More than five steps? Possibly.  But these 5 steps represented below are primary considerations necessary for successful Digital Transformation Planning. There’s no secret that most organizations differ structurally and culturally making this planning more complex. This list gives you an easy foundation to start having discussions and to ultimately start your project. Feel free to build on this list and make it work for your individual business case.

Let’s get started.

Understand the WHY

A company should ask itself WHY it thinks Digital Transformation (DT) is required. Is it because the boss read an article in SkyMiles Magazine about Digital Transformation or a CEO heard through the grapevine that a major competitor talked about Digital Transformation in an Earnings Call? It is very crucial for a company to come up with concrete answers regarding how investing in digital will increase business value through revenue, customer retention, etc. To be successful, company leadership teams must be able to commit adequate amounts of time even in early stages. Without firm commitment from leadership, all resources, time and budget will be wasted. Keep all politics, bureaucracy and egos aside.

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Create a Living Roadmap

The next step for a company is to start laying out all potential Digital Transformation initiatives on a roadmap and start prioritizing based on urgency (urgency should be measured based on the business value that an initiative can derive). This is not one-time exercise, consider doing this exercise at minimum every quarter as business landscape changes rapidly, it’s essential to ensure priorities are in alignment with business. For existing inflight initiatives, respective progress/data must be shared at that time as well – so leadership can make informed decisions on prioritizing future work.

Determine Priorities

Commence scoping the top 5 initiatives at high-level. Internally collaborate on defining program requirements and features from a company’s perspective. At this step, start forecasting results you anticipate when initiatives are fulfilled. Document risks -think what-if and how-about scenarios. There is a very high correlation between early risk mitigation identification and project success. Specify your desired outcome for each of the initiatives. During this exercise, continue to audit internal resources and platform capabilities.

Define the Need; Then find the Partner

As you’re getting ready to engage with partner, build-out a profile of your ideal partner that you would like to work with (think in terms of culture, values, authenticity). Ask yourself when you’re interviewing a partner – Do you see working with them for next 10 years. Don’t engage a partner who’s one sided (technical savvy) as it’s just as important that they’re aligned on helping you elevate your business value.

FOCUS on the Business Goals

Indeed, it’s very challenging to start on any digital initiative but you know definitively that your business has to evolve and grow fast (speed is everything!), so start engaging partners who can first help you with enablement of transforming your business and focus on helping you build a foundation and resources for long term success.

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Atlanta-based Arke helps brands scale digitally and optimize marketing to ensure your investment delivers on meaningful results.