Monday, June 5, 2017

The Golden Circle of IT Change Management and Digital Transformation

Organizations can make a perfect golden circle of business change and digital transformation via aligning critical business elements with the overall commitment to the arrival point.

The digital transformation is a long evolutionary journey for organizations large or small today. Now the phenomenon of digital is reaching the inflection point, yet we are entering an even more rapid and extensive period of change. IT plays a crucial role in leading changes as technology is often the disruptive force of digitalization, and the information is the lifeblood of the digital organization. Modern IT has to make a paradigm shift, continue to move up its maturity from a reactive helpdesk, back-office function into a proactive business partner and innovation engine. As every successful change program or the business transformation should follow the 'Golden Circle' starting with the WHY? (clarify the vision and motivation of the digital journey), then addressing the HOW? (the logical scenario and processes are taken to change) and the WHAT? (the quantitative and qualitative business results) at the end.

WHY: A forward-thinking company has both long-term as well as short-term objectives that need to be strategized to adapt to digital disruptions - either opportunities or risks. There is no change for its own sake, organizational leaders must clarify the business goals behind it. First, ask leaders and managers about the vision and business problems they are trying to solve, then there needs to be a comprehensive audit of the business. Business-engaged CIOs are change leaders to run proactive IT and keep navigating during the rough sea of changes. Both fast growing businesses and well-established organizations need to set top priorities to build changeability in which IT is a key enabler and linchpin. Hence, the CIO needs to envision and be engaged, and at the most senior levels to help influence and shape the business of the future in which change is the new normal.

HOW: Change is no longer just an isolated business initiative, it needs to be built as an ongoing core business capability and a mechanism embedded into underlying business processes or functions. The CIO needs to be acutely in tune with the business in order to define and develop a logical scenario and build the process for changes. A good relationship between business and IT becomes visible by clearly defining tasks, authorities, and responsibilities. Business and IT have to work together to achieve their goals, make changes for achieving better business results. So, do not limit the success factor for a change or transformation to any particular aspect, nor accept the pure success or pure failure assumption. Change, in many business circumstances, has to go deeper, fine tune the underlying functions or manage intangible business elements. And there is as much an onus on the business to understand IT, to be aware of the technical considerations required to deliver the business outcomes, to help plan the budgets, predict the financial and resource requirements, understand the constraints, and IT and business has to work hand in hand to manage change to sustain its impact.

WHAT: To reinvent IT reputation, the CIO has a role in selling the merits of IT to the business and quantifying change management in terms of ROI, and be confident about what IT can deliver. IT metrics need to evolve to something that matters to the business audience, at the same time that "business sentiment" needs to get put into something more tangible, such as optimize processes, or improve productivity. CXOs must agree on the business goals of changes, and then set up metrics and incentives based on meeting those goals. If everyone understands the part they play in adapting to changes, riding the learning curve and they are provided the right kind of incentives, in most part, people will do the right things and metrics/checkpoints can ensure proper change management and adjust to the right speed for smooth digital transformation.

Organizations rely more and more on technology, IT is an enabler of current and future capability for both the organization and its ecosystem. To run IT as a change organization, the CIO has to work with the senior executives to understand the business, the business drivers, long-term objectives, and strategy and then ensure change management is synchronized with strategy management to create the business synergy. Always keep the end in mind. With a focus on the arrival point, success will be contingent upon culture, the state of the business, leadership, communication, team membership (internal and external) with the overall commitment to the business goal, and make a perfect golden circle of business change and digital transformation.


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