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Many companies today are struggling with digital transformation, so what would you say are the key skills that businesses need to achieve it?
Craig Willis Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Our customers and partners are telling us there aren't enough Business Analysts, Business with a capital B. People that really understand the impact on the organisation and not just the technology. So in terms of skills, proper Business Analysis, Organisation Design and Change Management.
Co-founder of Skore
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Absolutely no shortage here in America - lots of retiring CEO baby boomers
  1. Karl Walter Keirstead
  2. 1 month ago
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Juan J Moreno Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
I definitely agree with Craig. But I would add that soft-skills are notably needed (and sometimes forgotten) in any Digital Transformation initiative.
Just a few examples:


  • empathy: for change management from a human perspective, considering change = fear
  • communication: to understand, explain, and convince about the need for the change
  • confidence: to transmit and convince that the path is hard in the short term, but the improvements will be real in the long run.
  • etc, etc: ;)

Best!
CEO at Flokzu Cloud BPM Suite
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Karl Walter Keirstead Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Strategic planning, ROI submission assessment, Change Management, Systems Integration, Software Acquisition Options (custom internal development of a Run Time workflow/workload management platform being a last resort with very high failure rates), Project Management (in that order)

DT is highly disruptive, a major reason for failure is the organization assumes it has all of these resources/skills internally. Most do not.

A few days of upfront consulting with a business strategy consultant can avoid false starts - unfortunately, many organizations bring in buy-low-sell-high consultants or do not follow good advice by been-there-done-that consultants.
References
  1. http://www.kwkeirstead.wordpress.com
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The importance of Change Management is often downplayed - we know people resist change but the level of resistance goes down exponentially if the Change Manager can show staff that transitioning to a new system makes their work easier as opposed to more difficult.

e.g. Police Departments going from 'off-line' orchestration/governance, to 'on-line', then to 'in-line'.

'In-line' is the maturity level to strive for but not if this means expecting members to fill in an e-form that is identical to the five-part paper forms they have worked with for, in some cases, 30 years.

A reasonable transition sees members checking off e-checklists at smartphones/tablets (to avoid errors and omissions and improve real-time decision-making) and continuing to use or slowly transitioning from paper forms to e-forms.
  1. Karl Walter Keirstead
  2. 1 month ago
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Caspar Jans Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
I'm with Craig Willis and Juan J Moreno on this one.

The "transformation" part dictates the skill set that is needed to successfully perform a transformation and not the "digital", or even "Business" for that matter. The reason why I believe so is that the skills needed to do a transformation are much more located on the soft side and are innate traits of people. Yes, for sure, you can "learn" to be more empathic, but it will feel fake to the receiving party if it is not congruent with the real character of the person displaying the empathy. The digital part (and to a lesser extent also the business part) are learnable skills, you can teach server integration, you can teach inventory management and when this is mixed with experience, that part will be covered.

So, to my opinion, communication skills, empathy, change management skills (persuasion skills that is, how to convince people) are crucial and very often forgotten skills in the project team for transformations, regardless if they are digital, IT or business transformations.
BPM is all about mindset first and toolset later....much later
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Dr Alexander Samarin Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Firstly, we have to agree on what is DT. Again, DT of an enterprise is about making the enterprise as a digital system.

Secondly, one can’t make a digital system without serious architectural works because everything must be exact, reliable, trustworthiness, etc.

Thirdly, Is there an architect on board?

Thanks,
AS
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Architect on board? Not in the case of most organizations.
  1. Karl Walter Keirstead
  2. 1 month ago
This explains the question about skills which are need for DT.
  1. Dr Alexander Samarin
  2. 1 month ago
But the supporting software should incorporate an architecture which allows orchestration of data exactly as required thus removing need to have an architect other than sorting out the mess of legacy.....
  1. David Chassels
  2. 1 month ago
To reach "orchestration of data exactly as required"? Who is going to find this "required"? Everyone? Each in his/her different way? With proper security and privacy?
  1. Dr Alexander Samarin
  2. 1 month ago
Seems to me architecture needs to come first (i.e. foundation, pillars) - next we have software that manages workload (tasks)

Part of this management comes from orchestration and the orchestration is of the tasks (i.e. the best practice says we need to do this, and then we need to do that) - orchestration comes from background BPM templates (i.e. compiled process maps, rolled out to a run time workflow-workload platform).

Rules modify the workflow, data modifies the workflow, users modify the workflow , supervisors modify task loading across Cases and across users.
  1. Karl Walter Keirstead
  2. 1 month ago
Alexander Yes collated by business analysts who build direct from that input. Coding only required for complex manipulation of data such as algorithms...all business logic pre-coded just needs configured in graphical interface.

Karl Yes the architecture vital indeed was the key we discovered that opened the door to removal of need to code and incorporates tasks, rules, workflow etc all "data driven"....

  1. David Chassels
  2. 1 month ago
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Emiel Kelly Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
None of the above hipster skills. It's just Cobol and Fortran.
Sharing my adventures in Process World via Procesje.nl
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David Chassels Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Agree with Casper "communication skills, empathy, change management skills (persuasion skills that is, how to convince people) are crucial". Sadly the tag "digital" again too easily used by the uninformed "bosses" and compounded by the lack of real research on just "how" supporting software can readily support such practical skills to deliver next generation adaptive applications....led by business knowledge not IT!
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Kay Winkler Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Lumping together trending technologies and solutions such as RPA, (especially) BPM, Business Rules Engines, AI, IoT based apps and so forth, for the what might constitute Digital Transformation (DT), I would recommend a sound baseline understanding of said technologies themselves in addition to a strong working knowledge of data management, analysis, BI and statistics.
I believe that the common driver for innovative business solutions that have a potential of transformative impacts, is data analysis. While technical skill-sets are needed to effectively implement digital solutions, there is a noticeable current towards increasingly intuitive usage scenarios, democratizing to some degree the access and utilization of modern applications and platforms. That in turn establishes a more even playing field where competitive advantages can be reached through innovations stemming from a thorough grasp on given data patterns and predictive analysis, rather than the fact of just having showed up (having implemented a hyped technology, so to say).
NSI Soluciones - ABPMP PTY
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OK - No argument with data/predictives, but competitive advantage starts with knowledge, information, experience, intuition, a corporations's resources inventory, good use of said resources and a culture that embraces both outside-in and inside-out.

If top management is not too busy playing golf, there will be various defined strategic objectives, some invented by top management, some by operations (important to have both top-down and bottom-up).

The challenge for ops is to prepare and submit ROI requests that contribute to strategic objectives. i.e. digital transformation, data consolidation/analysis/predictives.

My observation across all clients is they are not solid with methods like RBV (Resource-Based View) - the selling proposition here is "you cannot manage what you cannot see". This gets heads to bobble, but stakeholders often revert to old ways soon as you go out the door.

I like to remind clients of the value of addressing 'known knowns', 'known unknowns', 'unknown knowns' and 'unknown unknowns' (Donald Rumsfeld). Heads usually tilt at this point, with little lasting value.

Yogi Berra could have invented a good definition of competitive advantage - " It's something you have, until you no longer have it".
  1. Karl Walter Keirstead
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Boris Zinchenko Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
The crucial skill needed for a digital transformation of business is the skill to transform business architecture. Surprisingly, most experts in digital transformation are fluent in digital aspects of their favorite platforms but cannot clearly explain and foresee its impact on business as a whole.

Too often digital transformation boils down to just implementation of certain digital platform or software titles. But software alone does not give any transformation as such. Vast majority of software solutions does not take care about peaceful coexistence and interaction with other similar solutions. Instead the goal is, as a rule, to eliminate competition. It often creates toxic and artificial alloys of randomly picked and poorly interoperable titles in IT landscape and business as a whole.

This explains ever growing demand of enterprises for universal business transformation technologies and skills capable to deliver smooth integration and evolution of existing business practice into digitally empowered and improved organization through efficient cooperation of workers and information technology into modern well managed business.

To succeed on this way, digital transformation must rely on architecture of business change. Carefully capture as-is processes, find a potential where digital components can improve these processes, draw expected to-be processes, estimate potential ROI and risks. These elementary BPM skills are too often absent or neglected, which leads to high rate of failures in transforming a business.
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