Our progression and maturity in digital and strategy through the years has been quite natural. As our process strengthened, and our capacity in digital has grown, we began experimenting and then implementing more strategic and repeatable methods.
Our work takes us deep into organizations, where we are exposed to all the complexities of cohesively and strategically growing a large organization. The more time we spend working internally with organizations, the more we recognize there is a huge spectrum of both digital literacy, and digital maturity within industries and organizations of all sizes. With this variability, digital transformation can become increasingly complex.
Simply setting out to work on a digital project is often not enough to drive organizational change, and any product developed with this mentality increases risk and lowers success rates. Strategy needs to be continuously nurtured.
Some simple things to remember on your journey
Over the last year we have been revising our methodologies and exploring new techniques. Most importantly, we have been learning some of the more emotional side of the process. Here are a few things that we always try to remember, and remind our stakeholders. We have a laundry list, but these are our favourites that tend to resonate most.
- Ideas are never fully formed: A project is like a ball of yarn in the early stages. Spend the time upfront untangling the yarn before you start; it’s hard to knit something when you’re constantly focussed on untangling your ball of yarn.
- Uncertainty: Get comfortable with it. Rules change, and sometimes things can feel like a moving target. It’s important to move fast, trust the process. Stay focussed, and learn to recognize distractions before you get pulled into the new shiny thing.
- Brand ecosystem: Always consider brand and strategy before any project, where does this fit in your brand ecosystem? Does this project or product reinforce or extend your brands mission/vision? Is it a sub-brand, or part of the primary brand?
- Myths: “If you build it they will come” does not exist. Start thinking about year 2 before you even begin. You will need to be thinking long term commitment, and consider how you will remain agile.
With every initial step into the world of digital or innovation, there is an inherent level of risk. Through years of doing what we do and building/revising our process, we have learned that managing risk is a big part of the process. Risk is deeply connected to complexity, and where you position the complexity in your process defines where your risk will be. This graph should help with this concept.
We like our complexity to be worked out at the early stages of a product when pivots and rethinks are cheap. Thinking back to the ball of yarn analogy executing without a strategy carries over that level of risk into every detail of the project.