An estimated $1.3 trillion was spend last year on digital transformation projects, says the Harvard Business Review. But most of that money is being wasted — a Forbes article notes that 70 percent of that money, a full $900 billion, goes towards projects that don’t reach their goals. Companies including GE, Ford and Procter & Gamble have launched digital transformation projects that ultimately failed, reports CNBC.
Why is all that money wasted? It’s not because of complex technical issues, cultural issues or poor leadership, CNBC say. Instead, it comes down to a far simpler problem, poor communications with employees. The article says, “The truth is, people aren't the problem; it's the organization's failure to communicate effectively with its people that sets them up for digital transformation trouble from the start. As many companies have discovered, creating processes, implementing tools and identifying workflows is straight forward. Changing people is hard. And, organizations that are unable to get the right message to the right people at the right time will find it downright impossible.”
I’ve written about this issue previously in my blog post, “Want To Speed Up Digital Transformation? Have Frontline Employees Lead The Way.” In it, I noted how important it is for enterprises to make their frontline employees a key component of any digital transformation project.
In a Forbes article Eric Johnson, CEO of Nintex, said that a successful digital transformation should take its cues from the bottom up by looking at the needs of frontline employees. But I go even a step further and believe that pivotal to the success of digital transformation projects is directly engaging employees in the process as well.
The CNBC article offers some advice on how to do that. It recommends that companies clearly explain to employees why digital transformation is necessary, and “explain how the transformation will benefit the business, why it's critical for future viability, and how it impacts employees.” It also recommends personalizing the message for each employee, crafting targeted multimedia messages for different groups and communicating to them in the context of their jobs.
Eric Johnson of Nintex puts it this way: “By involving frontline workers in companywide innovation plans…inefficiency begins to disappear…When shaping your digital transformation plans, don’t forget to leverage the power of your people and move the effort from bottom to top.”
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