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Sharp turns and steep slopes

Data-driven and digital journey is like a roller-coaster

Your business is ready for digital transformation. The strategic vision is approved, and everybody is excited about the endless possibilities, enabled by the new technology. Now what? When will we hear the big bang?

Well, there never will be a big bang. A digital transformation does not happen overnight, it is a gradual process over many years. Pedab calls this process the “data-driven and digital journey” (watch the film) and you can expect a journey with ups and downs, highs and lows,  unexpected sharp turns and steep slopes.

Successful organisations have a practical approach to becoming data-driven and digital. They start their journey by identifying the key areas and the low hanging fruits.

"... moon shots are less likely to be successful than “low-hanging fruit” projects that enhance business processes." T Davenport and R Ronanki in Harvard Business Review

So, learn from them and start your data-driven and digital journey with one small-scale but big-picture project. Look for a project that put the customer at the centre of the business transformation and develop a tangible hypothesis. That way you can validate it iteratively (Deloitte). Your hypothesis can be as simple as "the customers will buy more if we provide photos of the product being used".

This first pilot should be simple, because that will make it faster to complete successfully. Short-term wins allow people to shine, make them proud and motivated, and there will be immediate learnings that everybody can appreciate and understand with obvious takeaways. Quantifiable gains and hard numbers work the best.

Build your team with people that are purpose driven and motivated by the ability to make an impact. Energy, curiosity, and optimism are other important characteristics, aligned with a “let´s do it now” attitude. Cross-functional team can work, buta  one department team is easier.

A small-scale project is also the perfect opportunity to start building your external network. Again, think small-scale, so a first step can be as easy as joining an online community or go to a seminar together.  Practise networking as you would with any other skill and start slow. Later in your journey you will need an ecosystem to grow and expand, find talent, and technical capabilities.

"Innovation through ecosystems is what to do. This is the opposite of "not invented here"." Forrester

Start your data-driven and digital journey with that one first step. Sure, this first project will barely scratch the surface of your digital potential. Someone said that "half of the challenge is getting started". This is so true, and even a small-scale project that is finnished in a month,  moves you so much closer the vision of being data-driven and digital.