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The importance of seeing the big picture in the data-driven digital transformation journey: Part 2

In the second part of the blog series, you will learn the final steps needed to complete the big picture of digital transformation – the steps planning, roadmap and common challenges and workarounds

Abhijit Joshi / November 23, 2022

Let us go through the final frames needed to succeed with your transformation projects

In part 1 of this blog, I explained why it’s important to have a big picture for your transformation journey to realize business value, and the first 4 steps in this framework: (1) Market trends and peers’ journey, (2) End-customer and organizational stakeholders’ expectations, (3) As-Is state application landscape assessment, and (4) To-Be state visualization.

I would recommend reading part 1 first as it gives a good foundation and overview of the transformation journey, going outside-in, starting with a market and competitor outlook, managing stakeholders, analysing the As-Is state and defining the To-Be state to aim for, which will help with prioritization, goalsetting and setting the scope of your transformation journey.

In this blog, we will now go on to steps 5-7, which are:

  1. Sustainable incremental steps planning
  2. High-level transformational roadmap
  3. Transformation challenges and workarounds

5. Sustainable incremental steps(actions) planning

When your As-Is and To-Be state images are drawn, another essential factor that needs to be associated with these images is the underline implicit expectation of sustainable incremental steps(actions), which is needed to achieve the To-Be state, just like any puzzle-solving game.

Basically, what are the needed steps for setting governance, methodology, guidelines, templates, migrations, deployments assessments, and best practices to minimize disruption to the current delivery.

The essence of this frame is to identify what is good in your existing business, to realize what needs to innovate on top of existing assets, how to run your business and IT in co-existence mode and create the bridge to keep on running existing applications while setting up the new ones.

This means the enhancement of the To-Be state image and your sustainable incremental transformation of the As-Is application landscape will be parallel, i.e., changes to the image and incremental journey milestones suitable to your priorities and existing IT landscape will be synchronized.

To conclude - In this frame, you document and track the sustainable incremental steps(actions) that needs to be taken to achieve the To-Be state.

6. High-level roadmap

Based on all the work done until now, we are ready to draw a high-level roadmap.

It is vital to draw a high-level roadmap simple enough to understand at a high level and then add complexity to the roadmap based on organizational needs.

Many organizations try to add elements like the below examples in the roadmap framework

  • Synchronize forms of technology and business roadmaps
  • Alignment matrix applications to current and target business capabilities
  • Mapping of current services and products with current and target application portfolios
  • Plotting of cost benefit analysis & ROI projection with roadmap milestones

In this blog, we will avoid the complex form of a roadmap, and instead discuss a simplified but practical roadmap based on the work we have already done here.

The picture shown here is a form of the roadmap which will help you achieve the To-Be state from the As-Is State based on the actions identified during the sustainable incremental steps planning.

The milestones need to be set up according to the priorities of action. Elimination of applications will be taken with the highest priority to ensure high business value earliest.

The investment in applications will be the last activity considering more knowledge will be gained during the initial milestone that will be leveraged to ensure minimum investment and maximum value.

Another critical factor is that you need to keep the roadmap live and kicking, i.e., very much up to date with progressive changes reflected in milestone scope and dates, etc.

To conclude - In this frame, you can draw a roadmap, from simple to complex as per your needs.

7. Transformation challenges and workarounds (challenges of foundational setup/scaling investment vs. ROI etc., incremental approach)

Let us talk about practical challenges (Cn) and workarounds (Wn) related to the transformation journey.

C1 - Prioritization for the various factors, business needs, critical resource schedule, short-term and long-terms benefits

W1 – The transformation team needs to create a prioritization matrix with clear prioritization criteria leading to unbiased and data-based prioritization

C2 - Scale and scope of transformation, if you fix something which is not broken, that can lead to transformation fatigue. Sometimes, not everything needs to be changed; there need only be minor tweaks and incremental improvements

W2 – The transformation team needs to consult all stakeholders, including the customer-facing team, before defining the scope and scale. It extremely essential to implement with an incremental approach, which allows organizational changes in scale and scope after a significant milestone

C3 - Lack of sense of urgency may lead to delayed transformation resulting in costing the organization great opportunity cost

W3 – It is vital to develop an environment with a healthy level of urgency, meaning team members will be more likely to anticipate and find issues in the earliest stages of transformation. In addition, organizational leaders can make it more personal for employees by sharing about the vision, and benefits of progressing forward.

C4High cost of transformation; while running the regular business, more investment is needed to complete activities related to transformation to avoid employee burnout.

W4 – Disrupt existing cost base by 20~40% by tapping into easy automation of means without harming current operations. We essentially say transformation should be paid by savings generated from transformed activities.

C5Lack of consensus for the transformation; lacking the alignment and awareness necessary to become a genuinely adaptive organization to embrace the transformation challenges

W5 – Build a coalition of transformation agents who represents a loyal, digitally competent employee and management representative without needing to train or recruit expensively. The benefit of the alliance will be individuals you are personally committed to understanding and embodying the ethos of transformation.

C6Technical debt associated with large tech stack; leading to dependencies on third-party suppliers resulting in a negative impact on the transformation journey

W6 – Rationalization of the IT architecture will avoid the trap of technical debt on larger suppliers that may have severe implications for competitive advantage.

C7Lack of leadership by key stakeholders; resulting in powerful natural resistance to transformation and multiple other roadblocks for leaders leading to a failed transformation journey

W7 – Leadership with a strong sense of purpose and a powerful vision are essential ingredients of transformation. The positive leadership by stakeholders here is managing change and leading it first and foremost by encouraging middle managers to execute the change consistently.

In conclusion, will you be able to succeed in your transformation journey by drawing an aspirational 7-frame big picture with Integration, RPA, Intelligent Automation and other technology groups?

The answer is yes. We can see that the 7-frame big picture can be used to plan and execute an extraordinary transformation for your business. At Tietoevry, we have a solid capability to advise in the digital transformation journey. My colleagues and I would be happy to discuss how we can help you in your digital transformation over a cup of coffee.

Eager to learn more about how we can support your business? Do not hesitate to reach out!

Abhijit Joshi
Business Architect

Abhijit is a Digital Transformation expert focused on delivering value through AI, Automation, and Integration based solutions. He has strong experience in helping customers from the exploration stage to the transformation stage across industries like manufacturing and construction etc. He is passionate about the human and technology interface aspect of business transformation.

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