5 reasons your people will make or break your digital transformation

Earlier in our Journey to digital enablement series, we introduced you to PwC’s global journey to become a digitally enabled network of firms better able to respond to our clients’ needs.

Change is hard. We know.

We knew going into this that change is hard. We’ve experienced our own failures, and we knew we had to do better. As we’ve said before, three quarters of digital transformations fail to generate returns that exceed the original investment, and of those that fail, 70% are due to a lack of user adoption and behavioural change.

Our internal front-office transformation was mission critical: failure wasn’t an option. Past transformation efforts showed we wouldn’t succeed if we stuck with classic communication-centric change approaches. We needed a more radical approach, one better able to respond to the unique geographic, cultural and demographic challenges posed by having so many different territories involved.

Why do transformations fail?

To help guide our efforts, we wanted to fully understand why big transformations go wrong so we could avoid hitting the same potholes. We learned that the answer is simple: too often, organizations prioritize developing and implementing tools rather than helping teams transform the ways they work.

In other words, why buy a high-performance sports car if no one will show you how to drive it — and take advantage of everything it offers? By focusing on tools, rather than teams, you risk hampering your own success.

5 critical truths to guide our global journey

We learned we couldn’t underestimate the needs of our people — and neither should you. We identified five critical truths to guide our people strategy:

  1. People are different: Everyone has different digital skills and levels of adaptability. You need to design your strategy to address different needs so teams have what they need to succeed.
  2. People expect technology to be easy to use: There’s too much focus on functionality and features during implementations. Instead, focus on people first. Design tools that deliver the user experience and ease-of-use that they want.
  3. People follow leaders: People want their leaders to both say and do. Leaders need to both communicate change and model target behaviours.
  4. People get bored: People easily lose interest. Past experience with failed transformations means they may not easily buy in to your objectives. Look for fresh ways to make your front-office transformation personal, fun and engaging for everyone.
  5. People don’t change overnight: Think of your transformation as a journey, not as a project. While go-live is critical, it isn’t your final stop. In fact, this is where the journey truly begins. To get the most value, you need to provide ongoing support to help teams embrace working in new ways.

How we geared up for the journey: 3 keys to success

Like with a road trip, we needed to put gas in the tank, air in the tires and make sure we had working seat belts before we got on the road. Digital adoption was the golden thread we used to tie our strategy, actions and efforts together. With this in mind, we set ourselves up for success in three ways:

  • Assembled a gold-medal team of specialists: We assembled a diverse team of specialists with proven track records of designing front-office user experiences using Salesforce.
  • Lived by the one-third rule: We dedicated one-third of our budget to adoption activities. When we saw a territory under-investing, we escalated the matter for resolution.
  • Recognized the global/local balancing act: In creating a single global way of working, we had to walk a fine line between understanding what needed to be defined globally and empowering local territories so they would champion changes. We embedded a think globally and locallyapproach into our strategy, encouraging territories to embrace the transformation.

By recognizing critical truths about human behaviour and by properly building and investing in our team, we were ready to start our transformation journey.

In the next blog in our Journey to digital enablement series, we’ll share how we set up a powerful internal campaign to drive and grow digital enablement among our people.

Find out how our digital enablement approach can help you on your journey. Contact us today.

Next post: 3 ways to build buzz: Creating a powerful campaign that drives digital enablement

Previous post: Walking the talk: We prioritize people over technology, and you should, too

PwC Front-Office Transformation

70% of failed digital transformations are due to a lack of user adoption and behavioural change. PwC's digital enablement approach helps drive employee adoption of new technologies to deliver an exceptional customer experience.

PwC Front-Office Transformation

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70% of failed digital transformations are due to a lack of user adoption and behavioral change. PwC's digital enablement approach helps drive employee adoption

PwC Front-Office Transformation

70% of failed digital transformations are due to a lack of user adoption and behavioural change. PwC's digital enablement approach helps drive employee adoption of new technologies to deliver an exceptional customer experience.

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