The COVID-19 pandemic led to the proliferation of Digital Transformation projects, as companies in all industries and business sectors sought to bridge the gaps that formed as a direct result of COVID. And while countless companies survived the pandemic thanks to their investments in new technology, a shocking truth became apparent when business leaders examined the numbers: a majority of Digital Transformation projects — 7 in 10, to be exact — were failures when examined from a perspective of KPIs and ROI. But why?
In reality, most COVID-era Digital Transformation projects were hastily conceived, developed and deployed, with many of those projects involving new, emerging technologies such as the cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) — a fact that predisposed these endeavors to failure. Digital Transformation failure reasons are many and varied, but a very common one involves unexpected, rising costs arising as a direct result of scope creep.
What is Scope Creep?
In the development world, scope creep is a common phenomenon that occurs when new functionalities and features are gradually added midstream. It’s tricky. It’s gradual. And it’s one of the most common Digital Transformation failure reasons.
One addition here, another there and before you know it, your Digital Transformation project scope — and development cost — has ballooned by 25%, 50% or more! The client often fails to realize how much they’ve altered the scope since it occurs gradually and over a period of weeks or months. Subsequently, the added costs come as an unpleasant surprise to the client.
Scope creep is tricky and it’s amongst the most common causes of Digital Transformation failure since clients are often forced to discontinue development work due to a lack of funds. They often walk away with a poor digital “solution” — one that is poorly developed due to corner-cutting and compromises that were necessary to bring costs back under control midstream. Of the failed Digital Transformation projects that actually reach completion, you tend to see a very poor ROI due to the ballooning costs.
How Do You Avoid Scope Creep and Unexpected Rises in Development Cost?
Of all the Digital Transformation failure reasons, scope creep is one that can be avoided entirely with the right development strategy. Enter: software and business requirements documents — SRDs and BRDs.
These documents provide a complete and comprehensive roadmap for your Digital Transformation project, including the following.
- Summary of the problem or challenge you’re seeking to solve with a Digital Transformation solution;
- Definition of user types / user stories;
- Detail user needs and expectations;
- Define the exact project scope;
- Detailed overview of each feature, functionality and tool;
- Costs and payment schedule;
- Overview of possible challenges and obstacles;
- Project development timeframe; and
- Detailed outline of the step-by-step process for change requests.
Software requirements documents and business requirements documents empower you to avoid scope creep — and one of the most common Digital Transformation failure reasons — by clearly defining the entire project scope before a single line of code is written. If changes are required down the road, these modifications can be made using a predefined process that is completely and fully transparent when it comes to the related changes in cost and development timeframe.
How to Avoid One of the Most Common Digital Transformation Failure Reasons With the Right Development Partner
There are countless pitfalls and roadblocks that can adversely impact a development project, leading to a spectacular Digital Transformation failure. For this reason, it’s important to consider your Digital Transformation project as part of an organization’s risk management efforts.
By working with a top Digital Transformation development company that has experience working with the newest emerging technologies such as machine learning-powered AI, you’ll maximize your chances of success with quantifiable KPI metrics and ROI.
At 7T, we’ve developed an eBook that outlines the most common causes of Digital Transformation failure and how these issues can be avoided. What’s more, we’ve earned a reputation as one of the top Dallas Digital Transformation companies, with a Digital Transformation development process that maximizes your chances of success with a problem → solution approach. We’ve found that this works whether it’s a machine learning-powered artificial intelligence development project, business process automations, mobile app development or another form of Digital Transformation. It all begins with a well-thought-out Digital Transformation strategy and a business requirements document that outlines the specs for your project, the user needs and the problems that you’re trying to solve through the implementation and deployment of new technologies.
The Digital Transformation development team here at 7T is guided by the approach of “Digital Transformation Driven by Business Strategy.” As such, the 7T development team works with company leaders who are seeking to solve problems and drive ROI through Digital Transformation and innovative business solutions such as multimodal machine learning-powered AI implementations.
7T has offices in Dallas, Houston and Austin, but our clientele spans the globe. If you’re ready to learn more about AI development solutions and other Digital Transformation technologies, contact 7T today.