Thursday, October 26, 2017

Setting Digital Rules to Guide Digital Transformation

Digital principles and rules are statements of belief that reflect the values, culture and real-world concerns of the organization.

Digital transformation is rarely a straight line. It is all about interaction, incrementalism, and innovation. The journey is far more important than the destination. Digital organizations have to adapt to the continuous changes and are able to follow digital principles, revise business rules, reconfigure organizational structures and change their own behaviors for its adaptation to environmental changes and business dynamic, to get digital ready.

Establish digital rules and practices for building business competency: There needs to establish digital principles and set updated digital rules for guiding the digital transformation. Generally speaking, a business rule is a statement to set the policy or procedure. A business rule is simply a rule that is under business jurisdiction. It means that the business can enact, revise, and discontinue their business rules as they see fit. The digital rules are not some out-of-date cliche or rigid processes to stifle innovation. Instead, they are based on the set of digital principles and philosophy behind the methodologies, and they help to shape the mindsets behind behaviors and actions. You will need a cascade of statements that link the overall vision/philosophy of the organization, to monitor overall performance and how the vision is achieved. It’s not easy for defining the "perfect rules" that can be applied holistically to drive digital transformation systematically.

Digital rules encourage autonomy and innovation: It could mean the less restrictive process or bureaucracy, break down silo thinking and keep information and knowledge flow seamlessly across functional, organizational, and geographical borders in the business ecosystem. The digital business today is not just working within the industry, but also permeating cross-ecosystem which is dynamic, continuous and interactive. The digital ecosystem is complex, it becomes complex if things do interact, particularly in the case of nonlinear interaction, you can't separate things properly or you cannot predict the actual effect of interaction straightforwardly. There are unknown interactions and very high inner dynamics in complexity. Overcoming complication and managing complexity become one of the biggest challenges in business today. By following the digital principles and rules, the business lifecycle could be viewed as resulting in emergent means of reorganizing, refocusing, rebalancing resources, and redirecting people to understand the whole, in terms of its inner processes, its interactions with external systems, its components, the specific interaction among them, etc., to ultimately achieve the seamless digital flow and high-level digital maturity.

Quality is a digital rule and a holistic management discipline: Every business system is like three sides of a con, this side, that side and the integrative relationship between them. Imagine the complexity that comes in due to digital characteristics such as structure, rules and regulations, diversity, volatility, ambiguity, unpredictability, lack of linearity and increased flux working and impacting together. Quality should be the digital rule and holistic management discipline. High-quality enterprise is comprised of high-quality people, high-quality products/services, and high-quality business capabilities/processes, etc. People quality often decides the quality of the other part of the business. The most important thing is that you need to define quality as the digital rule. Quality is not just the specific task of one single business department or function, it is one of the management disciplines which needs to be taken in a systematic way. How quality is defined and measured is crucial. It’s about putting profound knowledge, processes, and tools actually used into actions and delivered it.  Because digital transformation cannot be just another thing that needs to be accomplished, it has to be woven into communication, process, and action of the digital organization. The matter of fact is that, setting digital rule is not to manipulate (HOW), but to make the right policy, build the quality standard, and shape a quality organization.

Digital principles and rules are statements of belief that reflect the values, culture and real-world concerns of the organization. They normally have a longer shelf life than objectives, strategies, etc. Digital transformation is a long journey, and the path for digital transformation can be iterative, evolutionary, revolutionary, or disruptive. Organizations have to develop a comprehensive framework, set concise digital rules, take a stepwise approach, and continue assessing, fine-tune and adapt.


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