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Digital Transformation: 3 Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Jean-Philippe Raiche
Technology implementation mistakes in business

Nearly 75% of technology implementation projects fail to achieve the objectives expected by the organizations that deploy them. This is a huge number.

However, we can learn from all these failures to avoid the most common mistakes made by organizations that often spend astronomical amounts of money to implement technologies that should contribute to improving their performance.

Let’s explore the three main errors in digital transformation and how to avoid them.

MISTAKE  #1 : Adopting tools for decision-makers rather than users

Conference room full of executives

The initiative for a computerization, automation or technology project usually comes from senior management. Since everyone does their best based on what they know, executives tend to approach these projects according to their own reality and areas of expertise, rather than the needs of end users, such as operations teams.

The risk: technological demobilization of front-line actors

Enthusiasm tends to wane and a certain reluctance sets in when employees are subjected to severalimplementations of technologies that have turned out to be more of an additional task thantools to help them achieve their goals.

This is how the flavor-of-the- month vicious cycle is likely to start.

Solution: adopt tools that meet the needs of all areas involved

Considering the “User Journey” in your digital transformation ensures that the real needs of all end users of the technology are taken into account, and not just the needs of the decision-makers who launch the process with their own reality in mind.

So, in the case of a Daily Management ecoSystem like UTrakk, you need to ask yourself how it will be used at the point of execution by front-line managers like supervisors, then by team leaders and operations managers, etc.

Some questions to guide you:

  • Who will use it? 
  • How will they use it?
  • In what kind of situations will they use it?
  • What value does the tool bring them?
  • What constraints does the tool create for them?
  • Etc.

MISTAKE #2 : Thinking about buying digitalized best practices rather than digitalizing proven best practices

technician calibrating an automated program

Too often, when adopting a technology, organizations choose a digitalized best practice and then try to mold their way of doing business to it. When organizations change to incorporate generic models and ways of doing things that are not natural to them, they often find themselves sacrificing their own best practices and proven processes that have developed over time.

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The risk: rejection of the technology and/or increased operating costs

If the chosen technology does not quite match the organization’s reality and winning methods, users will probaly just reject it. Operating costs can also turn out to be greater than expected if the technology requires the collection and entry of data that was not previously necessary, or if a tool only generates profitability at a higher volume than the organization can handle for example.

Moreover, the organization could lose part of its DNA, or even a differentiating value compared to its competitors.

Solution: choose flexible technology tools

It may be a wise choice to bing in experts to accompany your technological choices and avoid losing one of the organization’s differentiating values. Choose solutions that have a culture of agility and can easily adapt to the organization’s own best practices.

Rather than imposing a way of doing things, flexible technology provides a framework within which users can work in the way that is most natural to their reality.

For example, a tool like UTrakk offers overall management guidelines, but provides the flexibility to allow the organization to decide how the tool will be used according to its organizational culture and best practices.

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MISTAKE #3: Underestimating tool adoption and human management as technology leader

déploiement transformation numérique

Digital transformation involves change management, which can be very significant. Operating methods evolve and not everyone has the same capacity or ease of adaptation to deal with that. Organizations often make the mistake to think that the process ends once the technology has been chosen and installed.

The risk: underuse or abandonment of the technology

Approximately half of all technology integration projects fail due to poor implementation. A perfectly targeted and flexible tool will never be used to its full potential (if not simply discarded) if users do not integrate it into their work routine.

Solution: plan a budget, time and support for the implementation

To ensure that users get the most out of their new tool, you must take the time to support them in their daily use so that they understand and adopt the new expected behavior. Training super-users within the organization also ensures that there are always technology leaders ready to help others.

In the case of a management support tool like UTrakk, it was natural for the Proaction International team to offer change management and coaching for users—this is our specialty. But regardless of the technology and the domain, a good implementation is an essential part of the investment required to ensure an optimal long-term ROI.

Avoid these 3 mistakes and succeed in your digital transformation

Many organizations simply forget to give sufficient consideration to end users when choosing a new technology tool. On top of that, they expect them to cast aside some of the best practices they have developed to fit into an artificial straitjacket, and without accompanying them in the adoption of the new technology. These are the top three errors that lead right to digital transformation failure.

For a successful transition to Industry 4.0, be sure to:

  • Involve end users in the decision-making process and deployment of new technologies (e.g., operations);
  • Choose a flexible technology that fits the organization’s unique best practices;
  • Plan the implementation of the solution, accompany users in the adoption, and train super-users as technology leaders.

In this way, your digital transformation can truly create value that will reflect positively on the entire organization.

Do you want to implement a tool to assist your managers and support a more proactive communication structure? UTrakk adapts to the reality of your operations and our experts accompany your teams for optimal implementation and long-term results.

Schedule a personalized meeting with one of our specialists to learn more about UTrakk and how we can help you achieve your business goals.

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Jean-Philippe Raiche

Jean-Philippe Raiche

Partner – Strategy and Development A partner at Proaction International, Mr. Raiche holds advanced degrees in mechanical engineering and quality. As an expert in the effective integration of performance and excellence best practices, he has accompanied more than a thousand companies in America and Europe over the past two decades, in addition to giving conferences and contributing to several publications about quality and performance.