Digital transformation is a journey of managing technology driven change in business. The AGContext Journey of Business Transformation is a process of keeping control over the process of change.
The Journey of Business Transformation.
The fact of business today is that no matter what we do, our work is always changing. Our customers change, our people change, and technology is changing at an ever more faster rate. Therefore, nothing in your business can stay the same for long. This is the new normal. In fact, this new world order is bringing big pressures upon the businesses of regional Australia. As a result, we must adapt and change ourselves.
The Digital Transformation Revolution
We have entered a new era of business transformation: the fourth industrial revolution. This means constant business change at a globally interconnected scale. Moreover, in this new world nothing stays the same, not our work, our people and especially not our business technology. It has been reported that only 16 percent of organizations’ have successfully delivered digital transformation initiatives that have improved performance. Making change stick can be difficult at the best of times but when everything is changing all the time, it quickly becomes overwhelming.
The Gap of Talent and Technology
According to the CSIRO during the decade ending 2016, jobs growth of the knowledge economy in inner Melbourne and Sydney was above the national average by around 30 per cent. In regional Australia however, growth in these jobs was behind the average by up to 16 per cent. In this same decade, new advances in digital technology exploded: New Mobile Networks, Cloud, Big Data, Social Media, Internet of Things and more. This different in jobs growth is “the gap of talent and technology in regional Australia”. It is undoubtedly having an impact on the ability of business in regional Australia to keep up the trends.
The combination of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and The Gap, is placing huge pressure upon business in regional Australia and our current mindset and methods of business are not coping. This is costing our regions untold billions of dollars in direct impact and lost opportunity.
The Mountain Of Change
Digital transformation means change. It means using data, information and technology to do things in better ways than ever before. We create better information about our customers, employees and production. Likewise, we should save time from business administration and financial management.
It’s all good! Right?
Sometimes however, these changes may also mean fundamental changes to the way we work. The way we used to process customer orders, may not work anymore because of the new software. Perhaps the book keeping that was once was a full time job for someone isn’t needed any more because the computer does it now. At the most extreme, a digital transformation of the sale process might mean we can provided better service to our customers through a self-service portal and therefore half of the sales team. This is significant change.
Digital transformation is a never ending climb up an ever changing mountain of business. No matter how great our team culture, employees are always coming and going. The moment we adopt a new technology it changes, or we find a ‘better’ product. Every business system needs to be updated, otherwise we will not keep up with the changing expectations of our employees and customers.
In the fourth industrial revolution, nothing stays the same and change never ends.
This is the new normal for business.
The Journey of Business Transformation
Managing change in the systems of business is what AGContext is all about. The AGContext Journey of Business Transformation is a project management framework for navigating this new era of technology-driven business change. It has has been created by AGContext founder, Carl Sudholz and is the result of 15 years of research and experience. At the heart of The Journey is this question:
If you are a business owner, without any time, resources or special interest for information technology, how do you get the full benefit from these tools in your business?
A Journey For Regional Business
The Journey of Business Transformation is designed especially for the Business Owners, Executives and Managers of regional Australia. For people who are managing businesses that are big enough to require some internal or external IT support, but tend not to have an internal ‘Division of Technology’. This tends to describe businesses somewhere in the range of 10 to 100 employees with an annual revenue of up to $50 million.
Because of the Gap of Talent and Technology described above, despite being the core of the economy in regional Australia, these organisation tend not to have an experienced team of Chief Information Officers, Information Architects and Business Analysts, who are focused on trying to work out which of the growing thousands of digital technologies are best fit for their individual businesses. As a result, they struggle more than most, with making significant digital change in their organisations.
If this is you, then the AGContext Journey of Business Transformation has been designed with you in front of mind.
The Pathway of Digital Transformation Projects
The Journey draws from the best in modern practice in information technology management and business analysis to consolidate a single, simple and iterative process for business systems transformation. It is the evolution of “continuous improvement” into “continuous alignment”.
The secret of The Journey is twofold: Firstly, you must decide upon your Purpose and secondly, you must align your People and your Platforms in order to achieve that Purpose. We control the necessary changes in the business through a Pathways of Projects. That is to say, that the answer to the question above is this:
Technology driven change in business is managed through a Pathway of Projects, focused on aligning our Platforms with People, so that we can turn our Problems into Purpose.
The AGContext Journey of Business Transformation is how we create the clarity, confidence and control that we need to make change a part of business as usual.
Your Journey is your map to go from where you are today, to where you want to be.
The AGContext Journey of Business Transformation makes technology driven change in business, business as usual.
PURPOSE: Begin with why
If our business is to thrive, we need to define our Purpose. Purpose is a choice.
To define the Purpose, we use the hedgehog concept from the classic book by Jim Collins, Good to Great. There are three parts to the hedgehog concept:
- Passion: Your Why. Being in business requires dedication, motivation and persistence therefore, you must have a reason to do it. Why does you business matter and as a result, what is your impact upon the world?
- Proposition: Your customers Why. This is the value that you deliver to others or in other words, your value proposition. This is what people pay you for and hence, the proposition drives profit in your business.
- Pride: What you can do for your customers, better than anybody else? This is what you are best at and therefore the reason why people should do business with and for you.
When you know your sources of Passion, Proposition and Pride, you will gain a deep understanding of your Purpose in business. You will have planted your flags on the mountain of digital transformation. This will empower you to begin creating the alignment between your platforms and your people which is necessary to achieve success and high-performance in your business.
PEOPLE: The heart of business
People are the heart of business. On any journey of business transformation there are three categories of people:
- Customers: The people who benefit from your products and services. The people who pay you for your service and/or those who receive the benefit of your Proposition.
- Crew: The people who work for you. Those who you include as part of your organisation including your employees, directors, owners and/or volunteers.
- Collaborators: The people on whom you rely to deliver your product and/or services but are not formally part of your business. Your suppliers, referral partners, accountants, lawyers and technical specialists.
If your business is to deliver on its purpose, then your people must be working together. Creating high-performing teams means understanding who they are and how they work.
PLATFORMS: The driving engine
Business is a system of systems. The systems, technologies, assets of your business are the Platforms of upon which your business achieves your Purpose.
- Infrastructure: The physical assets of our business including buildings, cars, equipment, computers and devices. If it is on your balance sheet then it is included here.
- Information: The data, software and intellectual property upon which your business depends. It is the content of your files, documents and your sources of knowledge.
- Institution: The culture, values and rules of your organization. The laws, regulation and contracts which govern you. Your unwritten expectations for process, behavior and culture.
PROBLEMS: A business out of alignment
When the People and Platforms of our business are not aligned with our Purpose, our business has Problems. Problems comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Some Problems are entirely about People others about our Platforms and some problems stem from our Purpose, especially if it is unclear. At their heart, the Problems that limit our business are often a mix of all three aspects.
Problems come with a degree of complexity. Some are simple and easy to fix whereas others are highly complex. The Problems we notice and focus upon depends on what we care about as individuals and as organisations. Sometimes these cares are known, sometime unknown. Some problems are out of our control, and hence some problems may never be resolved entirely.
Business transformation is best achieved when it is focused on solving problems of alignment. Yet, we can’t fix everything at once. We are limited by the time and resources that we have. Thus, the prioritization of problems is an essential component of any business transformation journey.
PATHWAY: Success in digital transformation
The prioritization of our problems sets our Pathway of business transition.
Your Pathway of digital transformation in business, is made up of Projects through which you invest your time and resources to improve the alignment within your business. That is, Projects are the mechanism through which you align your Platforms and People with your Purpose.
There are seven universal stages of Projects along the business transformation Pathway:
- Decide Your Purpose.
- Discover and prioritize Your Problems.
- Define Your Pathway through Projects.
- Create Your Action Plan (per Project).
- Develop the new system and / or solution.
- Deploy the new approach. Make the transition from old to new, current to future.
- Review and Repeat from 1.
THE INFINITE LOOP
The digital transformation of your business, is a process of infinite creation and renewal. There is always more to be done, no matter where we are on the journey. This is a journey of never-ending continuous improvement. One in which we are always seeking to get better, but does not last, because the mountain of business transformation upon which we strive for our Purpose, is forever changing.
Yet, despite all of this, digital transformation is still a process that you can control with confidence and clarity. Through your own journey, we hope to enable you to achieve your purpose while at the same time, making our world a better place.