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Nick Adams - 01.02.2019

7-Step DIY Process for True Digital Transformation - Part Two

In part one of our overview of the Discovery process we covered the importance of gathering a consensus, gaining insight from stakeholder interviews, and auditing people, processes and technology. Our guide to achieving successful Discovery for Digital Transformation continues now with steps 4 through 7.

Step 4: Present Your Findings
After completing steps 1-3, conduct a presentation with key stakeholders summarizing the findings from your interviews and audit exercises. This mid-point readout establishes a clear understanding of the existing state of their digital properties and outlines high-level business requirements to be explored more in depth. The leadership team may be surprised at the results, so it’s best to be clear about what has been heard, seen, and analyzed by including direct quotes and concrete evidence of your analysis throughout the first three steps of the process. Many discovery exercises uncover problems that team members did not know existed and could potentially reshape the trajectory of the Digital Transformation, so ensure that everyone agrees with the key takeaways from the findings and the direction you intend to pursue before proceeding to the next step.

Step 5: Define Requirements
With the findings under your belt, now begin to identify and outline new requirements for updated, integrated or new systems that address the issues determined in Steps 1-4. Split the requirements into two categories business requirements, which outline high-level goals, and functional requirements, which outline how those goals can be achieved with detailed, actionable steps. These gathered requirements should serve as a template for the ideal state of the new ecosystem of responsibilities, processes and technology. These requirements also serve as the main criteria for selecting new tools or implementing new processes. Plan a review of the digital transformation requirements with stakeholders to ensure alignment before moving on to the next step.

Step 6: Identify Solutions
You know the issues, now identify the solutions. With a clear set of requirements per system, tool, or process now established, research available marketplace solutions that meet the needs identified in the requirements. Match the current and future needs of the business with tools that can accomplish those requirements and open a dialogue on the pros and cons of each toolset. Remember that many of these tools will need to integrate with the existing toolset and with each other, so the choice of Content Management System (CMS) may have an impact on the choice of—or even consideration of—a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution, for example. Ensure that the tools will not only fit into the existing MarTech stack and functional feature set, but also allows for long-term future flexibility and extensibility. According to a Forrester Digital Experience Delivery Survey, 76% of marketers look at the ease of integration between software components as the primary factor when choosing marketing technology, and developers may curse you later if you select tools that only work within their own silo.

Step 7: Present a Prioritized Road Map
The final step of Discovery is to recommend a phased roadmap with costs and timelines. First, provide a brief overview of findings from steps 1-3 to remind the audience about what was revealed in earlier discussions, interviews, and audits. Highlight the biggest pain points and priorities the team identified and dive deeper into the specific necessary capabilities of that new or improved system. Review technical options considered to meet these requirements and explain why a tool or approach is recommended over others. If you have not already ascertained your enterprise’s financial appetite (read: budget), recommend a few price-tiered options based on functionality and let leadership decide the best choice themselves (but always have a leading recommendation in mind).

With the final recommended solution set presented, the stakeholders will want to know how they can immediately see ROI from these proposed initiatives. Come prepared with two roadmap timeline options: one set of initiatives that provide “quick wins” that can be implemented within a 3-6-month time frame on a more conservative budget, and another set of initiatives that showcase your recommended initiatives in their prioritized, chronological order. Note which work streams are dependent on each other or other factors, and outline the timeline, scope, and budget of each initiative. Executives will want to know which initiatives will give them the biggest bang for their buck, so including expected ROI for each of these initiatives will also edify your case for the need for each work stream. Combine these expected ROIs with the metrics determined in step one into an objective scorecard to maintain accountability for both leadership and your team. With a final roadmap agreed upon by the executive team, the business is now well prepared to implement Digital Transformation.

Remember, while Discovery can be handled internally, you don’t have to undertake these actions alone. It’s often advantageous to use an experienced and objective third party like Sagepath to facilitate open discussions, audit internal resources and processes, and deliver informed assessments of emerging technologies to create a prioritized list of requirements, work streams and solution implementations. So, before you undertake Discovery on your own, drop us a line to learn more about how we can help make the process manageable and productive.