Given all the attention that “digital” is getting at the moment, you would be forgiven for thinking that it is somehow new. In fact, the relentless drive to embrace digital technologies has been ongoing for many decades.

What also seems to have been forgotten are the lessons from these earlier attempts to leverage IT (remember that IT is a digital technology).

Unfortunately, the history of IT investments in most organizations is far from stellar: Research over the years suggests that the overall failure rate of IT projects is around 70%.

We know that when IT projects fail, it is usually not because the technology didn’t work (although this can sometimes be the case), but because the changes required at an organizational and employee level weren’t managed effectively.

Quite simply, adding technology does not automatically confer expected benefits; these benefits have to be unlocked and this can only happen through achieving organizational changes.Consequently, it is useful to think about investments in digital as essentially investments in change. It includes changes in how an organization interacts with its customers, citizens, or patients; in operational processes; in business models; in supply chain relationships; and in how employees use information to generate insight.One tool that I have used to great effect to improve the likelihood of a successful result from digital investments is the benefits dependency network (BDN).

This tool seeks to get managers to identify and map all the changes that they will be required to make if expected benefits and outcomes are going to be delivered. It also illustrates very clearly how this change will be enabled and shaped by digital technologies. The resultant network shows how each of the expected benefits will be delivered through a combination of technology and business changes and how these are related to each other. To develop a BDN

Read all at  A Tool to Map Your Next Digital Initiative

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