Digital transformation has become one of the most overused bromides across a range of capital-intensive sectors, vague and fungible to the point of becoming meaningless. But, at its core lies a solid and simple premise: significantly advancing the use of people, process and technology to compound impact of outcomes and capabilities.
Of course, simple doesn’t mean easy; focus and context are everything. Many digital transformation initiatives fail because measurable outcomes are not targeted at the outset and budgets are allocated as either a single undifferentiated wallet or mapped to a complicated matrix of cross charges and allocations.
At the root, these problems are the result of planning and business case processes that are not well defined. Upfront planning and business case development is at least as important as effective project execution, the near exclusive focus of many ePMOs. While effective business case planning and management is always important, the nature of digital transformation strategies compounds significance. In fact, a well-formed business case discipline is a leading critical success factor for digital transformation programs, alongside items such as senior executive level commitment and accountability across business units, functions, and geographic regions.
Using a business case framework as a point of reference for digital transformation initiatives helps to reinforce important disciplines and core competencies. Implementing a business case framework in a technology platform provides a terrific opportunity to institutionalize the transformation process, capturing intellectual capital in terms of best practices and providing support for collaboration and iteration.
Transformation is about much more than capturing information “digitally” and decreasing reliance on manual, sequential processes. A technology platform provides a mechanism to establish a number of capabilities fundamentally important to activating a business case-driven digital transformation strategy:
The right business case management technology platform can bring to life digital transformation initiatives and accelerate results. Capturing ideas that align with corporate strategies and key capabilities targeted by transformation programs and leveraging a standard framework for collaborative creation and objective assessment, projects with the highest impact potential can be advanced rapidly to development of detailed business cases that can proceed to approval and execution with a greater level of velocity and precision. Such a simple, elegant institutionalized process implemented in a thoughtful manner lays a solid foundation for outcomes-focused digital transformation.