Avoiding the Trap of Standardization

I spoke last week about my strategy when assisting a client with a digital transformation project. I’d like to continue that discussion by bringing up another interesting observation to be cautious of, which is the myth of “standardization,” otherwise known as cost reduction.

I am not a fan of standardizing just to standardize.  It is an oversimplified approach to a complex question. Analysis needs to be done on the use cases, the users, costs, etc. Once all of those things are understood, each application can be road mapped. You should never roadmap an application without understanding the entire application portfolio and the business drivers. I understand how large or holistic of an approach that is; however, if you don’t do this, you will map everything in a silo and not truly affect the business environment. Applications are part of your digital transformation and need to be considered in context with other tools such as RPA, Workflow, PPM, etc.

This may seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. It does require you to be “stuck at start” and do more planning than implementing in the beginning. A company I really respect sells an engagement called FOWA or future of work accelerator. This engagement focuses on the work from the beginning to the end and really breaks it down into what CAN and SHOULD be automated. It then estimates and prioritizes the effort. Why should this be the first step? Because you will realize very quickly that you need more resources, money, time, people and roles, all while your sponsorship is left wondering what are spending their money on. You won’t have a solid business case, or a plan to deliver quick wins along the way. You more than likely will be trying to just “do something” and feeling overwhelmed, leading to an unsuccessful project. Many that fail will blame the technology, but this is not the case – the real culprit is the lack of a plan and approach. If any of this rang true with you, give us a call so we can help you get a plan together.

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