If you were to conduct a survey on what people thought "Digital Transformation" meant, you'd find that it means something different to nearly everyone. There isn't a "one size fits all" solution, your business' progress on the transformation journey, the scope of what is being transformed, the size of the business and number of people and systems involved all create variability in what needs to be done and what needs to be achieved.
When Design Agility talks about digital transformation, we are talking about a business outcome where the people and processes within a business are supported by technology that is aligned to the core purpose of the business of servicing customers. Does this mean work flow, automation, artificial intelligence, machine learning? Potentially, if that is what is required, however, our focus will be to understand the needs of your customer's, what you are currently able to provide them in terms of service and what is currently out of reach, the needs of your staff to meet the customer's expectations and the needs of the business to be able to understand the performance of the business, to be able to identify trends, to monitor and manage processes so that the desired (strategic) outcomes are achieved.
Communication is at the centre of most human interactions and business is no different. Whether that is communication between your staff, your staff and customers or staff and suppliers, communication is a key component of business transactions. Technology plays strongly in this arena, providing multiple channels of communication, some or all of which are required to be successful in a modern business. Communications channels are not created equally however, for example, an SMS is ideal for sending a message to a customer asking them to confirm a doctor's appointment, but is totally unsuitable for a complex enquiry or delivery of documents.
Understanding the communications and collaboration needs of staff, customers, suppliers and providing the channels that are relevant for the communication needing to take place is the first step. Understanding how you can feed the outcome of that communication into the associated systems that control and manage the business processes that underpin the need for the communications in the first instance is the second step.
The process of defining the communications needs and solutions is typically a cross-functional discussion requiring input from customers and customer facing teams such as sales, marketing and customer service but also back office teams such as project, warehousing, logistics, finance and procurement teams.
Our approach is to understand why the communications are necessary, how they are best achieved, the processes that they support and the systems that need to be updated with respect to the outcomes of the communications. Only when these variables are understood can the appropriate technology and integrations be planned and executed.
When your competitors are only a Google search away from enticing your customer's to try another supplier, it really is worth thinking about what it is that you're doing to make your customer's decision to move to your competitor less appealing, and similarly, what are you doing that your competitor is not doing that will make your business appear more appealing to your competitor's customers?
It is human nature to take the path of least resistance. If your business is easier to deal with for the same outcome as your competitor, you have an advantage. If your business provides significantly more value and is easier to deal with than your competitors, you can probably be more expensive and still retain your existing customers and acquire new customers. It sounds logical and a great situation for your business to be in, but so many businesses don't take this into consideration when purchasing and deploying new technology and end up making the customer jump through "technology" hoops to achieve their desired outcome.
Design Agility's goal is to enable both the business and the customer, reducing the cost to the business of servicing customers and reducing the friction for customers in achieving their outcomes.
Staff Enablement is similar to Customer Enablement, in that it is aiming to reduce or eliminate the friction between people and the outcome they desire, it simply has an internal focus. Staff Enablement is also a foundation for the aims of the outwardly focussed Customer Enablement goals of ensuring customers are satisfied with their interactions with the business.
You could look at Staff Enablement being akin to Asset Management. Like the physical assets in your business, for example, manufacturing, production or transport equipment, the human assets in your business need maintenance and care to perform optimally. However, unlike the physical assets, human assets when maintained appropriately are an appreciating asset not a depreciating asset like a laptop or a truck.
Ensuring the training and support required to take on new processes and technology is provided to staff, is key to ensuring staff are more engaged, more productive and are far more likely to be ambassadors for the business. The benefits to the business are staff that are prepared to "go the extra mile" for customers increasing productivity and customer satisfaction, staff that are engaged and want to work for the business reducing the cost of hiring and on-boarding replacement staff and over time, a maturing of experience and knowledge within the work force that can bring new comers to the business up to speed faster.
With technology changes becoming more frequent, the need to keep staff "up to speed" with the tools of trade, becomes increasingly important if productivity and consistency in the business interactions with customers is valuable. Design Agility's Staff Enablement services are designed to establish a framework of dealing with technology and process change from a people perspective.