Blog Insight

But are you digital under the hood?

So many metaphors apply here, so I will pick one and stick with it. Everyone knows that a fast car must be more than just a fancy paint job and schmancy leather seats. It’s what’s under the hood that makes a fast and efficient machine. The aerodynamics, paint, and trim level mean nothing if the engine won’t respond when you step on the gas. And the same rules apply as you continue your business journey to digital maturity.

Understanding the three Ps of people, processes, and platforms allows you to think outside the customer experience layer and get under the hood to the digital engine that drives it.

People

Let’s start with the most valuable aspect of your digital engine: the people who run and support it. These professionals include your customer service team, your product development pros, and your marketing, technology, sales (including sales operations), and finance team members. Busting them out of their silos and using your digital maturity as a way to bring them together, align them on a mission, help them share critical information, and help them support each other in the quest to support your customers combine into the most important step a business can take in becoming a truly mature digital business. When they see success in the same mind’s eye and understand how they are helping each other succeed in a measurable way, they will provide the oil in your well-oiled digital machine.

Processes

So who’s doing what, when, where, how, and why? Oh, you have a process for that? Great. But let’s have an honesty moment. How was the process designed, and who designed it? How long ago? Or is that just “how we have always done it!”?

Designing those processes around your shared vision of success with the people who will be running it will allow the digital pros (yes, they are, and if they don’t feel like it yet, they will be) in your business to see where value leaks out, and where there are opportunities to improve and streamline those processes for real impact. That real impact can show up in your customer experience, in your technology, in your sales, and in your overall bottom line. Using tools like Lean value stream mapping, your digital machine can run on continuously tuned processes that match your teams’ shared vision and ladder up to your objectives.

Platforms

You can’t have an engine without the parts. That’s right. The technology is not the engine; it’s the parts that make up the engine. The parts include the skill of the mechanics and the ability to follow the processes that put the right parts together in the right order with the right settings to run the engine and power that fast car: your business. Understanding how all of your components fit together into a system of systems that creates value for your business is critical to achieving the shared vision.

Technology choices that are aligned with that vision and tools like domain mapping allow you to take a step back and make smart choices to put the right pieces together. It also helps you to keep out the “whiz bang” items that gunk up your performance, add complexity, and, frankly, don’t look so great in your overall customer experience. Like fuzzy dice. Ugh! Don’t be that guy!

The Finished Product

I would love to tell you that you will roll this beauty off the assembly line and it will be finished forever. But the operational efficiency you experience in this journey toward becoming a mature digital business will take tuning and maintenance. Create a plan for that. Get your digital pros involved and talking regularly. Make that team an unsiloed juggernaut.

Drive it, learn from it, tune it, and every now and then, take it apart and reassemble it.