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Practical insights on the digital revolution

What makes digital execution tick: Part 4

Good execution has always been an important value driver. So, what’s different about execution in a digital world?

TRADITIONAL FUNDAMENTALS OF GOOD EXECUTION

Finally, whilst many things are fundamentally different in a digital environment, several traditional aspects of good delivery remain important:

a.) Initiatives must be prioritised by their expected value. User adoption is a key goal, but usage must also translate into value. It needs to be clear upfront how this value is being created and measured. It’s quite practical, for example, to settle on a “value per regular user” figure upfront, and then focus on user adoption to deliver that value in a measurable way.

b.) Organisations must be “wired” to execute consistently. This includes clarity and focus on a small number of carefully chosen KPIs that are aligned throughout the company. It also means that accountabilities are clearly assigned to a single point and embedded into line management. We have seen good success, for instance, with the appointment of “user adoption managers” who were singularly focused on driving the adoption of a new app or digital feature. These managers must cover a very broad spectrum to achieve their objectives, working closely with technology delivery teams, marketing executives, call centre managers and franchise owners.

New capabilities must be built into the organisation’s core. It is not enough to hire a new agency, or partner with an agile coding shop. Treating capability gaps as a sourcing task means that critical capabilities remain outside of the organisation. For example, when we automate large portions of an organisation, a training program must be designed and delivered to build capabilities for all roles surrounding the automation (appropriate to their role and level in the organisation) – some need to know how to evolve the code, others need to know how to manage the coders, and so on.

As a consequence, several traditional elements of the organisation must be challenged and adjusted: new job roles must be created and the way those roles are graded for compensation and performance evaluation must evolve: no longer are the most valuable, best paid roles those with the most people or biggest budgets; instead, the highest paid jobs might be the ones with the biggest potential impact on customers or the ones tasked with the creation of new revenue sources.

c.) Views on organisational design should be equally questioned: efficient “spans and layers” might be better judged by the organisation’s needs, rather than department sizes. CEO direct reports (and Board composition, for that matter) must include a healthy mix of direct accountability for managing the existing businesses and creating new, digital ones. Tucking “hot” talent with the digital skills of the future into large, traditional business units is the quickest way to smother their flame of excitement.

Want to find out more about successful digital execution? Read the full blog: http://blog.pipint.com/digital-disruption/what-makes-digital-execution-tick