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Key take-aways

7 Things to consider when working on digital transformation projects

At the 2021 Public Technology Annual Conference, Engage Process joined Rachael Dixon from Sedgemoor District Council to discuss their experiences of putting processes at the heart of digital transformation. Rachael explained how they were able to show a 65% reduction in time and cost to manage the collection of tax and freedom of information requests. This was just one session in a very busy two-day event, filled with many other informative and useful sessions. Here is our summary of what we learned that day.

Key take-aways from the event

First, we’ll summarize the key take-aways, then we’ll go a bit more in depth about the topics that can help you in your transformation efforts:

• The UK is second in the world for digital government ranking.

• The COVID-19 pandemic has forced organisations to rapidly implement changes.

• Most organisations implemented new technology 20 to 40 times faster than they normally would. In most cases they were able to act quickly in any case, but the pandemic increased their awareness of this.

• The main reason organisations have taken longer to transition before the pandemic is because they lacked motivation or urgency.

• Keeping focus on a common goal helps to maintain motivation and sense of urgency.

• To successfully drive change, you need to create a team consisting of different disciplines and perspectives.

• You need to help your staff gain some sort of resilience to technology instead of only teaching them how to use the technology they use today, this way they will learn how to quickly adapt to new technology.

• It is important to have Digital Champions and Digital Critics in your organisation. They can help pick the right technology at the right time.

• Use process management as a foundation for all your digital transformation efforts.

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Let's go a bit more in depth on the most important transformation topics

1. Companies have implemented new technologies 40 times faster than before the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced government institutions and other organisations to change the way they work. They were made to rapidly implement these changes and often did so with little effort.
According to reports, most companies have implemented technology 20 to 40 times faster than they did before COVID-19, which indicates that these companies were already able to apply changes quickly but needed some external pressure or motivation to do so.

2. Stay focused on why the organisation is driving change

In the past year, many organisations have proven that they can quickly drive change when necessary. The key to keeping up motivation for change is to stay focused on the reasons why the change is needed, and make sure everyone in the organisation is aware of this common goal.


3. Discuss challenges with a multi-disciplinary team

It’s important to get different people, with different disciplines and perspectives together when working on transformation. The challenges should be discussed together, and everyone should give their input.


4. Work on successful data sharing and avoid silo working

We know that using data and facts are important for transformation programmes but being able to share this data and using the right technology is key to cross-department collaboration.


5. Deal with a stagnant culture from the top

Sometimes a culture change is needed when working on transformations. This usually starts at the top strategic level.

It’s important that an executive is aware of the need of the transformation and encourages the team to talk about how they work and what they do and don’t like about it. This way you get a happy team, and a more efficient way of working can be realised.


6. Help employees gain resilience towards technology

You need to teach people a certain type of resilience towards technology. Help them to learn how to switch to other platforms and new technologies rapidly. This will not only give them a certain skillset and know-how of the platforms they are currently using but will also prepare them when changes in technology do happen.

In addition to teaching people resilience, you can train digital champions who can help drive the changes. Just as important it is to have a digital or tech champions, you need a tech critic in the room to help bring balance when looking into new technology. Together, these two roles can make the right decisions on what to use and when.


7. Put human centric process management at the heart of management programmes

Most organisations are struggling with an increasing number of management programmes. Creating a common ground for these programmes can often be the key in efficiently tackling them. Process management can be this common ground or foundation. Check out the case study of Sedgemoor District Council to see how they used process management as driver and foundation for their transformation initiatives.

In the article ‘5 Key Requirements of Human Centric Process Management’ we explain what is needed to create a foundation out of process management and what the benefits will be when doing so.

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