Digital Transformation: Creating Your Roadmap and Making the Most of Measurement

Once your company decides it wants to move forward with digital transformation and takes the time to analyze and identify strategic digital insertion points, the next step is to create a Digital Transformation Roadmap. It also helps you successfully move forward with the measurement phase of digital transformation - arguably one of the most difficult steps.

Once your company decides it wants to move forward with digital transformation and takes the time to analyze and identify strategic digital insertion points, the next step is to create a Digital Transformation Roadmap.

Developing your organization’s digital transformation roadmap involves taking the results of the digital insertion points exercise using the value stream and creating a measurement that each digital innovation will be evaluated against.

To put it simply you are measuring your proposed innovations against factors such as adoption time, cost, expected cost savings, expected efficiency improvements, etc... whatever is most valuable to the business.

Set Priorities

And in this case, order matters. Picking the most important digital innovations first and working down the list is essential.

For example, if your digital innovation is targeting customer service efficiency, you’d want your measurement to be something that concretely measures customer service like calls answered per hour or customers served per day. You will want to be careful with your measurements though as they may influence behavior all by themselves. People may provide poorer service for example if you measure calls per hour. Always include a quality metric with every quantity metric.

Using this measurement and the OKRs/KPIs, create a ranking of the digital innovations. One they are ranked, create a rough timeline for each of the innovations, figuring out which can potentially be done in parallel.

This becomes your roadmap for how to roll out your digital transformation and when to roughly expect each innovation.

And remember, small innovations can be quick wins that save a bunch of time like installing a SaaS product or creating integration that eliminates excess paperwork and manual entry. You don’t necessarily need to overhaul your entire operation.

Once the digital transformation roadmap is complete the next step is measuring the roadmap progress and ensuring that the digital transformation is having the intended effect.

Throughout the process you should keep in mind that you’re also looking at how any particular digital innovation will scale across the company, and how that transformation will be just as much about organizational culture change as it is about technology.

It’s also important to note that continued focus on digital transformation initiatives need to be championed at the grassroots level, especially as you move to the measurement stage.

Gather Feedback

Buy-in that moves from bottom-up and the top-down has much better outcomes and keeps the focus of digital transformation on solving problems/overcoming challenges, and growth.

The perspectives and experiences brought to the table by champions from different levels in the organization allow for a collaborative environment and deeper understanding of the opportunities that technology can provide.

The measurement stage of digital transformation is the most difficult phase because you need to determine one or two excellent measurements to use in setting your OKRs.

It is difficult, and essential, because these OKRs will turn into KPIs that permeate the entire organization as you measure the impact of the suggested digital innovations.

Once you have that you are ready to start!

Typically, companies put a management structure in place to roll out the roadmap and handle measurements and goal setting. However, I believe in using a committee structure to drive the digital transformation initiative.

A committee allows for a more holistic approach to the process and ensures representation and buy-in from across all levels of your organization.

Successful digital transformation hinges on communication, transparency, and patience. Digital implementations have major potential to decrease your overhead across the board. Maintaining a thoughtful, inclusive approach greatly increases your chances for success.

Build Thoughtful Software
Andrew Wolfe
Written by

Andrew Wolfe

Andrew has an M.S. in Computer Science from Georgia Tech University. But he prides himself over 10 years of experience working in the software industry for well-known companies such as Diebold, Tableau, Explorys, and Onshift. After years in the corporate and startup worlds as well as running his own consulting firm, Andrew realized he had to do more to improve software products and practices. From that, Skiplist was born. Skiplist is the opportunity to focus on thoughtful, quality software and change the software consulting industry.