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Innovation Management

4 Keys to Digital Transformation

Published By Guest Blogger

Planview IdeaPlace recently hosted a very informative webinar with one of our technology partners, Topcoder – the largest talent network and crowdsourcing platform consisting of over one million data scientists, programmers, and technology architects.

Topcoder’s VP of Marketing, Clinton Bonner, joined Gareth Bradley, Planview IdeaPlace’s VP of Product Management, for a discussion about the role crowdsourcing plays in digital transformation.

It was a fantastic, interactive discussion that covered everything from the fundamentals of crowdsourcing to how companies can digitally transform using the power of the crowd.

In this article, we’ll highlight the four keys to digital transformation that were covered on the webinar.

Surface genius from everywhere

Ideas and great concepts are everywhere – internally, from employees, and externally, from customers and partners.

For companies to take advantage of the collective knowledge that exists both inside and outside of their own four walls, they need to think beyond the R&D or executive leadership teams when it comes to sourcing ideas.

If you’re an auto manufacturer, go to the plant floor and ask staff. New ideas for products or even process improvements can come out of this as a result.

If you’re healthcare company, go to your patients and ask them what they would like to see improved in order for them to have a better experience.

Genius is everywhere ready to be tapped into.

Experiment rapidly

During the webinar, we conducted a poll to see what the biggest pain points were people faced when it came to digital transformation.

57% of the attendees acknowledged that their teams move too slow in terms of developing digital solutions, such as mobile apps.

This isn’t a surprise.

It’s not uncommon for companies to lack the internal technical talent to be able to design, develop, implement, and maintain digital solutions. This is one of the reasons why our partnership with Topcoder is such a huge value add for customers.

Being able to rapidly experiment and execute is crucial for digital transformation as it enables you to fail, learn, and iterate on solutions until they hit their mark. Clinton made a great point about this when he said:

“You can have all the energy in the world, but if you can’t get out of the gate with some strength and get yourself into a healthy cadance, the best laid plans and projects are likely going to die on the vine – or be so significantly late that you’re no longer first to market or it’s no longer a significant innovation by the time it gets to market.”

With the fast paced nature of technology and consumer demand, speed is very important.

Enable your culture to try, experiment, fail, and learn

Culture isn’t synonymous with innovation.

However, when you start peeling back the layers and take a step back to see what ultimately drives innovation, it all comes back to culture.

Look at the most innovative companies in the world. What do they have in common? Their cultures think and behave differently – there’s no fear of failure for one. This is what compels employees to challenge the status quo, which leads to innovation.

Digital transformation takes experimentation, which naturally means there’s going to be a healthy dose of successes and failures along the way.

For employees, failure without knowing that their company supports their efforts creates hesitation. Hesitation slows the entire transformative process or can even cause it to break down all together.

So, it’s important to allow your employees to try, experiment, fail, and learn by putting governance and systems in place that enable it all to happen efficiently without letting things get out of hand.

Have a system, execute, and measure

Speaking of systems…

Having access to ideas is great. But you need a system or program in place that’s structured in a way that can help you manage and nurture them to ultimately see ROI, and become predictable with your innovation practices.

This is where both Topcoder and Planview IdeaPlace’s technologies play a big role in a company’s digital transformation efforts respectively.

As Clinton and Gareth mentioned throughout the webinar: Planview IdeaPlace is great at managing the entire innovation lifecycle – surfacing the best ideas, measuring their impact, and nurturing them all the way to implementation – and Topcoder is great at providing the technical talent that can turn digital ideas into working prototypes.

When you combine this with rapid experimentation, you create an effective way of ideating.

Final thoughts

The four keys to digital transformation outlined in this article are based on years of real-world experience, both from Topcoder and Planview IdeaPlace, helping companies around the world improve their digital efforts and execution.

If you’re interested in hearing Clinton and Gareth talk more about them in greater detail and more, you can access the webinar on-demand here.

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Written by Guest Blogger