LAST sign.
@alexander I think you are right about that. Translating it to a first sign could be something like terating Digital hipster things as the next important gadget without some analysis of what problems it solves.
  1. Emiel Kelly
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John Morris Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Statistic from Geoffrey ( "Mr. Chasm" ) Moore -- a real and successful transformation in a Fortune 1000 company happens once in 10 years! Yikes!

Recall that "business transformation" means "disruption" and "new business model". And because (as it pointed out above in earlier comments) business transformation is so difficult, corporates make multiple "bets" on potential transformation candidates. Thus the phenomenon of corporate-sponsored incubators. Business transformation of any kind (likely but not necessarily digitally-based) requires new corporate governance. Because that's the only way to escape the gravity of existing business model metrics. Good intentions and exciting ideas are no match for quarterly targets.

So what's a clue that this transformation process might fail? Failure to acknowledge that disruptive transformation, a new business model, will only work as a separate entity.

See Mr. Moore's excellent "Zone To Win" for a great short read on sustaining versus disruptive innovation (Chalk Talk On Zone To Win). In Mr. Moore's "chalk talk" he references Clayton Christensen at the very beginning. Christensen's original Innovator's Dilemma is very much based around the idea that disruptive transformation dies in the prison of existing business models and commitments.

Once you've carved out a separate transformation business entity as host for your disruptive idea, how can you further add to the probability of transformation success? One that is almost inevitably "digital"? Master business #process and business #rules and their associated technologies, especially #BPM! Business is about work and BPM software technology is the technology of the work of business.
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"will only work as a separate entity" - sure, BPM is indispensable for this because it will force you to create a new version of process template.
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Karl Walter Keirstead Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
First (visible) sign(s) that a digital transformation initiative is bound to fail is "extensions to time estimates, cost estimates and scope creep".

All are inter-related so we cannot pick any one.

This does not necessarily mean the organization has poor project management/poor project managers.

Going faster, reducing costs and locking down the scope is of no benefit if the initial architecture is inadequate.

This may not be discoverable until the organization finds that

1) it is having difficulty onboarding staff, customers, suppliers,
2) the system is not increasing competitive advantage.

The penalties for bad architecture (personal data disclosure on other than a need-to-know basis) are about to go thru the roof starting May 25th 2018 with the EU's GDPR legislation.

GDPR impacts the headquarters of any organization doing business in any one or more of the EU states.

Exceptions are organizations that do not collect, store, share information on natural persons.
References
  1. https://kwkeirstead.wordpress.com
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Sounds like as a universal first sign of a failure.
@Alexander. . . Agree and maybe that tells us that most initiatives anyone undertakes in any industry have common fail sources (time, money, bad scope/scope creep).

Planning is important " . . . the design of a desired future and of effective ways of bringing it about" (Russell Ackoff, A concept of corporate planning (1970).

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Kevin Beddingfield Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
I must echo the corporate governance/senior executive support is absolutely necessary for any type of digital transformation. In fact, it should probably be multiple senior executive support. Heads of all major areas have to be in agreement on how things should be implemented and done. Without having that very important ingredient, things are bound to fail. You can't rely on supervisor level folks to implement something as big as digital transformation.

The next big warning would be how complicated they make the first dip into the digital pool. Trying to do TOO much right at the start can sink a project, especially one as significant as digitizing content and processes. Set the foundation first of transforming your content, let that sit and let people get used to going to a digital repository to see documents. Then start implementing process improvement that implements the digital content. Happy Paths are called that for a reason, so start with all of those. I can't tell you how many times I've been involved in a project where it came to a grinding halt because someone sat there and expounded a "What if" scenario that may happen once a year, if at all.

Keep it simple. It's easier to add knots to a piece of string than it is to remove them.
Managing Director
ClearCadence, LLC
http://www.clearcadence.com
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Kay Winkler Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
I would go back to the very definition of the Digital Transformation term itself and apply the old-school, triple PM restriction around it, as indicators for success (and failures): time, budget, scope/quality compliance.
In that sense, I would stress the scope variable in particular - the "transformation" in DT would requiere that the bespoke scope has to show a significant and clearly measurable difference compared to how the engaged company has conducted business before. The most crucial point for that measurement, I think, circling back to the world of BPM, should be the "transformative" new and added value to the customer (internal and external, but preferably external ;)) as a product of a substantially enhanced and innovative, end-end business process. Following that train of thoughts, a DT project would be bound to fail, if the scope is either not defined as a measurable and transformative result or such results are not being achieved, post implementation.
If a project is not destined to achieve such transformative impacts, it just shouldn't be classified as DT. It wouldn't make it less important - just of another category. Also, statistically speaking, a DT initiative, is likely to be more an outlier for most companies then the new MO.
NSI Soluciones - ABPMP PTY
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David Chassels Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Just a few thoughts on why failure likely
Becomes an IT driven project....
Failure to recognise the need to have the UI seamlessly linked to back office process support
Failure to deliver within weeks first prototype to allow users interactions for feed back
Failure to recognise BPM thinking can help enhance transparency and accelerate delivery
Failure to recognise digital is a dynamic environment which requires support for change even during build
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Boris Zinchenko Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Most important indicator of failure in any business initiative is an absent plan or undefined implementation process, in other words, absent business model of the expected change. It is especially relevant to digital transformation due to its complexity and wide implications on the whole business structure.

The typical schema of transformation is more or less similar in most organizations. It goes through standard procurement of RFI, RFP, RFQ, POC, etc. Due to common recognition of this procedure, it is generally protective from bureaucratic viewpoint to safeguard decision makers against risks and responsibility on failures. However, it entirely omits most essential questions on how business will evolve during the transformation, how efficiency and revenue potential will change.

Usually, a company decides for a solution already implemented in another reputable company with plausible results. It might imply a reliable low risk implementation. Much too often, all "transformation plan" boils down to the choice of relevant vendors in a hope that they will magically do the rest. However, it will never deliver a competitive edge against what others already have.

To achieve strategic advantage an organization should grow over minimal procurement paradigm and create its own business model, which uniquely describes its business, required changes and the way, in which they should be done. Then, the transformation should run in strict compliance with this BPM concept and strategic vision of corporate identity. Only such systematic approach can ensure evolutionary transformation of the business while keeping corporate values and creative culture.
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