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Lessons from the front-lines of digital transformation – Part three

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In a three-part post, we have been sharing insights from our work helping organizations go digital. In parts one and two we talked about the value that digitization projects can bring to your organization, the realities of having a hybrid record environment, and questions to ask before commencing a digitization project. In our final post, we discuss senior level support, and good change management practices.

5: Front-load with executive buy-in, and apply change management best practices throughout

Executive buy-in and change management are two absolutely critical success factors in every digital transformation initiative.

Without the top-level support to see it through, you risk stalling or stagnating at every turn. So, before you begin, make sure that senior management are very clear on:

  • the fact that this initiative is vital to the success (and possibly the survival) of the organization, and must be seen through
  • the funding and resources you will require to do it successfully
  • the goals for the transformation and how they will be measured
  • the timeframe and key milestones

The importance of change management also cannot be overstated. If executive support provides the push to get the transformation going, good change management is the thing that helps pull it along. Here are some of the change management practices that our clients have used to successfully navigate their digital transformation initiatives:

  • Maintain regular communication. Nothing works like focus, so it helps to put the transformation as a standing agenda-item on all regular management meetings. Provide regular updates to all stakeholders on the status and next steps for the initiative.
  • Roll it out in stages. Breaking up the transformation into manageable stages helps maintain regular progress. This approach also helps to speed up the resolution of any issues that may arise.
  • Implement a well-designed training program. Going digital often requires training on new software systems, new processes, and new formats.
  • Appoint evangelists and team leads. It helps to share the responsibility for change management with departmental workers. They can act as your feet on the ground, ensuring that the transformation initiatives are proceeding as planned and that staff are encouraged and supported.

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