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There are some things we should frame as first things first. When thinking through digital change it helps to clearly frame the what, why and how.

Yet, we need to make a distinction here. People look at the digital change in various ways. If you are a member of the C-Suite, what is going to move the rock? Will it be a transformation or a journey?

  • Some see it as one or more projects in the context of digitization (which it is not) and of digitalization (which it can be). In these cases, the what, why and how can be filled in very differently, depending on the nature and scope of the initiatives.
  • Others see digital transformation as this all-encompassing systematic business change. In this case the goal (the what, supported by the why) is a digital transformation capacity.
  • It is at the very core of the business; whereby digital transformation becomes the condition and enabler of the capacity to fully leverage changes and opportunities of (digital) technologies and their impact.
  • I know transformation is being sold. I’m sure I’m buying. I urge some level of caution if for no other reason than the price tag is huge.

A planning framework is essential. This doesn’t happen overnight and requires a series of incremental steps. And here the goal or ‘The what, why and how’ becomes a mix of intermediate goals and broader objectives within which they gain more significance.

A good framework should consider:

  • Vision
  • Goals (Measurable)
  • Strategies (How the goals will be achieved)
  • Tactics – Objectives (What will be done when)
  • Initiatives – Tied to the objectives

Measuring everything that can be measured is essential. Performance incentives should be consider, but with some level of caution.