Effective Digital Transformation requires a commitment to process change

Post by qellusweb
February 2, 2021
Effective Digital Transformation requires a commitment to process change

Transformation involves discipline, vision, and above all – determination.

Any change is difficult. Most people enjoy predictability and organizations as a whole rely on stable plans for the future. With digital transformation, these two aspects are thrown into uncertainty, and without company-wide commitment, the task can be extremely difficult. This blog post aims to give you a few pointers to get started.

Digital is difficult – but necessary 

Any transformation or radical change in how an organization operates is challenging – but if the numbers are to be believed, digital transformation is one of the most formidable. According to McKinsey, less than 30% of companies who attempt transformation succeed, and only 16% have reported success when specifically shifting to digital processes.

However, digital transformation is not something that businesses can ignore for much longer. Forrester reports that digital customer service interactions will increase by 40% and over 30% of B2B tech buyers are moving towards chatbots and virtual assistants instead of human sellers. 

It’s no secret that digital transformation should be an objective for companies moving into 2021 and beyond – but many business owners are left wondering where they can start and how they can avoid being one of the 84% of businesses who fail. The truth is, effective digital transformation requires a commitment to challenging and changing processes on a base level in order for prolonged success.

Here are a few ways you can get started in evaluating, addressing, and transforming your processes:

  • User observation
  • Application of best practices 
  • Design for success
  • Data Quality
  • Organizational readiness and onboarding your team

Let’s take a closer look at each.

User observation

The people who know where to improve a process are those who use it every day. Before you think about adding technological complexity to your processes, ask the users how those processes can be improved for efficiency and effectiveness.

You can ask questions such as:

  • What is the ultimate goal for this process?
  • What, if any, productivity or resources are wasted during this process?
  • What could make this process faster?
  • What could make this process easier?

Once you have the feedback to these questions, you can begin to compare the feedback with industry standards and best practices to determine how you can create an optimal solution customised to your specific needs.

Application of best practices 

Another good way to evaluate your processes is to take a look at industry best practices. The reason industry opinions are commonly observed is because they usually work. By observing best practices, you can save yourself a lot of work in evaluating your own practices by using the knowledge and experience of companies who have potentially been in the industry for a lot longer than you.

With the insights generated from user observation, you can compare practices and create a solution that works for both your team and the business.

However, it’s important to remember that any changes that are to be made must be aligned with that process’s purpose and the actions that contribute to its completion. Organizations have to seek the best tools, policies, legal requirements, and other considerations that help the process in question perform this purpose. A large part of this comes down to planning and design, which is the next step.

Design for success

Once you have identified what processes you want to improve and the parts of them where digital transformation can assist, it’s important to design your approach. When it comes to your approach, there are three considerations you should address.

Be clear with your objectives

Set clear goals from the start and talk to your team to come to a conclusion on what success looks like when attempting to reach your digital transformation goals.

Use agile design principles

Agile design methods help companies address concerns as they appear and find solutions that are creative and efficient. Digital transformation is a naturally creative process that could present new challenges and new options for companies. An agile approach to development and resolution is well-suited while addressing each individual process.

Don’t be afraid of disruption

Challenging traditional approaches is at the heart of digital transformation. Thus, don’t be afraid to challenge the status quo where there is no other logical reason for keeping the process the same or maintaining it.

As with most strategic endeavors, the plans and designs are reliant upon the integrity of the data you have. Decisions based on false information and assumptions will have unpredictable results, which is why data quality is critical to the process.

Data Quality

Data is critical to making informed decisions, and the quality of your data impacts how effective your decisions are. Digital transformation is a continuous endeavor, and improving them beyond the initial change will rely on the quality of your data.

Ensuring that the data on hand for every step of the process is up-to-date, accurate, and accessible by those who need it will help you optimize your processes beyond merely fulfilling compliance requirements. Data should also be aligned to the physical object or action to which they belong so that users can locate it by functional location, asset, or work-order.

Some of the essential data that digital transformation can improve upon include:

  • Technical specifications
  • Engineering drawings
  • Standard operating procedures
  • Inspection reports 
  • Maintenance records
  • Product plans

Preparing your organization for new processes is at the heart of all good digital transformation strategies. Thus, organizational readiness and getting the buy-in from your team should be one of the ultimate goals of your transformation.

Organizational readiness and onboarding your team

Throwing technology at a business problem or process may certainly help, but digital transformation is essentially a people problem. At the end of the day, it’s people, not technology who will implement the massive changes across their organization.

Finding ways to help your team cross the digital divide and culture shock that digital transformation can cause will help ensure your changes are implemented efficiently. To get your company and your team on your side, we recommend tackling two primary elements – mindset and skillset.


Getting your team emotionally and mentally invested in digital transformation and the need for digital transformation will make the entire process much easier. It will turn roadblocks into collaborators, creating a snowball effect towards the ideal outcome you want.

In order to achieve the right mindset in your team, it’s critical that you communicate clearly and empower your team. Let’s take a look at how you can instil communication and empowerment into the mindset of your team below.

Communication – Companies with senior executives that communicate with employees across all levels of the organization are 8 times more likely to achieve transformation success compared to those who don’t employ it. In enterprise-wide transformation, this goes up to 12.4 times where senior managers communicate continually with staff.

Due to this, we recommend the following

  • Use clear communication on transformation objectives.
  • Show that leadership is embracing the change.
  • Provide regular and easy access to information.
  • Show the visible change in day-to-day work for employees.

Empowerment – Demonstrating that front-line staff will make or break the transformation is essential to changing the mindset of staff towards a collaborative attitude. Employees need to know where they fit in and be engaged in the change to buy into the transformation.


Many employees may not have the skillset or confidence to use the tools that digital transformation provides. Enabling these employees to have the required skillset is central to effectively onboarding your team. The key to achieving this is to provide training and certification that employees can engage with. 

56% of HR department heads believe that having professionally certified employees have a positive impact on the profitability of their organization. With certification also offering benefits to employees both in their day-to-day roles and future careers, future hires look for this as part of a learning and development package to demonstrate that a company is investing in them and their future. This can be provided in videos, webinars, workshops, or even text-based learning.

Optimize for success

Ultimately, a business is only as effective and productive as its processes. By optimizing these processes through various angles, perspectives, and objectives, businesses can take concrete steps towards generating more revenue and generating maximum productivity.

If you would like more information on how asset-intensive businesses can optimize their processes you might be interested in this detailed step-by-step guide. What’s more, if you would like a more hands-on approach that is customized to your challenges, consider Qellus.

Qellus has consulted with established enterprises as well as companies in growth mode to help them optimize their business processes and organize their data in a way that makes sense. We have achieved success for companies around the world who seek to optimize their performance.

Post by qellusweb
February 2, 2021