Digital Transformation: Simplified

Have you been tasked with implementing a Digital Transformation? Are you able to identify the best way to tackle your next Digital Transformation, avoiding the inherent risks and optimising the use of available resources?

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Have you been tasked with implementing a Digital Transformation? Are you able to identify the best way to tackle your next Digital Transformation, avoiding the inherent risks and optimising the use of available resources?

Without doubt, Digital Transformations have been one of the most important occurrences of our times. In only a few short decades we’ve incorporated changes in entire business models, go-to-market approaches and supply chains on the back of digital technologies. So many of our modern experiences, across work, rest and play, rely on digital tech. The Internet, smart phones, e-commerce, cloud-hosted services and mobility applications have enabled this transformation. Near-term changes brought about by advances in immersive technologies such as augmented reality are sure to change our worlds even more dramatically.

All of these changes, past, present and future, can only be instantiated through the implementation of digital transformation projects. When done well, we’ve all seen how these projects can revolutionise organisations and even entire industries. When done not so well, significant budgets and resource allocations can be consumed with barely a result to be shown. The opportunity cost can be calamitous for any organisation that can’t deliver on its major digital transformation objectives.

Vast bodies of knowledge, including PMBOK, already exist to show how project management can and should be done. They’ve been created and refined by many talented people over many past projects. Despite this, more transformation projects fail to deliver than succeed. Clearly, there are still alternate techniques and approaches that can be applied to reduce the risk of transformation failure.

Digital Transformation: Simplified” will show you how to transform your organisation, people, approaches and technologies using contrarian, but easy-to-comprehend and implement methods and techniques.

It has been created from the successes (and failures) experienced on dozens of digital transformation projects – ranging from small in budget, scope & risk tolerance to transformations costing hundreds of millions of dollars.

The contained set of Digital Transformation principles is what we currently believe to be important, whilst fully admitting to it being an incomplete and ever-changing list. It’s a set of tools and insights to add to the many that are already in your repertoire.

Many of these principles are contrarian to way others conduct Digital Transformation projects. However, with so many Digital Transformation projects failing to deliver, the “standard” approaches are clearly often wrong. It requires new lines of thinking and approaches. This book provides you with over 50 ideas as a starting point.

Digital Transformation: Simplified” shows you better, faster, easier and less risky ways to implement digital transformation projects. Using straightforward language, “Digital Transformation: Simplified” provides a playbook to accompany you on the next phase of your transformation journey.

This book is NOT for you if…

If you’re looking for a big, heavy book that comprehensively describes how to manage projects, this book isn’t for you. It doesn’t provide the fundamental building blocks of project management in all their detailed glory. This book does not attempt to provide the basics of project management, including:

  • Define the scope of the project
  • Plan the work
  • Manage resources
  • Estimate costs
  • Create a budget
  • Prepare a schedule
  • Execute the plan

These can be found in many other textbooks. Some of it is already common sense. Some well known. Chances are, you’re already really familiar with the fundamentals of managing a project, so it doesn’t seek to tell you what you already know.

Since that’s a lengthy description of what this book doesn’t contain, you’re probably asking what it does contain then.

This book IS for you if…

If you and/or your team has already tried the standard approaches but are still looking for better, easier, faster and less risky approaches. It is designed to supplement your existing knowledge with contrarian approaches to digital transformation.

Digital Transformation: Simplified” is intentionally light-weight to provide easy-to-find and easy-to-consume insights and information for the phase of the project you’re at. If you’re about to embark on a project and don’t have the time to over 500 pages of material. Instead, this book is built on over 50 tips and techniques that provide a playbook of novel transformation ideas in less than 100 pages. Each idea has its own dedicated chapter, so it’s easy to go back and re-reference a particular concept at whatever stage of a project you’re at or if you’re stuck with a specific challenge.

Chapters

If you’re wondering what each chapter covers, the following list provides it:

  1. Big bang projects often explode, with a bang
  2. Release business value as early & regularly as possible
  3. Select your Hall of Fame
  4. Prune the variant tree
  5. Documents are rarely deliverables
  6. Documents and meetings are used as a form of procrastination
  7. Creating real deliverables
  8. Don’t document, experiment
  9. Get creative to avoid / remove dependencies
  10. The chess-board analogy
  11. One size doesn’t always fit all
  12. Managing by contracts (almost) never works
  13. Managing by requirements (almost) never works
  14. Start with what moves the needle
  15. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should
  16. Do everything manually before trying to automate
  17. Clear a path to deep-think time
  18. Separation of concerns (aka divide and conquer)
  19. Nobody knows it all, so don’t be a know-it-all
  20. The confused mind says no
  21. Are you an energy source or energy drain?
  22. Data quality can trigger a project death spiral
  23. Foster safety from well-intentioned mistakes
  24. The most valuable workers are tripods
  25. Typical procurement approaches are destined to fail from the outset
  26. Compromise, not compromised
  27. Find time for active work, not just reactive
  28. Design a stepping-stone plan
  29. Start basic and grow
  30. Design for a ten-year old
  31. Plan for apprenticeships, not training
  32. Don’t think. Don’t hope. Do!
  33. There’s always a better way
  34. No project is alike. Build re-useable frameworks anyway
  35. The more you put in, the more you get out
  36. It’s easy to make excuses
  37. Look at yourself and your project objectively
  38. Start at the high-level and drill down as needed
  39. The power of blogging surprised me
  40. If you’re not on the critical path, reduce reliance on those who are
  41. If you are on the critical path, get off it, fast
  42. The wow factor is in the graphics, but the business case is in the graph
  43. People are more likely to accept change when involved in it…
  44. It sometimes makes sense to do other peoples’ work for them
  45. Remove clutter before the big move
  46. Learn to speak in the customer’s language
  47. Re-frame before any transformation
  48. Newton’s second law of transformation
  49. Know where the money flows
  50. Management by stampede theory
  51. Diversity isn’t just a quota
  52. Design transformed solutions to be purple cows
  53. Transform for a 5+ year future, not tomorrow
As you can see, the chapter names give away some of the hints. Some might be a little more intriguing. The one about the purple cows perhaps? Do any of them fire the suspicion that there might be some counter-intuitive approaches to provoke and inspire you into new ways of thinking. New ways of implementing your own projects?
Are you one of, “…the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things different” that Apple described well? Are you willing to try something different to achieve a better transformational outcome?
Different isn’t always better, so why would you trust a book from me? Who am I even? Am I even qualified to suggest different approaches to digital transformation?
My name is Ryan Jeffery. I’m the author of “Digital Transformation: Simplified.” With degrees in Computer Science and Engineering (telecommunications), you could say I have some of the academic groundings in the digital world. With over 25 years in the IT, tech and telco worlds, you could even argue that I’ve been around since digital was just getting started. Not the very start, but certainly since the early days of the world wide web and all the other digital technologies that have come after it. That alone still doesn’t qualify me to talk about transformation projects.
I’ve built a bunch of networks, including a Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM) solution that I first designed all the way from the custom circuit boards to resistors, capacitors, lasers and more. Great fun, but still not transformational. I’ve led teams of technicians that have built optical networks of over 1,000kms in length. Those networks were transformational certainly, but I still wasn’t involved in the parts of the project that were truly transformational – the parts that changed hearts and minds, process designs and ways that people work.
That all changed in the year 2000. That’s when I started working on my first OSS project. What’s an OSS I hear you ask? Well, Operational Support Systems (OSS) are the tools that telecommunications network operators use to manage almost every part of their business. They connect customers to the network, manage the customer experience, manage network capacity, monitor networks / services for health degradations, control the field workforce that installs & fixes the network and so much more. Major OSS projects are highly transformational in nature because they impact the people, processes and technology from top-to-bottom within a telco. They’re highly digital in nature because they’re entirely run be the extraction, transformation, loading and passing of data to drive end-to-end workflows.
That first OSS project, in Taiwan was a massive wake-up call. This, and subsequent OSS projects since then, were so big (many tens, if not hundreds of millions) and so complex (some taking well over 2 years to conclude… if they ever truly finished) that there were many learning opportunities. In the early stages, I wasn’t officially tasked with leadership roles (although its amazing how you don’t need to have a title to provide leadership on projects like these). It did however, provide the chance to observe the techniques used by many project managers and colleagues. Soon enough though, I was handed leadership roles where the concepts in this book would be learned, tested and further refined.
There were many successes, and probably just as many learning opportunities (i.e. mistakes) made on these projects. What these experiences also showed is that there are so many different ways to tackle a project. None are always right. Some however, often the “standard approaches” that project leaders fall back on time and again, have proven to fail just as consistently. We certainly need to be always on the lookout for better ways.
Are all of the approaches described in “Digital Transformation: Simplified” going to be right for you, right for every one of your projects? Almost definitely not. Hopefully they do inspire you to think about the problems you face, but from an entirely different perspective.

Not sure whether “Digital Transformation: Simplified” is right for you?

That’s done it. This book is surely not for you now is it? If it’s not going to solve every problem for you on every project you ever undertake then it’s probably not worth the investment. It certainly doesn’t carry the heft of large textbooks on this topic.
Are you in the minority who thinks “Digital Transformation: Simplified” might still hold a few ideas that are worth considering? Would you be interested in checking out the first few chapters?

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Further questions?

Since you’re fascinated with Digital Transformations (or are about to be), chances are you’re highly inquisitive, a great questioner and an awesome problem solver. Therefore it’s natural that you might still have unanswered questions – questions like:

  • I’m not sure if the book applies to my specific transformation project; or
  • My role is highly unique and you couldn’t provide any insights or tools that are relevant to me; or
  • The technologies I work with are old / current / futuristic so your approaches couldn’t possibly be relevant to me; or
  • I’m not sure whether the selectable geographic regions in the order form apply to me; and
  • So many other possibilities.

There’s a simple answer to all of those questions – Send us a message via the contact form below and try us out. We may not have every answer for you, but we’re sure to try.

100% Money-back guarantee

If you’re not satisfied with your purchase of “Digital Transformations: Simplified,” within the first 45 days then we will return all costs incurred, including shipping and handling. Just email us and we’ll give all your money back. We’re not going to ask you to go to the effort of return shipping the book. It’s yours to keep. Now we acknowledge that you could just order the book, have it shipped to you and request a refund even if you do find it useful. That’s our risk. We have confidence that you’ll find so much valuable information in “Digital Transformations: Simplified” that you won’t do that to us.

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