Supporting business in managing digital transformationfrom demand in-take to capability launch and adoption
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Supporting business in managing digital transformationfrom demand in-take to capability launch and adoption

Ferial Sheybani, VP, Head of Technology and Data I Canada, Colliers International
Ferial Sheybani, VP, Head of Technology and Data I Canada, Colliers International

Ferial Sheybani, VP, Head of Technology and Data I Canada, Colliers International

Any organization needs to create a demand management process with the right people, with appropriate decision rights, as the decision makers; and implement in-take process that suits the culture of the organization.It is important to take into consideration the business community structure,leverage the tools that are integrated with other service mgmt. for IT.

Prioritization, even for IT-enabled initiatives, should occur through this process as the decision makers are the ones with authority to decide which of the urgent needs should be prioritized.

The benefit must be clear “in the eyes of the beholder.” That is, the consumer dictates what is important, with guidance and consensus from the business leader or function leaders who benefit or get impacted by the change. The IT service portfolio must address the interests of the company’s senior business leaders while brings forward the ideas and needs that get captured through lessons learned during implementation and use of the tools through feedback channels (service desk and application requests, incidents, surveys, etc.).

At Colliers,ServiceNow is what we had been using for incident and problem management, therefore it became the natural choice to handle the capture of demands by our business from submission to business case approval.

Demand management

Creating a common vocabulary is an important step in a streamlined process.

In our case we defined demand:

• As an idea or proposal usually from a business line executive (or supported by) that potentially culminates into a business case with series of assessments and subsequent approval by a panel of representatives from cross-functional disciplines and may transition to a project for execution if justified.

And agreed on what is not a demand:

• NOT an incident, bug, feature request or upgrade to one of the products, but rather a capability that could span across one or multiple business lines, applications or services

Managing demand and progress ideas and requests through prioritization frameworks and processes that are effective, fair and timely are key in leading digital transformation of an organization.

• Demand management is a systematic methodology used to forecast, plan for, assess and manage demands for new capabilities to be delivered to one or multiple business lines

• Involves allocation of capital, infrastructure, human, and other available resources to initiatives that create the most value for the organization in terms of meeting its strategic objectives.

Benefits are:

• Enhanced capability to align investments/resources to strategic goals and objectives

• Elimination of redundancy in identified demands and aligning on responding to similar needs being addressed by various IT teams ( BL/Global/Regional)

• Real-time tracking of benefits from project ideation to delivery

Evaluate and Prioritize Demands and link to roadmap of initiatives

A simple workflow for initiating the demand request submission, qualifying the demand in consultation with business Owner(s), assessment and identification of alternative solutions, review and business case approval can be set up in a PPM platform(we used ServiceNow)tohelp manage the process of intake to business case development and approval.

When addressing the demand with a business case, it must describe the business outcome and value that the organization receives from the service, in a language that business leaders understand.

One of the important aspects of the process workflow that is managed through PPM is assigning assessment tasks to technical and business SMEs for the Qualified Demands for High-Level Scoping of Solution to establish high-level scope of business and technical requirements.

Proposed solution and estimated effort, resourcing and costs are reviewed and validated by the Business Owner and based on the feedback on feasibility, the demand may be submitted to Demand Steering Committee for decision making or closed.  Status for demand on PPM is updated accordingly and communicated to requestor.Reevaluate Initiatives That Might Be Ended or Deferred periodically.

Once a business case is approved a demand will potentially become a live project or get added to portfolio priorities. The project lifecycle is then managed through project management module.

The value of end to end portfolio planning is that we are able to trace the effort and duration spent from ideation to execution for a digital capability and later we can measure CSAT through feedback loop on the capability.

Three elements in managing digital transformation effectively are:

• Delivering successful portfolio execution, which includes effective resource and capacity management, and frequently reporting portfolio progress and value.

• Working closely with others, being proactive, collaborative and focused on continuous improvement.

• Providing effective insight into and action on portfolios by monitoring trends and markets and selecting, deploying and managing technologies.

The fourth element (and some may argue the most important one)is change management; that is supporting the business in use and successful adoption of the digital platforms.

Business Success and Change Management

Rolling out a new digital capability requires engaging the business in all the steps of the journey from inception to testing and rollout.

Test out the rollout with Tech Savvy users first, Pilot the solution with identified champions, include the feedback in product lifecycle of the change being implemented.

Support the business users in training, hand-hold them to be able to walk and then run with the change on their own.

For us, our business success team who is constantly working on increasing the awareness and adoption of our digital tools and getting feedback on what is working and what is not working. The feedback and lessons learned is channeled and feeds into our strategy planning and shaping the demand prioritization. Which is critical to ensuring we are on the right track and tweak our plan as business needs evolve or change priority.

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