Ready, Set, How To Digitally Transform

Decision Time – What Will You Do?

Your company can’t thrive on past successes. You have to find a way forward, or you will cease to exist. It’s decision time.

In the 2014 movie The Maze Runner, Thomas, his memory gone, finds himself in a community of boys trapped in The Glade. Towering stone walls surrounded it with a limitless, ever-changing Maze, with Cyborg monsters patrolling it. The Maze was the only way out. And, no one had ever made it through alive. 

One day, a comatose girl arrives with a strange note to Thomas: Remember. Survive. Run.  And, their world begins to change. 

The boys divided up into two factions: those willing to risk their lives and those wanting to hang on to the status quo. 

Thomas becomes the new leader of the group, willing to risk the escape.

When the gates to the Maze open and they face the moment to escape, Thomas said, “We get out now, or we die trying. We can’t stay here forever.”

Are you ready to run the Maze and lead your team out into the future? 

In the first six phases (laid out in Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of this series), the requirements of digital transformation were a common framework, language, and vision. You assess what you can do and where you want to go. You create a compelling vision, a strategy, and a plan to integrate that strategy across your digital core. You prioritize initiatives, plan the engagement, and then implement that plan through a campaign that builds momentum and participation across your organization. 

In the final two phases, you’ll establish a roadmap, create a framework to drive your transformation forward, and begin pursuing your prioritized projects. You will also set up a program to develop digital leadership competencies and discover the transformation initiatives that provide real value to your company and customers.

Develop Phase

Your Goals

Establish a project management framework to guide the transformation forward and begin the development of prioritized projects.

Your Objectives 

Create a project management framework – a project roadmap and project portfolio management processes – to guide your transformation forward and then launch the development of prioritized projects.

Project Roadmap

Establish a clear plan so that all team members have a shared understanding of the scope, timeline, and goals of the transformation projects. The roadmap is your plan for coordinating and driving change across your organization. Not all project roadmaps are the same, but all should include some core elements. Clearly outline your:

  • Vision – Where are your transformation projects going?
  • Strategy – How will your transformation reach its destination?
  • Milestones/deliverables – What measures progress?
  • Work – What key activities will take place while traveling the roadmap?

Your transformation will fail with no roadmap. You won’t know your destination, and the journey will be expensive and risky for your future.

Project Portfolio Management Processes

Create a project management office (PMO) and project portfolio management processes to keep projects aligned with program priorities, strategies, objectives, and budgets.

Your PMO will adopt either the traditional Waterfall or Agile methods or something in the middle to manage projects.

Waterfall follows a more traditional, sequential process, traveling one way forward to project finish. 

Agile methods follow iterative work cycles called sprints. Each sprint uses mini-phases to define, build, test, and release project deliverables from the beginning to the end of the project. 

The waterfall method is more amenable if the customer requires lots of documentation, or the project team is likely to change. The agile method is more suitable when project requirements are likely to change, or the delivery speed is essential.


With your project management framework in place, launch your transformation projects.

Transform Phase

Your Goals

In this final phase, you’ll accelerate the development of digital leadership competencies and discover the transformation initiatives that provide value.

Your Objectives

Establish an internal digital leadership competency program (DLCP) and reprioritize transformation initiatives that work.

Your DLCP objectives include identifying your transformation leaders, training them in new kinds of digital tools, and, more importantly, leadership.

Soft skills should be prioritized over hard skills because digital transformation is more about people than technology. Your organizational change is about a culture shift in mindset and behavior driven by soft skills rather than hard skills.

CIO reported in a June 3, 2020, article, “10 reasons why digital transformations fail,” that research showed “culture shock” to be the leading cause of failure for 39% of survey responders.  The internal organizational structure was not aligned to support transformation.

A July 25, 2018, Gartner report, “Gartner Identifies Six Barriers to Becoming a Digital Business,” stressed that digital transformation requires not only system changes but significant changes to culture. Two of the six cited barriers involved soft skills: culture was resistant to change because they were in a quagmire of change-resistant silos and hierarchies. And, there was limited sharing and collaboration because people were reluctant to share processes, information, and systems. 

Soft skills are in greater demand than hard skills. They are the vehicles that will drive your transformation and embed the digital leadership into the DNA of your organization. 

Finally, your transformation program is in full swing. Your DLCP will move forward, building leaders for the future. Your transformation leadership teams will likely be using an agile methodology. And, you will begin to discover what program initiatives are working. This process will teach your team and your organization the meaning of transformation – changing processes, technology, and people.

What will you do?

Stay where you are? Or, follow the wisdom of a new voice: Remember. Survive. Run. 

Will you let your company die? Or, will you agree with Thomas, “We get out now, or we die trying. We can’t stay here forever.”

With the right decision, you can journey into the future, pursuing opportunities that provide greater future value to your company and customers. The choice is yours. Give me a call. We’re all about helping your company create a successful future. Let’s transform!!!

This Is The Final Blog (Part 4) In A Series!

How To Become A Digital Transformation Success Story [Part One]

How To Successfully Kick Off Your Digital Transformation [Part Two]

Set Your Vision For Digital Transformation [Part Three]

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