Digital technologies are dramatically reshaping industries. The enterprise of today is gradually becoming an evolved version of its previous avatar, moving towards a utopia where efficiency, productivity, and profitability co-exist harmoniously. As organizations look towards leveraging the power of these digital technologies, it becomes clear that how we navigate digital transformation, and enterprise transformation will become important determiners for success.
While digital transformation continues to be essential for businesses and their survival, research shows that almost70% of digital transformation projects fail. A lack of upfront commitment, poor planning, and misunderstanding of how to modernize IT are some of the key reasons for this.
That said, the real key to successful enterprise tech transformation stems from successful, robust, and modern project management.
Having delivered numerous enterprise tech transformation projects, here are, some key elements you need to consider to successfully deliver an enterprise tech transformation project.
Having a preliminary meeting with all project stakeholders to identify the primary objectives of the project, aligning all views, and identifying which parts need tech transformation is the starting point of any successful project.
Defining the boundaries of the project related to the tasks and actions that need to be executed within the timelines of the project itself becomes essential. This makes sure that project timelines are met, and all associated decisions are taken such that they contribute towards the timely completion of the project.
This approach also prevents ‘scope creep’ as the project sets off. Preventing scope creep is key towards ensuring smooth and timely project completion without resource burnout, within defined costs, while preventing budget overruns.
Since we can manage only what we can measure, assessing how firmly you stand on the project management maturity level becomes important for successful project execution. Where does your organization start is a crucial first data point to define how it can get where it needs to.
Assessing your project delivery capability and identifying where it could do with improvement and advancement are important consideration points to successfully deliver enterprise transformation projects. Identifying areas of improvement and advancements can dramatically impact performance and output as it gears the entire system for efficiency.
Setting up a PMO office then becomes the organic next step as it enables a centralized oversight of project management. It provides structure, guidelines, and determines the selection criteria and resource allocation for each of the enterprise tech projects. It standardizes processes for project management and delivery while also creating a centralized knowledge database for capturing and sharing lessons learned.
A PMO office also contributes towards improved transparency, better communication and facilitates robust reporting. It ensures that the business strategy is aligned with project planning and execution.
Most importantly, in a resource-constrained environment, the PMO office ensures the efficient management of shared resources that eventually contributes to effective and cost-efficient project management.
Having planned and focused delivery management is non-negotiable for successful enterprise tech transformation. Since each project is made up of multiple moving parts, ensuring clearly defined KRAs and SLAs linked to interdependencies become critical contributors to business success.
Technical know-how is not the issue in most projects. However, unless the technical knowledge is complemented with the right processes, an understanding of the business problem, and ensuring that it is in sync with the business needs and budget, the project inevitably heads towards failure.
Having the right delivery management system in place ensures that all the steps taken in the development processes contribute towards the successful and timely completion of the project.
Disciplined and robust delivery management addresses in great detail the expectations of service quality, availability, and timeliness. It ensures that all requirements are clarified and all expectations regarding project scope, quality, and risk factors are realistic.
Robust delivery management also ensures that project risks are proactively identified, scope creep is actively avoided, unplanned and unforeseen changes are polished off and smaller, hidden problems are resolved before they balloon into bigger ones.
Enterprise tech projects naturally need the right technologies and tech framework to support successful deliveries. However, taking a tech-first approach or looking at the shiniest new technology might not always be the best idea. This is because the newest technology might not be the ‘best’ technology for the project. Being technology agnostic plays a critical role in ensuring that the right tech stack is employed for the project and thereby contributes to successful tech transformations.
Evaluating the business needs, the business impact, the risks involved and the expectation from the project all must contribute towards determining the tech stack and the technology framework. For example, along with looking at new technologies, today many organizations want to bake security into the product framework. Adopting strategies like DevSecOps and infusing security into the development lifecycle then can become great enablers of faster deliveries without compromising on quality and security.
Developing the right infrastructure also becomes essential to drive tech transformations. It becomes essential to evaluate if the infrastructure choices are effective, efficient, and resilient across the technical stack. Evaluating the current state of the IT infrastructure and modernizing it to meet the business needs of today’s dynamic market becomes essential. Standardizing, implementing, and scaling to new infrastructure solutions (IoT, Cloud and Hybrid, Traditional Inhouse) while integrating with traditional on-prem IT infrastructure or upgrading the current infrastructure become essential evaluation points to determine project success.
Software benchmarking, establishing the right metrics, measurements, dashboards, and robust reporting structures are further essential to deliver enterprise tech transformation projects successfully, continuously.
Enterprise tech transformation requires thought, meticulous planning, and a clear understanding of customer journey, and consumption patterns and how these can be seamlessly enabled with information technology. A deep awareness of domains, regulatory, and compliance needs, along with technical requirements and dependencies must be complemented with tech expertise. Superior project management and delivery management capabilities drive successful, timely, and cost-efficient enterprise tech transformations.