Blueworks Live

Build an Effective Team for Digital Transformation

By Genevieve van den Boer posted Wed September 30, 2020 09:22 PM

  

IBM Blueworks Live is your front door to digital transformation with the IBM Cloud Pak for Automation. The digital transformation journey starts with the Gather phase, where the focus is on identifying a sponsor and business goals, building your team of business and technical subject matter experts (SMEs), and capturing the model of the current business operations and pain points. In this second article of the “IBM Blueworks Live – Front Door to Digital Transformation with the IBM Cloud Pak for Automation” series, introduced in this first posting, we will discuss strategies for building an effective team to drive your digital transformation initiative.

 

Find a Sponsor

Securing the right executive business sponsor for your transformation initiative is the single most important critical success factor for your project. Without an engaged and proactive sponsor, focused on strategy and results-oriented, your digital transformation initiative will founder and fail.   Your sponsor will likely come from the operations area most impacted by the initiative and may have a broad vision for cross-functional collaboration and cooperation. The executive sponsor is responsible for setting the strategy and scope and provides the business direction and constraints. Business direction is quantified through defined critical success factors and key performance indicators (KPIs), tied to metrics and benchmark measurements, that provide insight and justification for targeted value / improvements. These measures are key, as projects can get stuck at the exploration stage if improvements are not quantified. A successful sponsor is engaged, kicking off the project in person and attending all project playbacks and reviews.

Build a Balanced Team

Digital transformation requires skills and representation to match the organizational and technical challenges you will face. Digital transformation represents business change, so your team must be business-driven, but digitization requires technical know-how, so you team will need IT support. Business drives the discussion, but IT is there to support and to present major constraints, as needed. The balance should be collaboratively working to provide a high-value business solution that addresses problems, enabled by technology. IT should identify potential areas of concern that may require further investigation. This team construct will guide the project toward high-value, low-effort initiatives that can be prioritized for greater ROI.

The team breadth and composition depend on the purpose and level of modeling. For example, a high-level value chain should have multiple departments represented, whereas a detailed analysis of a process within a department should have a small focused team. When you initiate your digital transformation project, if you have a targeted area identified for improvements, you can assemble a focused team from the start. If you are trying to choose a specific area, you may start with a broadly assembled team of high-level business and technical experts to identify and prioritize areas for improvement. This high-level team could form a program team to drive and oversee multiple transformation projects. After this initial discovery stage, you can assemble the focused project team to work on the highest priority area to drive transformation through to implementation.

Business Led

Business is in the driver’s seat, so your sponsor is going to need both subject matter expertise from business leaders with hands-on experience, such as users and managers, to define the solution and administrative support from project and program managers, to guide the solution journey. Consider the leading business roles in the table below, when pulling together your team.

Business Roles

Responsibility

Sponsor

Business lead for solution. Provides business direction, requirements, and constraints, as well as final design approval.

Present and engaged

Set strategy and scope

Provide the business direction and constraints

Determine critical success factors

Define key performance indicators (KPIs)

Process Analyst

Responsible for the discovery and analysis of the overall solution. Supports design and validation of the future solution.

Business SMEs (users / managers)

Main source of business expertise and requirements. Provide input to and validation of design.

Subject matter experts (SMEs) representing all the participants (roles) in the process. Ideally, these are SMEs who perform the work and are familiar with all details of the tasks they perform. They should be enthusiastic champions, willing to lead and drive improvements in their business activities, decisions, and processes.

Project Manager

Works with program manager to manage the overall project risks and resources. Manage day-to-day project issues.

Author and Manage to project plan

Schedule project meetings

Oversee project deliverables

Program Manager

Work with project manager to manage the overall project risks and resources.

Manage scheduling of resources.

Prepare release plan and estimates.

IT Supported

Augment your digital transformation team with technical roles, including a technical lead, and technical subject matter experts (SMEs). You will need technical expertise in your current state, that is, subject matter experts (SMEs) representing all the current systems (applications) used in the process. Ideally, these are SMEs who design and maintain these systems and are familiar with all details of the functions they perform. They should be enthusiastic champions, willing to lead and drive improvements in their systems to support business activities, decisions, and processes. Examples of Technical SMEs include Application Architects, Database Administrators, and Enterprise Architects. As you move into design, you will also require technical expertise in capabilities of the future platform, such as automated workflow or content management. For example, for the IBM Cloud Pak for Automation, there are capabilities in Workflow (Process, Case, and Tasks), but also Content (& Capture) and Decisions.

Look at including the technical roles in the table below, when building your team, to support your business with technical expertise.

Technical Roles

Responsibility

Solution

Architect

Technical lead for the current application(s) implementation.

Set technical strategy and scope

Provide the technical direction and constraints

Technical SMEs (Current)

Application Architect(s)

Main source(s) of input for the design of the current application(s).

*Application Developer(s)

Secondary source of input for the current application(s).

*Application Administrator

Secondary source of input for the infrastructure of the process application.

*Data Architect

Main source of input for the current information model.

Database Administrator

Main source of input for the current & future system of record and database constraints, requirements, and design.

Infrastructure Architect

Technical lead for the infrastructure design (e.g. hardware, network). Validates that the technical designs are appropriate for the long-term environment. Collaborates with the Cloud Architect to design the end-to-end platform.

Technical SMEs (Future)

Solution Architect

Technical lead for the solution architecture and design. Needs to be able to work through Workflow (Process & Case), Tasks (RPA), Content, Integration, and Decisions, including supporting Infrastructure and Systems of Record.

Workflow (BAW) Architect

Responsible for the design of the process application. Needs to know Workflow (Process & Case) and Tasks (RPA), as well as simple Integrations.

*Content (ECM) Architect

Responsible for the design of the content solution, including Capture capabilities.

*Decision (ODM) Architect

Responsible for the design of the decisions.

*Integration (IIB) Architect

Responsible for the design of complex integration components.

*Cloud Architect

Responsible for the cloud infrastructure. Validates that the technical designs are appropriate for cloud environment.

*To be determined, based on required solution capabilities

All Hands on the Keyboard

Remember that business SMEs know the process, so they should lead the discussions and use Blueworks Live to document and review the process. It’s all hands on the keyboard. Business users should be active editors and contributors in Blueworks Live to drive the discovery and documentation of the current state in its more accurate form. To achieve the best results, IT SMEs should also contribute to process discovery and documentation in Blueworks Live. We’ll discuss the different types of users and licenses available in Blueworks Live to support the roles composing your team, as well as how to hold effective collaborative workshops, in our next postings.

In this article, we introduced strategies for building an effective team to drive your digital transformation initiative. Assembling a team led by the business, but supported by deeply skilled technical experts, leads to the strongest results in digital transformations. In our next posting, tune in for the specifics of the different licenses to support various user roles in Blueworks Live.



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