Digital Transformation is NOT about Technology…

Sometimes you see a heading and you think ‘yes that is spot on’.  I highly recommend the short article in Harvard Business Review on the topic.  We often ask ourselves ‘why do projects fail?’  Everyone has had failed projects: it is expensive, but it becomes life threatening (and soul destroying…) if one fails to learn from failure.

The Chartered Management Institute reported in 2017 that for every £1 billion spent on business transformation projects in the UK, £138m is wasted due to poor project performance. The individual company losses can be huge.  For example, in 2013, The BBC cancelled its Digital Media Initiative, resulting in the write-down of £100 million worth of assets.

Our experience is that is it almost never about the technology, but almost always all about the implementation.  Our mission at psKINETIC is to deliver return-on-automation for our customers and guarantee successful outcomes.  Clearly improving the customer experience or driving margins via automation can deliver return on the investment in digital transformation, but almost as important is reducing the risk of implementation.

Based on over a decade in process automation and digital transformation, I have set out the top lessons I have learned:

  1. Identify a strong sponsor
  2. Have a clear project objective
  3. Allocate a dedicated team (including a PM)
  4. Ensure the Business has involvement and is brought into the plan
  5. Spend time formalising a detailed plan
  6. Implement a weekly tactical drumbeat
  7. Schedule a monthly steering group (decisions documented)
  8. Align a mix of waterfall and agile approaches
  9. Focus on a fast go-live with MVP (watch scope creep)

What are your lessons learned?  Join the debate.


Ingolv Urnes, Executive Chairman, psKINETIC