In recent years, global headlines have long been dominated by terms like digital transformation, artificial intelligence, and cloud computing, but real-life execution of such initiatives had been moderate until 2020. The twists and turns of the latest black swan event in human history pushed organizations towards greater agility, making digital transformation imperative for any enterprise.
But each company’s approach to digital transformation looks different, making it harder to form an exact definition of what it really is.
For some, digital transformation means the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business resulting in fundamental changes to how businesses operate and how they deliver value to customers. For others, it is more of a cultural shift in the organization that enables it to continually challenge the status quo, experiment often, and get comfortable with failure.
All in all, successful digital transformation requires a more holistic approach, which can only be achieved when people, processes, and technology all work together. However, for a variety of reasons, most teams today struggle to combine strategy with the execution of the best solution. Solutions are often defined and pursued before the opportunity space to be fully understood. So is there a right approach, a blueprint you can follow for a successful strategy definition and execution and what is it?
Digital transformation framework as a blueprint for your company's approach to strategic change in the competitive landscape
The framework is a tool that could be used at all levels of an organization to guide them through the journey. It ensures that no aspect of the business is overlooked during a transition.
Having a framework can be essential for success as it provides a common reference point that can be adjusted as the organization evolves. The framework facilitates the development of a strategy and roadmap that would allow businesses of all sizes to adapt and succeed in today's rapidly changing market conditions.
It can not only help all stakeholders across multiple levels of the organization to understand what needs to change and in turn, make digital change possible, but also allow executives to keep a close eye on the big picture and overcome common pitfalls such as resistance to cultural change, poor collaboration, communication friction, inefficient progress monitoring, etc.
In other words, a digital transformation framework should serve as a business-wide approach that helps executives and employees stay on track and achieve their objectives in the face of rapidly changing business conditions. It lays out logical and consistent steps for a measurable process to take place, while remaining broad and adaptable enough for executives to make changes on the fly if necessary.
Building a digital transformation framework could be different for every organization
Since digital transformation varies widely according to the set of company-specific goals and challenges, the DX framework could also take different forms. The right digital framework is adaptable to an organization's needs while also being able to be phased in logical, cohesive steps that demonstrate tangible progress. The first phases ensure that the organization understands what it is doing and why it is doing it.
At Prime, we leverage a traditional value transformation approach and energize it with a mix of creative thinking, pragmatic solutions, and top-notch technical expertise, to ensure successful delivery of the transformation at hand, meeting both organizational expectations and delighting customers.
We start with a review of the current “AS IS” state, which includes gaining detailed knowledge of an organization’s processes, an engine of value, customer journey, enabling technologies, and required security and compliance. The definition of the future “TO BE” state comes next. To thoroughly assess the current state and define a desired future state with a compelling value proposition that delivers an outstanding service experience, we use the Double Diamond framework.
Using The Double Diamond Model
The first diamond focuses on discovery and definition whereby problem-posing challenges and status quo, problem definition, research, and structured insight enable organizations to move from an initial problem state into a state of active validation.
The second diamond is about ideation and implementation, which entails defining, prototyping, testing, and finally validating a strategic value proposition. In the two adjacent diamonds, the model presents the following four stages.
During this phase, we seek to raise new questions, learn about customer behavior and business drivers through observation and inquiry, and identify opportunities for further investigation. Naturally, if you want to chart your path to success, you need to figure out where you’re heading first. You can easily do that by making sense of current customer needs, upcoming digital transformation trends, or industry disruptors that have the potential to reshape your business reality. Then, you can move on to analyzing the value of potential actions or the risk of possible inactions, so you can generate a variety of preliminary conclusions. But more importantly, to define your strategic focus and ambitions, you need to align the conclusions with your ideas and aspirations – regardless of how bold they may be.
We begin to synthesize knowledge into insight once we have gained some understanding, focusing on the most compelling opportunities to pursue. This phase is about aligning on a vision and defining the first expression of our plans for the future. After that, we assess the viability and impact of our plans and determine how to measure success. This initial strategy guides the execution, but it is never complete. The strategy should adapt and evolve as new discoveries are made.
It's time to look into the best possible solutions now that we've established the vision. We know what we want to achieve, and we'll figure out how to get there by testing and validating different approaches. This is a divergent and iterative activity. Rather than defining details and requirements, the right solution is discovered.
Finally, deliver and scale and do it iteratively, so you can test, learn, and improve your approach. Similar to agile product development, every kind of feedback you get from internal stakeholders, external partners, and even customers should be considered in terms of potential improvement of your operations. Prioritize your execution initiatives to skillfully manage your resources and support a lasting digital transformation success.
So, do you need a digital transformation framework?
Absolutely! The digital transformation framework is your step-by-step plan that can aid the successful implementation of DX and benefit every level of your organization. It helps you identify your goals, build a roadmap towards them, and lay out your whole process, while also leaving room for you to be more agile in its implementation.
The Double Diamond framework can help you figure out the best methods and activities for tackling a problem or pursuing an opportunity. The model offers an iterative process that allows stakeholders to change their mindset, discover new patterns, and come up with new creative ideas. Businesses can identify the sweet spot for innovation by following the steps outlined in this article.
Do you need more information about building your digital transformation approach?
Check our Digital Transformation Executive Guide to prime yourself for success!
Or book a consultation with our team of experts to define your ambitions, design your approach and deliver your strategy efficiently, with the right team on your side.