While many companies recognize the importance of digital transformation and are actively implementing initiatives, they often find it challenging to get buy-in across the organization. Sometimes this is because changing the habits of an organization can be difficult, but more often than not it is because stakeholders don’t understand the value that digital transformation can bring to their part of the organization.
Getting the right data is crucial and will motivate people to embrace digital transformation by helping them understand the value already being delivered to the organization. Let’s take a look at 5 ways to do it:
1. Start by aligning the goals of your initiative to the company goals. Digital transformation can make improvements in many areas. But keeping the goals of your initiative aligned to what the company is focused on is the best way to get buy in from stakeholders—and get their support to scale your initiative later.
Too many good initiatives get stuck in pilot purgatory when others don’t understand how to connect the value found in one initiative to what the entire company is working toward.
2. Are you only calculating the savings that were found in the trial period? What about if you extended those savings to what would happen over a year? Or when you scale it across the factory? Or globally? And would you expect the adoption rate of the initiative to grow if there was more time for people to understand and embrace the new processes? Be sure to measure success in both the short and long term.
3. Have you followed the efficiencies throughout the value chain? Your digital transformation initiative likely had set parameters, but the improvements it created can have significant effects on other parts of the value chain. This is true for parts of the value chain before and after what your initiative tackled.
Talk to people in those departments and get a sense of how what you’ve improved has or will change their roles. Was it access to information earlier? Was it less rework? Did it make the manufacturing more efficient? Did it get products out to the market faster? Were there fewer service calls on those products?
Don’t limit your impact measurements to just the benefits that your part of the organization finds useful.
4. Don’t forget about the people. It’s not just processes and products that digital transformation affects. People, especially stakeholders, are who you need to embrace digital transformation and help you champion it throughout the organization. So, it is important to spend extra time figuring out how your initiative impacts them.
Some improvements will be more easily measured such as workforce productivity, but often people forget to capture the impacts that are a little more complex and nuanced.
Is a worker happier? Perhaps this initiative solved a headache for the employee or freed up more time for them to focus on larger issues. Maybe it caused them to pursue changes in the structure of their team or enabled them to provide more value back to the organization. Maybe it made it easier for them to capture expert knowledge before their aging workforce retires?
We’ve even seen it add more interest and variety to particular roles, keeping seasoned employees engaged and causing them to postpone retirement to be able to see the growth of their industry into the future. Be sure to ask questions in a way that encourages people to tell you all the impacts they saw, even if they don’t align to the problems your initiative was trying to solve.
5. Recognize how digital transformation will improve the world outside of your organization. A common mistake when measuring impact is to stop within the walls of the organization. But the products and services that your organization offers also have an impact on the lives of customers and even society as a whole.
For example, did your improvement to manufacturing efficiency also improve quality and safety? And did that then improve patient outcomes, sustainability, or brand perception? Maybe your initiative used digital thread or generative design to significantly improve product offerings and time to market. Does that then mean that your company is now leading your industry and changing how other industries service and interact with your customers?
No one begins a digital transformation initiative without an idea of the impact that it will have on their challenges. The key here is to remember that digital transformation can drive outcomes well beyond the scope of the original intent. And remembering to recognize, measure, and share those outcomes, helps you to gain buy in from stakeholders to support your next digital transformation initiative.