Chances are you've spent the better part of the last quarter working with your business colleagues on your digital strategy and 2017 business objectives. You've assembled the best research, gathered the appropriate stakeholders, reviewed the latest data, consulted with key customers and prioritized a list of 2017 initiatives. Each initiative is designed to improve the customer experience, grow revenue, become more efficient, enhance security, and invest in new digital capabilities.
To be truly transformative, a significant part of your strategy needs to consider how to involve a growing number of people in your organization to participate in the various programs and to evolve to a more digital mindset and operating practices. Since many of you are working on 2017 team and individual performance objectives, it's probably a good time to define additional goals beyond your business objectives that will inspire more involvement and drive digital practices.
So let me share with you several goals worth considering.
In a digital world, every department has the challenge of becoming more data driven and leveraging data in decision making. If you're facing a data science skill shortage like many organizations, then consider developing a citizen data science program aimed to engage the more data-savvy individuals working in the marketing, finance, operations, and other departments that work with lots of data.
If you develop and lead this group, then they are less likely to go rogue on you and select their own data technologies or establish poor data management practices without your knowledge or endorsement.
They are also very likely to become the most important customers of your transformation initiatives. They will become the most "hands on" users of advanced technologies and can drive significant business results if you steer them to the analytics that are within their skill set to perform and have the greatest business potential.
Many digital transformation programs will require an increase in application development and digital marketing programs either to develop products, improve customer experiences, or increase automation. If you haven't developed an evolving governance practice that takes feedback from agile team retrospectives and drives process improvement then consider developing this as a 2017 goal.
What you focus on should depend on the feedback from stakeholders and from agile teams. Perhaps product owners want development estimates so that they can make better prioritization decisions and adjust their roadmaps? Maybe developers believe technical debt isn't being addressed sufficiently and developing metrics is needed. There's plenty of opportunity to evolve beyond basic practices.
This is a good place to leverage and demonstrate agile management practices. Consider developing a backlog of process improvements, assigning a "product owner" that drives their priorities, and assembling leads from multiple teams that will be charged to solution process improvements.
Transformation agendas should include research, proof of concepts, and pilot projects that leverage new technologies. If technical innovation is already part of the business priorities, then consider how to track and report on the goals, accomplishments, pivots, and learnings (including failures) of these activities.
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