A digital transformation can never succeed if it is not based on a clear strategy. That strategy must be understandable and executable. And if something goes differently than expected, the strategy should be adjusted as soon as possible.
A digital strategy is a preconceived plan that identifies how the organisation can better achieve organisational goals with the optimal use of digital assets. Often, this plan reaches so deep into the organisation that it requires a digital transformation. This makes the importance of a good strategy that much greater.
A strategy is simple, medium-term and changeable
Strategy documents are still too often huge documents that define for several years what is going to happen. The problem is that due to their length, these documents are often not read and certainly not understood or taken to heart.
The strategists and their 'high over' strategies often do not reach the executive staff and, conversely, the signals from the staff do not reach the strategists. This is why so many strategies - and digital transformations - fail.
It is also unwise to create a strategy for the next 5 years or more. Too much changes in the meantime, so such a strategy too often misses the mark. It is better to make a strategy for the medium term.
A medium-term strategy must also be adaptable. The organisation must be set up for that. Otherwise, one implements a strategy that has been overtaken by reality and is therefore hopeless.
A strategy solves a problem
A good strategy makes clear what the goal is, what problems need to be solved and when the strategy is successful. This is the 'triangle' goal - problem - success factor. The goal is what the organisation wants to achieve, the problem stands in the way of achieving this goal, and the success factors should eliminate the problem.
Attached to those success factors are performance indicators that you can measure. Then it is also useful if you know how and with what to measure. This should not be missing from a strategy.
A strategy has to do with people
In a strategy, you almost always have to deal with a target group, whether they are inside or outside the organisation That target group has its own motivations for doing or not doing something. You should definitely take that into account in your strategy.
The strategy also shows how the target group will be used to achieve the goal, which is the tactic. Next, the tactics show which (digital) resources are deployed and who is needed to execute the strategy.
A strategy has an owner
A strategy also has an owner - at board level - who, if necessary, can help remove organisational obstacles. The owner is the one who commits to solving the organisational problem. She or he carries the strategy forward and leads by example.
A digital strategy consists of a number of strategies, each of which clarifies for a specific purpose what information or service should be exchanged at what time with what person and through what medium in what form.
Digital strategy game
A digital strategy offers the more likely to succeed in achieving digital ambitions. However, many professionals balk at creating a strategy or they create one that is too abstract or inflexible.
To help organisations with their digital strategy, TIMAF developed the digital strategy game that allows you to create a digital strategy in 12 steps. You can apply this game directly in a workshop with colleagues, customers and suppliers.
I will talk more about this strategy game in a future blog post.
Webinar: The role of strategy in digital transformation
Friday 23 June 2023 Erik Hartman will update you on the role of strategy in digital transformation using a case study.
You will be taken step by step in setting up a digital strategy and there will be plenty of room for interaction and questions with the participants.