Learning Provider Profile
Ms. Drabenstadt is a Certified Learning Provider (CLP) at Appleton Greene and she has experience in Information Technology, Information Governance, Compliance and Audit. She has achieved an MBA, and BBA. She has industry experience within the following sectors: Technology; Insurance and Financial Services. She has had commercial experience within the following countries: United States of America, Canada, Australia, India, Trinidad, and Jamaica. Her program will initially be available in the following cities: Madison WI; Minneapolis MN; Chicago IL; Atlanta GA and Denver CO. Her personal achievements include: Developed Trusted IT-Business Relationship; Delivered Increased Business Value/Time; Decreased IT Costs; Re-tooled IT Staff; Increased IT Employee Morale. Her service skills incorporate: IT transformation leadership; process improvement; change management; program management and information governance.
Future-state design is another crucial part of the process of carrying out a successful IT transformation. While the current-state assessment tells us where we are at the moment, the future-state design is important because it tells us where we plan to go. There are two basic questions that form the foundation of the future-state design. The first question is, “What do we aim to achieve?” and the second is “How do we plan to get there?”. In working towards the IT transformation of an organization, there must be a goal. The people involved have to know what they are hoping to achieve with this initiative. That is what the answer to the first question gives us. What we aim to achieve is the goal that we set for the transformation program. After filling up the gaps in the current state and adopting new technology, where the organization hopes to stand at the end of the transformation process is the future-state. The answer to the second question – how do we plan to get there? – is what helps build the strategy for change. It sets the path that the organization needs to follow in order to achieve the goal. It builds a framework for the transformation process based on a clear vision, a purpose, the key transformations, operating principles, and so on. Using these two basic questions, the organization can create a vision for IT transformation and a roadmap to fulfill that vision. The future-state design uses research, design techniques, and business thinking to paint a vivid picture of what the business should be like in the future.
01. Customer Focus: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
02. Organizational Structure; departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
03. Change Management and Cultural Transformation; departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
04. Transformational Leadership; departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
05. Technology Decisions Involve Entire C-Suite; departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
06. Integration of All Data Systems; departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
07. Internal Customer Experience: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. 1 Month
08. Modernization Strategy: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
09. Data Security, Privacy and Data Ethics: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
10. Evolution of Products, Services and Processes: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
11. Digitization of The Business: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
12. Personalization Guides The Customer: departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development. Time Allocated: 1 Month
01. Customer Focus: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
02. Organizational Structure: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
03. Change Management and Cultural Transformation: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
04. Transformational Leadership: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
05. Technology Decisions Involve Entire C-Suite: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
06. Integration of All Data Systems: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
07. Internal Customer Experience: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
08. Modernization Strategy: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
09. Data Security, Privacy and Data Ethics: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
10. Evolution of Products, Services and Processes: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
11. Digitization of The Business: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
12. Personalization Guides The Customer: Each individual department head to undertake departmental SWOT analysis; strategy research & development.
01. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Customer Focus.
02. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Organizational Structure.
03. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Change Management and Cultural Transformation.
04. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Transformational Leadership.
05. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Technology Decisions Involve Entire C-Suite.
06. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Integration of All Data Systems.
07. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Internal Customer Experience.
08. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Modernization Strategy.
09. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Data Security, Privacy and Data Ethics.
10. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Evolution of Products, Services and Processes.
11. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Digitization of The Business.
12. Create a task on your calendar, to be completed within the next month, to analyze Personalization Guides The Customer.
What does “Future State” mean, and why is it important?
The broader vision for the organization ultimately translates to the company’s future state. It’s where you want to be in terms of the constantly changing nature of technology and how it relates to your current business. Without a clear future state, a business will frequently lack direction, making it difficult to make critical decisions, generating management misalignment, and ultimately impeding the advancement and growth of the organization’s mission.
To identify and achieve their future state, a company will go through a series of process mapping activities that look at both their current state and what it will look like in the future. Let’s get into the specifics of defining and achieving your company’s future state.
It takes team effort to define your future state and develop a strategy for getting there. Get a leg up on the competition by bringing together members of your team from other departments. Hold a meeting or workshop with an expert facilitator to assist them lay out the steps needed to get to your future state.
This facilitator can assist you in documenting your current situation and identifying the pain areas and challenges that are preventing you from moving forward. They know how to ask the appropriate questions to get to the heart of the matter and lead your cross-functional team in the right direction.
Consult with your colleagues
If a co-worker opposes a particular course of action, it’s most usually due to a lack of participation on the back end. Although you won’t be able to completely eradicate resistance as you progress to your future state, bringing in and engaging the individuals who are executing the processes cross-functionally can help reduce resistance.
Building a business case for your strategy, especially one that is data-driven, will aid in reaching general agreement within your larger team. Quantify particular benefits and growth potential and tie them to the company’s aims to build a solid case. Always keep in mind that appropriate organizational change management is where it all begins and finishes. More than just communication and training, it’s about determining the effects of upcoming changes and determining ways to easily handle those consequences for each person.
Choose the Right Approach
You could perform a blanket duplicate of another organization’s best practises, but that’s risky. Knowing your organization and knowing what to look for are essential for determining the best approach for your company. If you start with a blanket copy of someone else’s best practises, you may miss out on the elements that make your company different and unique, causing you to lose out on your company’s competitive advantage. If you choose that path, make sure it’s well-planned. Instead, consider duplicating only a few processes, deciding which ones are most important to your company, and tweaking them to match your specific requirements.
Highlight Your Specialties
Work on knowing who you are as a company and what makes you unique, then expand on that. Work with the members of your team who are knowledgeable about the processes that set you apart from your competition. Sure, everyone’s business is different in some ways, but there are a lot of untapped similarities.
Identifying the areas of your business where you are unique begins with a strategic discussion with your leaders and executives about where you are in the market, what your competitors are doing, and what your customers are thinking. Understanding why your consumers seek you out and why they stay with you is a very important piece of customer feedback.
Create a Process Map
Depending on the organization, the process map may differ. It is beneficial to have a map of some level of depth for reference, one that people can track and refer to in their daily operations, regardless of the business. Some companies may need to go farther into determining their phases, while others may find that just having a framework is enough to have everyone on the same page.
In either case, a process map will assist you in identifying areas for improvement and strategies to change the way you do business, which could range from changing the way you communicate to reorganizing teams to pursuing technological opportunities. A process map might bring you to a halt in the middle of your digital transformation project and force you to reconsider your strategy. It may cause you to reconsider how you prioritize processes and assist you in defining the best-fit software during your software selection process.
Why is it important?
Technology advances at a tremendous speed. Your future state is approaching faster than you think. Businesses are being forced to adjust their procedures, and it’s now or never for them to adapt. You get the chance to examine the shifting landscapes in your industry and forecast what the future may hold. Now is the time to get a handle on your procedures and make sure they’re flexible enough to adjust as changes undoubtedly occur.
Change surrounds us, and you can either let it dominate you or be able to respond to it effectively and therefore control it. By staying on top of your processes and re-evaluating them on a regular basis, you’ll be able to respond to changes more swiftly and in a way that isn’t purely reactive. It’s all about constant progress, and you’ll need to develop a discipline that you can stick to over time. It is critical to define your future state in order to be timely, competitive, and keep your business alive.
For transformational success, define future state capabilities
The problems of adopting technology transformation include short-termism and a compartmentalized approach. If these issues aren’t addressed, it’s possible that a tactical improvement focus will be placed on business owners with larger portfolios but lower future business value. What can businesses do to guarantee that essential capabilities are prioritized and aligned with intended business outcomes?
Following the definition of the current state, it’s critical to begin with a clear picture of the desired future state’s organizational capabilities and the commercial benefits they can give.
It is possible to innovate with core capabilities while standardizing enabling capabilities by focusing on concerns that the organization cares about and capabilities that are important to the business. Many organizations take a compartmentalized approach to capability development, focusing on tactical enhancements for a short-term gain. With a wider portfolio, business owners can attract more attention while offering less commercial value. To mitigate this risk, align business benefits with value driver uplift for each of the required organizational core competencies. The value chain or the customer journey can be used to align value drivers with desired core capabilities.
Best Practice Tips
Get a clear picture of your organization’s desired future state capabilities
Map the targeted future state core competencies of the organization across the four components of people, process, technology, and assets. To map out the gap between the current state and the future state maturity level requirements across the four components, first understand each capability and its future state maturity level requirements. Concentrate on quantifiable value drivers such as increased revenue, lower operational costs, and greater asset efficiency. Establish early information goals to aid in the delivery of fundamental capabilities.
Align a business benefit to each capability uplift
Understand the advantages of each key competency enhancement and how they relate to the company’s strategic goals. Determine the size and reachability of the tangible and intangible advantages that can be gained by strengthening each competency. Assign a single company owner who is responsible for delivering the identified benefits and has decision-making authority over each capacity. Establish a continuous improvement and long-term strategy for the intended future organizational capabilities, with the executive monitoring the delivery and benefits on a regular basis.
Align architecture & centralised process management to the business value chain
For flexibility and agility, align process design and technology architecture with desired core business capabilities. To maximize reuse, centralize business process management capabilities. To simplify processes and data complexity, eliminate siloed views. Define data and information architecture to master fundamental entities in a single location and centralize business processes to promote frontline agility.
What is future state design?
Any strategy or transformation program should start with two important questions: ‘What are we aiming for?’ and ‘How are we going to get there?’
The strategy is the ‘How are we going to get there?’ part: a purpose-built structure for the organization, with a defined goal, a set of operational principles, significant transformations, roadmaps, and so on.
In theory, the question “What are we aiming for?” is part of that plan. It’s a means of describing what the company aspires to be so that everyone understands where they’re going and why.
All pretty easy, except that, in the past, that second question has been addressed with a succession of extremely intangible models, accompanied by comments like “a data-driven business,” “decentralized operations,” and “connected to our customers.”
They can be useful business principles, but they don’t truly answer the question of what that future business would be able to provide its consumers, or what it might be like to be a part of it. The ambiguity also makes it difficult to make significant strategic decisions, such as deciding where the gaps between today’s business and its future self should be filled or where key investments should be made.
Future-state design tries to fill that hole by combining a variety of research, business thinking, and design methodologies to create a tangible image of what the business of the future should be. Consider it like building a prototype of a new product that everyone can touch and feel so they can understand what they’re working on.
The magic components in future state design are customers and services.
Building a tangible vision of the future state is critical to the entire process, and in order to do so, you must abandon current practises and conceive what a future generation of services could do.
Beyond broad-brush assertions about culture and behavior, it’s quite difficult for members of any established firm to consider what the future company should be. When you ask them how the company could connect with its customers (or any other commercial partners), a whole new set of possibilities emerges.
With facilitation, and some stimulus material to help them think without current constraints, most people can put themselves in the place of a customer and imagine what a new approach or radical alternative might be. By feeding in broad market perspectives, real customer insights and experiences from other sectors — and dismantling ‘why we can’t do that’ mindsets — teams frequently shape genuinely innovative approaches and describe customer experiences that would transform their company.
The spine of any future state experience for any corporation hoping to construct a future in the digital economy is, of course, digital.
Everyone involved can tangibly see what they’re striving for once that future state experience is in good form (answering the question “what are we aiming for?”). From today, we may start analyzing the gaps and identifying new capabilities and efforts that will be necessary to close them. New technologies, as well as a new organizational architecture or operating model, could be examples.
By putting customers first and picturing what their service experience should be like in the future, an organizational strategy can be created with a clear aim in mind.
It doesn’t matter what your future state is if you can’t attain it.
While the ultimate goal of future state design is to avoid creating an organization that is built for the past, it’s also critical not to imagine something that is impossible.
Future state design is not a futures discipline for the vast majority of companies. It’s not about picturing distant theoretical or extremely speculative situations, nor is it about prospective utopian and apocalyptic visions. It’s a delicate balancing act between the practical and the aspirational.
People quickly lose interest in a far-future, hypothetical vision because they can’t make meaningful progress toward it. It’s critical to envision a future that’s within reach — one that the entire company can realistically imagine achieving — because while a far-future, hypothetical vision might appear compelling and exciting at first, people quickly become bored. Its inaccessibility renders it meaningless, and everyone returns their attention to the present.
For future state design exercises, we normally choose a three-to-five-year horizon, and the results never include anything that requires a breakthrough idea to make it conceivable. This may appear unambitious, but it works because, unless you’re building a new railway or sending people to Mars, most organizations can undergo a significant transition in that timeframe, and most individuals can commit to this as a goal.
Anyone who has lived through the last 20 years knows that a lot can happen in three to five years, therefore the future state vision that is created should never be viewed as a how-to manual. It’s a method of constructing a solid vision of future goal, not a detailed description of what it will be like when you get there.
When should you use future state design techniques?
Future-state design is a process employed frequently during organizational transformation and digital strategy programs to assist an organization break free from its existing operational perspective. Let’s go over the three main advantages again:
It presents a compelling future picture that anybody can grasp and rally for.
It gives a ‘to’ in a ‘from-to’ and allows for the definition of critical transformations.
It allows for more creative thinking about where a company or service should go by removing current-state limits.
As a result, it’s especially useful when your company is stuck in a rut or has to rethink how to succeed in the digital economy. It can also be used to rethink a single service rather than an entire business, which is especially useful when that service is a substantial source of revenue for the company and is vulnerable to disruption.
It’s crucial to note that it’s just as useful for organizations that are succeeding as it is for those who are struggling. In reality, many of the organizations that are in desperate need of a major overhaul appear to be doing well on paper because they’ve stuck to their guns and squeezed every ounce of efficiency out of the machine. Their continuous profitability conceals long-term underinvestment in the future and a high vulnerability to disruption by more forward-thinking competitors.
Developing a strategy to realise your future state vision
You articulate a design target by imagining the type of company you can become; a tangible vision that you can use to enlighten and engage your business, as well as energize teams toward a common goal.
It is important not to overlook the importance of conveying this idea. Every time we perform a future state design exercise, we end up with a vision of the future that is far more compelling than anyone expected. It puts an end to incrementalism and brings everyone together in support of the type of step-change corporate innovation required in the digital economy.
A vision of the future state is only beneficial if you can really get there.
Of course, there’s a long way to go in order to accomplish a version of that future state vision, which is where strategy comes in. We discussed current-state analysis and why it’s important in the previous workshop: essentially, it defines the ‘from’ in a ‘from-to,’ where the ‘to’ is the future state vision.
The purpose of strategy in this situation is to bridge the gap between the two states and achieve the business’ step-change. This is referred to as a “transformation strategy.”
A well-developed transformation strategy explains how to transition from today’s business to tomorrow’s business without making the future state vision a fixed point at the end of the plan (you should have improved on components of that future vision by the time you get there!). It lays out a set of concepts, guidelines, and activities that the organization can use to implement a master plan.
Modern strategy, as we’ve previously discussed, is more of a language than a plan, uniting everyone under a similar goal and vision, as well as principles and organizational behaviors. However, in order to make rapid progress toward your future state — to transform — you’ll need a variety of instruments to ensure that everyone is pulling in the same direction.
An effective transformation strategy brings all of the company’s activities together.
Here are some of the basic components that are designed in almost every transformation plan, while they differ from client to client.
Restating the organization’s purpose in a fresh way, when necessary, can be quite beneficial, especially if the business couldn’t communicate it properly in the first place or hadn’t done so before. Your purpose is the infinite arc that connects everything you stand for and do as a company.
In theory, you can never ‘accomplish’ your goal. For example, at Wilson Fletcher, they write theirs as “we exist to help established organizations realize their full potential in the digital economy,” and while they’ve changed the wording a few times over the years, it’s essentially what was above the door on day one, and will be for as long as they’re in business.
It is worth noting that while purpose doesn’t have to be ‘worthy’ (few businesses can exist simply for direct social or planetary good), it does have to be ‘worthwhile’ if you want to utilize it to lead and unite your team.
If your purpose is why you exist, then your vision is what you’re aiming for. It’s a goal that can be achieved. Of course, vision statements are commonly stated at an organizational level, but many individuals find that when they are articulated for key groups or markets, they are very impactful.
Consider the case of revamping a sports team. You may write a vision statement for fans (e.g., ‘our fans everywhere will always feel like they are a part of our club, closely connected to us through digital services that enrich every aspect of their matchday — and everyday — experience with NGFC’). You may also create one for commercial partners, players, and training staff (‘with state-of-the-art performance intelligence, analysis tools, and networked facilities, our training teams will be able to give world-class player coaching and development.’).
These phrases aid in focusing on a variety of levels, from where to invest to how to prioritize. They also play a critical role in energizing those groups by communicating the organization’s goals for their experience, especially when (as they should be) some of those people were involved in the future state design process.
Target customer models
Target customers are best described in a transformation strategy in their future state form, which is always nuanced.
In a transformation strategy, we normally avoid going into too much depth about customers because customers should be ‘pulled in’ to play a continual role in the organization’s evolution, fast rendering specific personas or detailed archetypes obsolete. Customers are living design topics and should be included in the design process.
However, it is important to capture the characteristics of the organization’s future customers in a high-level model that outlines how they may differ from current customers, what characteristics may open up future opportunities, and what emerging behaviors and influences have influenced the future state vision.
Future-state experience visualisations
We always visualize the future state experience in some form, even though it is never the same. Nothing surpasses being able to ‘see’ what the plan could mean in practice for the company.
These can range from a set of idea images on one end to extensive future state journey maps, rich animatics, and vision videos on the other. They are storytelling devices, not prototypes, whose purpose is to present an example, or a series of examples, of what life will be like when the company achieves its vision for the future state. Favored media include posters and movies, but they can also take on a variety of other interactive forms.
They must never be a ‘business diagram’ or a chart: they must be presented in a way that every person in the company can comprehend and engage with, providing them a glimpse into the future on which they will all be working. They must be compelling and self-explanatory in order to bring the vision to life.
These represent a sequence of significant organizational adjustments that will be necessary to attain the future state vision. A large number of themes can be identified, ranging from broad organizational attitudes to specific operational activities.
Devised below is a structure for them that is proven to be consistently effective:
From > To: What needs to be altered.
Imperative: Why it needs to be altered.
Implications: Likely impacts on the company or key considerations involved in making it happen.
Key benefits: What will be the advantages of doing so?
Key initiatives: What ‘projects’ must be carried out to make it happen?
The set of significant transformations you come up with will define the number of ‘projects’ or initiatives that must be carried out. These will be crucial in creating a roadmap. They are one of the most significant components of a transformation strategy since they may be built out to assign duties, finances, and more.
These are the functional areas in which the organization must develop or gain expertise in order to accomplish the future state vision.
They vary greatly depending on the nature of the organization and the type of change required, but they frequently contain new core business models, critical technical capabilities, and services required to realize the vision.
As part of a transformation strategy, we usually intend to establish experience and service principles. These are the yin and yang of a modern organization built on digital services that unify consumer and commercial decision-making in a unified framework.
The concept of experience principles are totally centered on ‘clients,’ in whatever form they present themselves to that organization. They’re completely outside-in. They’re defined and explained so that all future customer-facing experiences are designed and delivered to the same high standards, and crucial choices are always made with the consumer in mind.
From the standpoint of the organization, service principles are their complementary twin. These are made entirely from the inside out. They define how the business should make service design and delivery decisions in order to achieve future state goals and commercial success. They are at the heart of every choice made on how the company creates ‘systems’ (both technological and human) that can adapt to new client opportunities.
Most companies undergoing transformations must change their thinking, behavior, and procedures to become “more digital.” As a result, future performance measures are expected to become more comprehensive and customer-centric than in the past.
By requiring diverse but complementary lenses to be applied to the business’s performance, the odds of making the right decisions along the path to achieving them are increased.
A roadmap is an important product of a transformation strategy: it is the overall plan for realizing the future state vision, combining vision, capability development, and initiatives into a single, cohesive plan that the company can plan, fund, and execute against.
A good roadmap should, in general, outline activity periods. While good product roadmaps generally employ a basic ‘now/next/later’ approach, it’s more acceptable to layout phases with major targets against them at an organizational level. This is acceptable because these phases will commonly overlap.
Developing more specific, actionable plans that layout the range of initiatives required on a prioritized timeline is favored. While we would never advocate executing against a Gantt-like plan, providing a roadmap view like this alongside the phased method helps in two ways: it allows everyone to see how intensive the transformation will be, and it makes it simpler for priority streams of work to get started right away.
Without the clear strategy, you will not be able to reach your desired future state.
If you don’t proactively step out of today to envision what your future can look like, any strategy you develop will inevitably have far less potential to deliver the outcomes you hope for.
You may take steps forward without a picture of your future state, but you will never jump ahead. Create a compelling future state and a solid transformation strategy to get there, and you’ll be able to unlock and realize far more of your potential, as well as emerge with a new generation of organizations capable of capitalizing on possibilities for years to come.
Course Manual 1: Customer Focus
You can’t change something you don’t fully understand. You don’t want to meddle with things that are working well for you and your consumers. So, before developing the future state, understand the current state and what has to be fixed or maintained. Know where you are today so you can make short-term changes and enhancements as you re-imagine and develop the future state, which can take some time.
Future-state journey mapping involves imagining and mapping out the ideal future experience with clients, which then serves as the blueprint for implementation. The future state map depicts what the client will be doing, thinking, and experiencing during their interactions with the brand in the future ideal experience.
The mapping of future state journeys serves a variety of functions, including:
• Collaborating with real customers to identify and examine potential experiences or journeys
• Collaborating with customers to co-create and design the best experience
• Working with customers to co-create and design a unique experience
• Imagining what the experience might be like in the future with less risk because it’s first tried on paper
Innovating your Customer Experience and Increasing Productivity
We’re entering a new era. With the recent economic developments, leaders in practically every sector are having to rethink how they do business. In order to survive, they must change their client experience and increase corporate productivity. Our future success is determined by how we choose to deal with uncertainty.
The trick is knowing where to direct your attention. Now is the time to improve your organization. To effectively implement incremental or transformative change, you must first have a thorough grasp of your current situation. This understanding of people, processes, and systems is what unlocks the crucial knowledge that guides successful strategy, planning, and implementation of change with measurable outcomes.
8 Examples of Inefficiency That Impact Your Operations & Customer Experience
There are eight well-known types of waste in processes that have an influence on the delivery of value to customers and have a negative impact on corporate performance.
1. Non-Utilized Talent – People’s talents, skills, and expertise are underutilised. When individuals and teams are not given the opportunity to contribute their expertise to the improvement of processes and systems, it can become a problem. This is a perfect example of an outdated command-and-control management paradigm in which constant feedback and improvement are not part of the corporate culture.
2. Bottlenecks – People or systems waste time waiting for the next step in the process. When continuous discovery, planning, design, and implementation are not aligned across the product development lifecycle, this is a common result.
3. Defects – Efforts that necessitate rework or the abandonment of a portion or all of the project. This can also be seen in efforts that result in unusable outcomes, such as inaccurate data.
4. Extra Processing – Excessive activity or extra steps that do not add value to the end customer’s service or product. Are you certain about each process or flow, the inputs, and the results you want to achieve?
5. Over Production – This is when output exceeds demand or work is completed ahead of schedule. This could happen when designing and implementing untested features and functionality.
6. Inventory – Raw resources or products that aren’t being processed in sufficient quantities. Files waiting to be worked on, clients waiting for service, idle records in a database, or obsolete files are all examples of inventory waste. Broken equipment, excess finished products, surplus materials taking up work space, and finished goods that can’t be sold are all examples of manufacturing inventory waste.
7. Motion – People moving around unnecessarily (for example, walking) to achieve an internal or external task. This includes any needless movement of people, equipment, or machinery that could improve performance, health, or security if addressed.
8. Delivery – Unnecessary product, service, and material movement. This can be done in a physical or electronic manner. Both consume resources and incur expenditures, yet neither is required to please the client or achieve the desired result.
3 Ways to Gather Ideas For Improving Operations and Customer Experience
A brilliant idea can come from a variety of places. It can originate from a variety of sources, including cumulative, linking, and technology-enabled insights.
• Over time, cumulative insights from numerous inputs and perspectives are added up. Ideas are formed by combining all of the available information.
• When connected insights are combined, the result is a much more effective solution than the sum of its parts. Focusing on the interdependencies upstream and downstream in an organization’s and/or customer lifecycle generates ideas.
• Technology, such as data collecting, automation, or cross-system integration, enables capacity insights. Exploring how new technology can improve the way people, processes, and systems interact generates ideas.
Each strategy can aid in the discovery of a big idea that has the potential to revolutionize your customer experience and/or business.
Your ideas must target the solution space, which entails researching the various options for meeting your needs and limits in order to change your business.
However, if you haven’t mapped your current state, you won’t know if a solution fits those requirements. You can’t identify and explore all of the alternatives or assess their impact unless you know where you are today.
Ideas must be based on an understanding of the current state, or how your company generates value. Customer experience journey maps, service design blueprints, value stream maps, product flow maps, user scenarios and flows, systems architecture, or material and information flow diagrams are some of the tools that can be used to map your current state. This is defined in Toyota’s lean methodology. Each strategy can be really useful, but like any tool, you must know when and how to utilize it.
The benefit of these various tools is that they all assist you in identifying opportunities and diagnosing issues that affect business drivers such as:
• Consistent recurring outcomes
• Cross-functional collaboration
Each tool aids in the visualization of your business, the understanding of how a process adds value, the identification of leading and lagging key performance indicators, the consideration of the process from the perspective of the customer, the crosslinking of disparate data, the creation of a common language about the process, and the provision of focus.
It’s not about how that process should have worked in the first place. We must consider the current state of affairs.
Leading with Courage as you Define Your Ideal Customer Experience Journey
It is more important than ever to consider how we might innovate in the face of a global upheaval that affects every country, state, city, and small town. Work from home (WFH) was a luxury in the new economy. It has now become a standard requirement. Now is the time to pivot or adapt. You can find untapped opportunities and viable solutions to help you thrive by mapping your current situation. You may define the future you want by understanding your current situation, what to look for, and the essential mindset.
Course Manual 2: Organizational Structure
Business structure is more than simply an organizational chart; it is the basis upon which your current and future business will be built. It is a representation of your business model and goal that allows you to plan for your future state and the steps necessary to get there. How you construct your teams and guarantee you acquire the right individuals at the right time is dictated by your structural design. Your structure is the framework that gives your entire business clarity and accountability, empowering employees and getting everyone moving in the same direction. Your organizational structure allows you to be successful, increase sales, and grow into a great company.
However, an organizational chart is still required, but not just a schematic that no one refers to or uses. Instead, it should be a dynamic, live tool that elaborates on the nuances of your business, such as how you do what you do and who does what, how you define and measure success, and how you plan and achieve development. When done correctly, your organizational chart will be based on how you want to operate in the long run, both strategically and day-to-day – not necessarily how you’ve always done it. An adequate chart will inform a plan to transition from current to future reality, it is the guideposts on your journey to the summit.
The clarity acquired around team development is one of the most helpful benefits of effective configuration and congruent planning. With its clearly defined functions and areas of responsibility, your new ideal organization will illuminate a clear route to scaling your team. You can identify the milestones required to develop your team once you’ve specified where you’re heading and how you’ll get there. This includes knowing when and where to deploy resources that will yield the best results. This enables you to maximize profits as your business expands and maintain or improve margins as you scale.
The ability to remove the ambiguity and complexity that hinders focus – which is required to operationalize strategy, optimize operations, and establish a sustainable organization – is perhaps the most valuable benefit of an effective organizational structure. Focus is attained when everyone is on the same page, when employees from many departments are working together to achieve the same goal(s). The empowerment required to achieve is sanctioned by clearly defining success, both individual and organizational. People are more effective – individually and collectively – when they understand what they are responsible for and how it fits into the bigger picture.
To summarise, if you want your organization to thrive, you must identify and develop the structure necessary to fulfill your vision. You can’t optimize your operations for efficiency or profitability unless you have an organizational framework in which to function, which includes delivering product promises with sustainable margins. You can never assess progress or performance to know if everyone is focused on attaining the same objective without precisely identifying the roles that make up the structure and what each is responsible for. Any attempts to create and attain goals will be fruitless unless structure and strategy are aligned.
Analog-native businesses with high levels of digital maturity all have one thing in common: an enabling organization. Companies that lack this quality risk developing entrenched silo mindsets and a lack of collaboration, resulting in wasted investments and, eventually, failure of their digitalization efforts.
How may organizational structures be adapted to accelerate transformation and digital maturity?
Analog-native organizations must break down historical functional silos and upgrade their overall structure to meet the agility and customer-centricity of digital players. They must build organizations that encourage cross-functional collaboration and allow activities (such as product development) to flow effortlessly between departments, allowing for the end-to-end digitization of goods, processes, and touchpoints. Collaboration should extend beyond the business to ecosystem partners and customers, as well as within the company itself.
Multiple considerations, such as current digital maturity, planned target picture, urgency of change, and risk aversion, influence which organizational model to adopt to promote digitalization.
(Source: Arthur D. Little.)
Starting with central models may be a good idea for digitally conscious businesses embarking on IT transformation. This increases responsibility and transparency at the risk of a potential “us-versus-them” relationship with the rest of the company. This problem is solved by using an integrated model, which creates more impetus for change. However, due to ambiguous accountability and the difficulties of following a common vision, it runs the danger of causing problems with alignment. The hybrid model incorporates the best features of both the central and integrated models, but it is more complicated and difficult to implement. Finally, a centrally facilitated and fully integrated model is the most digitally mature structure and the end state for many digital-native businesses. Digital is fully integrated into the company’s business strategy, products/services, processes, and attitude in this context.
Only a few analog-native businesses have yet to establish appropriate organisational structures to aid digitalization. Top management is still collectively responsible for creating the digital strategy and driving its implementation in many companies.
Course Manual 3: Change Management and Cultural Transformation
In today’s complex—and cutthroat—global economy, achieving effective IT transformation has become a must-have aim for almost every company. Many businesses gain a much-needed boost in efficiency and profitability by implementing new technology and automating business operations, but keeping that momentum to produce sustainable improvement and higher value isn’t always easy.
Companies require a comprehensive grasp of, and plan for, IT transformation change management in order to preserve and expand on the early improvements that accompany IT transformations. Organizations of all sizes and types may successfully scale their IT transformation projects to meet changing needs and goals while continuing to add value by investing the time and resources required (and following a few best practices).
Change Management Is Critical In IT Transformation
Companies that recognized the writing on the virtual wall were making major investments to IT transformation even before the COVID-19 disruption drastically impacted practically every area of modern life. However, as businesses struggle to find their footing in the new normal, IT transformation has become a top priority for many.
Companies around the world are making a successful IT transformation journey a major part of their strategies for not just recovery, but growth, innovation, and competitive advantage, from launching new apps to expanding their social media presence to fundamentally altering their entire business model to meet changing consumer needs.
Industry giants like McDonald’s, Hasbro, and Capital One have set the bar for successful IT transformations by embracing digitalization, artificial intelligence, and leveraging the Internet of Things (IoT). Others are quickly following suit; according to Meticulous Research, the worldwide digital transformation market will be valued $3.2 trillion by 2025.
Despite this enthusiasm and significance, IT transformation initiatives continue to fail at alarming rates. According to research firm McKinsey & Co., around 70% of digital transformation projects fail.
These failures can be attributed to a variety of factors, including inadequate planning, a lack of investment, and a lack of people with digital technology skills. However, a change management plan is evident in terms of major, long-term results—including scaling the successes of initial digital transformation efforts to meet an organization’s evolving demands and business strategies.
What is Organizational Culture?
The collective thinking of an organization is known as its culture. People’s ways of being, relating, and working, as well as the organization’s engagement with and effectiveness in its environment, are based on patterns of widely accepted (sometimes unconscious) assumptions, beliefs, and values.
In other words, the culture of an organization influences everything that happens in that context. An organization’s culture is reflected in how people interact, how things are done on a daily basis, and how culture change, organizational change, and transformation are managed.
How Does Culture Change Impact the Success of Transformation?
The success of your transformational change projects is heavily influenced by your company’s culture. When a big organizational transformation is happening, the culture of the organization is in play. It will either support or oppose the new state reality you’re constructing.
As your business transitions from old to new ways of doing things, many of your organization’s patterns will most likely emerge as helpful or inhibiting. The new tactics, structures, systems, processes, and/or technology will very certainly need people adopting new ways of being and functioning. Employees will almost certainly have to adjust how they engage with one another, what they prioritize and focus on, and how their performance is judged.
Change projects in your organization are likely to fail unless there are demonstrable modifications in cultural norms and expectations. Your company’s culture has been built to be successful as it is, not as you would like it to be. Employees will quickly revert to their old ways of working unless there is a fundamental culture shift. You must make overt and precise changes to culture so that people understand what they need to do differently. Employees should be able to see how the new corporate culture will fit into the bigger change picture if leaders construct the new culture to deliver on the new transformational and organizational change efforts.
Course Manual 4: Transformational Leadership
Transformational leadership is a common leadership approach, especially in businesses where employee satisfaction, productivity, and success are all dependent on culture.
It’s comparable to servant leadership, which is also an ethical leadership style, but there are several major differences. We’ll discuss transformational leadership, including its roots, key characteristics, and more.
Defining transformation leadership:
The needs of others, rather than the leader’s, are the focus of transformational leadership. Although similar to servant leadership, each style differs in that the leader’s goal is distinct.
The transformational leader’s concentration is “directed towards the organization,” and his or her behavior encourages followers to support the organization’s goals. The focus of a servant leader, on the other hand, is on the followers, with organizational goals coming second.”
As it focuses on culture, transformational leadership differs from one of its antecedents, transactional leadership. Transactional leaders do not aim to change the culture; instead, they work within it. Transformational leaders, on the other hand, strive for culture change as a means of driving improvement and performance.
Where did it come from?
Its origins can be traced back to the concept of charisma. Of course, charisma is a concept that has been around for a long time. In the last 40 years, however, there has been a growing interest in charisma. Employees have been “overmanaged but underled,” according to a theory.
This makes sense because transactional leadership places a premium on management skills. Compliance, structure, hierarchy, work tasks, incentive, and punishment are the main topics. Unlike more current leadership methods such as empowerment and inspiration.
The focus of transformational leadership is on leading rather than managing. It was developed by political scientist James MacGregor Burns, who popularized it in his 1978 book Leadership, after sociologist James Downton Jr conceptualized it.
Bernard M Bass built on Burns’ work by studying the underlying psychological characteristics that define a transformational leader.
Features and traits of transformational leaders
1. Charisma/idealized influence: To what extent does the leader’s behavior model remain consistent with the broader vision they’ve established, and does this role modeling motivate employees to follow the leader and the goal?
2. Inspirational motivation: Creating a compelling future vision, having clear goals that stretch people and recognize potential, and being enthusiastic about employee development are all important.
3. Intellectual stimulation: Enabling and motivating workers to go beyond their own self-interest to the needs of the team and organization, challenging their attitudes, ideas, and beliefs in order to drive growth and performance, and fostering innovation, collaboration, and the pursuit of excellence.
4. Individualised consideration: The transformational leader focuses on the individual’s needs, goals, and anxieties, knowing that understanding how to build an environment that encourages individuals to perform is critical.
Tips to develop a strong base for a transformational leadership journey
1. Develop a challenging and attractive vision, together with the employees
2. Tie the vision to a strategy for its achievement
3. Develop the vision, specify and translate it to actions
4. Express confidence, decisiveness and optimism about the vision and its implementation
5. Realise the vision through small, planned steps and small successes in the path for its full implementation
Which Organizations Benefit Most from Transformational Leadership?
Les Stein, PhD, feels that every business, regardless of size or success, can benefit from transformative leadership. After all, he emphasizes, “Transformation doesn’t have to always be from bad to good. It can be from good to great, or simply good to better. The point is, [a transformational leader will] change their institution in a way that’s always positive.”
However, Stein acknowledges that firms with a bad culture will benefit the most from positive interference.
“Organizations will benefit most from a transformational leader when their culture is such that people aren’t sure if they buy into the vision of the organization, [or they don’t] seem to have that collective enthusiasm for their product.”
What are the positive effects?
The function of transformative leadership in generating achievements is generally seen favorably in research. Transformative leadership, for example, has aided both organizational commitment and workforce productivity.
Employees led by a transformational leader had greater health than those led by a laissez-faire (apathetic, hands-off) boss, according to Zwingmann et al (2014). They went on to say that having a clear, shared goal that gives meaning to work is a “health-promoting phenomena”
In terms of specific workplaces, a study on transformational leadership in schools discovered that it has substantial and significant favorable effects on organizational circumstances, as well as moderate effects on student involvement.
Choudhary et al (2013) discovered that transformational leadership had a stronger impact on organizational learning than servant leadership, which they attribute to transformational leadership’s greater emphasis on goal-oriented behavior. Many critics agree that the dynamic and diversified character of today’s workplaces necessitates different leadership styles at different times, thus it’s difficult to argue that one leadership style is more valuable than another.
Course Manual 5: Technology Decisions Involve Entire C-suite
The pervasiveness of technology in the corporate landscape is unrivaled: It is a big consumer of resources, both human and financial; it is the operational platform that drives day-to-day operations; and it contains future potential. As a result, technology is intrinsically related to most companies’ current and future performance. As a result, technological leadership is blending with strategic and financial leadership, requiring the CEO, COO, CIO, and CFO (among others) to work together in the future. A CXO collaboration is what it’s called, and it necessitates new abilities among today’s leaders.
What is a CXO partnership, and how does it work? To begin, realize that this isn’t about organizational structure. The CXO partnership is an informal one, consisting of a coalition and a group of people who share common interests. It’s based on trust, knowledge, and the need to integrate that knowledge to improve decision-making in your organization.
Which of the “Os” should join the CXO coalition? That depends. Today, there are a plethora of options: We now have CTOs (technology), CMOs (marketing), CCOs (customer advocacy), CKOs (knowledge), CIOs (investment), and CIOs (information), to mention a few, in addition to the well-worn CEO, CFO, and COO. It’s easy to become so focused on the inclusion and exclusion judgments that you lose sight of your true goal. This is a model that is adaptable. The partnership’s membership will be determined by the nature of your company. It may even change depending on the choice. The term “CXO partnership” is actually just a catch-all word for a collaborative leadership style.
Build It Right
What can you do if you aren’t already in a situation like this? You’ll have to forge your own CXO partnership since it won’t come knocking on your door. Often, it might be built around a major event that requires the CEO’s personal engagement, or a continuous process like investment prioritization. Before you begin, make certain that you:
Invite those who are willing to participate. It’s less crucial to have the perfect mix of individuals than it is to get the cooperation started, so reach out to those you can. The number of people who participate will rise as a result of the success.
Facilitate and integrate the process. Your job is to bring individuals together to start a conversation and to gather information in order to make a decision.
Consider the big picture. Even if you bring technological expertise to the table, the executive thought process must take precedence. “Wearing your corporate hat” was a phrase used at Xerox. They even gave out hats with a large red X on them at one point.
Stay together. Whether it’s joint problem solving or dispute resolution, collaboration is the preferred option. This necessitates open and direct communication as well as explicit knowledge sharing. For example, whether formally or informally, make sure your CFO is aware of your figures and the story behind them. This is nearly a requirement in an open-minded environment.
Act as if you’re doing a balancing act. Advocacy for your own cause should be balanced with a knowledge of others’ views and interests. It would have been easier for Xerox to reach an agreement based solely on financial concerns, but they also had to consider the interests of their employees as well as their customers.
Set shared goals. Develop objective metrics or milestones together. This will aid in the development of shared ownership of the final product.
Avoid Potential Pitfalls
A CXO partnership can be a great tool for accomplishing goals. However, like with any cooperative activity, it’s critical to foresee and avoid potential issues by ensuring that you:
Everyone should be involved. Power is shared in a collaborative atmosphere. For some, this feels like a loss of control, complete with all the worries that comes with it. Pay attention to individuals who aren’t participating in the process and try to entice them in. Something will be lost if they are not present.
Stay focused. Even though they claim to be collaborative, some participants may adopt parochial or defensive postures. This is particularly true when you get closer to making a choice. Don’t let this get in the way of your progress. Attempt to elicit the primary concern and find a solution that addresses it.
Think beyond IT. The best IT solution isn’t always the best solution for the firm. There will be instances when you believe the best technological path has not been taken. In these situations, letting go is a strength, not a weakness, as long as you’ve presented all of the pertinent facts and everyone is aware of the repercussions. The truly best answer can only be found by bringing all of the perspectives together. Not the best for technology, not the best for money, not the greatest for a single function or industry, but the ideal combination of those elements.
Reap the Rewards
A shared ownership of the outcomes is the result of a successful partnership. At Xerox, senior executives were heavily involved in the outsourcing decision, ensuring shared ownership. As a result, there was no pointing of fingers even when they struck some bumps in the road. “If it works, it’s mine; if it fails, it’s yours,” they avoided the usual shared-risk formula.
Meanwhile, your personal development will accelerate. This collaborative experience will sharpen your understanding of the business, your thinking breadth, and your ability to balance hard and soft abilities.
Course Manual 6: Integration of all data systems
Those of us who have worked in the field of information technology (IT) are well aware that it is rife with buzzwords. The latest phrase, “IT transformation,” has become a popular component of the digital transformation process, but what it implies varies depending on who you ask. If you ask ten CIOs or IT executives to define transformation, you’re going to hear ten different replies.
On the one hand, data integration is responsible for IT transformation, which is defined as “a complete overhaul of an organization’s information technology systems. IT transformation can involve changes to network architecture, hardware, software and how data is stored and accessed. Informally, IT transformation may be referred to as rip and replace”, according to with Margaret Rouse, Whattls.com Manager.
Digital transformation, on the other hand, according to Galen Gruman, isn’t just about converting physical assets to digital copies; it’s also about doing something with those digitized assets.
As a result, data integration is a critical enabler in this space. IT transformation and data integration processes are combined on the same journey to maximize digital transformation processes and find “processes that create, enable, manage, and deliver them” to the appropriate company units. The most important aspects to understand about data integration, according to David Linthicum, in this new era of IT transformation are:
1. Workload data is likely to be shared across traditional systems and both private and public clouds.
2. Data is growing faster and faster, with big data lakes common within most companies.
3. Data has to be delivered in real-time, on demand.
4. Security is now systemic, it cannot be an afterthought anymore.
5. DevOps is the new standard for building and deploying applications and data store
During his recent webinar, “Digital and IT Transformation: A Formula for Empowerment in the Digital Age,” Dennis Drogseth, VP of Research at EMA, shared some thoughts. We want to emphasize that while analytics and metrics are excellent tools for making strategic decisions, the foundations of these judgments still require high-quality data. Why? Because the costs, risks, and potential negative impact on the business are too great to risk making judgments based on faulty or incomplete data.
Data Quality Management was cited as a crucial technology by 35% of the leaders polled, while Data Integration was cited by 32% as a critical technology for their present or future transformation endeavor.
How to begin your data integration journey
Most businesses make use of a variety of cloud, social, and mobile-based systems and applications. However, those systems are incompatible, causing the vital data flow to be disrupted.
It is critical to implement a data integration strategy in order to overcome this. It is not, however, a “one-and-done” exercise. To bring together your diverse data sources, it’s a process that grows over time and may incorporate a variety of ways. It is not only a cultural transformation, but it must also be incorporated into your IT management system.
To start with it is important to:
• Identify the importance of data to people and processes
• Understand how you’re processing and integrating data
• Identify silos among internal and external systems
When attempting to blend data from legacy systems into a new system, data integration becomes a hurdle. Because of anomalies such as formatting, spelling problems, duplicates, or naming standards, a complete cleaning is required to ensure that only valid data is transferred to your new system. This will ensure that the data integration project is completed on time and on budget.
Course Manual 7: Internal Customer Experience
Start with your employees if you want to provide superior service to your consumers.
Customer-centric initiatives are increasingly being recognized for their benefits, which include increased revenues, decreased expenses, and stronger employee and customer loyalty. Many firms underestimate the need to engage the entire organization, including support functions, in a customer-centric transformation in their efforts to improve customer journeys and refine direct interactions with clients.
That is unfortunate. Developing exceptional customer-service operations in support functions (such as information technology, finance, and human resources) is a significant lever for sustaining and expanding a full customer-centric transformation.
It aids in the development of a new service culture that strengthens customer-centric initiatives across the board. By applying customer excellence ideas to employees’ experiences, it creates a longer-term impact and full engagement of the personnel. Creating outstanding customer experiences starts with a common vision for premier customer-centric firms like Disney, and it requires an engaged and energetic staff that can translate individual interactions into fulfilling end-to-end customer journeys. The rationale of extending that commitment to support personnel within the company is compelling.
To acquire a sustainable competitive advantage, successful major firms are increasingly thinking about end-to-end reforms that focus on internal customers—their employees—as well as external ones. This isn’t a simple task. It can take two or three years to completely implement such initiatives for all internal customer journeys. An endeavor to transform support employees into a true customer service culture involves defined and ambitious objectives, dedicated resources, and involved sponsorship from C-suite leaders, rather than being a kind of employee satisfaction exercise, which is normally handled by the HR department.
The good news is that these activities can operate alongside externally facing customer-experience programs, complementing and reinforcing one another.
This Course Manual examines the advantages of involving support functions in customer-centric transformations and describes the approach and principles for successfully managing such initiatives.
The intersection of customer and employee experience
For years, we’ve heard of EX in relation to HR platforms, but it’s now spread throughout the corporate landscape as a result of the influence of remote work. Brands like Microsoft, Salesforce, ServiceNow, and others are talking about how their platforms solve EX as if it were a brand-new category that emerged in the previous year, but it isn’t. Enabling your staff has always been critical to successful IT transformation and customer experience.
Regardless of how good your customer-facing app is or how efficient your supply chain is, your employees make or break your company. Keeping employees happy is equally as important as keeping consumers pleased for your business to run smoothly. Indeed, because your staff are your product, this is an extremely important notion for service-based businesses.
You already know what employees want, whether you realize it or not, because it’s the same thing that customers want: a terrific experience. However, if you don’t give your employees the experience they require, they’ll disconnect and go, just like dissatisfied customers.
Consider how much time and money your company invests in the client experience. Businesses want to know who their consumers are and what they want, so they invest money and effort in market research, surveys, and analytics, then use the information to make changes and updates. This type of marketing technique is brought to your internal organizations using EX platforms.
HR departments are conducting market research on their internal consumers when they send out employee surveys. Non-HR EX platforms are now taking it a step further by using passively acquired data on how employees are using their products to gain quantitative insights about their behavior.
Course Manual 8: Modernization Strategy
Moving away from outdated systems and toward newer technologies gives businesses a competitive advantage in today’s digital world.
What is IT modernization?
IT modernization is a broad term that refers to any attempt by a company to embrace, adapt, or improve its technology.
The steps required in an IT modernization project will differ depending on the company’s industry, size, budget, workforce requirements, and customer expectations, as well as where they are in the digital transformation process. However, these projects generally entail a shift away from older technology and toward new technologies that streamline, simplify, and/or automate the processes and procedures that keep the business running.
While modernization is practically necessary in order to flourish in our increasingly digital economy, these efforts are more likely to succeed when they are carefully planned in relation to current demands and long-term objectives. IT modernization that isn’t well-planned can end up posing more issues than benefits for colleagues and consumers. For example, if a company upgrades functional systems while leaving others that need to be overhauled, untouched. Or if it introduces new tools without providing proper training to the employees who will be using them.
You’ll learn foundational information in this Course Manual that can help you identify and evaluate key considerations for your own IT modernization journey, such as which aspects of your IT to upgrade, why change management is an important part of effective digital transformation, the challenges you might face, and the business outcomes you can aim for.
What is modern IT management?
In the long run, IT modernization decreases complexity, but in the transitional stage, it may necessitate a patchwork of management solutions for your evolving infrastructure, apps, devices, and users. Simultaneously, as with cybersecurity, digital transformation provides opportunity to move toward more centralized and streamlined management tools and procedures.
Data management is a highly fruitful field for modernization. Expanding visibility into and control over the data you collect is critical for optimizing processes, managing compliance, and adjusting to consumer expectations as your organization changes to meet the shifting demands of a digital economy. This is especially crucial if your company adopts advancements like the Internet of Things, which extend the pool of information you can access. In brief, current management tools and techniques allow you to more effectively and efficiently access, store, govern, and analyze data from a rising number of sources.
How does training fit into IT modernization?
Implementing new technology is only one aspect of IT modernization; it’s also critical to ensure that your end users understand how to make the most of those capabilities. Without sufficient preparation and training, even your most innovative teammates may be hesitant to adopt new solutions.
Working with professionals in Organizational Change Management (OCM) and Learning and Development (L&D) can assist your company navigate the digital transformation process by training your employees to jump right into the new technology you’ve encouraged them to use.
Not only can effective training help to foster technical innovation, but it also helps to facilitate innovative training methodologies. Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, traditional in-person learning was limited in 2020. While this quick transformation was frequently difficult, it also led to the refinement of many new training methods, such as virtual learning, immersive technology, video content, and mobile platforms. As a result, training programs are more adaptable, engaging, and audience-centric than ever before, increasing the chances that learners will assimilate the knowledge delivered throughout the training session.
IT modernization challenges
Modernizing IT is a top business priority, but companies frequently hit hurdles along the way. Internal IT departments must balance several conflicting goals, and long-term transformational projects may be pushed aside in favor of more pressing needs. For organizations with limited finances, people, and experience, the desire to allocate time and energy where it is most needed is very acute. Collaboration with an external partner can often assist firms in filling knowledge gaps, developing successful strategies, and achieving modernization more quickly – all while reducing the pressure on internal teams.
Even companies with a lot of internal and external resources can struggle to modernize if they don’t have a clear, comprehensive strategy in place. And, fear of new technology’s potential downsides — particularly in terms of staff adoption, industry compliance requirements, and cybersecurity threats — can deter firms from ever attempting to reap their benefits. Again, a trusted relationship can make it easier to develop a strategy that includes business objectives and required process changes into technology upgrade plans.
IT modernization outcomes
While IT modernization is a large task, it is also a key driver of corporate success in today’s digital age. When your company implements new technologies across its IT infrastructure, you can speed up workloads and establish the groundwork for greater data insights, streamlined procedures, and routine task automation. Upgrading devices, applications, and networks improves customer and employee experiences, resulting in increased brand loyalty and easier talent retention. And, with modern workforce technologies that enhance productivity and enable effective collaboration wherever and whenever they work, that talent can maximize their potential.
Patience, resources, experience, and an effective approach are required to achieve these business results through IT modernization, but the rewards are well worth the effort.
Course Manual 9: Data Security, Privacy and Data Ethics
Data Security and The future of IT Transformation
Companies are under pressure to adapt and transform as a result of continual technology breakthroughs, changes in work cultures, and rising market and customer demands. IT transformation is one of the most common changes.
Cyber digital transformation is not something that can be accomplished suddenly, as it requires a well-defined strategy from these corporate executives. Digital strategies are also a personalized process because no two businesses have the same needs, goals, assets, or technologies; yet, in order for a plan to be effective, it must have reinforced Cybersecurity in order to safely alter its digital environment. This is due to the necessity to stay relevant in a hyper-competitive corporate environment, which has arisen as a result of the new era of data analytics and artificial intelligence.
However, as more businesses accept these improvements, they become more vulnerable to Data Security Threats and weak Cybersecurity. More and more cybercrime stories are emerging about businesses losing millions of dollars as a result of Ransomware attacks or security breaches, prompting company executives to reconsider how to safeguard their digitization operations.
Almost all businesses are now looking for security solutions to prevent cyber-attacks and safeguard them from financial damages. This introduces a new problem for corporate leaders: developing a Cybersecurity Strategy to secure their data – cyber resilience.
Top Security Challenges of IT Transformation
The expanded attack surfaces and greater value of data are two of the most significant security challenges impeding the IT transformation process.
Because IT transformation and information processes are growing the quantity of data loads and applications, digitalization creates new network access points like mobile and cloud, which gives cybercriminals more opportunity to attack. Companies should consider if they are prepared to confront new risks before implementing new strategies or programs.
Data has essentially replaced oil in today’s world, which explains why security incidents such as data breaches are on the rise. Companies are becoming more conscious of data analytics as they learn how to use data for customer services by evaluating their behavior, markets, patterns, and so on. As a result, cyber-attackers are growing more interested in using or selling the data they have discovered. The fundamental drivers of digitalization, such as the expanding volume of structured and unstructured data, as well as the demand to access information at any time and from any location, are also driving data security concerns.
IT Transformation and Cybersecurity
Although speed is the primary goal of digitalization, it is also the primary risk that exposes businesses to security vulnerabilities because it compromises security controls and overlooks underlying risks when undergoing security transformation, as the rush to complete this transformation increases the risk of data breaches by 72 percent. Those dangers, on the other hand, can only be determined and foreseen when all of a company’s units – such as security, IT, procurement, administration, finance, and so on – work together.
Cybersecurity and Cybercrimes
Cybersecurity refers to the practice of safeguarding systems, software, devices, networks, and other digital assets from cyberattacks, illegal access, and other forms of cybercrime. Cybercrime is typically used to gain access to, alter, or delete sensitive data in order to disrupt corporate processes or even extort money from users.
Cybercrime has the potential to devastate companies of all sizes. Not only may these assaults cost businesses money, but they can also have a negative impact on brand loyalty if users believe their privacy is being violated or exposed. Users who believe their information is not being secured are more likely to take their business elsewhere – where they feel safe – which can result in a loss of sales and earnings for businesses. Not to mention that a cyberattack might result in legal ramifications, particularly in light of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) regulatory punishments.
All businesses, in all fields, have an obligation to ensure that their company is up to date on security threats (such as impersonations, data leaks, fraudulent e-mails and viruses, and even loss of intellectual property) and ransomware (malware that encrypts data and is only unlockable after the exchange of a specific fee), and that they have acquired the best methods to protect data – from training personnel to acquiring the best methods to protect data.
Customers entrust their data to businesses, and businesses must be well-equipped to secure that data, which can only be accomplished with the support of a smart cybersecurity strategy.
While organizations’ intentions are good when it comes to conquering security concerns while undergoing a cyber digital transformation, they will face a number of hurdles along the way — challenges that are specific to their industry.
Tackling data trust and transparency
For CIOs and other IT leaders, bringing their companies to this future state will necessitate an urgent focus on the data’s trustworthiness and transparency. According to Burke of Gartner, IT directors will be required to investigate such difficult areas as confidential computing, a catch-all term for technology that maximise security, limit the use of personal data, and allow individuals control over their data, in 2021.
Explainable AI (Artificial Intelligence), or AI that is trained to describe itself in words that the typical human can comprehend, will become more popular. Companies will also have to assure trustworthy AI, which is the notion of AI systems that are resilient in the face of change, safeguard people’s privacy, and are secure, as AI becomes increasingly important for comprehending and capitalizing on data.
Trust will have to be approached in ways that go beyond validating a particular component of data management, such as data provenance, governance, or compliance. They’ll have to persuade customers by explaining how their data is actually used. Employees, management, and regulators will all need to be convinced that the information gathered and used to make critical company decisions is reliable. Successful organizations will collaborate with consumers and employees to establish new data-driven business models and work patterns in the future.
The chain of trust for organizational data efforts, like IT security, is only as strong as its weakest link. Aside from the human element, establishing a data chain of trust will require the usage of encryption to securely share insights in AI models, as well as a slew of new technologies – and buzzwords – such as homomorphic encryption, trust fabrics, and federated deep learning.
This article examines a paradigm shift in how businesses, and ultimately all of us, manipulate, manage, and extract value from data. It starts with the necessity for businesses to improve their AI capabilities and ends with a vision of a future in which our digital identities have agency and certain unalienable rights.
Course Manual 10: Evolution of products, services and processes
The corporate agenda prioritizes IT transformation. Some businesses are nearing mass digitization of their processes and technologies, while others are just getting started.
Previously, transformation may have been evaluated by digitizing a paper-based process such as contract signature. In the past year, this has expanded to include everything related to remote working and virtualizing the workplace, with a focus on securely accessing cloud-based apps.
As a result of the quick turnaround, firms have done the best they can with the tools and resources they have. Even those business owners who were previously concerned have embraced IT transformation and succeeded thanks to technology and vendor advancements.
In practice, end-to-end customer experience optimization, operational flexibility, and innovation, as well as the development of new revenue sources and information-powered ecosystems of value, are key drivers and goals of IT transformation, leading to business model transformations and new forms of digital processes. However, before getting there, it’s critical to address internal obstacles, such as legacy systems and process disconnects, as internal goals are unavoidable for the next phases.
Business process optimization is critical in IT transformation initiatives, and it is a combination of customer-facing and internal goals in most industries and cases today.
Internet retailers may make critical modifications to their e-commerce websites in hours, but brick-and-mortar retailers can take three months or longer. Suppliers of cloud-based enterprise software can upgrade their solutions in a matter of days or weeks. Traditional business software organizations, on the other hand, require months.
Why can’t established businesses keep up with their Internet-based competitors? Because of their constrained enterprise architecture, which is the underlying design and administration of the technological platforms and capabilities that support a company’s business strategy.
The enterprise architecture in traditional companies typically reflects a bygone era, when it was not necessary for companies to shift their business strategies, release new products and services, and incorporate new business processes at hyper speed.
Consider that until this decade, mobile devices, the Internet of Things, and big data and analytics platforms weren’t crucial for competing in the marketplace. Companies did not have an acute need to continually infuse new IT-enabled business capabilities into their operations.
They do now.
Traditional companies must adopt a much different approach to designing and managing enterprise architecture to compete against digital-born companies—a model some call “perpetual evolution,” because it emphasizes continuous changes to and modular design of business capabilities as well as the technologies that support them. This method incorporates a number of well-known enterprise architectural frameworks but connects them in a novel way. It forces CEOs to take a broad view of their digital capabilities and technology while also managing them in a way that minimizes or eliminates interdependencies while emphasizing speed.
Course Manual 11: Digitization of The Business
You’ve undoubtedly figured out that IT transformation is the driving force behind business growth of all types and sizes. It is crucial to note, however, that it is not limited to large corporations.
In the corporate sector, digitization has become a buzzword, with more and more organizations realizing the value of transforming information to a digital version. The usage of PDFs, graphics, sound, and signaling are some of the most common instances. But why are businesses suddenly embracing digitization?
Companies in almost every industry can benefit from the practices of organizations that have done so successfully.
Start at the end state and work back
A process can often be substantially redesigned thanks to digitization; for example, merging automated decision making with self-service can eliminate manual operations. Successful digitization efforts begin by imagining the future state of each process without regard for existing constraints—for example, reducing the turnaround time of a process from days to minutes. Constraints (for example, legally needed checks) can be reintroduced once a convincing future state has been specified. Companies should not be afraid to put each constraint to the test. Many of these are business fallacies that can be easily debunked by talking to customers or regulators.
Tackle the end-to-end customer experience
Digitizing specific stages of the customer experience may improve productivity and address some pressing customer issues, but it will never create a genuinely seamless experience, and as a result, it may leave tremendous potential on the table. To tackle an end-to-end process like customer onboarding, process-digitization teams will need help from all departments engaged in the customer experience. Not least to challenge traditional opinion, the final customer should be heavily involved. To do so, some companies are forming start-up-style cross-functional groups that bring together all employees involved in the end-to-end client experience, including IT developers. The mission of the cross-functional unit is to question the status quo. Members are frequently grouped together to promote communication and ensure a true team effort.
Since digitization skills are in short supply, successful initiatives place a premium on developing internal capabilities. The idea is to establish a center of excellence with highly experienced personnel who can be relied upon to quickly digitize processes. Even so, firms frequently have to look outside the company for new skill sets and jobs, such as data scientists or user-experience designers. Given the importance of the transformation, the initial managers chosen to lead it should be carefully chosen, well-respected within the business, and willing to commit for an extended length of time. It’s also critical that the team has the expertise to build the appropriate technological components in a modular manner so that they may be reused across processes and economies of scale are maximized.
Traditional IT-intensive initiatives pay off only at the end of the project, which can be years after it begins. However, digitizing end-to-end processes one at a time can enhance performance in as little as three to five months. Complex IT difficulties, such as legacy-systems integration, can take longer to complete, but there are solutions to avoid delays. One industrial company, for example, employed low-cost offshore personnel to rekey data between systems, allowing a new digital customer procedure to be brought up for usage with pilot clients while a robust IT interface was being constructed in parallel. The risk associated with the integration effort was decreased, and the return was accelerated as a result of this method.
It’s not always easy to move swiftly. More often than not, the bottleneck is caused by business decision-making rather than IT development. That is why, in order to align all stakeholders, digitization efforts require significant board-level backing, whereas all other choices should be assigned to the project team.
Roll in, not out
In a traditional deployment, a new product is gradually rolled out to existing user teams across several sites. However, due of the drastic changes in processes and supporting organizations, a different approach may be required when firms embark on digitalization. Telecommunications salespeople, for example, may prefer that clients apply for services through the existing retail system rather than using self-serve kiosks. Bank credit underwriters may choose to analyze automatically approved applications if they do not trust automated algorithms. In these circumstances, it might be easier to create a new organizational unit to manage the new digital process, then hire people to work in it while simultaneously increasing the volume of work it handles. This makes the shift to the digital process much easier by avoiding the need to waste a lot of energy on changing old routines and practices. The new organizational unit will have “swallowed” all of the required staff from the older units by the time all process volume has moved to the new digital process.
Companies that digitize procedures can boost their profits while delighting their customers. The value at stake varies depending on the business model and starting point, but it can be evaluated by allocating expenses to end-to-end procedures and comparing to peers. Organizations can do one or two pilots to kick-start the strategy and establish capabilities and momentum, and then scale up quickly.
Course Manual 12: Personalization guides the customer
Consumer expectations and priorities will continue to fluctuate as they struggle with their “new normal” and the rapid rate at which it unfolds. Companies and brands must produce contextualized and distinctive offers and experiences that directly correspond to consumers’ requirements in the present to remain relevant and helpful in these tough times.
Companies must now, more than ever, reach customers where they are
“Personalization” is a term that has been around for a long time. Companies and brands have long sought to better engage their most valued customers by sending personalized messages and providing personalized experiences. Despite these efforts, there is still a disconnect between corporations’ efforts to build highly tailored experiences for customers and what they really get. According to a recent Forrester report titled “Personalization Demystified,” while 90 percent of companies regard personalization as critical or very important to their business strategies, only 39 percent of consumers report receiving relevant brand communications and only 41% report receiving valuable offers.
Companies see customization as a succession of content-focused projects (e.g., a marketing-led effort to deliver relevant ads to customers through an app), rather than an ongoing enterprise-wide journey fuelled by continuous learning and improvement, which explains the gap between purpose and reality. Companies risk creating a fragmented consumer experience that may come across as unnecessary, redundant, or even annoying without a comprehensive approach to personalization – supported by underlying organizational structure, culture, and tech & data strategy best suited to enable it.
Imagine if, in reaction to the coronavirus pandemic, merchants could communicate real-time data regarding the availability of goods at your local store location via their app, as well as funnel pertinent information and offers tailored to your location. Your pharmacy, for example, could share hyperlocal guidance based on your past purchase history with a unified view of customer data across the enterprise (e.g., you’re due for a refill of allergy medication but your local store is out of stock; we can deliver it directly to your home from an alternate location).
It will take time to enable a best-in-class enterprise-wide journey, whether your business is just beginning to establish a personalized strategy, is reasonably advanced, or is in the process of transforming in light of the current epidemic. Companies should consider short-term measures to speed enhancements to their current state personalization initiatives, in line with a longer-term goal, given the urgency and volume of customer need right now.
Align your brand’s “North Star” to personalization opportunities for “quick wins”
Companies must transition from a campaign-centric attitude to an enterprise-wide approach, unified by a single vision for the future state of customer experience (CX), as a vital first step. If your company hasn’t already created a purpose-driven CX “North Star” for the enterprise, try bringing together representatives from several departments (such as sales, marketing, customer support, IT, and so on) to collaborate on it.
For example, a big food and beverage shop with a hyper-local brand vision developed a CX North Star strategy that focuses on creating unique experiences for every customer who enters through their door or goes onto their app. The retailer moved backwards from that future state CX vision to build a roadmap to close holes in their company, such as holistic offerings, marketing, and services. They can now swiftly change the sequence in which they address these gaps in response to changes in customer and company needs.
Consider where you might be able to fast track “quick wins” that will dramatically improve the experience for your client within the next 1-2 months if you’ve established an enterprise-wide North Star and an initial roadmap to get there. Given that the majority of clients in 2021 were adhering to quarantine instructions and staying at home, many motor insurance companies were rewarding accounts based on usage data in order to develop connections during those tough times. Rapidly discover these “quick win” opportunities by conducting a prioritization grid exercise with a cross-functional group of decision-makers, prioritizing the activities that have the largest impact on customers and that are feasible to bring to market within 60 days.
Resist the want to stray from your long-term North Star approach. Rather, speed up important workstreams to deliver a prototype to market rapidly that provides demonstrable value to customers, then refine as needed based on their input.
Avoid one-size-fits-all mass-market services and promotions
Empathy – which means different things to different individuals – should be the starting point for companies when dealing with their customers. Ensure that any communication you send maintains your company’s reputation as a reliable source of information, products, and services. Promotions for an at-home spa experience will elicit significantly different reactions from a middle-income parent of two living in a small New York City apartment and a high-income single adult spending more time at home than travelling.
Examine your promotion and engagement efforts from the previous six months and think about how you might improve them swiftly based on new consumer behaviour trends. Consider how you may fine-tune your target population segmentation, test improved engagement tactics, and use the information to guide your longer-term enterprise-wide personalization strategy.
Leading IT Transformation – Workshop 1 – Future-State Design
- Customer Focus
- Organizational Structure
- Change Management and Cultural Transformation
- Transformational Leadership
- Technology Decisions Involve Entire C-Suite
- Integration of All Data Systems
- Internal Customer Experience
- Modernization Strategy
- Data Security, Privacy and Data Ethics
- Evolution of Products, Services and Processes
- Digitization of The Business
- Personalization Guides The Customer
Welcome to Appleton Greene and thank you for enrolling on the Leading IT Transformation corporate training program. You will be learning through our unique facilitation via distance-learning method, which will enable you to practically implement everything that you learn academically. The methods and materials used in your program have been designed and developed to ensure that you derive the maximum benefits and enjoyment possible. We hope that you find the program challenging and fun to do. However, if you have never been a distance-learner before, you may be experiencing some trepidation at the task before you. So we will get you started by giving you some basic information and guidance on how you can make the best use of the modules, how you should manage the materials and what you should be doing as you work through them. This guide is designed to point you in the right direction and help you to become an effective distance-learner. Take a few hours or so to study this guide and your guide to tutorial support for students, while making notes, before you start to study in earnest.
You will need to locate a quiet and private place to study, preferably a room where you can easily be isolated from external disturbances or distractions. Make sure the room is well-lit and incorporates a relaxed, pleasant feel. If you can spoil yourself within your study environment, you will have much more of a chance to ensure that you are always in the right frame of mind when you do devote time to study. For example, a nice fire, the ability to play soft soothing background music, soft but effective lighting, perhaps a nice view if possible and a good size desk with a comfortable chair. Make sure that your family know when you are studying and understand your study rules. Your study environment is very important. The ideal situation, if at all possible, is to have a separate study, which can be devoted to you. If this is not possible then you will need to pay a lot more attention to developing and managing your study schedule, because it will affect other people as well as yourself. The better your study environment, the more productive you will be.
Study tools & rules
Try and make sure that your study tools are sufficient and in good working order. You will need to have access to a computer, scanner and printer, with access to the internet. You will need a very comfortable chair, which supports your lower back, and you will need a good filing system. It can be very frustrating if you are spending valuable study time trying to fix study tools that are unreliable, or unsuitable for the task. Make sure that your study tools are up to date. You will also need to consider some study rules. Some of these rules will apply to you and will be intended to help you to be more disciplined about when and how you study. This distance-learning guide will help you and after you have read it you can put some thought into what your study rules should be. You will also need to negotiate some study rules for your family, friends or anyone who lives with you. They too will need to be disciplined in order to ensure that they can support you while you study. It is important to ensure that your family and friends are an integral part of your study team. Having their support and encouragement can prove to be a crucial contribution to your successful completion of the program. Involve them in as much as you can.
Distance-learners are freed from the necessity of attending regular classes or workshops, since they can study in their own way, at their own pace and for their own purposes. But unlike traditional internal training courses, it is the student’s responsibility, with a distance-learning program, to ensure that they manage their own study contribution. This requires strong self-discipline and self-motivation skills and there must be a clear will to succeed. Those students who are used to managing themselves, are good at managing others and who enjoy working in isolation, are more likely to be good distance-learners. It is also important to be aware of the main reasons why you are studying and of the main objectives that you are hoping to achieve as a result. You will need to remind yourself of these objectives at times when you need to motivate yourself. Never lose sight of your long-term goals and your short-term objectives. There is nobody available here to pamper you, or to look after you, or to spoon-feed you with information, so you will need to find ways to encourage and appreciate yourself while you are studying. Make sure that you chart your study progress, so that you can be sure of your achievements and re-evaluate your goals and objectives regularly.
Appleton Greene training programs are in all cases post-graduate programs. Consequently, you should already have obtained a business-related degree and be an experienced learner. You should therefore already be aware of your study strengths and weaknesses. For example, which time of the day are you at your most productive? Are you a lark or an owl? What study methods do you respond to the most? Are you a consistent learner? How do you discipline yourself? How do you ensure that you enjoy yourself while studying? It is important to understand yourself as a learner and so some self-assessment early on will be necessary if you are to apply yourself correctly. Perform a SWOT analysis on yourself as a student. List your internal strengths and weaknesses as a student and your external opportunities and threats. This will help you later on when you are creating a study plan. You can then incorporate features within your study plan that can ensure that you are playing to your strengths, while compensating for your weaknesses. You can also ensure that you make the most of your opportunities, while avoiding the potential threats to your success.
Accepting responsibility as a student
Training programs invariably require a significant investment, both in terms of what they cost and in the time that you need to contribute to study and the responsibility for successful completion of training programs rests entirely with the student. This is never more apparent than when a student is learning via distance-learning. Accepting responsibility as a student is an important step towards ensuring that you can successfully complete your training program. It is easy to instantly blame other people or factors when things go wrong. But the fact of the matter is that if a failure is your failure, then you have the power to do something about it, it is entirely in your own hands. If it is always someone else’s failure, then you are powerless to do anything about it. All students study in entirely different ways, this is because we are all individuals and what is right for one student, is not necessarily right for another. In order to succeed, you will have to accept personal responsibility for finding a way to plan, implement and manage a personal study plan that works for you. If you do not succeed, you only have yourself to blame.
By far the most critical contribution to stress, is the feeling of not being in control. In the absence of planning we tend to be reactive and can stumble from pillar to post in the hope that things will turn out fine in the end. Invariably they don’t! In order to be in control, we need to have firm ideas about how and when we want to do things. We also need to consider as many possible eventualities as we can, so that we are prepared for them when they happen. Prescriptive Change, is far easier to manage and control, than Emergent Change. The same is true with distance-learning. It is much easier and much more enjoyable, if you feel that you are in control and that things are going to plan. Even when things do go wrong, you are prepared for them and can act accordingly without any unnecessary stress. It is important therefore that you do take time to plan your studies properly.
Once you have developed a clear study plan, it is of equal importance to ensure that you manage the implementation of it. Most of us usually enjoy planning, but it is usually during implementation when things go wrong. Targets are not met and we do not understand why. Sometimes we do not even know if targets are being met. It is not enough for us to conclude that the study plan just failed. If it is failing, you will need to understand what you can do about it. Similarly if your study plan is succeeding, it is still important to understand why, so that you can improve upon your success. You therefore need to have guidelines for self-assessment so that you can be consistent with performance improvement throughout the program. If you manage things correctly, then your performance should constantly improve throughout the program.
Study objectives & tasks
The first place to start is developing your program objectives. These should feature your reasons for undertaking the training program in order of priority. Keep them succinct and to the point in order to avoid confusion. Do not just write the first things that come into your head because they are likely to be too similar to each other. Make a list of possible departmental headings, such as: Customer Service; E-business; Finance; Globalization; Human Resources; Technology; Legal; Management; Marketing and Production. Then brainstorm for ideas by listing as many things that you want to achieve under each heading and later re-arrange these things in order of priority. Finally, select the top item from each department heading and choose these as your program objectives. Try and restrict yourself to five because it will enable you to focus clearly. It is likely that the other things that you listed will be achieved if each of the top objectives are achieved. If this does not prove to be the case, then simply work through the process again.
As a guide, the Appleton Greene Leading IT Transformation corporate training program should take 12-18 months to complete, depending upon your availability and current commitments. The reason why there is such a variance in time estimates is because every student is an individual, with differing productivity levels and different commitments. These differentiations are then exaggerated by the fact that this is a distance-learning program, which incorporates the practical integration of academic theory as an as a part of the training program. Consequently all of the project studies are real, which means that important decisions and compromises need to be made. You will want to get things right and will need to be patient with your expectations in order to ensure that they are. We would always recommend that you are prudent with your own task and time forecasts, but you still need to develop them and have a clear indication of what are realistic expectations in your case. With reference to your time planning: consider the time that you can realistically dedicate towards study with the program every week; calculate how long it should take you to complete the program, using the guidelines featured here; then break the program down into logical modules and allocate a suitable proportion of time to each of them, these will be your milestones; you can create a time plan by using a spreadsheet on your computer, or a personal organizer such as MS Outlook, you could also use a financial forecasting software; break your time forecasts down into manageable chunks of time, the more specific you can be, the more productive and accurate your time management will be; finally, use formulas where possible to do your time calculations for you, because this will help later on when your forecasts need to change in line with actual performance. With reference to your task planning: refer to your list of tasks that need to be undertaken in order to achieve your program objectives; with reference to your time plan, calculate when each task should be implemented; remember that you are not estimating when your objectives will be achieved, but when you will need to focus upon implementing the corresponding tasks; you also need to ensure that each task is implemented in conjunction with the associated training modules which are relevant; then break each single task down into a list of specific to do’s, say approximately ten to do’s for each task and enter these into your study plan; once again you could use MS Outlook to incorporate both your time and task planning and this could constitute your study plan; you could also use a project management software like MS Project. You should now have a clear and realistic forecast detailing when you can expect to be able to do something about undertaking the tasks to achieve your program objectives.
It is one thing to develop your study forecast, it is quite another to monitor your progress. Ultimately it is less important whether you achieve your original study forecast and more important that you update it so that it constantly remains realistic in line with your performance. As you begin to work through the program, you will begin to have more of an idea about your own personal performance and productivity levels as a distance-learner. Once you have completed your first study module, you should re-evaluate your study forecast for both time and tasks, so that they reflect your actual performance level achieved. In order to achieve this you must first time yourself while training by using an alarm clock. Set the alarm for hourly intervals and make a note of how far you have come within that time. You can then make a note of your actual performance on your study plan and then compare your performance against your forecast. Then consider the reasons that have contributed towards your performance level, whether they are positive or negative and make a considered adjustment to your future forecasts as a result. Given time, you should start achieving your forecasts regularly.
With reference to time management: time yourself while you are studying and make a note of the actual time taken in your study plan; consider your successes with time-efficiency and the reasons for the success in each case and take this into consideration when reviewing future time planning; consider your failures with time-efficiency and the reasons for the failures in each case and take this into consideration when reviewing future time planning; re-evaluate your study forecast in relation to time planning for the remainder of your training program to ensure that you continue to be realistic about your time expectations. You need to be consistent with your time management, otherwise you will never complete your studies. This will either be because you are not contributing enough time to your studies, or you will become less efficient with the time that you do allocate to your studies. Remember, if you are not in control of your studies, they can just become yet another cause of stress for you.
With reference to your task management: time yourself while you are studying and make a note of the actual tasks that you have undertaken in your study plan; consider your successes with task-efficiency and the reasons for the success in each case; take this into consideration when reviewing future task planning; consider your failures with task-efficiency and the reasons for the failures in each case and take this into consideration when reviewing future task planning; re-evaluate your study forecast in relation to task planning for the remainder of your training program to ensure that you continue to be realistic about your task expectations. You need to be consistent with your task management, otherwise you will never know whether you are achieving your program objectives or not.
Keeping in touch
You will have access to qualified and experienced professors and tutors who are responsible for providing tutorial support for your particular training program. So don’t be shy about letting them know how you are getting on. We keep electronic records of all tutorial support emails so that professors and tutors can review previous correspondence before considering an individual response. It also means that there is a record of all communications between you and your professors and tutors and this helps to avoid any unnecessary duplication, misunderstanding, or misinterpretation. If you have a problem relating to the program, share it with them via email. It is likely that they have come across the same problem before and are usually able to make helpful suggestions and steer you in the right direction. To learn more about when and how to use tutorial support, please refer to the Tutorial Support section of this student information guide. This will help you to ensure that you are making the most of tutorial support that is available to you and will ultimately contribute towards your success and enjoyment with your training program.
Work colleagues and family
You should certainly discuss your program study progress with your colleagues, friends and your family. Appleton Greene training programs are very practical. They require you to seek information from other people, to plan, develop and implement processes with other people and to achieve feedback from other people in relation to viability and productivity. You will therefore have plenty of opportunities to test your ideas and enlist the views of others. People tend to be sympathetic towards distance-learners, so don’t bottle it all up in yourself. Get out there and share it! It is also likely that your family and colleagues are going to benefit from your labors with the program, so they are likely to be much more interested in being involved than you might think. Be bold about delegating work to those who might benefit themselves. This is a great way to achieve understanding and commitment from people who you may later rely upon for process implementation. Share your experiences with your friends and family.
Making it relevant
The key to successful learning is to make it relevant to your own individual circumstances. At all times you should be trying to make bridges between the content of the program and your own situation. Whether you achieve this through quiet reflection or through interactive discussion with your colleagues, client partners or your family, remember that it is the most important and rewarding aspect of translating your studies into real self-improvement. You should be clear about how you want the program to benefit you. This involves setting clear study objectives in relation to the content of the course in terms of understanding, concepts, completing research or reviewing activities and relating the content of the modules to your own situation. Your objectives may understandably change as you work through the program, in which case you should enter the revised objectives on your study plan so that you have a permanent reminder of what you are trying to achieve, when and why.
Prepare your study environment, your study tools and rules.
Undertake detailed self-assessment in terms of your ability as a learner.
Create a format for your study plan.
Consider your study objectives and tasks.
Create a study forecast.
Assess your study performance.
Re-evaluate your study forecast.
Be consistent when managing your study plan.
Use your Appleton Greene Certified Learning Provider (CLP) for tutorial support.
Make sure you keep in touch with those around you.
Appleton Greene uses standard and bespoke corporate training programs as vessels to transfer business process improvement knowledge into the heart of our clients’ organizations. Each individual program focuses upon the implementation of a specific business process, which enables clients to easily quantify their return on investment. There are hundreds of established Appleton Greene corporate training products now available to clients within customer services, e-business, finance, globalization, human resources, information technology, legal, management, marketing and production. It does not matter whether a client’s employees are located within one office, or an unlimited number of international offices, we can still bring them together to learn and implement specific business processes collectively. Our approach to global localization enables us to provide clients with a truly international service with that all important personal touch. Appleton Greene corporate training programs can be provided virtually or locally and they are all unique in that they individually focus upon a specific business function. They are implemented over a sustainable period of time and professional support is consistently provided by qualified learning providers and specialist consultants.
You will have a designated Certified Learning Provider (CLP) and an Accredited Consultant and we encourage you to communicate with them as much as possible. In all cases tutorial support is provided online because we can then keep a record of all communications to ensure that tutorial support remains consistent. You would also be forwarding your work to the tutorial support unit for evaluation and assessment. You will receive individual feedback on all of the work that you undertake on a one-to-one basis, together with specific recommendations for anything that may need to be changed in order to achieve a pass with merit or a pass with distinction and you then have as many opportunities as you may need to re-submit project studies until they meet with the required standard. Consequently the only reason that you should really fail (CLP) is if you do not do the work. It makes no difference to us whether a student takes 12 months or 18 months to complete the program, what matters is that in all cases the same quality standard will have been achieved.
Please forward all of your future emails to the designated (CLP) Tutorial Support Unit email address that has been provided and please do not duplicate or copy your emails to other AGC email accounts as this will just cause unnecessary administration. Please note that emails are always answered as quickly as possible but you will need to allow a period of up to 20 business days for responses to general tutorial support emails during busy periods, because emails are answered strictly within the order in which they are received. You will also need to allow a period of up to 30 business days for the evaluation and assessment of project studies. This does not include weekends or public holidays. Please therefore kindly allow for this within your time planning. All communications are managed online via email because it enables tutorial service support managers to review other communications which have been received before responding and it ensures that there is a copy of all communications retained on file for future reference. All communications will be stored within your personal (CLP) study file here at Appleton Greene throughout your designated study period. If you need any assistance or clarification at any time, please do not hesitate to contact us by forwarding an email and remember that we are here to help. If you have any questions, please list and number your questions succinctly and you can then be sure of receiving specific answers to each and every query.
It takes approximately 1 Year to complete the Leading IT Transformation corporate training program, incorporating 12 x 6-hour monthly workshops. Each student will also need to contribute approximately 4 hours per week over 1 Year of their personal time. Students can study from home or work at their own pace and are responsible for managing their own study plan. There are no formal examinations and students are evaluated and assessed based upon their project study submissions, together with the quality of their internal analysis and supporting documents. They can contribute more time towards study when they have the time to do so and can contribute less time when they are busy. All students tend to be in full time employment while studying and the Leading IT Transformation program is purposely designed to accommodate this, so there is plenty of flexibility in terms of time management. It makes no difference to us at Appleton Greene, whether individuals take 12-18 months to complete this program. What matters is that in all cases the same standard of quality will have been achieved with the standard and bespoke programs that have been developed.
Distance Learning Guide
The distance learning guide should be your first port of call when starting your training program. It will help you when you are planning how and when to study, how to create the right environment and how to establish the right frame of mind. If you can lay the foundations properly during the planning stage, then it will contribute to your enjoyment and productivity while training later. The guide helps to change your lifestyle in order to accommodate time for study and to cultivate good study habits. It helps you to chart your progress so that you can measure your performance and achieve your goals. It explains the tools that you will need for study and how to make them work. It also explains how to translate academic theory into practical reality. Spend some time now working through your distance learning guide and make sure that you have firm foundations in place so that you can make the most of your distance learning program. There is no requirement for you to attend training workshops or classes at Appleton Greene offices. The entire program is undertaken online, program course manuals and project studies are administered via the Appleton Greene web site and via email, so you are able to study at your own pace and in the comfort of your own home or office as long as you have a computer and access to the internet.
How To Study
The how to study guide provides students with a clear understanding of the Appleton Greene facilitation via distance learning training methods and enables students to obtain a clear overview of the training program content. It enables students to understand the step-by-step training methods used by Appleton Greene and how course manuals are integrated with project studies. It explains the research and development that is required and the need to provide evidence and references to support your statements. It also enables students to understand precisely what will be required of them in order to achieve a pass with merit and a pass with distinction for individual project studies and provides useful guidance on how to be innovative and creative when developing your Unique Program Proposition (UPP).
Tutorial support for the Appleton Greene Leading IT Transformation corporate training program is provided online either through the Appleton Greene Client Support Portal (CSP), or via email. All tutorial support requests are facilitated by a designated Program Administration Manager (PAM). They are responsible for deciding which professor or tutor is the most appropriate option relating to the support required and then the tutorial support request is forwarded onto them. Once the professor or tutor has completed the tutorial support request and answered any questions that have been asked, this communication is then returned to the student via email by the designated Program Administration Manager (PAM). This enables all tutorial support, between students, professors and tutors, to be facilitated by the designated Program Administration Manager (PAM) efficiently and securely through the email account. You will therefore need to allow a period of up to 20 business days for responses to general support queries and up to 30 business days for the evaluation and assessment of project studies, because all tutorial support requests are answered strictly within the order in which they are received. This does not include weekends or public holidays. Consequently you need to put some thought into the management of your tutorial support procedure in order to ensure that your study plan is feasible and to obtain the maximum possible benefit from tutorial support during your period of study. Please retain copies of your tutorial support emails for future reference. Please ensure that ALL of your tutorial support emails are set out using the format as suggested within your guide to tutorial support. Your tutorial support emails need to be referenced clearly to the specific part of the course manual or project study which you are working on at any given time. You also need to list and number any questions that you would like to ask, up to a maximum of five questions within each tutorial support email. Remember the more specific you can be with your questions the more specific your answers will be too and this will help you to avoid any unnecessary misunderstanding, misinterpretation, or duplication. The guide to tutorial support is intended to help you to understand how and when to use support in order to ensure that you get the most out of your training program. Appleton Greene training programs are designed to enable you to do things for yourself. They provide you with a structure or a framework and we use tutorial support to facilitate students while they practically implement what they learn. In other words, we are enabling students to do things for themselves. The benefits of distance learning via facilitation are considerable and are much more sustainable in the long-term than traditional short-term knowledge sharing programs. Consequently you should learn how and when to use tutorial support so that you can maximize the benefits from your learning experience with Appleton Greene. This guide describes the purpose of each training function and how to use them and how to use tutorial support in relation to each aspect of the training program. It also provides useful tips and guidance with regard to best practice.
Tutorial Support Tips
Students are often unsure about how and when to use tutorial support with Appleton Greene. This Tip List will help you to understand more about how to achieve the most from using tutorial support. Refer to it regularly to ensure that you are continuing to use the service properly. Tutorial support is critical to the success of your training experience, but it is important to understand when and how to use it in order to maximize the benefit that you receive. It is no coincidence that those students who succeed are those that learn how to be positive, proactive and productive when using tutorial support.
Be positive and friendly with your tutorial support emails
Remember that if you forward an email to the tutorial support unit, you are dealing with real people. “Do unto others as you would expect others to do unto you”. If you are positive, complimentary and generally friendly in your emails, you will generate a similar response in return. This will be more enjoyable, productive and rewarding for you in the long-term.
Think about the impression that you want to create
Every time that you communicate, you create an impression, which can be either positive or negative, so put some thought into the impression that you want to create. Remember that copies of all tutorial support emails are stored electronically and tutors will always refer to prior correspondence before responding to any current emails. Over a period of time, a general opinion will be arrived at in relation to your character, attitude and ability. Try to manage your own frustrations, mood swings and temperament professionally, without involving the tutorial support team. Demonstrating frustration or a lack of patience is a weakness and will be interpreted as such. The good thing about communicating in writing, is that you will have the time to consider your content carefully, you can review it and proof-read it before sending your email to Appleton Greene and this should help you to communicate more professionally, consistently and to avoid any unnecessary knee-jerk reactions to individual situations as and when they may arise. Please also remember that the CLP Tutorial Support Unit will not just be responsible for evaluating and assessing the quality of your work, they will also be responsible for providing recommendations to other learning providers and to client contacts within the Appleton Greene global client network, so do be in control of your own emotions and try to create a good impression.
Remember that quality is preferred to quantity
Please remember that when you send an email to the tutorial support team, you are not using Twitter or Text Messaging. Try not to forward an email every time that you have a thought. This will not prove to be productive either for you or for the tutorial support team. Take time to prepare your communications properly, as if you were writing a professional letter to a business colleague and make a list of queries that you are likely to have and then incorporate them within one email, say once every month, so that the tutorial support team can understand more about context, application and your methodology for study. Get yourself into a consistent routine with your tutorial support requests and use the tutorial support template provided with ALL of your emails. The (CLP) Tutorial Support Unit will not spoon-feed you with information. They need to be able to evaluate and assess your tutorial support requests carefully and professionally.
Be specific about your questions in order to receive specific answers
Try not to write essays by thinking as you are writing tutorial support emails. The tutorial support unit can be unclear about what in fact you are asking, or what you are looking to achieve. Be specific about asking questions that you want answers to. Number your questions. You will then receive specific answers to each and every question. This is the main purpose of tutorial support via email.
Keep a record of your tutorial support emails
It is important that you keep a record of all tutorial support emails that are forwarded to you. You can then refer to them when necessary and it avoids any unnecessary duplication, misunderstanding, or misinterpretation.
Individual training workshops or telephone support
Please be advised that Appleton Greene does not provide separate or individual tutorial support meetings, workshops, or provide telephone support for individual students. Appleton Greene is an equal opportunities learning and service provider and we are therefore understandably bound to treat all students equally. We cannot therefore broker special financial or study arrangements with individual students regardless of the circumstances. All tutorial support is provided online and this enables Appleton Greene to keep a record of all communications between students, professors and tutors on file for future reference, in accordance with our quality management procedure and your terms and conditions of enrolment. All tutorial support is provided online via email because it enables us to have time to consider support content carefully, it ensures that you receive a considered and detailed response to your queries. You can number questions that you would like to ask, which relate to things that you do not understand or where clarification may be required. You can then be sure of receiving specific answers to each individual query. You will also then have a record of these communications and of all tutorial support, which has been provided to you. This makes tutorial support administration more productive by avoiding any unnecessary duplication, misunderstanding, or misinterpretation.
Tutorial Support Email Format
You should use this tutorial support format if you need to request clarification or assistance while studying with your training program. Please note that ALL of your tutorial support request emails should use the same format. You should therefore set up a standard email template, which you can then use as and when you need to. Emails that are forwarded to Appleton Greene, which do not use the following format, may be rejected and returned to you by the (CLP) Program Administration Manager. A detailed response will then be forwarded to you via email usually within 20 business days of receipt for general support queries and 30 business days for the evaluation and assessment of project studies. This does not include weekends or public holidays. Your tutorial support request, together with the corresponding TSU reply, will then be saved and stored within your electronic TSU file at Appleton Greene for future reference.
Subject line of your email
Please insert: Appleton Greene (CLP) Tutorial Support Request: (Your Full Name) (Date), within the subject line of your email.
Main body of your email
1. Appleton Greene Certified Learning Provider (CLP) Tutorial Support Request
2. Your Full Name
3. Date of TS request
4. Preferred email address
5. Backup email address
6. Course manual page name or number (reference)
7. Project study page name or number (reference)
Subject of enquiry
Please insert a maximum of 50 words (please be succinct)
Briefly outline the subject matter of your inquiry, or what your questions relate to.
Maximum of 50 words (please be succinct)
Maximum of 50 words (please be succinct)
Maximum of 50 words (please be succinct)
Maximum of 50 words (please be succinct)
Maximum of 50 words (please be succinct)
Please note that a maximum of 5 questions is permitted with each individual tutorial support request email.
* List the questions that you want to ask first, then re-arrange them in order of priority. Make sure that you reference them, where necessary, to the course manuals or project studies.
* Make sure that you are specific about your questions and number them. Try to plan the content within your emails to make sure that it is relevant.
* Make sure that your tutorial support emails are set out correctly, using the Tutorial Support Email Format provided here.
* Save a copy of your email and incorporate the date sent after the subject title. Keep your tutorial support emails within the same file and in date order for easy reference.
* Allow up to 20 business days for a response to general tutorial support emails and up to 30 business days for the evaluation and assessment of project studies, because detailed individual responses will be made in all cases and tutorial support emails are answered strictly within the order in which they are received.
* Emails can and do get lost. So if you have not received a reply within the appropriate time, forward another copy or a reminder to the tutorial support unit to be sure that it has been received but do not forward reminders unless the appropriate time has elapsed.
* When you receive a reply, save it immediately featuring the date of receipt after the subject heading for easy reference. In most cases the tutorial support unit replies to your questions individually, so you will have a record of the questions that you asked as well as the answers offered. With project studies however, separate emails are usually forwarded by the tutorial support unit, so do keep a record of your own original emails as well.
* Remember to be positive and friendly in your emails. You are dealing with real people who will respond to the same things that you respond to.
* Try not to repeat questions that have already been asked in previous emails. If this happens the tutorial support unit will probably just refer you to the appropriate answers that have already been provided within previous emails.
* If you lose your tutorial support email records you can write to Appleton Greene to receive a copy of your tutorial support file, but a separate administration charge may be levied for this service.
How To Study
Your Certified Learning Provider (CLP) and Accredited Consultant can help you to plan a task list for getting started so that you can be clear about your direction and your priorities in relation to your training program. It is also a good way to introduce yourself to the tutorial support team.
Planning your study environment
Your study conditions are of great importance and will have a direct effect on how much you enjoy your training program. Consider how much space you will have, whether it is comfortable and private and whether you are likely to be disturbed. The study tools and facilities at your disposal are also important to the success of your distance-learning experience. Your tutorial support unit can help with useful tips and guidance, regardless of your starting position. It is important to get this right before you start working on your training program.
Planning your program objectives
It is important that you have a clear list of study objectives, in order of priority, before you start working on your training program. Your tutorial support unit can offer assistance here to ensure that your study objectives have been afforded due consideration and priority.
Planning how and when to study
Distance-learners are freed from the necessity of attending regular classes, since they can study in their own way, at their own pace and for their own purposes. This approach is designed to let you study efficiently away from the traditional classroom environment. It is important however, that you plan how and when to study, so that you are making the most of your natural attributes, strengths and opportunities. Your tutorial support unit can offer assistance and useful tips to ensure that you are playing to your strengths.
Planning your study tasks
You should have a clear understanding of the study tasks that you should be undertaking and the priority associated with each task. These tasks should also be integrated with your program objectives. The distance learning guide and the guide to tutorial support for students should help you here, but if you need any clarification or assistance, please contact your tutorial support unit.
Planning your time
You will need to allocate specific times during your calendar when you intend to study if you are to have a realistic chance of completing your program on time. You are responsible for planning and managing your own study time, so it is important that you are successful with this. Your tutorial support unit can help you with this if your time plan is not working.
Keeping in touch
Consistency is the key here. If you communicate too frequently in short bursts, or too infrequently with no pattern, then your management ability with your studies will be questioned, both by you and by your tutorial support unit. It is obvious when a student is in control and when one is not and this will depend how able you are at sticking with your study plan. Inconsistency invariably leads to in-completion.
Charting your progress
Your tutorial support team can help you to chart your own study progress. Refer to your distance learning guide for further details.
Making it work
To succeed, all that you will need to do is apply yourself to undertaking your training program and interpreting it correctly. Success or failure lies in your hands and your hands alone, so be sure that you have a strategy for making it work. Your Certified Learning Provider (CLP) and Accredited Consultant can guide you through the process of program planning, development and implementation.
Interpretation is often unique to the individual but it can be improved and even quantified by implementing consistent interpretation methods. Interpretation can be affected by outside interference such as family members, TV, or the Internet, or simply by other thoughts which are demanding priority in our minds. One thing that can improve our productivity is using recognized reading methods. This helps us to focus and to be more structured when reading information for reasons of importance, rather than relaxation.
When reading through course manuals for the first time, subconsciously set your reading speed to be just fast enough that you cannot dwell on individual words or tables. With practice, you should be able to read an A4 sheet of paper in one minute. You will not achieve much in the way of a detailed understanding, but your brain will retain a useful overview. This overview will be important later on and will enable you to keep individual issues in perspective with a more generic picture because speed reading appeals to the memory part of the brain. Do not worry about what you do or do not remember at this stage.
Once you have speed read everything, you can then start work in earnest. You now need to read a particular section of your course manual thoroughly, by making detailed notes while you read. This process is called Content Reading and it will help to consolidate your understanding and interpretation of the information that has been provided.
Making structured notes on the course manuals
When you are content reading, you should be making detailed notes, which are both structured and informative. Make these notes in a MS Word document on your computer, because you can then amend and update these as and when you deem it to be necessary. List your notes under three headings: 1. Interpretation – 2. Questions – 3. Tasks. The purpose of the 1st section is to clarify your interpretation by writing it down. The purpose of the 2nd section is to list any questions that the issue raises for you. The purpose of the 3rd section is to list any tasks that you should undertake as a result. Anyone who has graduated with a business-related degree should already be familiar with this process.
Organizing structured notes separately
You should then transfer your notes to a separate study notebook, preferably one that enables easy referencing, such as a MS Word Document, a MS Excel Spreadsheet, a MS Access Database, or a personal organizer on your cell phone. Transferring your notes allows you to have the opportunity of cross-checking and verifying them, which assists considerably with understanding and interpretation. You will also find that the better you are at doing this, the more chance you will have of ensuring that you achieve your study objectives.
Question your understanding
Do challenge your understanding. Explain things to yourself in your own words by writing things down.
Clarifying your understanding
If you are at all unsure, forward an email to your tutorial support unit and they will help to clarify your understanding.
Question your interpretation
Do challenge your interpretation. Qualify your interpretation by writing it down.
Clarifying your interpretation
If you are at all unsure, forward an email to your tutorial support unit and they will help to clarify your interpretation.
The student will need to successfully complete the project study and all of the exercises relating to the Leading IT Transformation corporate training program, achieving a pass with merit or distinction in each case, in order to qualify as an Accredited Leading IT Transformation Specialist (ALITTS). All monthly workshops need to be tried and tested within your company. These project studies can be completed in your own time and at your own pace and in the comfort of your own home or office. There are no formal examinations, assessment is based upon the successful completion of the project studies. They are called project studies because, unlike case studies, these projects are not theoretical, they incorporate real program processes that need to be properly researched and developed. The project studies assist us in measuring your understanding and interpretation of the training program and enable us to assess qualification merits. All of the project studies are based entirely upon the content within the training program and they enable you to integrate what you have learnt into your corporate training practice.
Leading IT Transformation – Grading Contribution
Project Study – Grading Contribution
Customer Service – 10%
E-business – 05%
Finance – 10%
Globalization – 10%
Human Resources – 10%
Information Technology – 10%
Legal – 05%
Management – 10%
Marketing – 10%
Production – 10%
Education – 05%
Logistics – 05%
TOTAL GRADING – 100%
A mark of 90% = Pass with Distinction.
A mark of 75% = Pass with Merit.
A mark of less than 75% = Fail.
If you fail to achieve a mark of 75% with a project study, you will receive detailed feedback from the Certified Learning Provider (CLP) and/or Accredited Consultant, together with a list of tasks which you will need to complete, in order to ensure that your project study meets with the minimum quality standard that is required by Appleton Greene. You can then re-submit your project study for further evaluation and assessment. Indeed you can re-submit as many drafts of your project studies as you need to, until such a time as they eventually meet with the required standard by Appleton Greene, so you need not worry about this, it is all part of the learning process.
When marking project studies, Appleton Greene is looking for sufficient evidence of the following:
Pass with merit
A satisfactory level of program understanding
A satisfactory level of program interpretation
A satisfactory level of project study content presentation
A satisfactory level of Unique Program Proposition (UPP) quality
A satisfactory level of the practical integration of academic theory
Pass with distinction
An exceptional level of program understanding
An exceptional level of program interpretation
An exceptional level of project study content presentation
An exceptional level of Unique Program Proposition (UPP) quality
An exceptional level of the practical integration of academic theory
“Digital Transformation: A Roadmap for Billion-Dollar Organizations: Findings from Phase 1 of the Digital Transformation study conducted by the Mit Center for Digital Business and Capgemini Consulting.
How Can You Make Your Digital Journey Successful?
Successful digital transformations in our study used a common set of elements (see Figure 12). Each is a lever executives can use to initiate and drive digital transformation in their organizations. Leaders diagnose the potential value of existing corporate assets and build a transformative vision for the future. Then, they invest in skills and initiatives to make the vision a reality. Fundamental to the transformation is effective communication and governance to ensure that the firm is moving in the right direction. These elements work together in an iterative approach – constantly communicating and listening to re-envision and further implement new types of digital transformation. Senior executives drive digital transformation through an iterative three-step process: 1. Envision the digital future for your firm. 2. Invest in digital initiatives and skills. 3. Lead the change from the top.
Envision the digital future for your firm Many digital transformation initiatives fail to capture all of the value available to them because their vision is not transformative. Only the top of the company can create a compelling vision of the future and communicate it throughout the organization. Successful digital transformation does not occur bottom up. The true value of transformation often comes from seeing value across silos and then helping everyone else see that value.
Identify and diagnose strategic assets
Large companies survive major transitions not by radically replacing the old with the new, but rather by transforming some of their existing resources and competencies for the new environment. While this sometimes involves changing leadership or replacing assets, it usually involves reassigning or adapting assets and realigning or re-motivating employees. However, it also requires understanding when traditional assets and sources of advantage no longer provide value.
Digital transformation is the same. Your company will thrive in digital transformation not by doing something completely new, but by taking advantage of your powerful capabilities to gain advantage through digitization. But that requires thoughtful diagnosis: what assets will be useful in a digitally transformed world?
Interviewees, without being asked, often identified important assets that could help or hinder their transformations. These strategic assets include:
• Sales force: A strong source of customer loyalty is the set of relationships cultivated by a strong sales force. Digital initiatives can threaten to disintermediate salespeople, leading to channel conflict. However, digital transformation can also be used to enhance those relationships, such as a logistics firm that can use demand data in one part of the world to provide customers in another part of the world with forecasts of trends that will hit them soon. In addition to sales people, front line employees often are an important face to the customer, as well as having important knowledge about how business is done.
• Point of sale and distribution channels: Stores are often a strong source of location-based advantage, even in a digital world. In other cases, firms with a strong warehouse and supply chain capabilities are able to use their distribution assets to disrupt the advantage of local competitors.
• Products and content: Media firms find their content is a strong asset that can be reused in digital environments. Product companies often find they can build new digital business around strong products. An electronics manufacturer is building energy management solutions around its highly successful devices for the commercial buildings market, and a manufacturer of expensive long-lived transportation products is building services that digitally diagnose and help to maintain those devices.
• Product innovation: A high-tech materials firm has engineering capabilities that few other firms can match in its niche markets. It has the opportunity to use digital transformation to connect its engineers more closely with global manufacturers. An apparel firm has world-class fashion design talent. It uses digital technology to connect designers closer to manufacturers, speeding the design-to-market cycle time while enabling designers to change designs at will.
• Partnership network: Strong partnerships can be a key lever for transformation. Networks of exclusive or trusted relationships can enable firms to combine different expertise and deliver powerful new operating models. A mortgage company, in switching from a single value chain link to a value chain orchestrator, benefited greatly from its partnership assets. Partners could have refused the idea out of fear of direct competition, but they cooperated in the project because of years of working together on many financial products and transactions.
• Brand: Companies with a strong brand are able to leverage it in related offerings. Through mobile web, social media, new digital businesses and other digital initiatives these companies can extend and strengthen their brands, building additional points of contact with customers.
• Customer knowledge: Across the years, companies had gathered more and more knowledge about customers. Today, some are reaching a point where they can start envisioning the next step, monetizing this relationship to launch new products, enhance customer relationships or augment sales via customer-segmentation.
• Culture: Some firms are able to use culture as a powerful asset. Executives in a manufacturing firm found that the company’s historically entrepreneurial culture made digital transformation easier. Employees were willing to embrace operational changes and strategic partnerships as part of the new vision. An airport authority noted that the nation’s collegial culture made it easier to engage in transformation. Meanwhile, another airport authority found that its unionized culture restricted change.
Create a transformative vision Successful digital transformation comes from envisioning new ways that digital technology improves performance and customer satisfaction, not just trying to find a use for the new technologies. As we described earlier, many companies that are doing experiments in mobile marketing, social media, or analytics find that they can be quickly stymied by organizational boundaries or by culture issues. Often the problems arise through vision focused on technology rather than different ways of operating. More often they are limited by a vision that is incremental instead of transformative.
Start with an overarching vision of the what, not the how: “customer experience transformation” not “mobile marketing” or “social media.” Then support the message through consistent communication. Each specific element of the transformation can then be placed in a context of the broader vision.
This will also highlight when issues such as a single customer profile or a coordinated messaging approach may be important in reaching the vision. Our interviews showed visions that were internally focused, externally focused, or bridging the two. Some visions were focused on specific business units, while others extended across the enterprise. Another element of the vision is the relationship between new and existing businesses. Companies in the study had visions that included launching new businesses, digitally improving existing businesses, or creating an overarching vision for a transformed company.”
To continue reading this study, please visit:
University of Cambridge
“ Mariam H. Ismail, Mohamed Khater, Mohamed Zaki.
Digital Transformation Process: How Do Businesses Formulate and Implement Their Digital Business Transformation Strategies? Faced with multiple digital transformation challenges, companies have recognized the need to govern this complex endeavor by formulating and executing a clear strategy to keep pace with the new digital reality (Matt et al. 2014). This is supported by various stakeholders within organizations: executives see the potential of emerging digital technologies, and yet they are unclear about how to achieve their transformation goals. Experts in the business world are all in agreement that the ability to digitally reinvent the business is not just about the technologies being adopted, but rather about a radical strategic and cultural change within the organization (Von Leipzig et al. 2017), and corporate employees equally believe in the central role that strategy plays for successfully adopting new technologies (Fitzgerald et al. 2013). Both levels, individual and organizational, are therefore advised to comprehend this strategic imperative behind any digital integration and transformation attempts (Kaufman & Horton 2015). Despite the paramount importance of formulating a dedicated strategy that integrates all the prioritization, coordination mechanisms and implementation steps of digital transformation, academia still fails to provide a coherent guideline that addresses a company-wide transformation strategy (Matt et al. 2014; Hess et al. 2016). “We need strategic frameworks that are aimed at deliberately harnessing the unique capabilities of digital technology that are embedded into products to gain competitive advantage” (Yoo et al. 2010). This “growing sense of urgency about the need to craft successful strategies for the digital marketplace” (Kulatilaka & Venkatraman 2001) makes it apparent that the concept of a company-level digital transformation seems to hinge on a strategy perspective, which is needed in the literature, as well as in practice. Therefore, this review continues to focus on the strategic perspective of a DT and the following sections explore this in more detail.
Before introducing the digital transformation strategy and positioning it within the hierarchy of companies’ strategies, we briefly touch upon the relevant strategy levels recognized in the literature, as shown in Figure 6. These levels are the most commonly met in the world of business. It is useful to identify the strategy hierarchy for each situation, since strategic choices can be tempered or restricted depending on the members involved at each level (Mills et al. 1995).
Figure 6: Three Major Strategy Levels
Digital Transformation Strategy Definition A digital transformation strategy is considered to be an overarching and company-wide strategy guiding an organization in its entire digital transformation journey. It therefore surpasses functional thinking and holistically tackles the opportunities and risks associated with the enabling digital technologies (Singh & Hess 2017). Its distinctive nature of being inclusive of all business segments and company-spanning characteristics necessitates several alignment mechanisms: first, alignment with the business strategy; and, second, alignment with other operational or functional strategies to act as a unifying link between different strategy levels within companies (Matt et al. 2014; Kaufman & Horton 2015; Hess et al. 2016). Digital transformation dimensions also include digital activities and changes to products, services and business models, thus going beyond the firms’ operational boundaries. Consequently, the scope of a digital transformation strategy should be more broadly designed, and because of the unchartered waters of many transformation initiatives, the strategy should be subject to a continuous reassessment regarding its underlying assumptions, as well as its progress (Matt et al. 2014).
The literature accentuates the difference between a digital transformation strategy, IT strategy and digital business strategy. Venkatraman et al. (1993) articulate three dimensions as inherent in an IT strategy, namely the IT scope, systemic competencies and IT governance, meaning that it typically concentrates on the efficient management of IT infrastructure and application systems, with limited impact on driving innovations. The resulting system-centric focus regarding the future use of technologies is considered to be hindering the product-centric and customer-centric transformational opportunities crossing firms’ boundaries in a digital economy (Matt et al. 2014). A digital transformation strategy, on the other hand, impacts companies more broadly and allows for transformational opportunities within business models, products, processes and customers. It is further argued that the previous IT strategy knowledge cannot simply be transferred to a digital transformation context (Hess et al. 2016).
With the rise of digital products, processes and services, Bharadwaj et al. (2013) define digital business strategy as an “organizational strategy formulated and executed by leveraging digital resources to create differential value”, which revamps the role of IT strategy from a functional strategy to one that is fused with the business strategy. Although this strategy determines the desired future business opportunities based on the integration and use of new digital technologies, it does not provide guidelines regarding the transformational steps needed to reach the desired future state (Matt et al. 2014; Hess et al. 2016).
As a result of the lack of a coherent and rigorous definition of a digital transformation strategy found in the literature, we propose the following working definition and criteria for a digital transformation strategy. A digital transformation strategy is a company spanning strategy that is formulated to enable a company to incorporate the opportunities of the digital economy by leveraging digital resources and capabilities, and digitally transforming along multiple business dimensions: operational, customer focused and business models. It further:
a) Recognizes the fusion between the business strategy and IT strategy;
b) Translates the digital layer of a business strategy to the various functional strategies and acts as a missing link;
c) Provides specific transformational guidelines to reach the future state; and
d) Considers broader organizational restructuring requirements and acquisitions.
Thus, the discussed characteristics, as well as the necessary alignment mechanisms of a digital transformation strategy, position it at the level of a business strategy in a company’s strategy hierarchy. This allows it to incorporate the vast opportunities that the digital environment and the readily accessible digital technologies present (Sebastian et al. 2017), as depicted in Figure 7. It also illustrates the necessary functional alignments that the digital transformation strategy fulfills.
Figure 7: Positioning Digital Transformation Strategy
3.1 Digital Transformation Strategy Content: What Decision Areas are Relevant?
The design of a digital transformation strategy requires companies to make appropriate strategic decisions in several key areas and this section synthesizes the relevant ones encountered in the literature, as summarized in Figure 8. We categorize the content according to the strategy level being addressed. We further propose that these strategic decision areas have to be incorporated into the strategy formulation process by making a set of deliberate choices to meet the long-term goals of the transformation endeavor.
Figure 8: Digital Transformation Strategy Content
From a business point of view, an initial business case has to be made, in which the long-term objectives need to be clear and also overweighing the mere pursuit of quick gains. Closely related to this are decisions about the potential need for an overall change readiness assessment in order to comprehend the current state of a company’s performance, and to identify potential problems, vulnerabilities, opportunities and the associated risks (Lawton 2015; Kaufman & Horton 2015). Furthermore, digital transformation implies changes in value creation, derived from the way in which adopted digital technologies alter the current business model. Companies are required to rethink the scope of their business and also identify potential new revenue streams from digitally enhanced products, services and customer interactions (Hess et al. 2016; Matt et al. 2014). They should also consider the integration of digital technologies with their core values and business goals to ensure a sustainable outcome (Kaufman & Horton 2015). Most importantly, academics emphasize the importance of establishing a common and clear vision across the entire organization to inform all the stakeholders where they are heading and to ensure the transformation’s future success (Chahal 2016; Fitzgerald et al. 2013; Westerman, Tannou et al. 2012; Webb 2013). Decisions will also involve how the vision will be set and who is going to communicate it to the rest of the organization.
Technological decisions are crucial when introducing new emerging technologies into companies. Among areas being explored here is the role that technologies play in the firm to achieve strategic goals. This can be divided into an enabling role for new business opportunities or a merely supportive one to fulfill current business requirements. Closely related to that is a company’s attitude towards new technologies and its ability to exploit them for future business goals. Firms usually fall into two broad categories: they either adopt established and widely used technology solutions and act as market followers or become the market leaders by innovating and introducing new technology solutions to the markets (Hess et al. 2016; Matt et al. 2014). This stems from investments in their capabilities to conceptualize how digital technologies can impact their business (Kane et al. 2015) and also requires dedicated change programs to ensure that the organization is concurrently evolving with the technologies (Webb 2013).
Numerous strategic decisions have to be taken in relation to changes in the interaction with customers. Companies are encouraged to investigate potentially new benefits created in their customer experience through digitally enhanced changes to the customer journey (Valdez-de-leon et al. 2016). This can be achieved by exploring all the customer touch-points and integrating the companies’ interactions across various digital, as well as physical, platforms (Berman 2012). Transforming the customer experience can also be accomplished through the introduction of digitally enhanced products and services (Hess et al. 2016; Matt et al. 2014; Valdez-de-leon et al. 2016). Additionally, investments in R&D can further help organizations develop digitized solutions to anticipate customer needs rather than merely responding to existing ones (Sebastian et al. 2017).
Managerial decision areas have a financial element, which evolves around choosing how to finance the digital transformation endeavor, after assessing the financial pressure on the current business (Hess et al. 2016; Matt et al. 2014). The focus on fostering innovation is also a critical element to be discussed (Kane et al. 2015; Lawton 2015), in which managers are encouraged to view digital innovation as an integral part of their strategy (Kaufman & Horton 2015). Agile and new flexible working, along with a consideration of a bottom-up innovation processes, should drive an ongoing digital transformation (Westerman, Tannou et al. 2012; Valdez-de-leon et al. 2016). Managers need to further be aware of the paramount importance that various capabilities play, namely, organizational, technology-based, product-related and digital capabilities (Kane et al. 2015; Matt et al. 2014; Westerman, Bonnet et al. 2012). Examining their firms’ strategic assets and capabilities through a digital lens may help managers pinpoint which existing assets can be leveraged, which capabilities can be used in new ways and whether or not new competencies are needed to be brought into the company (Westerman & Bonnet 2015; Hess et al. 2016; Ross et al. 2017). In their empirical work with large, old companies, Sebastian et al. (2017) reveal the importance of two technology-enabled assets that are necessary for a successful digital transformation: an operational backbone to ensure efficiency and reliability of core operations; and a digital service platform to support business agility and rapid innovations.
Various organizational decisions are also identified in the literature, in which companies are advised to take a closer look at the employees, culture, talent and skillset, and leadership. Companies should review the need for developing a collaborative work environment and ensure that the transformation project is staffed correctly (Kane et al. 2015; Matt et al. 2014). Employees are often assessed from a maturity point of view, in which their roles, expertise and capabilities are scrutinized (Von Leipzig et al. 2017). This enables companies to classify themselves into a category of digital maturity and also helps them to navigate their transformation in a structured manner. Further considerations are required regarding the necessary changes in the company’s culture, which are aimed at adapting it to work with new technologies rather than imposing these technologies on employees (Chahal 2016). Additional decisions are made around techniques for encouraging risk, creating the right digital mindset and helping employees to adapt quickly to change (Kane et al. 2015; Kaufman & Horton 2015). This cultural shift is considered to be the biggest challenge encountered in transformation related change programs (Webb 2013) and is also viewed as a critical success factor in technology-induced business transformations (Lawton 2015).
A digital transformation strategy formulation needs to further include decisions regarding securing people with the necessary skills and talent to be able to capitalize on the digital trends (Kane et al. 2015; Westerman, Tannou et al. 2012; Berman 2012). Action plans are taken upon assessing which organizational skills are affe