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With the failures from digital transformation piling up, would you say digital transformation is just too great of a leap for most companies?
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Any leap is too great only if your feet are too small for it.
Any transformation is challenging if your resources are not up for it.

And this tends to be the case with most companies - they almost always underestimate the resources needed. A gap will always be there.

The smaller the project, the smaller the gap, the greater the chance this will be mitigated by the resources at hand.

So a successful transformation must be broken down in small, coherent, bits and pieces. Delivered patiently and continuously.
CEO, Co-founder, Profluo
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  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 1
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No! the problem is the vision, approach and lack of discipline attacking it. What is digital transformation? moving to a digital platform internally and externally? yes but the degree of the platform and technology leverage varies. Every industry is different within its journey to live in the digital world or better yet getting to it. Even the definition of the new digital organization varies from industry to industry. Consequently, to do digital transformation, do you have to turn the whole company upside down? yes, maybe and no. Where there is a mismatch of what is digital transformation, what is the market calling for (to compete) and how the journey (execution) unfolds for a respective organization becomes the 'leap' that is too big. Digital transformation is a big and complex rubik's cube that requires vision, discipline to execute fast, and reach the necessary outcomes.
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  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 2
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Many senior company representatives do not have the idea about Digital Transformation, but they heard something nice about the subject. Consequently, they would like to have in their shops “this new toy”. Without a deep analysis of each business line, interactions between these and a very professional developed plan, any initiative in the area of Digital Transformation it is likely to be a huge failure.

On the other side, professional people who understand that the transformation it is absolutely mandatory in the coming ages of 4th industrial revolution, will put in place long and medium-term roadmaps for Digital Transformation adoption.

In my opinion, any plan shall include aside the enterprise and business architecture, all blueprints for the company business processes. This will help in defining specific area where the digital transformation may be adopted immediately or in a specific time frame.

Digital Transformation is irreversible. Companies should start thinking about building roadmap immediately as is not yet late.
Two or three years from now on, may be too late.
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  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 3
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Most organizations do not have methods/working tools to take on and properly manage large-scale projects.

Not sure why this is so - the approach that works is not complicated, but it is complex.

0. research needed methods/tools (RBV is a good place to start)

1. inventory infrastructure/resources
2. from a list of proposed scoped initiatives, rank them, select a few, invite and accept/reject proposals, allocate resources, fund and prioritize the short list of initiatives.
3. set up operational controls (CPM is #1 choice here)
4. periodic audits w/adjustments to timelines, scope changes where appropriate, including bailout (i.e.know when to hold/when to fold).

See "The Nature of Strategic Decision-Making"
https://wp.me/pzzpB-TI

See "Unlocking The Secrets To Building and Sustaining Competitive Advantage"
https://wp.me/pzzpB-11P

See "CPM, Anyone?"
https://wp.me/pzzpB-r2
References
  1. http://www.kwkeirstead.wordpress.com
Comment
  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 4
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Digital Transformation definitely involves a lot of components. But, it is very important for companies to slide-n-dice the models that are relevant for the organization/company specifically - than going by the approach - "One Model Fits All".
Defining the high-level state-of-art Digital Transformation Architecture looks very exciting and is very important for the foundation of the platform. But the typical challenges, we come across in the transformation journey are:
▪ The components in the envisaged target state - becomes a product battlefield (doing a trade off between investment vs improvement)
▪ Next the discussions become more product centric - diminishing the role of overarching umbrella architectural component (this is where the initial level of dilution starts)
○ There is nothing wrong in doing a product mapping approach - it is important as a medium to implement. But getting carried away with a compromise is a risk
▪ Next from a developer perspective it becomes an integration play (configuration vs customization)
▪ And as Bogdan, rightly pointed out - getting the right skilled resource who are up for it

In order to deliver a successful transformation the entire Transformation Approach has to be logically broken into consumable pieces (based on the appetite). In addition:
▪ The element and component prioritization along with a robust planning has to be done (considering business priority & technical complexity/feasibility)
▪ The thought process has to be inculcated ground-up from a Developer/coder view-point
▪ The ways-of-working has to be re-defined - as following the same traditional approach does not make a difference than tagging the project with #DT
▪ Proper OCM - Organization Change Management has to be thought through. Usually most of the Digital Transformation Programs are long running, without a proper OCM in place it may go directionless based on any change in the organization alignment (effort redundancy and revisiting every item over-&-again can be avoided). Though non-technical but plays a crucial role in turning a Digital Transformation "Program" to just a Digital Transformation "Project"
Scalability is a KEY element - mostly omitted with the initial urge to deliver success/showcase something for the investment/budget allocated
Patience is an important emotional quotient that acts as a silent killer in DT programs
○ Being Competitive for Faster Go-To-Market is important but understanding roots of the enterprise and logically taking a step is paramount

Lastly, the Digital Transformation should be ideally seen from a business priority, relevance, technology feasibility & resource readiness standpoint stand-point - not through the lens of a specific Product where your boundaries for the program already gets shrinked!
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  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 5
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In order to answer this question, you first have to understand the definition of digital transformation of the person you are discussing it with. There are many people I have spoken with since this term was introduced, who responded yes, my organization has completely digitally transformed to using document imaging and we now image all paper coming in. When I ask about operational processes, there are still many that are manual, where automation could be placed. I have also heard some reference the cost and time as being too large of an effort to take on. Here the perception is that everything must start from scratch and a new information ecosystem built to accommodate complete digital transformation.

My point is, digital transformation is still a term that for many is familiar, yet they really don't understand it. When I start the discussion by using process as a focal point and have them walk through it with me, the meaning becomes clearer because it is placed in their context and not that of a vendor or generalized industry perspective. Stepping through the process we talk about manual steps that still exist, the points in the process where information enters and exits, human interactions with the information, and the applications/systems involved. Additionally, we look for ways to improve that process, reasons why things are done a certain way - regulations, etc. - and the potential to automate that process to a point here human interventions may only be required for exception processing.

In this way, the concept of digital transformation becomes more palatable and the discussion can now incorporate options to move the organization forward, perhaps as a 3 year program consisting of X number of projects. This approach breaks it down into smaller bites that are easier to swallow. It also provides a way for the customer to focus in an area, show results, and get the employee/management population energized.

Of course this is one approach and my view of the world, but I find it quite effective and thought I would share it here. Thank you.
Bob Larrivee
President and Founder
Bob Larrivee Consultancy
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  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 6
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Any problem formulated correctly is 50% simpler. A couple definitions first:
The goal of DT is to (re)build the enterprise as a digital system. Digital system is a system which has business models, life-cycles, business processes designed for the primacy of digital presentation of the primary products and services (and everything to support them). Thus, DT is a plan for rather profound changes.

Then try to slice the rest 50%.

1. Outline your target architecture.

2. Define the transformation plan. (This is the most difficult part)

3. Just execute it and be ready to adjust the target architecture and the transformation plan several times.

4. (specially for Max) Repeat as many times as necessary, e.g. for new technology, new business models, new business processes, new products and services.

https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ocO673beN_I/XGMtpMZQ_NI/AAAAAAAALtk/f98OCS-NphA1b-mb9RYTW7sNSespGkslQCLcBGAs/s1600/v1-920x456.PNG

Thanks,
AS
References
  1. https://improving-bpm-systems.blogspot.com/2017/09/relationships-between-as-is-to-be-and.html
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  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 7
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Part of it surely comes back to the "transformative" aspect of digital tendencies as a synonym for technological improvements. It would be wrong to assume that all businesses will have to transform themselves or their MO, just because of a new tech trend. A true transformation, where the core business (processes?) will be almost unrecognizably different from a given baseline, will most of the times be reserved for companies that either are substantially behind the curve of current tech standards or for the members of other end of the spectrum, the trendsetting innovators of the markets, of which by default only can exist a handful at a time.
Unrealistic expectations, or worse, strategic goals around a fad can then carry the real risk of associated project failures. The usual framework and proven practices of formulating a sound business case, risk analyzes and scenario simulations should help identifying an adequate solution - be it the overall overhaul of an architecture, transitioning from on premises to AWS (for example), automating business processes with BPMS and RPA's or allowing e-invoices through a scalable ECM or any other initiative, technical or none technical, could be valid fits. If these happen to be transformative AND digital in nature, then that's more a catchy sounding side effect than the main driver for engagement.
The focus on market forces and, above all, on competitive advantages through added values for the final customer should prevail when venturing into the lands of DT. That way the "right" goals can be formulated, and progress be measured against. For most companies that progress will be rather iterative than it will be "transformative". That, for instance, holds true also for continued business process improvements.
NSI Soluciones - ABPMP PTY
Comment
@Kay... Agree 100% with ". . . .focus on market forces and, above all, on competitive advantages" is the best approach to DT.

DT is no different from any transformative initiative that a corporation takes on, until you look under the hood.
  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 8
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Unfortunately, to many business leaders Digital Transformation sounds like one of those phrases dreamt up by Accenture or McKinsey as an excuse to lighten your cash burden. They can see the 'digital' changes - they are increasingly in the media - and they understand their business model may come under attack but they need a more tangible subject than something that sounds like it came out of a phrase generator.
At a cocktail function for C-suite types yesterday someone in the group I joined asked what my company does. The word software commands an attention span of 30 seconds but toss in the words robots and automation and everyone was engaged. Attention quickly focused on the CEO of a large law firm as others suggested his business is going to change. He said they had partnered with a technology company to remodel the business from the outside.Nobody used the words Digital Transformation.
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  1. more than a month ago
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Max J. Pucher
Blog Writer
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Funny, just wrote about this for our 2019 OpenHouse: This question translates to a complete misunderstanding what Digital Transformation is. DT as a project is an illusion. It is not a project that a company chooses to start or a goal that a business will pursue. It has nothing to do with architectures that are being targeted (if you actually can 'target an architecture' which is an oxymoron in my mind). Architecture is a conceptual model that is used to direct ones activity. It is not a project plan. There are no and won't be any architectures for Digital Transformation. It is in fact the completely uncontrollable but unavoidable trend of individuals, businesses and governments to continuously employ new technologies that bring with them systemic mandates that those who do not want (or may not be allowed) to be left behind need to get a grip on eventually. You can't transform a business to a DT architecture as no one knows what it will be.

So we need to depart from a purely technology view of DT as it needs a much larger (political) perspective than if businesses can handle it (if they even should) and you will find my position in this blog post. https://isismjpucher.wordpress.com/2019/02/13/are-businesses-capable-of-digital-transformation/
References
  1. https://isismjpucher.wordpress.com/2019/02/13/are-businesses-capable-of-digital-transformation/
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  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 10
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Back in school, we all learned (well, we computer science majors learned) that the way to solve a big problem is to (recursively) break it down into smaller problems. In the place of one, huge, unsolvable problem, you thus find yourself with a large number of simple, solvable ones.

Any kind of business transformation, digital or otherwise, is bound to be decomposable in this manner. Conveniently, DPA/BPM platforms—unlike the enterprise software suites of yore—are extremely well-suited to attacking one problem at a time. With a little care (governance, taxonomy, etc.), those individual solutions can be composed and extended until virtually the entire enterprise can be described as a digital business.

Sadly, there's still a lot of top-down thinking in technology (and business) organizations—a worldview that fits but poorly with the divide-and-conquer strategy that is best suited to transformation.

In short: if you want to change your business, first you need to change your thinking.
Scott

https://www.bplogix.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/BP-Logix-logo-slightly-wider-margins-e1553197721744.png

Scott's opinions only. Logo provided for information only.


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  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 11
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This term "Digital Transformation" is widely recognised but reality of delivery remains the real challenge as many have articulated. Let's look at each aspect first "Transformation" which in any business is not to be taken lightly. It indicates a need to change thinking across an organisation. "Digital" puts the focus on the front end of business (and Government) where people internal and external need to interact with the business to deliver on an outcome. This requires much more than just having a web page it requires orchestration of all required data and supporting functions. This is where big business's fear of yet another expensive IT project with high failure rates has resulted in lack of tangible progress to true Transformation. However smaller business have advantage of not having expensive complex legacy and therefore taking on "DT" is less of a challenge and a huge opportunity?


I picked up interesting commentary on LinkedIn by Dennis Howlett where he comments on ERP moving to the cloud which highlights the serious issue large organisations face
“ERP systems are some of the most complex software ever invented, and reinventing them as cloud native products may be the work of a decade or more. The major ERP vendors have created SaaS versions of their software, but they’re different enough that implementing them is almost always a large project rather than a simple upgrade. And this is contrary to what we're told."
This equally applies to DT as trying to change existing hardcoded inflexible systems is a large risky undertaking and certainly a "big leap"; likely too big?

However as indicated Transformation is about a change in thinking and the reality is that focusing on people support with Digital is a collection of small projects recognising people in reality work and collaborate in relatively small groups allowing to start small. Access to legacy data such as ERP is of course essential but the master orchestration as required including new UIs must be the new Digital systems; This puts ERP as a slave which could possible be freed and retired over time....now that's a Transformational benefit for the future?

As has been discussed in this forum the BPM thinking now supported by software in control of business, not IT, can quickly deliver and recognise the need for inevitable change. Start small and on success roll out across the organisation with all users actively involved in new thinking how to deliver better outcomes which is what Digital Transformation is about.
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  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 12
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Geoffrey ( "Crossing The Chasm" ) Moore's Four Zones calls out transformation as just one of four quadrants of the work of business management. We have a quadrant where it's "business today" (less than a year time horizon, basically operations, stable business model), and other quadrants which have longer time-horizons and imperatives for change. The vast majority of revenue and management time is focused on business-as-usual. And despite our current mania for disruption, one disrupts business-as-usual at great peril -- because when you do you are also disrupting all your upstream and downstream trust relationships.

So what about real disruption? We can refer to over-used B2C examples such as Blockbuster video, eaten by Netflix. Or taxi companies eaten by Uber. Except apparently taxi companies are coming back, or something. Moore claims that one can do a successful disruption -- once in 10 years. Yikes! Although to do disruption successfully, one does have to mount multiple "bets" in the form of business transformation initiatives. Figuring out disruption is an on-going learning process: a program. The rule is that disruptive experiments must be governed separately from regular business, or failure is guaranteed.

In this context then, is disruption too big of a leap? From an investment perspective, the "too big of a leap" question can be defined more specifically as "any given industry actor does not have access to enough financial capital to make the requisite transformation bets". Along with access to capital, also "the organization does not have the intellectual capital to mount good transformation program bets". The two are related -- access to capital is unlikely if the market perceives you don't have a clue.

Back to "most companies"? Our question is now, "Can any given company find the capital and intellectual resources to maintain a successful transformation bet program"? I suggest the answer is "yes", because (a) the rate of real change is less than hype would lead us to believe and (b) technology has reduced the cost of transformation experiments. Manage the heck out of your current business and don't abandon your network of relationships. And then work really hard at some sensible pilots programs which are the gateway to your future. You can do it!
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  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 13
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@John. +n . . . all good. . . logical and practical


Re "one disrupts business-as-usual at great peril" - this needs to be countered with "one carries on with business-as-usual at great peril"

Re "enough financial capital and intellectual capital". Here, assets vary from one corporation to the next. The infrastructure and resources that any corporation has make it easier/more difficult for it to get to the head of the pack or, if they are already there, to stay at the head of the pack.

Re: "rate of change" - the rate of change is the same for all of the players in a particular industry sector, on the same playing field. (the rule here is 'when all things seem the same, revisit the problem or opportunity, because things rarely are the same').

Re: "technology has reduced the cost of transformation experiments" - except that more technology means more complex decisions. Important that a corporation achieves success reasonably early on in "trials". A corporation can can fail once, possibly twice, but, for most, it's "three strikes and you are out".

I need to read Moore's "Four Quadrants" - I'm not holding my breath based on bad experiences with single-root trees in knowledgebases relative to multi-root trees. Single-root is way too restrictive (i.e everything is hard-coded to everything, by implication - it distorts/restricts thinking).

For what our folks do here at Civerex i.e. "connecting the dots", it is best to anticipate multi-root trees, with, for the most part, virtual connections between elements in the various trees..

The only approach that makes safe use of "4" in the area of planning, in my view, is Donald Rumsfeld's "known knowns", "known unknowns", "unknown knowns" and "unknown unknowns". Highly defensible, as he covers all of the bases.
References
  1. http://www.kwkeirstead.wordpress.com
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  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 14
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no company can afford to ignore digital transformation. A recent research done by BPM-D, Widener University, and Universidad de Chile shows that over 75% of organizations across industries have already started their digital journey. Hence, the question is more about managing it in the context of the specific organizational environment of a company.

A solid and pragmatic prioritization approach, identifying high impact low maturity processes to start with is an important basis for an impactful yet feasible digital transformation journey. Solid knowledge about the end-to-end process enabling an aligned business and technology-driven process design is key for execution. Topics like process mining and repository based modelling can be leveraged here. And to sustain digital improvements appropriate process and data governance as well as hybrid workflow management have to be addressed. In that way every organization can pave its proper way into the digital world.
References
  1. http://www.bpm-d.com
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  1. more than a month ago
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  3. # 15
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In the past few years I have been asked to work with both business and ICT execs on digital transformation projects that were veering off track, three in local government. For what they are worth a few observations are:


  • -However thorough the original DT plan was thought to be, it seldom foresaw the full range of impacts and risks, especially changing peoples' behaviours and culture.
  • -Almost nobody thought that mapping their point of origination was important or necessary before sailing off on their DT journey and then getting lost.
    -Even with all their experience, some business execs still find the flashing lights of technology mesmerising; particularly unproven bleeding-edge AI and Robotics
    -ICT teams rarely have the up to date knowledge or skills to develop a target digital architecture that is flexible and adaptable, even the big DT & SAAS vendors are offering little or no help with this.
    -Whilst perhaps not intended, I think that Dr. Samarin's diagram brilliantly represents the meandering nature of ICT's 'voyages of discovery' that happen before either reaching the relative safety of any landfall, or having yet another project sink in the attempt.
    -The 'digital first' mantra in government has little or no resonance with citizen customers who are computer illiterate, very elderly, homeless or whose mother tongue is not English, unless that is somebody can be paid to help them which then defeats the cost saving goal.


Despite my comments, I do think that selectively using the vast new range of digital technologies to transform the way organisations work is necessary and unavoidable. Firstly in making public services far more efficient and delivering greater citizen value. Secondly for all of the commercial organisations that wish to successfully compete in the future by delighting their customers whilst reducing the costs and risks, or alternatively doing nothing and fading to black.

This transformation genie cannot be put back in its bottle, we just need to learn how to handle it and apply some common sense to the practical aspects.
And that's the problem with common sense, it doesn't seem all that common nowadays.
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