Before you set out to overhaul your company’s technology or add on new best-of-breed systems to your network, it’s important to pour into the preliminary steps that will ensure you reach success in your transformation. It’s easy to jump straight into shopping around for the right software and hit the ground running. However, without the proper prep work, it takes to build the foundation, your project will fall flat. Here are the three first steps you should consider taking to kick off your digital transformation.
A company’s future state is an important factor in the success of any business. Without a clear vision for where you want to be in 10 years, it's difficult to make pivotal decisions that will lead your organization towards success, especially when it comes to rolling out new processes and technologies. Without a clearly defined future state target, you may also risk creating misalignment amongst employees who don't know what their long-term goals are and how they fit into this grandiose plan. In the end, you’ll be stuck with less productive employees at work rather than employees with direction or ambition.
For a company to define and reach their future state, they will undergo a series of process mapping exercises of both their current state of business and what it will look like in the future. From there, it becomes easier to work backward in understanding what you need to do on a procedural level to get to where you want to go and fine-tune how you can use technology to get there.
In all organizations, some employees will resist change. The question is where and how deeply this resistance runs; if you do an organizational readiness assessment before a major shift in the company’s structure or processes, it'll help pinpoint your biggest areas of risk when dealing with employee attitudes.
Consider surveying employees anonymously or hosting round tables that ask pointed questions that will shine a light on potential resistance. Embed change management best practices in everything you do, and keep your team top of mind as you make decisions. OCM starts at the beginning, and it should never, ever be an afterthought. If you let this step slip, you’ll be looking back and wondering why nobody on your team is using the technology you just invested so much money into.
Your IT team plays a crucial role in the success of your new software. Beyond that, they will also play an integral part in whether or not you are able to easily navigate through this change smoothly and seamlessly. Is your internal infrastructure equipped with enough resources to handle the changes you're seeking, or should you be mindful of labor or skillset limitations?
Your company's ability to successfully integrate a new ERP system relies on how well-prepared you are internally and the partners you decide to bring in to support you through the journey. If there isn't time spent figuring out who can do what within the digital transformation project and beyond, then you are bound to hit some bumps along the road.
If you are getting started on a digital transformation and would like an informal sounding board to bounce ideas off of and make sure you are on track, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly. I am always happy to help guide you through the process.