What a Teenage Road Trip Taught Me About Successfully Navigating Digital Transformations...
By: Kathy Kent Toney, President of Kent Business Solutions
When I was teenager, I experienced the craziest road trip I’ve ever had in my life! I was a California girl going to college in small-town Iowa and I was in search of the cheapest way to get home for Christmas.
I settled on a non-stop carpool to Los Angeles with one other girl and two guys, traveling in an old Karmann Ghia.
Little did I know the perilous times that lay before me!
Here’s a sampling of what went wrong on that trip:
Needless to say, it was a nightmare, and it’s a miracle I arrived home safe.
This story just proves the point that teenagers’ brains truly are not fully developed!
So, what does this have to do with any business topic? It’s this…
Many companies start their digital transformation journeys on just a wing and a prayer like we did. They start out excited about the journey and then they encounter serious problems along the road. They may attempt to bolt things on to keep things from breaking any further.
Or, they may continue to forge ahead when something that's broken and they limp along the way towards their goal.
Much like my perilous trip, they may reach their destination, but it either took too long or cost them way too much to get there…OR, they’re in the unfortunate place where they never arrive at their desired end point.
If you’re starting a digital transformation journey and want to ensure you arrive at your destination on-time, within budget and with great results, then check out some lessons learned on this topic, based on my eventful trip:
1. Chose the Right Solution/Approach So You’ll Reach Your Desired Destination
An old, not-well-maintained Karmann Ghia definitely was not a good choice for our trip and It never dawned on my teenage brain to ask the owner how safe the car was.
Lessons Learned: When choosing a digital transformation platform, do your due-diligence upfront:
By doing this before you ever start, there's a greater likelihood you'll stay on-time, within budget and achieve great results.
2. Ensure Your Team Remains Engaged Throughout the Project
Our “team” was pretty engaged to reach our goal…except for me. This trip was a disaster in my eyes, and I didn’t want ANYTHING to do with helping to solve the problems. The owner, however, had to be…it was his car and responsibility to provide us transportation home.
Lessons Learned: As a team leader, you know it’s your responsibility to help the team effectively arrive at the destination. You’ll encounter detractors (like how I was on my trip) if they don’t see the process working well. So, it’s a good idea to explore the best ways to keep your team engaged.
One great approach towards this end is implementing Scrum. If a full implementation isn’t possible at this point, a small step towards that is starting out with a Daily Stand-Up meeting. It’s is great way to increase team engagement and help keep projects on-track.
3. Celebrate Your Victories Along the Way
At times, it looked like we’d never get home. That’s why it was a mini-celebration every time the car was up and running!
Lessons Learned: Whenever your team reaches a major milestone, reward them with a small token of your appreciation, such as letting them leave a couple hours early one day. That will work wonders for increasing team satisfaction and moving forward to accomplish the end goal.
These ideas are just a tip of the iceberg to help you on your digital transformation journey. It’s certainly not an easy road to travel and having experts at your disposal can make all the difference in the world!
That’s why my strategic partner, Michael Cantu’, and I would love to be a resource for you! Michael has almost 20 years of making digital transformations work well for companies, including big organizations (like UnitedHealth Group) and smaller businesses as well. And I have over 35 years of experience helping businesses grow profitable beyond their imagination!
If you’re in a situation where you could use some advice, we’re offering a free 30-minute consultation to answer any questions you may have around digitally transforming your business.
If you’d like to take an advantage of this offer, just click the button below to schedule a time!
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