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“Too much emphasis on digital can steer the conversation in a dangerous direction, because when it comes to digital transformation and design thinking, digital is not the answer; transformation is.” This is a line from research scientist, George Westerman that got me thinking and resulted in an article I wrote for CMS Wire.

The true challenge for digital transformation is that companies not only don’t know how to go about transforming, but they don’t know what the root cause of the problem is that requires transformation in the first place. This is where design thinking can help – getting to the root cause of the problem and then determining how (and if) digital can help.

Below are a few recapped highlights of the CMS Wire article:

Design Immersion

Before you even think about digital transformation, you need to first immerse yourself in the situation: the business problem, the product vision, the experiences of users and other considerations. The idea is that every software application has a purpose or mission.

By focusing on the purpose, you can develop a more holistic view of the requirements and better understand your users and stakeholders — their workflows, barriers and unmet needs.

Best Practices

Conduct workshops with all stakeholders. To understand business objectives, experiences and pain points of all the people that interact with the organization.

Align user personas. To define a very specific problem from different perspectives.

Explore the data. Understanding and exploring your data residing across the company, can also often help you uncover hidden patterns of behavior, or it can confirm what you believe is the business problem.

Assess feasibility. You should conduct a study to determine the requirements needed to achieve success. What are the infrastructure and resource requirements for the recommended course of action? How will success be measured?

Most business problems require transformation. When companies lead this journey with a clear understanding of the challenge and what it will take to overcome it, they’re often well on their way to true digital transformation.

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