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Don't get lost, map your digital journey easily

As a leader you have a need to improve your business top or bottom line by digital means. However, you may lack practical capabilities to lead the transformation, perhaps due to time or competence constraints. You are also painfully aware of the fact that it is the leadership team that has to approve the focus and scope of a digital intensive change. And a leader knows that a change without a clear enough target will fail.

As a leader you have a need to improve your business top or bottom line by digital means. However, you may lack practical capabilities to lead the transformation, perhaps due to time or competence constraints. You are also painfully aware of the fact that it is the leadership team that has to approve the focus and scope of a digital intensive change. And a leader knows that a change without a clear enough target will fail. I have faced this target setting dilemma on many levels, from business leadership teams to individual projects. The question is, how you can define the scope of your own digital intensive transformation in an easy way, at the moment of truth?

I'm introducing an easy way to find your digital transformation focus, a digital transformation map. It is an easy tool to map the key areas of your digital transformation journey and identify the major changes you need to overcome. It works in leadership teams and in individual projects. You may analyse your digital transformation need, for example, from business target and/or deep technology perspectives. Here are some examples of potential use cases.

You start by identifying a fresh business target that serves as the baseline for the digital change vision. For example, you may aim at improving employee or customer experience by introducing new self-service opportunities in digital channels, or you may want to use operational data to enable better resource utilization in field service. Or ultimately, you are creating a new digital service with new revenue stream. It makes sense to decide the business target early, in order to provide direction for the digital vision and for the first pilots. The target may change during the journey but a clear direction setting helps the digital development team and it communicates clearly, how big is the change that is expected.

In digital intensive changes, practical technical and organizational components and their scope may be hard to define. This is the case especially in teams that consists of people with wide variety of non-digital skills. It is unfair to expect that all line managers and experts are equipped with digital competences.

For your benefit, the transformation map includes the major components that enable a digital transformation in business area or project levels. Accordingly, the map guides you to discuss the needed components, their target states and changes in an easy way. After a quick analysis, you have scoped your change in a way, that enables the planning teams to start their detailed work. And you can be sure you have covered all the major capability areas a digital transformation must cover.

For example, consider your installed product base that requires maintenance. The transformation map includes the needed technical elements like physical product, data collection from the installed base, data storage in the edge of the network and data analytics in the back-office. The collected data is used for product status check and fault analysis, and finally entered to company's service management system, for example, as a service request ticket for a field engineer. By using the map, the next steps in the field service development are easy to identify. The mapping starts by evaluating the existing business model, putting field technicians to the center and initiating steps in customer facing service design. In technical areas, the map trusts in known industrial Internet architecture frameworks and simplifies their usage for a quick business analysis. Because digital transformation emphasises agile development practices, and lack of digital competences is a typical problem, business needs in these areas are also covered.

The scoping challenge can exist at any organisational level. Unclear scope is also one of the most common gaps any project manager must overcome in early phases of project planning. By running the digital map based scoping workshops in leadership or project teams, you ensure the right elements are discussed from the beginning.

The outcomes of digital transformation mapping include a clear change vision and clearly described changes from business, customer, organisation and technical perspectives. The mapping steps themselves result in higher commitment level amongst the participants. Overall, the success of your digital transformation journey is built on a well justified change story. The story is a great platform for your next program increment.

Our approach to digital transformation is focusing strongly on business benefit realization, practical change leadership by highly competent people, proven methods and quick learning cycles. The Midagon transformation steps include a jointly created change vision, digital ecosystem selection and competitive bidding, innovative pilots and agile transformation. Continuous digital service optimization follows lean practices. With Midagon, you can combine digital content, i.e. the map, and digital innovation process into a journey that results in early digital business benefits.

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