We recently completed a digital transformation with one of our travel industry clients. We assisted them in designing the future operating model and the processes that would be carried out by over 20,000 staff worldwide; from contact centres to shops to staff in resort. Digital transformation is one of the “on trend” topics working its way around the excellence and transformation industry, alongside Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Customer Experience optimisation. Digital transformation promises huge leaps forward in customer service, efficiency, self-service, availability and choice. These benefits are hard won, with significant effort, resources and time expended on getting the most out of the technology, organisation and people. I thought I’d share a couple of key learnings we had from our most recent transformation efforts.
Gain a mandate for change
An obvious starting point is to get the senior leadership of the company on board with the transformation scope. Setting the right expectations about what a piece of software or service improvement efforts can realistically achieve is incredibly important. We recommend getting the senior leaders to articulate their own expectations, their own boundary limits of what is possible, in respect of their 3-5 year plan, and in terms of the market conditions.
Understand the capacity for transformation
It is critical not to overestimate the capacity for what the technology can deliver. It’s easy to be drawn into a “movie-like” vision for the future involving field workers taking video calls from customers, or an app that eliminates the need for customers to visit a shop. Get under the hood of the system, get the software provider to run visits to successful implementations, fully understand the feature roadmap so that it can be synched up with your own development plans.
It is also a good idea to have a sense of the competing strategy interests in the company and the wider industry. Where does your transformation sit in the pecking order? Are there other investments on the horizon or are you the “only game in town”? Also think locally, even down to individual units, to see what they are dealing with in terms of planned change.
Design the future, don’t replicate the status quo.
The temptation is always there to just cut and paste existing ways of working onto the new technology, its hard but you have to resist! The best way to clear your mind is to get out and see how the teams work today; what technological challenges are they facing (access to good WiFi), what activities are stopping them from maximising their value add time with the customer? What information would they benefit from and how might they best consume it? This will significantly improve the design of the system, and also provide valuable insights for the technology team to help them autonomously solve emerging problems.
What about you? What have learnt from your digital transformation efforts, lets us know in the comments!