It’s time that improvement to customer experience, new product/service offering, or cost-savings initiative finally comes to fruition.

Good things are hard to come by, but the path to digital transformation is actually easier than you think.

It starts with building an effective strategy, one that drives business value and avoids the pitfalls that may have caused past transformations to fail. And once complete, it can pay dividends for your business either by generating more revenue or saving on expenses. A new customer-facing feature; an optimization in your supply chain; the automation of repeatable tasks — each is an example of a successful digital transformation.

However, in order to leverage technology to improve your business objectives, the following steps must be taken.


Adopt Test-and-Learn Practices

A good transformation strategy should be hyper-focused on your business needs, making it crucial to begin with a test-and-learn approach. Not only is this a cost-effective way to determine where to invest your resources but it will force you to identify the metrics or analytics needed to determine whether an idea is worth pursuing.

An effective test-and-learn practice should include a small implementation (test) that yields measurable results (learn), where failure is an acceptable outcome. A small implementation can be either a subset of a workload (a set of stores or items) or a pared-back implementation of technology that can be expanded if success occurs. For example, if you are considering a mobile app for your customers you could consult a service to build a website-scraped application to test the concept and its receptiveness with your customers. If the concept is well received, then you can invest in the technology and personnel to build an application internally.

The second principle is that your test should be measurable, with the expected success results notated before the test occurs. With the measure of success identified, the results will either meet expectations or fail. But the objective is to remove any bias and emotion from a decision.

The final principle of test-and-learn is acknowledging that failure is an acceptable outcome, either via performance or because an idea cannot be executed in a small enough fashion to be tested properly. However, if appropriate, you may be able to leverage some agile and iterative principles to help reduce the risk associated with large implementations.


Draw a Roadmap

Once you have identified the strategic objectives of your digital transformation, you can then build a roadmap of delivery.

This roadmap should focus on quick wins, proof of concepts, transformational building blocks and any crawl-walk-run strategies that need to be executed. The roadmap should also account for your investment approach and be scaled to the amount of resources available. Set realistic expectations!

You should then plan on revisiting your roadmap quarterly to accommodate shifts in your strategy as a result of executed tests, business changes or even external influencing factors, such as COVID-19.


Ensure There Is Alignment

The hardest part of any digital strategy is gaining and maintaining organizational alignment to the strategy. It can often be met with resistance, revision and rejection.

Therefore, implementing a change-management program that continually works to address the overall impact, alignment, and adoption of change within an organization can make the difference between success or failure.

Strategy adoption goes much further than everyone agreeing that the change is needed. Effective strategies will only become part of an organization’s DNA once each business unit is embracing and adapting to the change in a positive manner. It is the responsibility of leadership teams who believe in the outcome to ensure that is the case.

At FAHM Technology Partners, we believe these steps can help any business undergo a successful digital transformation. Especially if each component of your strategy includes a way to measure success or failure.

Doing so will prevent a poor strategy from derailing your digital journey again.

Lisa Emily is the senior vice-president of business transformation at FAHM Technology Partners. Connect with Lisa to discuss how a digital transformation can serve your business needs by sending an email to

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