Digital Transformation projects take many forms, from custom enterprise software platforms and business process automation, to web and mobile apps and cloud-based data management platforms, to name a few. It’s not uncommon for a business to spend months or even more than a year in the preparation and development phases of a high-tech project. Yet many fail to see the results and ROI that they expected.
The Digital Transformation fail rate is 70%. That’s according to a study performed by McKinsey & Company. It’s a staggering figure, especially when you consider the amount of time and money that companies invest in these projects. Dig a bit deeper and you’ll find that a large segment of these failed Digital Transformation projects weren’t necessarily doomed from the get-go. In fact, a majority of projects hold the potential for a sizable ROI. It’s simply a matter of avoiding the pitfalls that lead to Digital Transformation failure.
Digital Transformation Fails From Poor Specs and Scope Creep
The discovery phase is perhaps the most critical stage of the development process. It’s a time when a client’s needs and pain points are identified and a Digital Transformation strategy is then developed around these needs and pain points. If you fail to collaborate properly during the discovery phase, your software requirements document will fall short. This results in a Digital Transformation project that fails to meet the company’s needs and expectations.
Often, a client will realize mid-stream that their Digital Transformation project is going off the rails and in response, they seek to adjust the project scope. Scope adjustments translate into higher costs and a longer development time frame — two factors that are common focal points when evaluating a project’s success or lack thereof.
The solution is relatively simple: choose a Digital Transformation development company that places great emphasis on the discovery phase and involve representatives from all areas of the organization. The latter is especially important since they’ll have insights that may otherwise elude business leaders and/or the development team. A thorough discovery process allows for the creation of a detailed software requirements document with a complete project scope. This will maximize your chances of avoiding Digital Transformation failure from scope creep and cost overruns.
Rushing as a Cause of Digital Transformation Failure
The Digital Transformation failure rate is much higher for projects that are rushed. Corner cutting. Eliminating or simplifying tools and features. Pressuring the development team to finish in time for an arbitrary deadline. It’s a recipe for failure, yet it’s entirely avoidable.
Good planning and a thorough discovery phase will position you for success. An organization must collaborate with their Digital Transformation development team to establish realistic timelines. Over the course of the project, expectations must be well-managed on both sides. Timeline adjustments must also be addressed when scope modifications are required.
If there is a hard deadline for the project, you may consider a phased approach to development. This way, the mission-critical aspects of the platform are ready by the deadline, while less critical components are added in subsequent rounds of development.
Digital Transformation Failure Due to Lack of User Training and Poor User Adoption Rates
Humans are creatures of habit. We tend to be very resistant to change, especially when that change leads us beyond our comfort zones. As such, it should come as no surprise that many Digital Transformation fails are attributed to poor user adoption stemming from a lack of training and familiarity. It’s much easier to simply use old systems and processes, even if they’re less efficient.
It’s also easy for business leaders to get caught up in the excitement of the Digital Transformation development process to the point they forget to consider user training. This leads to poor user adoption rates, low morale and a subpar ROI. Users are left feeling as though the rug has been pulled out from under them or they may avoid the new technology entirely. Business leaders are left with a sense of frustration and the Digital Transformation project as a whole is classed as a failure. But fortunately, this is one fail that can be reversed.
A comprehensive Digital Transformation training program is critical for project success and this is one case where the adage “better late than never” rings true. An organization may opt to use a training team from their development company or they could leverage “superusers” to provide the necessary training to their colleagues. Whatever the case, user training is an essential ingredient in the recipe for Digital Transformation success.
Digital Transformation Failure Due to the Lack of a Change Management Strategy
Many Digital Transformation strategies end at the deployment phase with little or no attention to what happens beyond this point. The result: an innovative (and pricey) piece of technology that nobody uses. That’s a solid Digital Transformation fail by most definitions.
A change management strategy is critical if you’re going to maximize ROI and avoid Digital Transformation failure. The deployment of new technology affects users, the IT department and even clients or customers. You must consider the needs and challenges that each group will confront. Then, create a change management strategy that will ensure a smooth transition during and immediately after deployment. The strategy should include a clear step-by-step protocol for addressing post-deployment challenges.
Digital Transformation for Maximum ROI
At 7T, we specialize in Digital Transformation, using a collaborative development process that engages the client from the discovery phase to deployment. Our many Digital Transformation service offerings include process automation solutions, enterprise software development for ERP and CRM systems (among others), along with SaaS development for web apps and mobile apps, amongst others. We have extensive experience working with cutting-edge technologies and we help our clients to achieve goals such as scaling and achieving regulatory compliance.
We’re 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 innovation. We then provide collaborative, multi-phased and impactful Digital Transformation solutions.