8 Steps To Keep Your Roadmap On Track During Your Digital Transformation
When Neville Isdell took over as CEO of Coca-Cola in 2004, the company was in dire straits. It had seen its market share slide dramatically, leading to a decrease of 26 percent in revenues. Isdell was determined to turn the company around and restore it to its former glory.
He immediately set out to right the ship of Coca-Cola by focusing on “people, products, and processes.” The three core things that form the basis of a successful transformation initiative.
Isdell introduced "Coca-Cola's Manifesto for Growth" to articulate the company’s vision and provide guidance on how they would reach those goals while fostering a culture of collaboration.
He began to invest heavily in research and development, bringing innovative new flavors and packaging designs to market. He also worked hard to revitalize the brand’s image by creating campaigns that appealed to a younger audience while still maintaining the company’s traditional values.
The key takeaway from Coca-Cola’s success story…
Transformation – especially wide-scaled and digital – is an area that does not have a pre-defined path to success. Without a clear map to guide them, those navigating these waters venture into the unknown and take risks in search of greater rewards.
The rapid changes brought on by technological advances have enabled the implementation of digital transformation strategies across many industries, but organizations must be mindful of the difficulties that arise when trying to chart this new course.
The challenge is finding the right balance between creation and delivery, adapting quickly in response to changing market dynamics while maintaining stability.
The agility needed for Digital Transformation requires careful planning and keeping an eye on the horizon to spot emerging trends before they become mainstream.
Organizations must also ensure their employees are content and motivated to drive the transformation process forward.
To derive all these changes, organizations often try to chart out a roadmap for their digital journey. A common narrative we hear is that a successful roadmap should be driven by an overarching vision and strategy along with clear objectives and measurable outcomes.
While this may be true to some extent, here’s the reality…
The best you can use the “roadmap” is to track the progress of your DX journey. That is why we see the so-called DX roadmap broken into smaller components like data strategy roadmap, cloud strategy roadmap, etc. where it is further segregated into timelines, milestones, and checkpoints. Eg:
- Current state - how things are done today
- Future state - how things are done once the initiative is fully implemented
- Transition state - how we move from the current state to the future state
- Technical side - the systems and mechanisms required to reach the future state
- People side - building the support and buy-in that is needed to reach the future state
Interestingly, your roadmap is only as good as the data it is based on. In other words, it should be backed by reliable research, market insights, and customer feedback. Your roadmap should also be regularly updated with new developments to remain relevant and accurate.
Here are the 8 steps to keep your roadmap on track and actions you should take to become more effective in your managerial duties during your digital transformation:
1. The Team That's All-In Will Always Win!
We cannot emphasize enough the importance of clear communication, yet 86% of employees and executives cite a lack of effective communication as a major cause of failure.
Make sure your team understands the reasons behind your digital transformation and how it aligns with your overall business goals. Be transparent about your roadmap and the steps you'll take to get there and encourage feedback and input from your team.
Encourage your team to share their ideas and insights, and consider forming a steering committee or task force to help guide the transformation.
This will ensure everyone is on board and committed to making the transition successful.
2. Examine Your State, Then Innovate and Elevate
Take a look at your current technology landscape and identify areas for improvement. Analyze the existing processes, systems, and tools to see if any bottlenecks or inefficiencies need to be addressed.
This will help you understand what needs to be updated or replaced during the transformation and provide an opportunity to identify areas where additional investments could be beneficial.
3. Set Milestones and Deadlines to Keep You Moving Forward
Establish specific milestones and deadlines to ensure everyone works toward the same end goal. This should include a timeline of when each phase will be completed and who will be responsible for carrying out the associated tasks.
It is one of the most effective ways to keep everyone accountable and on track throughout the transformation.
4. Provide Training and Support
A digital transformation will likely require new skills and technologies. As a CEO or COO, the responsibility to provide your team with the training and support they need to succeed lies on your shoulder.
This might involve onboarding new employees, providing ongoing training and development, or offering resources such as tutorials or reference materials. When you invest in your team, they feel more confident and capable as they navigate the change.
5. Implement Your Strategy and Monitor Your Progress
Once your roadmap is in place, it is time to implement the plan. Track progress along the way by periodically assessing key performance indicators (KPIs) and revising objectives as needed.
Regularly reviewing data can help you identify problems before they become pesky issues.
6. Stay Flexible and Open to Change
As with any major project, there will be changes along the way. Stay flexible and open to new ideas as you move through the transformation. Be sure to adjust your roadmap accordingly if needed.
7. Manage Resistance and Address Concerns
Change is hard, and it is natural for people to resist it. Be proactive in managing resistance and addressing concerns that arise.
This might involve addressing specific objections or concerns or providing additional resources or support to help people adapt to the change.
By addressing resistance and concerns head-on you can mitigate any potential roadblocks to your roadmap.
8. Fine-Tune Your Strategy Based on Your Results
As you reach milestones, take the time to review and analyze the results. If objectives are not being met or goals are not being achieved, adjust your roadmap accordingly.
This will help you stay on track and ensure your digital transformation is successful.