10 Steps towards Successful Digital Transformation

by Suzanne Galletly

VeriSM 10 Steps Article Picture

Most organizations have by now recognized the need to adapt their business models in order to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the digital age. However, research indicates that 70% of Digital Transformation initiatives will not reach their stated goals, equating to $900 billion of ‘waste’ (Forbes, Harvard Business Review, McKinsey). So how can you maximize the chances of success? And perhaps more importantly, when standing at the bottom of the mountain, about to embark on a digital transformation journey, where on earth do you start?!

Introducing the 10 Steps towards Successful Digital Transformation by Adopting, Adapting and Applying VeriSM™

This was the question which I asked David Barrow, in a recent webinar entitled: ’10 Steps towards Successful Digital Transformation by Adopting, Adapting and Applying VeriSM™’. David is a freelance consultant with more than twenty years of experience in (IT) Service Management roles across multiple industries. Recently David has been using the VeriSM™ approach during his engagements to help clients reach their digital transformation goals.

For those that are not yet familiar with VeriSM™, it is an enterprise-wide service management approach for the digital age which helps organizations to develop the agile culture needed for digital transformation. It helps them to integrate practices and technologies that support their digital strategies – and govern them under one model.

During the webinar, David outlined a 10-step roadmap to adapting and applying the VeriSM™ approach, which organizations can use to help guide them through their digital transformation journey.

The 10 Steps Toolkit

Claire Agutter, the original Chief Architect of VeriSM™, briefly joined the online session, too. According to Claire, the 10 Steps toolkit is the next logical output from VeriSM™.  As Claire explains:

“VeriSM™ was originally developed to re-imagine service management for the digital age. The overriding reaction from the market was: ‘I love it. But how do I do it?’ This led to the second book, with much more detailed guidance and a practical case study. The VeriSM™ 10 Steps toolkit builds further on this. Each organization will have its own unique Management Mesh ,and your Digital Transformation will look different to that of your competitors – but the steps you need to take are roughly the same. The 10 Steps toolkit is incredibly useful as it provides a structure for this journey.”

The 10 Steps Explained

One of the important critical success factors in any Digital Transformation initiative is ensuring effective leadership (Step One: Establish Digital Leadership). David explains how this worked within a large global organization in the finance sector: “We established digital leadership through a focus on stakeholder management. We sought to establish who the go-to people were and their place within the organization, based upon their influence and impact, as well as their formal interactions with service consumers. This allowed us to create a stakeholder group consisting of people that could influence others; both C-level executives, as well as VeriSM™ ‘champions’ within consumer-facing teams at all levels.

A further dig into why Digital Transformation initiatives fail indicates that one of the main reasons is because they fail to address the cultural change aspect. Digital technologies provide possibilities for efficiency gains and customer intimacy. But if people lack the right mindset to change and the current organizational practices are flawed, Digital Transformation will simply magnify those flaws (Source: Harvard Business Review, March 13, 2019).

So how can you approach culture change and ensure that the new desired behaviors are embedded into the organization? David explains how he tackled this during one of his recent client engagements (Step 5: Develop & Embed Collaborative and Consumer-Centric Behaviors): “We asked staff how they could be better organized to work collaboratively, and this led to the implementation of various techniques and tools that the respondents felt worked for them across time zones and also culturally. These were focused on embedding consumer-centric collaboration through virtual and physical face time. This led to an organizational movement towards outcome-based, shared goals that  were common across all teams, from C-level to those actually delivering the services. It is important to mention that these goals were not handed down or up – but were agreed across the whole audience, resulting in a shared definition of what the new ‘good’ looked like.

The VeriSM™ Management Mesh

Such a cultural change starts with understanding where you are right now and where you need to be in order to meet your desired business outcomes and be future-ready. During the webinar, attention is given to how the VeriSM™ Management Mesh can be used to compare the baseline ‘as is’ situation with the ‘desired state’, so that organizations can identify the gap and takes steps to close it. The VeriSM™ Management Mesh looks at four different aspects: Resources, Environment, Management Practices, and Emerging Technologies. It is unique to each particular organization and can be flexed based on new or changed requirements. This is a move from the ‘one size fits all’ approach, which characterizes most frameworks and methodologies, towards a more customizable approach according to the organization’s individual characteristics and desired business outcomes.

The value of VeriSM™ for organizations is that it supports true cultural change and helps organizations integrate practices and technologies which support their digital strategies. But what has David got out of it personally, as a Service Management professional? David: “I have found VeriSM™ very useful in terms of the way I think and apply my Service Management beliefs, as well as in how I help organizations leverage their existing investments. And this has, in turn, helped my career.”

“I was in conversation with a potential client who was facing Digital Transformation challenges, and I drew them a picture of their ‘desired state’ Management Mesh. They later told me that that was literally the moment when they realized that they wanted to hire me as a consultant.”

If you want to listen to the entire webinar recording, click here.

The VeriSM™ 10 Steps toolkit, can be downloaded on request here:

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About Suzanne Galletly:

As Portfolio Director at EXIN, Suzanne oversees the development and positioning of EXIN’s certification portfolio, in line with market needs and industry trends. Next to her role within EXIN, in 2017 Suzanne was appointed Chief Examiner for VeriSM™ by the newly established International Foundation for Digital Competences (IFDC). In this role Suzanne is responsible for ensuring there is alignment between the VeriSM™ approach and the VeriSM™ professional certification scheme. Suzanne is certified in several progressive areas such as Agile Scrum, SIAM, and VeriSM™, as well as in more traditional areas such as ITIL Expert, ISO 20000 Consultant, PRINCE2 Practitioner, and MoP Practitioner.

About David Barrow:

David has 20+ years of experience in IT Service Management roles across multiple industries working within and for the likes of IBM, CapGemini, Fidelity Investments, Telefonica, O2, Pearson, HSBC, and Philip Morris International. Now an independent consultant, David provides IT Service Management expertise during IT and Digital Transformations with a real focus on delivering solutions that are both outcome-based and customer-focused, David uses VeriSM thinking to take a holistic view of his clients services, leveraging existing technologies and practices; integrating them with emerging technologies and a right practice approach that fits the business strategy of each client.