Regardless of the size of your project, it’s good practice to start your digital transformation project by documenting a digital roadmap – it’s a great way to ensure you’re focused on what you’re aiming for, able to track where you are during any point of the journey and can help set realistic expectations for the future. Almost every business wants everything from day one; often this isn’t possible, but creating a roadmap with clearly defined steps and outcomes can help manage and channel this enthusiasm.
Honesty is the best policy
A digital roadmap isn’t the time to be generous with your appraisal of how things currently stand in your organisation, doing that will only give you a false sense of comfort about the journey you’re about to take. Your roadmap needs to honestly outline exactly where you are in terms of people (including leadership and culture), process, and technology. Each one of these “pillars” then needs a plan of how to progress them to where you need them to be.
Now you know where you’re starting, it’s time to work out where you want to get to. What does “excellence” look like for your business? What is perceived as excellence varies a lot from one organisation to the next. Knowing what the final goal is and what’s needed to get there will allow you to map out the knowledge gaps, process needs, and technology black spots that will need addressing.
Identify black spots
A competency framework is one way of doing this. HR communities build competency models that drive for results, map skills and spot gaps – but they need to be designed and applied in the correct way. A good competency model should:
- Be a framework for performance measurement and management
- Allow for effective internal and external communication for success measurement
- Align clarity and understanding of accountability for better results
- Combine competency-based interventions into the perspective
Remember the bigger picture
Skills are one thing that your roadmap needs to cover, but it doesn’t end there. Skills alone will not guarantee success, and often there are “environmental” factors you need to take into account too. Your organisation needs to promote agility, testing, learning, failing and adapting. If you don’t have this, shoehorning an initiative may work in the short-term, but in the long-term, it could end up costing time, money, and motivation. And remember to consider how the changes you make will impact on other areas of the organisation; everyone needs to be aware of any potential knock-on effects further down the road.
Drive it from the top
Once your roadmap is complete, it needs to have support from the leadership team and stakeholders – including the metrics that will be measured and sign-off procedures that are required. A governance plan will also be essential, to help resolve impediments and keep the planned roadmap on schedule.
At RTS, our specialist Digital Solutions team can help you navigate your transformation. We help companies with their gap analysis and understand where they are now – and where they need to be. Whether it’s a complete transformation or the development of new technology, we’ll work with you on a tailor-made programme that meets your business objectives.