The global market and economy continually grapple with various disruptions and crises, and it has become imperative for chief information officers (CIOs) to maintain day-to-day operations with a reduced margin of error. It is incumbent on CEOs to balance technological investment with budget constraints while executives continually face the pressure of showing their clients and stakeholders the value of their operational strategy.
The burgeoning demand for investment value underscores the importance of micro transformations in businesses. Micro transformations are incremental yet substantive initiatives that target an organization’s key performance indicators (KPIs) based on their overall business strategies. Compared to traditional projects, micro transformations can help identify bottlenecks and strengths of pre-existing processes. CIOs can use this agile methodology to generate value for their companies.
Organizations can effect sustainable change across their people, processes, and technologies by focusing on gradual changes rather than larger-scale and time-consuming efforts. Micro transformations can help businesses adapt to and address disruptions while targeting their most valuable KPIs.
Launching a new feature such as an automated customer service chatbot to address customer-specific pain points and adopting the cloud to streamline internal processes are examples of micro transformations. Another example of a micro-transformation project is the implementation of an online deposit account opening solution. In a remote world, financial institutions benefit from a completely digital, user-friendly and seamless customer experience. We see this demonstrated in some digital banks that allow the opening of deposit accounts with only a mobile phone. The ability to open a deposit account at any time and place provides immediate customer value.
It should be noted, however, that micro transformations should also be guided by an overall transformation strategy to ensure that all micro transformation initiatives are cohesive. The small victories resulting from smaller, bite-sized technology upgrades can create instant value for organizations while paving the way for more robust digital initiatives, projects, and solutions later on.
ADDRESSING DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION FATIGUE
Digital transformation can be a cumbersome and intimidating process that may appear promising at the start but fail to deliver results. On the other hand, micro transformations can target benchmarks that would be most impacted by a new offering or service, reducing the time it would take for businesses to realize gains. Organizations can further develop operational efficiencies, risk mitigation, and resource optimization by clearly delineating KPIs.
For example, an up-and-coming startup envisions a new strategy after having difficulties with launching its first product offering. This strategy involves interfacing with potential clients and investors while bolstering the former with recent market research. Getting fresh perspectives can help management focus on and refine critical areas most relevant to their strategic priorities. Considering the customers’ needs is vital in formulating a sustainable business plan, which organizations can do via smaller-scale initiatives.
If one were to dissect a micro transformation, one could say that it is underpinned by more than just the solution and execution of the work. It also goes beyond automation and changes because it entails continuous improvement and deep process design efforts. This process incentivizes organizations to think big while creating an agile, scalable plan to materialize gains. By returning to the drawing board, companies can identify market opportunities and streamline their day-to-day operations, even if it means upending pre-existing processes. Micro transformations involve adapting to change with a data-substantiated, systematic approach coherent with the organization’s business strategy.
REDUCE COMPLEXITY, ADD CONNECTIVITY
Traditionally, an organization focuses on initiatives involving collaboration platforms, feedback mechanisms, and workflow plans. While these could yield positive results, siloed efforts often require considerable micromanagement, which could introduce more variables to an already complex system.
Micro transformations take a more systematic approach by focusing on project-centered priorities. Data is fed to the appropriate teams, ensuring that the same workflow plan governs everyone. Knowledge is provided to the digital system, which continuously evolves with each project stage. This consolidated approach gives organizations a level of connectivity that would have been a challenge had they abided by standard and traditional practices. Micro transformations assist businesses with streamlining their day-to-day operations to adapt and respond to different risks, which could boost client and customer confidence.
As companies pivot into the digital space, micro transformations allow them to capitalize on value-driven core capabilities and identify market opportunities without immense commitments. This streamlined process allows management to deconstruct silos and test the waters with less risk than traditional, larger-scale transformations. In this case, end-to-end digital transformation may be able to help businesses materialize value faster with minimal disruptions to day-to-day operations.
ELEMENTS OF MICRO TRANSFORMATIONS
1. Processing of data and identification of KPIs
Identifying and articulating KPIs are vital to micro transformations. Organizations can strengthen their overall strategy using analytics-driven data by focusing on metrics that directly impact the business.
2. Optimization of KPIs
Once the organization has identified its KPIs, management can identify opportunities and pain points of the company. Consequently, they can refine their product offerings and address underlying areas of improvement.
3. Engagement of clients and stakeholders
Communicating with stakeholders at different points of the project is essential for the success of micro transformations. Organizations should align initiatives and engage interest to foster investor confidence.
4. Identification of appropriate technologies
Technology underpins successful micro transformations, and the former is requisite for implementing changes on an organization-wide scale. By leveraging suitable technologies, businesses can engineer KPI-specific solutions and implement agile application frameworks for various strategic initiatives.
GETTING STARTED WITH MICRO TRANSFORMATIONS
Micro transformations are holistic approaches that create business value based on their strategy-related benchmarks. This manifold process allows companies to enhance their operating models based on insights-driven data. Management must select projects carefully, delineate the appropriate KPIs, and focus on customer experiences and needs to boost confidence.
While micro transformations can yield immediate gains, instant gratification is not the end goal. Ultimately, it is a systematic approach that can help organizations position themselves in the global market and pave their way toward bigger digital transformation agendas.
This article is for general information only and is not a substitute for professional advice where the facts and circumstances warrant. The views and opinions expressed above are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of SGV & Co.
Armand N. Cajayon, Jr. is a technology consulting principal of SGV & Co.