• Cory TerEick

Charting the Course for a Successful Digital Transformation | Part 2

In our previous post, Charting the Course for a Successful Digital Transformation Part 1, we introduced the “map” for a successful digital transformation journey. We also discussed the first two steps in this journey, culminating in selecting your vendor(s).

Once you have selected your vendor(s), you will soon be ready to start implementation. The major steps in implementation include:

  • Initiate,

  • Analyze,

  • Configure,

  • Test, and

  • Deploy/Optimize

  • steps in transformation lifecycle

Initiating the Digital Transformation Implementation

In the Initiate phase, you will build your project organization and establish the governance structure and process. The Initiate phase includes defining roles, responsibilities, and accountabilities within your project team, and building/validating the Project Work Plan. You can think about the Initiate phase as building the infrastructure or foundation for project success.

Analyzing the Technical Aspects of the Digital Transformation Implementation

After you have built the digital transformation infrastructure and foundation, your project team can begin to address the more technical aspects of the project in the Analyze phase. Here, the project team will review your existing processes and decide on any required changes or enhancements. The team will continue to refine requirements and make decisions on specific configurations, customizations, and integrations. This phase is often referred to as the Discovery and Design Phase by vendors and systems integrators.

Configuring the Implementation Requires Specialized Technical Skills

Once the design is finalized, your vendor(s) will work to configure the software, build the integrations, and write any custom code needed for the transformation implementation. The project team will also develop test plans and training materials, as well as conduct data cleansing in preparation for data migration and cutover. This is the most technical phase of the project and will involve specialized resources from your vendor(s) preparing your new system for deployment.

Reaching Functional and Integration Testing Milestones

Once the system is configured, it must be tested prior to deployment. This includes both functional testing and integration/system testing, as well as end user testing, which is often referred to User Acceptance Testing (UAT). The Business Unit sign-off following UAT is a major milestone for the implementation of any new system.

There are certainly some critical success factors to think about when planning for a successful digital transformation. In our experience, the most important factor is to ensure you provide good Transformation Oversight (clear and consistent leadership, governance, and accountability) for both your vendor(s) and your internal project team. Learn more about Transformation Oversight.

One last thing to think about as you begin to plan for your digital transformation journey is setting sail with a solid ship and experienced crew. Digital transformation is likely not your organization’s core competency and there will almost certainly be gaps in knowledge, skill, and capacity. Your journey can also benefit from “accelerators” (proven and structured methodologies, tools, and templates) that will allow you to implement faster, obtain the benefits sooner, and release internal capacity to perform your organization’s core functions.

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