Increase success rate of your digital projects
'Van ambitie tot adoptie – Digitaal transformeren met impact', out now at Die Keure
Great promise lies in digital transformation, but in practice most digital projects run out of time, go way over budget or fail to deliver lasting value. Somewhere along the way between the ambitious plan and its actual realisation, you’ll come across a spanner in the works and the real impact ultimately proves limited. The book 'Van ambitie tot adoptie – Digitaal transformeren met impact' [From ambition to adoption - Digital transformation with impact], aims to help you significantly increase the success rate of your digital projects.
A recurring observation is the Babylonian speech confusion surrounding all aspects of digitisation. Many digital projects do not live up to their promises. This is not usually due to the technology, but rather to the way projects are handled, as well as the organisation and communication within the company and with project partners.
There was no book we could refer to when we people in all kinds of positions, in large and especially small companies, asked us certain questions, like ‘how should I start?’, but also ‘why are things not going as they should?’. That's why we decided to write a book ourselves. We made the conscious choice of writing it in Dutch, to make it highly accessible. Our aim with this book is to provide all those involved in digitisation projects with the necessary basic insights and a common language to successfully realise their ambitions. It requires no prior technological knowledge.
Where did Carine Lucas (Agoria) and myself get our inspiration to shed a new light on this topic? All things digital have been around for a while, although it remains difficult to comprehend. A transformation project seems to disappear in the vacuum between the technical and business side of things. You fear missing out on the latest technology hype and, at the same time, you are still struggling to roll out basic functionality such as business data processing. And meanwhile, an explosion of growth companies has launched their very own a digital product. This created a mature ecosystem in Belgium of people experienced in defining, developing and maintaining a digital offering.
Agoria and Sirris support the two groups: the companies adopting digital solutions and those offering them. Looking at digital transformation from both these sides has brought us valuable and unique insights. It allows us to bridge the gap between client and contractor in a more focused way, make better products and services as providers, and adopt relevant practices from the more experienced tech companies as transformers.
We can classify our insights in three groups of aspects which usually cause projects to go wrong:
- Unclear objectives and definition of projects
- Using project methods that are not suitable for digital projects
- Missing or poor communication between all stakeholders
The paradox is that more preparation, management and follow-up does not in most cases give better results. It is often even counter-productive because meaningful initiatives are inhibited or delayed. Going digital is therefore not a linear process like a typical investment case. It is a tangle that can only be unravelled systematically by those involved in the process. While reading the book, you will discover when and why this is the case, and what this means in terms of the applicability of traditional project management methods and in terms of the adoption of practices from the technology scene. This ranges from general insights, such as project direction, to concrete concepts, such as roadmap, budget and RoI. Central to this is the mastery of minimal digital jargon. For anyone involved in a digital project, this book is probably one of the better investments.