Why Is the Alignment of People, Processes and Technology Important in a Digital Transformation?

People, processes and IT solutions are never mutually exclusive in a digital transformation, contrary to how we often see the framework appear on paper. At The Poirier Group, we understand that it’s pivotal for leaders within your organization to understand that simply adding talent, new ways of working, or new tools in siloes and without cross-orchestration will not create a sustainable outcome. If, however, each of these dimensions is treated as critical ingredients in a holistic recipe for change, the results will  speak for themselves. 

In the context of an ERP implementation, for example, there is often an urge to jump to the IT solution without first establishing a deep understanding of how people are applying the process. We know that this inclination can lead you to hastily select a new platform solution with built-in processes or workflows, only to discover that it does not align with the core functions of your organization. As a result, your team members might be forced to retrofit processes, and this breeds inefficiency. A new IT solution will likely fail if it does not support how your business operates.  

We know that leadership extends beyond understanding core business workflows and how they will transition to new technology.  Leadership involves ensuring that your team members and end-users are fully aligned with the overarching vision. This pertains to any digital transformation exercise—not just ERP implementations—and they should be carefully considered before implementing new technology solutions. 

What Are Some Common Pitfalls To Avoid? 

With a new digital transformation strategy, one common pitfall we often see is assuming that new technologies are a magic wand that can fix any pre-existing organizational pains. The reality is that ineffective processes will remain ineffective, even with new technology. You should aim to understand what comes out of the box, what value it can add and what it will take to operate it. Additionally, we encourage you to acknowledge the limits of what technology solutions can provide, in order to set realistic expectations for your business and your team. 

An important aspect to consider is managing the coexistence of legacy systems with new, cutting-edge technologies. Transitioning to a new technology roadmap can also create insecurities and skill gaps among your team members.  It’s vital to address these challenges through targeted training programs and supportive leadership. 

What are the Critical Change Management Components of Implementing a Digital Transformation? 

Communicate: Creating transparency around your organization’s current state, where it wants to go, and how to get there is essential. This transparency provides visibility and a consistent message to your entire team and creates alignment and accountability. 

Focus on building the right leadership team to execute strategy: The right people are critical to enable the adoption of new technology. Committed people who feel accountable for the final solution’s success need strong role models to guide them. Therefore, your leadership team must be aligned with a unified vision and able to communicate that downstream. If your team members have differing definitions of what “done” looks like, we know your organization will encounter problems during implementation. 

Approach changes iteratively: Break down your overarching tasks into manageable, realistic chunks rather than trying to tackle everything at once. By testing consistently and iteratively throughout the transformation, you will remain agile and can respond quickly to system discrepancies or failures. Iterative changes allow transformations to move at your organization’s pace rather than blindly following set timelines. We urge you to proceed sustainably so that your internal resources can meet transformation demands. 

Effective change management strategies should be employed to ease the transition from old to new systems. This includes clear communication, stakeholder involvement and feedback mechanisms. We suggest that a strong degree of emotional intelligence in change management will help navigate the complexities of a digital transformation. 

How To Structure Training To Overcome Challenges of Implementing New Technology 

Effective change management, especially in the context of digital transformation, ensures that key new technology users adopt and know how to use it. By training the trainer, you can ensure change leaders are fully on board with the solution and can empower and align the rest of your team with your vision. 

As a best practice, we encourage training before implementation. Providing demos and visualizations of workflows within your system can help prepare users and create realistic expectations for the new system. Sometimes more individualized training is required; depending on how different the new system is from your current one and the complexity of roles that users might have.   Focus generic training on core applications and individualized training on the unique areas where there is the greatest difference. 

We recognize the value of continuous learning and prioritize learning platforms, mentorship programs and opportunities for hands-on learning experience with new technologies as essential elements to ensure readiness of your team and organization undergoing a digital transformation.   

How Has Prioritizing Investments In Digital Innovations Shifted Recently? How Can A Company Evaluate The Benefits And Keep Pace With Its Competitors? 

This year, prioritizing investments in digital innovations has become centered on creating robust, sustainable competitive advantages through agility and data-driven strategies. We are witnessing organizations increasingly focused on enhancing both customer-facing and internal operations via digitalization. 

Companies looking to invest in digitization should take the first step of mapping core current state business processes and defining accompanying roles and responsibilities. Once an organization has this comprehensive view, it can effectively determine future state processes, roles, and system requirements necessary for a digital transformation. 

The beauty of digitization is that it can have exponential benefits. Have patience though! Trust that benefits may be realized down the road, and, again, set realistic expectations— remember this process is more about long-term positioning than immediate benefits. When an organization undergoes a digital transformation, this is an investment in the future and a move towards being proactive, not reactive – setting the stage to become optimized for the long term. 

We Recognize That Patience Is Key, But In The Short-Term, Are There Any Quick Wins Companies Can Achieve As They Get Started? 

When an organization maps current core business processes and defines accompanying roles and responsibilities (as previously outlined), it not only sets the groundwork for new technology to be set-up but also creates visibility across the entire organization. This visibility enables the identification and elimination of waste and inefficiencies that may not have been previously discovered, such as excessive hand-offs, rework, decision-making delays, and manual tasks that could be automated. Removing this waste can lead to immediate time and cost savings, as well as set up long-term system efficiencies. 

At The Poirier Group, our significant experience and business consulting services span many industries. Our proven track record of delivering tangible and pragmatic sustainable results comes from a blend of analytical rigour and creative problem-solving, empowering our clients to unlock their full potential through the adoption of new technologies that will advance digital transformation, data management and inevitably your company’s ability to remain competitive. 

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