The real challenge at the heart of digital transformation is with visualising the future – and building networks that can cope with a huge range of use-cases across a myriad of service areas, many of which are often unknown.
With Mobile at the heart of digital transformation today – the need for privacy, security and standards in the current 4G age, as well as the fast approaching move towards 5G and a world of immersive communication, VR, augmented reality and the increasingly blurred line between the physical and the digital worlds – it is extremely important to recognise that ‘digital lives’ are not founded on technology alone.
User-centred digital design not only improves the products and services, it can transform the whole business. By understanding the customer, their pain points and needs, and aligning them to the business strategy, you are well on the way to creating the roadmap for success.
When Going Digital, The ‘How‘ Is Just As Important As The ‘Why’
The ‘Why‘ relates to fully understanding and accurately mapping the current state of an organisations internal and external services (both service areas and lines); namely the existing transactions, interactions and relationships that collectively crystallise the organisations purpose, vision, strategy and tactics from an operational, user experience and customer journey perspective…
The ‘How‘ touches on the way the Digital Design is collaboratively modelled and configured (during Discovery) to incorporate an organisations current business reality, including the way that the people actually operate. The model is then overlaid with a future state opportunity lens.
Discovery Phase – Getting The Right Design In Place (That Reflects The Operational Reality)
The Discovery Phase is tasked with understanding and mapping the current operation and service, then overlaying the key touch-point areas where the user experience can be enhanced, amplified and streamlined – as well targeting where efficiencies and cost savings can be made.
Fundamentally the Discovery Phase approach must be wired to meaningfully inform the creation of a future digital experience that delights and engages – and in an efficient and cost effective way – generating enhanced experience, value, savings, efficiency and return on investment (aka optimal bang for the buck).
Blueprint Concept Board – Connecting ‘Thinking To Doing’
The Blueprint Concept board is one of the techniques that my team and I use to prototype, test, game-plan and validate the thinking to ensure the design is fit-for-purpose, and with clear and understandable terms of reference produced.
The Blueprint Concept Board featured below is the early development stages of a real client work example with all sensitive content removed. Level 1 & 2 in this visual are intended as a conversation starter to enable technical and non-technical stakeholders to engage in the design debate – commencing the process of working out what digital means to the organisation.
The Blueprint Concept Board is intended to overarch programme activity, providing direction and cohesion to multiple works-streams and teams that are working on the detailed organisational, business and technical specifications.
Blueprint Concept Board Explained
Level 1 – Delivery & Impact
Level 1 tells the story how the organisation will create value through its digitally enhanced internal and external relationships. The organisations purpose, mission, vision, strategic imperatives and values are connected to a stakeholder landscape – bringing the organisations digital vision to life through a blended mix of high-level big picture and deep-dive scenario-based (use case) value stories.
Level 2 – Digital Connectivity
Level 2 illustrates how the organisation structure arranges itself around the digital agenda. It provides a practical mechanism for people to visualise the organisation from multiple dimensions, describing how the organisation will do business in the ‘future’, including reflecting how the people will need to operate in the real world.
Level 2 will eventually feature the digital operating model moving parts including people, process, systems and technology required to bring the digital vision and strategy to life. Network design is arranged around the organisations Decision Value Chain and Customer Journeys with the prime intention of shortening the gap between decision-making and value creation.
Level 3 – Capacity & Capability
Level 3 is focused on ensuring ‘thinking’ leads to ‘doing’. It features all the dimensions that inform and guide ‘change roadmap’ development.
Level 3 will eventually lead to the operational manifestation of the corporate vision and strategy – what the organisation wants to do, how it wants to do it, where, when, who-with and who-to.
The above visual artefacts are best utilised in conjunction with a portfolio of blended left/right brain visualisation techniques that enable technical and non-technical stakeholders to engage in the design debate while on the journey of change – enabling them to build a better future together.
At AllChange the design is hard-wired to mitigate a range of human risks that any change initiative brings. For brevity reasons, I list the top three.
- Generates a cohesive senior team with a consensus view on the future (with clear in-focus outcomes articulated);
- Generates rich meaningful terms of reference specifically wired to inform follow-on design, planning and implementation, that OD and Project Design teams will be able to explore and unpack – explicitly connecting thinking to doing; and
- Produces a high-level visual TOM that acts as the transformation ‘north star‘. Informing, guiding and directing all follow-on design decisions (across the whole organisation) and aligning multiple teams – ensuring everyone is working on the same page, building towards the same destination, and in a way that everyone will clearly understand, identify with and believe in.
The above approach places the user experience at the centre of the design. The approach helps leaders reframe, rethink and revitalise the critical strategic challenges that they are facing – ensuring that everyone is clear and working on the same page, towards the same destination.
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