Co-author: Pankaj Kumar Gupta
Digital is the new dimension in which most of the world’s largest companies are measuring their growth and investing money to ensure success. Different people experience digital in different contexts and have various definitions accordingly. They are all right in their own contexts. However, when it comes to digital transformation, there has to be complete clarity for enterprises looking to be digital businesses.
Digital transformation is the use of technologies to automate business processes to minimize human intervention for decision-making and to increase the speed of processing. Technologies such as in smartphones, web applications, cloud services, electronic identification, blockchain, smart contracts, and cryptocurrencies, along with IoT and analytics using Big Data, and so on, comprise the digital ecosystem today. Few facts related to digital transformation are:
- Most of the decade-old companies are on the journey of transformation into digital businesses.
- There are challenges for digital businesses, with integration and convergence of older and newer systems into one digital ecosystem being a big one.
- Various stakeholders add to the complexity in establishing a digital ecosystem. They would be business owners, system owners, enterprise architects, end users, and other key stakeholders.
Are all large-scale digital transformations as successful as they are envisioned to be? Maybe not.
A comprehensive approach for managing such complex digital transformation initiatives will have digital program management at its core with the other key components tied together to support it.
The key components of program execution and delivery are depicted below:
These components are briefly explained below:
Digital Program Management
Digital program management will play a crucial role to ensure that the stated business objectives and benefits are achieved. Program management shall be the key orchestrator for the delivery of the program by working closely with the customer’s business and IT leadership teams, and the vendors.
During program execution, program management shall liaise with customer governance forums, subject matter experts, or the solution review board to align the implementation plan with the customer’s business objectives.
Governance and Communication
A governance structure should be established to expedite decision-making throughout the program. The members of the governance forums and boards shall resolve conflicting priorities with respect to the digital transformation objectives.
A governance model should be established based on the principles that are aligned to the customer business and the digital transformation objectives.
The digital transformation program requires a formal communication approach due to the involvement of different teams. The ability to quickly establish a smooth line of communication between the teams plays a critical role in the success of these projects.
A formal change control process should be established at the beginning of the digital transformation program for identifying and monitoring changes in the system requirements that may result in changes in scope, time, or cost.
All changes must be captured and processed that trigger a change execution. The key activities covered under the change control process are change control board (CCB) composition, requesting changes, evaluating changes, approving changes, and implementing changes.
Benefits management is identifying, agreeing, measuring, tracking, and reporting the benefits, both financial and non-financial, delivered by projects and programs as identified in the business case.
Benefits are identified, finalized, and planned during initiation, and are tracked during all the phases of the program implementation, and reported through the dashboard and benefits reports. Once the program is closed, it is handed over to operations during the closure phase, with the required set of tools to track the ongoing benefits. Benefits management is a continuous process as the benefits need regular review. The benefits management process enables measuring the program delivery consistently and predictably. The benefits management activity continues after implementation.
Vendor management will be an important aspect to ensure quality deliverables from multiple vendors/suppliers. The risks associated with vendor deliverables are identified, assessed, and mitigated, the progress is reviewed and reported, and any issues and conflicts are handled properly. A detailed conflict resolution mechanism should be established at the initiation of the transformation program.
The process of conflict management will start right at the beginning of the digital program with the following steps— Identifying the conflict, determining the reason, generating alternatives, selection and implementation of the resolution technique, and reviewing the effectiveness or resolution.
Risk, Assumptions, Issue, and Dependency (RAID) Management
RAID management activities will take place continuously throughout the project. For each of the project milestones and deliverables under it, follow a structured process for formally identifying and managing the RAID items. The RAID management at the customer’s end will follow the steps as follows— RAID identification, analysis, prioritization, response planning, and monitoring.
RAID items should be identified based on certain sources/triggers, basically whenever there is any change in the program stakeholders, objectives, delivery, or financial parameters.
Reporting and Dashboard
Reports and dashboard(s) are critical for senior leadership and executive management reporting. These ensure that the planned outcomes or benefits are realized within the expect time, cost, etc. A comprehensive list of metrics and KPIs are a must for digital transformation programs. A dashboard will be summarizing these metrics and KPIs for faster identification of issues and provide resolutions.
How can HCL help you ensure success in your digital transformation programs?
HCL is committed to offer the best of its resources to your digital transformation program to ensure its successful completion by achieving the identified business benefits. HCL will ensure that the skill profile matches the capability area where the resource is expected to work in. HCL’s unique and holistic program management approach will ensure that the above mentioned areas are well taken care of.