The Power of Communication in Digital Transformation

Communication — the word that has been very close to my heart. Working in the tele-communications industry for over 20 years, I have synthesized this word more than any other in my dictionary. Internet is the powerhouse of information in the modern era, but what it still lacks is the knack of communication — Providing the right information at the right time!

Communication is key!

As a major in Computer science, communications meant information transferred from machine to machine. Satellite communications sounded fancy. The electromagnetic impulses that traveled the boundaries of the physical medium were no less magical than the show I saw on stage. I applied that knowledge to the industry and succeeded in helping the millions of people connect with each other. Yes, I had worked in traditional telecommunication companies like Verizon, the start-ups delivering the state-of-the-art fiber optics, gave the gift of VOIP to the world, and the blessing of satellite-based internet access to those in remote areas.

That definition of “communication” changed for me, as I gained more work experience and took over bigger challenges.

When I studied my project management courses, my instructor told me that 90% of my job would be communication. I did not believe it so. But when I became a core agent for change during my role as a leader for a digital transformation team, I realized that the success in my role was directly proportional to the amount of communication I had with other teams.

Photo by Kaleidico on Unsplash

Success in User adoption

When a change is imposed upon us, what matters is how it is being conveyed. Change is the only reality of life, then why not focus on how it is delivered.

Existing processes are overhauled, and new processes are launched. Systems undergo continuous integration giving way to more efficiencies. Managing this change is often a challenge for organizations, especially during the transition phase. Customers are frustrated and everyone resists the change. Sounds familiar? How would you address this?

Communicate, communicate, communicate! Keep the customer informed at all times. Both internal and external customers should know what is changing well ahead of the actual change. Provide them with an opportunity to be part of the change. When the new process is rolled out, users are more prepared and adoptions become easy. Projects that have this communication package built into the plan have better chances of being successful.

The biggest transformation project that I handled is the order-to-cash process. It involved order administrators, program managers, network engineers, service managers, and field service technicians. The rollout of the new platform would change the way they did their daily jobs. As the design of the multi-year project unfolded, I shared the mock-up screens with the stakeholders. Each process was evaluated as to how it would add value to the organization’s bottom-line. If any additional work were added to a department, it was simplified to the extent that it could then be handled by batch jobs and/or RPA bots.

When we pulled the trigger on the brand new process that actually touched upon fourteen business systems, the transition seemed gradual. Users were trained and familiarity led to adoption. A success story shared by all those involved!