We offer support in identifying opportunities, creating a roadmap targeting success. We complete your in- and external task force for implementation. We guide you through your Digital Transformation.
When we kick-off the digital transformation process, we must first ask what we need to achieve. Is it our goal to increase revenue? Is the goal to decrease bureaucracy? Do we want to optimize our processes? Do we want to increase customer value? Key to the final success of each transformation, everyone is clear on the final goal. The clarity ensures a common movement in the same direction. Further, any participant clear on the goal is more likely to notice opportunities. Summarized as a quote from Laurence J. Peter:
"If you don't know where you're going, you will probably end up somewhere else."
The second step to any digital transformation is gathering the information, tools, resources and above all the people to be committed to the project. If we want to create new value for our customer, then how do we create value at the moment? What is our potential through utilization of our available tools and resources? The gathering allows us to understand our current status, which in turn is the foundation. On the foundation we construct our digital transformation, to be seen and understood by all stakeholders. Such understanding of stakeholders comes second, or in the words of Steven Coveys 5th habit:
"Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood".
3. change perspective
Considering multiple perspectives enables us, to empathize with the people who are part of our transformation. This is of utmost importance, since no customer would support value creation, if he fears that he'll end up paying more for less. Also, no employee will involve himself in digitization, if his perception tells him it might endanger a colleagues' job. Through the change of perspective we consider all key stakeholders and unite all parties in our mission. As Margaret-Ann Cole wrote in her article for Forbes:
"The Human Factor Is Key To Business Success In The Digital Age"
4. define the mission
In addition to the overarching goal from 1. we must also specify how we achieve it. Our main objective might have been "How might we increase customer value?". We determined our value creation, understand the perspective of the customer and won the insight that his biggest concern is unplanned downtime of a machine. By defining the mission, we now specify that we increase customer value, by eliminating unplanned downtime. Through defining the mission in vivid detail and iterating through the steps already taken, our assembled task force is focused on a common goal, while also keeping the bigger picture, increasing customer value, in mind.
From now on, staying focused but agile is mandatory. If our plan is to eliminate unplanned downtime and we find the full elimination of such downtime would require more investment than we'd gain in output value, we change our plan accordingly. We stay focused on the goal, increased customer value and agile in our plans. We have planned, but we won't let a plan keep us from reaching our goal, simply because "that's the plan". Or in the words of Dwight D. Eisenhower:
"Plans are worthless, but planning is everything."
5. identify opportunities
To identify the best opportunities, we first collect all ideas available, second find synergies and third prioritize between them. At the example of trying to eliminate downtime, collecting all ideas from live storage monitoring to predictive maintenance enables us to integrate both into a single system architecture. The resulting idea would in turn measured against other ideas. This way, we make sure that we consider all potential solutions, the obvious and the hidden ones. We also don't jump at the first opportunity, but see beyond to commit to the best available. With a quote from Alexander Graham Bell:
“Great discoveries and improvements invariably involve the cooperation of many minds.”
To find out how we best use an opportunity, we prototype it in the fastest, most low-cost way possible. At the example of the opportunity to live-monitor customer storage, to eliminate unplanned downtime, to increase customer value: We go into three separate rooms, one with a "machine", one with a "storage" and one as our "parts-supply facility". The machine breaks down, the operator sends out a message, the storage receives a message and sends a new one to the parts-supply facility, which in turn sends a new part. Just by running through this example in ones own head, we immediately recognize various potential stepping-stones and hurdles. We iterate and elaborate the prototype, until the functionality is evident even to members outside of our own team. Then we test. This key mindset of Design Thinking is best described by Thomas A. Edison:
“I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.”
The testing of prototypes and final solutions is the end and the beginning of every development. Sticking to our earlier example, we'd now move into the field using standard messaging, maker boards and sensors, a professional IoT-System or whatever suits our purpose, to test customer storage monitoring. This brings us new insights about and empathy for our stake holders, lets us develop our mission and identify opportunities. Therefore, it helps us iterate our prototypes further, together with our customer. In turn, we reap another benefit, since the stakeholder of our system see us care. And in the words of Theodore Roosevelt:
"Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care."
Our solution must embed itself into its ecosystem, to make sure that it survives long-term. If our solution requires manual interaction from the storage manager with the system and training of the same to conduct said interaction, the first employee rotation on the position will most like mean the end of our solution. Throughout the first 7 steps, we built the understanding and enthusiasm for our solution with every stakeholder who was part of the project. We also set aside time and budget of training and development. That is why our final solution works. Now we must to be aware, that the process is not over. Without a proper integration of our solution into our systems and processes, we cannot guarantee it's long-term success. It therefore has to become a part of the technical and organizational infrastructure which it serves, to make its continued use and iteration as simple and convenient as possible. With a final quote from Steve Jobs:
"Focus and Simplicity"