Digital transformation is an easy buzzword to use, but a difficult concept to implement. That’s because so many companies think of it as a top-down process where the CEO says “make me an app!” and then leaves everyone else alone to figure out how. But that’s a terrible way to approach digital transformation: agile management is the key to success. In this article, we’ll explain what agile management means and why it’s important for companies making their own digital transformations.
Don’t work in silos
The concept of silos is well-known. A business unit is created, and the team within it works on whatever they want. They’re able to make decisions for themselves without having to worry about other teams or departments. When these smaller groups are pulled together into one giant company — as happens in digital transformation initiatives — things get complicated. 86% of employees and executives cite lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures.
A culture of blame can develop when people aren’t willing to ask questions or seek out feedback from others in their organization.
It’s easy for projects to fall through the cracks because no one knows what everyone else is doing on any given day. To avoid this problem, agile managers need to encourage a collaborative environment where employees can share ideas freely and openly discuss problems so they can be solved together quickly and efficiently.
Keep asking questions and changing the plan
The biggest challenge, and main opportunity for agile management, is to keep questioning and changing the plan. The importance of continuous questioning cannot be overstated: if you know everything, then why are you transforming? If there’s no room for improvement, then why bother trying to change? According to PWC, agile projects are 28% more successful than traditional projects.
Change must be constant in order for your transformation project to succeed and it’s not just about making changes; it also means learning from them so that you can continue moving forward.
Agile management means continuous improvement—not just in terms of what happens with your digital transformation efforts but also how those efforts are carried out by everyone involved (managers included). It requires constant communication between different stakeholders within an organization so that they’re all on the same page at all times; without this kind of teamwork among employees working towards shared goals at every level within an organization there would never be any true unity between teams working towards similar objectives across various departments within their respective divisions under one umbrella department of “Digital Transformation.”
The most crucial part of agile management is staying up to date with the latest developments in your industry and field. This will help you stay relevant, and more importantly, keep your company’s customers engaged. If you don’t keep up with the times, it’s likely that someone else will come along with a better solution.
Get rid of the risk-averse culture
The first step to getting rid of your risk-averse culture is to get people out of their comfort zone. Fear of change is what keeps them there and it’s something you need to overcome if you want your team members to be agile and work independently. According to Harvard Business Review, only 9% of managers were willing to accept a 40% or greater chance of loss. This shows extreme risk aversion.
In order to do this, you’ll need to start taking risks. This can mean making decisions or taking actions that may have some short-term consequences that could potentially harm your business in the long term if they aren’t implemented correctly. Your job as a leader is not just about making sure everything runs smoothly, but also about planning for failure by taking responsibility for it so that when something goes wrong, everyone knows who was responsible—you!
Once people see how much control they have over their own success (or failure), they’ll feel empowered enough to take risks on behalf of themselves without having fear holding them back from doing so. In order for this process to work effectively though, make sure each person knows exactly what their responsibilities are so there’s no ambiguity about who should do what job at any given time during any given project. Otherwise no one will take responsibility because it’s always someone else’s fault anyway.
Focus on your vision, not the details
A strong vision is the cornerstone of any successful business, and it’s especially important for digital transformation efforts. A clear goal gives teams a sense of direction, which means they can focus on the tasks that will help you reach your destination. However, this doesn’t mean you should ignore details completely. It’s still critical to know where you’re going and how long it will take to get there.
But if a manager has a solid plan in place, he or she won’t be tempted by new ideas that could derail the team’s progress toward their goal. Some managers might even feel inclined to change course based on these new opportunities; after all, they’re supposed to be encouraging innovative thinking in their employees. But when everyone knows exactly what they’re working toward (the big picture), it’ll be easier for everyone involved to maintain focus and avoid distractions—even if those distractions come from within the organization itself!
If you want to implement digital transformation, you need to be agile
Agile is a mindset, a way of working and thinking, a way of communicating and being. It’s agile as an adjective, not just as an action noun. You can be agile; you can think about things in an agile manner. It’s not so much about doing things quickly (although it helps) but rather how you approach digital transformation within your organization. Being agile means that you understand the need for constant change and adaptation — both inside your organization and externally in the customer-centric world we live in today.
Changing rapidly isn’t just about changing strategies or making new plans; it’s also about changing people’s perceptions about how they see themselves working together with others in the organization — which requires trust, openness and collaboration between teams so that everyone feels like they have control over their own destiny.
To sum up, agility means not working in silos, keeping an open mind, and educating yourself. It also means focusing on your vision and getting rid of the risk-averse culture. If you want to implement digital transformation within your company or organization, these are some of the things that will help you get started. You should also investigate digital coaching as a way to help your employees be less risk averse as you transform your business.