“The true digital transformation begins with the attitude of companies that produce and develop technological solutions”, defends Jorge Ferreira, our PMO who accepted the challenge of answering some questions related to the topic of digitization.
We have felt great anxiety in the search for digital solutions suitable to internal challenges on the part of those who consult us.
What do you think should be the criteria to be followed by those responsible for searching the market for digital solutions?
I believe that, first of all, there must be an in-depth analysis in order to have a real sense of what are the internal challenges to be solved.
There are situations in which the challenge is clear and it is up to technology to be an enabler to resolve the issue. However, there are cases in which, at an early stage, the question to be worked on must be unequivocally identified and there, in the first instance, maximum information should be obtained from the population on which the challenge relates.
Whatever the case, we must use the flexibility that technology allows us to obtain the information we need, often “less is more”.
Only after the target and the problem have been identified, can we really assertively outline an action plan that fully responds to the identified problems. For this to happen in full, we must fall in love with the problem and not with the solution.
Digital transformation has been on the agenda of many companies since 2017, and in 2019 it will be an important year for the consolidation of various transitional processes (at the level of people / processes and channels). In your opinion, what are the main ingredients that digital transformation needs?
In a large part of the companies, not to say the majority, the biggest problem lies in the level of people and their relationship with digital, because what characterizes us (human beings) is being unique and all different from each other, and when companies are in the process of digital transformation, whether in terms of processes or implementation of new technologies, it is difficult to find a “one size fits all” solution.
We must implement solutions in which the learning curve is suitable for the end user in such a way that there is no great resistance on the part of the user. It is not at all fair to associate this type of resistance with people of older generations, for example.
We live in an era of “junk food digital” in which I have come across countless millennials who find it difficult to perform simple tasks in an application and although in general they are cataloged as digital experts. But this is not always the case, because in the same way there are people from generation X and even earlier with an enormous facility to adapt to digital transformation.
In short, we should not generalize, but rather find a way to achieve solutions that, while adapting to the different types of user, are felt as “tailor made”.
I feel and know that technology has a malleability far superior to that of the human being and we much more easily adapt digital to people than the other way around.
In the technological field, many companies looking for digital solutions are unaware of the conditions necessary for the correct implementation of a technological project. From the time of execution, team involved, delivery plans and consequently pricing.
What have been your main challenges at this level?
I believe that most of the blame for this lack of knowledge lies with the technology companies themselves, which, probably due to the situation that has recently been felt in our country with the economic crisis, have given way too much to the demands made by the clients in which they presented the problems in an almost austere way: “We want X, in Y time and we only pay Z!” and, I believe that out of necessity, demands were made on the part of those who did the development, we are not going to talk about whether in general things went well or not because it is certain and known that you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.
That mindset luckily starts to change, slowly … but it starts to change.
Returning to “We want X, in Y time and we only pay Z!”, The first phase is to identify X, make an appropriate survey of needs and identify which product should be presented.
Only after the final product is identified do we have a solid basis to carry out the necessary analysis to estimate the execution time, define the appropriate team to implement it, define the delivery plans and an appropriate and fair pricing for the parties involved.
Most likely due to bad experiences in the past (remember that “they payed peanuts, therefore they got monkeys”), customers will experience some difficulty in accepting the expertise of the technology companies, their respective pricing and implementation times.
We live in a world in which people want solutions immediately and often end up losing even more time and money by adopting solutions that do not really solve the identified issues.
Team. How to choose / work / motivate and empower the right team?
As in everything in life I believe that there must be balance in the teams, there is no point in having a team of 500 “monkeys” that take 2 months to solve simple problems, nor a team of 5 rock stars overwhelmed with work.
I believe in a best man for the job logic, and as such we must choose people who are fluent and well versed in the tasks they will perform and with the potential for constant evolution, never forgetting that we are talking about human beings who will be inserted in an ecosystem. Therefore, we must always consider personality, potential fit with the rest of the team and facilitate an agile and effective integration of people in the existing ecosystem.
In terms of motivation, each case is different, we must look at people as people who are and not just as elements. We must find not only cross-cutting issues that keep the whole team motivated, but also focus on what we can do to motivate and consequently empower each team member individually.
Jorge Ferreira – Project Manager