Still life of retro office

3 Ways Legacy Systems are Holding Back Digital Transformation

Written By: Mick Weidner
April 14, 2021
3 min read

One of the bigger struggles for some organizations looking to bring about digital transformation is finding the right ways to change their culture and put in place a strong digital transformation governance model. In a report entitled “Drive Business Success with a Dual-Track Approach to Transformation,” Harvard Business Review Analytic Services (HBRAS) found that 45% of surveyed executives say a major challenge to transformation comes from their organization’s culture not adapting to business conditions. And when trying to implement the rapid-cycle innovation efforts that make up a key half of dual-track transformation, having the right governance in place can make or break your efforts.

A Center of Excellence model can be a great fit for organizations seeking that structure and definition from a governance model. Here are three of the biggest benefits of the Center of Excellence model, and how it can help put rapid-cycle innovation efforts on the right path.

Clear structure and responsibilities

The most immediate benefit of a Center of Excellence comes from the structure it brings to any big, organization-wide project (such as rapid-cycle innovation efforts). A Center of Excellence clearly lays out the roles needed to bring about success, as well as the key goals and responsibilities of each role. An owner has the vision and most accountability for the program, and can bring in teams across the organization to have input and make an impact.

Key administrators, leadership, IT, and others who have visibility across your organization and can successfully communicate key messages should also be apart of this initial team building. And with it, your teams will be able to have clear, defined functions to prepare for success.

Continuous internal advocacy and education

At Quick Base, our vision for a Center of Excellence aligns around two key functions – training and education, and community. Coupled with a focus on building buy-in championed from the top of your organization both of these are designed to ensure that your teams will understand and be excited for the potential of rapid-cycle innovation.

For training and education, this means making sure that employees across your business will be able to consistently have resources to learn and build their skillset. The more knowledgeable an individual feels, the more likely they are to feel empowered to make the changes they think need to be made on their end of the business with their hands-on experience. HBRAS found that 52% of executives see a major benefit of rapid-cycle innovation being that business professionals and process managers can get more involved in innovation and idea generation. Being able to enable those professionals with the right skills to get their innovation into your business ASAP is critical.

A community, on the other hand, will bring about the necessary excitement in your organization and showcase the potential success and impact of innovation efforts. With a focus on knowledge sharing, internal events, and user groups, business users can communicate directly with each other in a structured way while learning from each other on how to grow. This internal sense of camaraderie and celebration from a community will grow the rapid-cycle innovation practice within your business.

Flexibility to align around results

Finally, this defined structure and system gives your Center of Excellence the ability to regularly analyze the results of your transformation efforts. By focusing on key datapoints that show the impact of your rapid-cycle innovation, such as time saved, efficiency, or cost avoidance, your defined governance structure will be ready to immediately act on this data. Not having to assign out roles or discover action items after getting back information will mean that you can more easily adjust to how your program is progressing and they key needs within your organization.

Written By: Mick Weidner
Mick Weidner, an Air Force veteran with an MPA, has an eclectic background that includes broadcasting, project management, grant writing, technical editing, and public policy advocacy. She has a passion for simplicity and getting things done.

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