Digital transformations are even more impactful, and often more disruptive, to corporations and their cultures than traditional IT transformations, which focus primarily on systems. The business value impact can be substantial, as is the risk of failure.
Benchmarking can help crystalize targeted outcomes by identifying what measurements are most important and showing progress against both internal and external guideposts. Whether they are used to compare to a competitor, track current performance, or understand the impacts of an industry trend, benchmarking can serve as a catalyst for achieving transformation goals.
How can IT leaders can drive successful digital transformation through benchmarking?
- Engage Your People
Ensure that your transformation benchmarking is heavily informed by the people who will actually lead and work on transformation initiatives. While external benchmarks are valuable guideposts, your people and teams know best what your organization can handle.
- Be Clear on Timing
Benchmark early in transformation scope planning. Delaying benchmarking until you are at the doorstep of implementation risks missing key signals that can come from benchmarking at the outset of business process redesign and the insight that comes from systematically testing and monitoring early stage transformation efforts.
- Support the Leadership Conversation
Use measures to facilitate a regular executive conversation on your company’s strategic digital health. The right high-level measures give feedback on the pace of transformation that elevates the dialog above the quarterly tug of war. The ability to continue collaborative conversations beyond your last strategic off-site can improve your partnering dynamic and keep the focus where it belongs – digital competition.
When these benchmarking steps are addressed appropriately, several enablers of transformation success are bolstered:
- Clear, shared and measurable expectations and progress milestones are set
- Feedback loops focused on tangible, actionable points are established
- Course correction earlier in the process appropriately adjusts future targets
- Effective communication that demonstrates progress and motivates people and teams
We have more to cover in our ongoing benchmarking series. For now, we would love to hear from you about what role benchmarking plays in your organizations, where you run into challenges and how you are solving for success.
This is the second installment in StrataFusion’s benchmarking series.