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I will take a break for the remainder of December, so I want to leave you with the final post in my three-part series, “Don’t Forget the nuts and bolts of digital transformations”. As part of this series, I have covered process management and information management. This week, I focus on the most fundamental element of any transformation, digital or otherwise, which is your people.

As the name transformation suggests, you want to see large-scale change in your organisation. The goal of your transformation might be to change how you deliver services to customers. It may be how you develop and launch new products. Or, it may be to improve operations to drive up quality and drive down cost. Regardless of the outcome you seek, your transformation may have digital in the title, suggesting a significant investment in new technologies, but the primary transformation is with your people.  

Think about it. You will likely leverage your digital transformation to drive a culture change, introduce a new operating model, introduce new roles, and make changes to existing roles.

You will have new expectations on the skills your people have and traits they need to demonstrate. You will use the transformation to move from your command and control approach to a more distributed and empowered approach to decision-making.  

You will expect your IT department to be more collaborative in how they deliver solutions. You will want them to leverage the latest cloud technologies and development practices to provide rapid solutions often.

You will expect your business to engage your consumers and take a consumer-led approach to developing products and services.

You want your finance team to drive the organisation to a model where you can fund continuous improvement through agile techniques, which see you move away from the traditional business case and waterfall project delivery approach.

You want IT to focus on governance, architecture, and standards that deliver access to platforms and data that enable greater autonomy of your business units so they can move faster and at a lower cost as they sense and respond to changing market conditions.

Everything you want from digital is about your people, not about the technology. You have heard it a 1000 times: technology is an enabler. It is your people that will deliver outcomes.  

Don’t allow the technical aspects of your digital transformation to consume all your time. You must be clear on your target operating model and the transitions you need to get there. You must understand which internal and external stakeholders will be impacted by this transformation. You must go back to basics and ensure you have a comprehensive change management plan in place.

Are you spending enough time thinking and talking about how you will support your people to ensure a successful digital transformation?