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Why Celebrating Success is a Crucial Element of Digital Transformation

on December 3, 2015

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Celebrating success is, in my mind, possibly the most important element of a successful digital transformation program. If you accomplish something with great results, but no one knows about it or understands its value, how can it be the catalyst needed to realize change? I’d go so far as to suggest that success without celebration is as good as worthless—at least when it comes to affecting organizational change.

You see, every big change starts small and with success, grows. That’s why we’ve defined a Digital Transformation Roadmap that guides organizations through three distinct stages, enabling them to lead change without internal disruption. The Start phase is focused on starting small and celebrating success in order to build momentum for your digital initiatives.

Roadmap

Too often, success isn’t celebrated at all. Or when it is, it’s done for the wrong reason(s). Sure, you want to recognize all of the hard work put in by your team to deliver something new and innovative. But the ultimate reason for celebration should be internal PR—creating awareness for the value you’ve delivered and what it means for other individuals and departments across your organization.

In other words, you want your first successful project to be a catalyst for additional projects. People like to be associated with success and when they see it, they will very quickly want to be a part of it. This is especially true for business unit chiefs, who may not understand the inner workings of technology but will be motivated to replicate the success of their peers.

So what’s the best way to maximize the impact of your internal celebration? Here are a few tips:

  • Celebrate and cake are an important part of digital transformationInvite as many people as possible, not just your development team. You want to promote your team and approach to the rest of the company, showing what they’re capable of achieving in such a short period of time.
  • Host the party in a central, visible location. You don’t want to be hidden away in the basement or corner office. The whole point is to make other departments take notice.
  • Bring the largest cake you can find. Put the project name and go-live date on it, like Springer Healthcare did recently. And be sure to walk around the office, handing out pieces. It’s a great conversation starter.
  • Make sure your most senior sponsor is in the room. People will take notice if the CEO or CIO takes the time to show up. And it reinforces executive support for the new approach.
  • Present the results of your project. Once you have a captive and contented audience, take the opportunity to highlight the results of what you’ve achieved in a brief presentation.
  • Optional: serve champagne, beers, snacks, etc. The only thing better than cake is cake with champagne and other refreshments!

By celebrating your success, you’ll show the rest of the organization that this new approach is real and effective, helping to create widespread buy-in and support. In the process, you’ll almost always identify new project ideas you weren’t aware of, creating a flywheel effect that allows your digital transformation program to take off.

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Roald Kruit

About Roald Kruit

While my co-founders and I were in business school, we saw firsthand how painful and frustrating it is to be involved in the application development process from the business side. So we set out to improve collaboration between IT and the business and to make development radically faster and simpler while ensuring project success.

  • Gunnar Eriksen

    Hi Roald, Gunnar Eriksen here.
    I agree on everything you mentioned here, celebrating success is essential. Inside PR is wonderful. The explanation of what has been accomplished will be even greater if the benefits and projected ROI can be measured and explained, including the added value of completing an important project better, faster and less expensive than by traditional methods, not the least the added value of beating the competition to the market.

    Thanks for allowing me to comment – I really appreciate that, not every company provides that.