Digital Transformation (DX) has become a strategic target for many organisations. Others have reached more advanced stages where DX is in itself the strategy that they are setting and implementing. DX is a journey where the companies face many issues and challenges. For example, decisions take a long time, silos exist between different departments, employees try to pushback…etc. Even with all the issues and challenges, one of the most critical success factors of any DX initiative is the Governance part.
According to DX best practices, Governance plays a critical role in the success of the DX journey. To begin with, it unblocks anything that slows down delivery and delays the decision-making process thus ensuring that decisions are made promptly by empowering the team and clarifying the roles and responsibilities so that management is involved in the critical and the necessary decisions only. With proper Governance in place, all the resources needed for the success of the DX will be easily accessible and enabled as proper governance offers a holistic view for all Digital initiatives needed and the organisation’s capabilities and skills required to deliver these initiatives.
Secondly, Governance helps in making sure that all Digital initiatives are aligned with the strategy and the company direction. Digital Governance takes control of all DX projects to ensure owners, objectives and priorities are defined and aligned. In some cases, related projects are grouped or are given a higher priority depending on business needs.
Finally, Governance allows the stakeholder to stay involved and remain part of the transformation process regardless of the size of the organisation or the number of stakeholders. Sometimes, conflicts arise between the stakeholders’ needs and different factors such as industry, market, culture, politics, and risk appetites making this problem an even more complex one. When Governance is in place, the decision-making hierarchy and the alignment between the different stakeholders are defined to remove these conflicts and to get the maximum value out of those stakeholders. Eventually, this type of alignment helps to remove the silos among them.
There are different Models commonly used for DX Governance. For example, some companies establish committees that monitor progress, resolve any issues and risks, and prioritize Digital initiatives. The trap that most companies fall into with this approach is involving too many people, which leads to difficulties in getting them all together for a meeting. Accordingly, such an approach is recommended for high-level decisions.
Another Governance approach is to have a dedicated department for the DX in order to lead and follow up on all Digital initiatives. The focus of this department is to align all initiatives together toward the strategy and drive results.
And yet another approach for Governance is tying DX initiatives and desired results and outcomes to company and individua KPIs to secure the necessary buy-in and support for DX initiatives.
At STS, we established a DX department with a dedicated team to ensure that DX programs are aligned with the STS strategy. The main objective of the DX department is to remove any slowness and blockers, and speed up the delivery and decision making toward the DX strategy. The DX team is also responsible for building a Governance Framework that produces measurable results towards achieving our strategic objectives and goals.
Additionally, STS launched a Digital Heros’ Initiative to group people from different departments together With the purpose of collaborating together on transforming our processes and activities and, eventually, to achieve Operational Excellency. The Digital Initiatives were also added as KPIs and objectives for employees motivating them to do new work with less resistance by tying the work to rewards.
Because this is a journey and we need to constantly improve and evolve, STS is currently working on establishing an Innovation Committee to build an Innovation Framework to structure the way we generate and implement any new idea; either coming from Management, Employees, Customers, the Market, or our Vendors.
From all the different DX stories that have unfolded, one thing is unarguably true and that is the importance of developing and implementing a proper Governance Framework for companies wanting to achieve their strategy and objectives, clearly measure the progress of the DX initiatives, solve issues quickly and involve all stakeholder.
Director, Digital Transformation