Digital Transformation Design Principles
- Digital Transformation Design Principles
- Digital Transformation Design Principles
Digital transformation is a buzz word these days and many organizations are in some shape or form working on digital transformation initiatives. As many articles have explained that digital transformation is easy to say but difficult to realize, here’s a guide to help your design processes in an early stage of digital transformation. Here we go with 6 major Design Principles:
1 – start with a vision
A common pitfall of transformation programs is the difference between outside in thinking and inside out thinking. Often external factors will be relevant to an organizations vision and strategy but should not be leading. As example, asking what can we do with Artificial Intelligence is outside in thinking. Asking how Artificial Intelligence can improve our customer service is inside out thinking. The core characteristics and core capabilities of an organization should be the drivers or objectives for a transformation program. A clear vision or transformation journey needs to clarify to all why change is needed and what the end-game will look like.
2 – technology and solutions solve user’s problems
Today issues are the starting point for designing solutions for tomorrow and not the capabilities of the technologies and solutions itself. The user, as compared with the driver in a car – is central in the design process as we are trying to create solutions that will solve problems and create great user experiences. Translating this for situations where the user is the customer, we design solutions for the creation of customers’ value and experiences.
3 – simplify to the core building block
As the complexity of the playing field for organizations is increasing, consistency is crucial for speed. Having standardized building blocks that can be re-used will not only decrease the time to market for innovations but it will also decrease the costs for delivering new solutions or adapting existing solutions. Simplification helps to create core building blocks that have universal functionality. This is a balancing act between the lowest level of building block versus the right variability of functionality. Differently said the combination of lowest functionality with the right set of variables will optimize the usability and agility of the building blocks. This way consistent solutions can be build and re-used with the highest speed and lowest costs.
4 – design only standard solutions, isolate exceptions
Unlike in nature there is no added value in diversity of processes and solutions. Therefore, there is no value in automation of exceptions. In fact, allowing this, is essentially accommodating non-value adding complexity. Today simplicity and agility are key which require standardized solutions which can easily be adopted (customized) for change. Having not standard solutions will increase the adoption workload and lead-time drastically.
5 – customers and users are always right
As technological developments create a vast amount of business opportunities, organizations need to be very selective for the ones they want to adopt (first). Different digital transformation initiatives will create challenges which require focus and capacity to implement. Therefore, priorization of design specifics should be measured according to the added value of the new solution, as perceived by the user and or customer. A periodic validation process is therefore required to feed the right prioritizations into different design iterations. Best practices for this are periodic validations (sprints) and user reference boards.
6 – you only live once (YOLO)
All elements being part of a solution landscape live only once. Repetition undermines standardization, adaptability and speed. Data has only one source, one definition, one owner, one user interface, etc. Design choices have to be made where elements live best according to their nature. APIs are the enablers for the integration of a solution landscape
About the author(s):
Drs Ing Erik Euwe (1968) has a demonstrated track record of international implementations and business improvements projects. Having a background of Business Logistics and Business Economics, Erik works in consulting since 1995. He worked for Accenture, KPMG & Genpact alongside QVS Consulting which he founded in 1997. Currently focuses on Finance, Digital Transformation and Sustainability for QVS and Tech Rebels. With 20+ years of consulting experience, Erik has led successful transformation programs from within the business for many known large multinationals such as ASML, ABN AMRO, BSN, Nuon, Philips, Tommy Hilfiger and VEON. Being a financial and logistics expert, as well as a transformation lead, Erik’s sweet spot is on the crossroads of business and technology, working with a motivated team to make a success of digital business change.