Digital transformation is the application of digital technology to all areas of business, changing of operation, and service to customers. It sounds basic, but the conversion is not straightforward. Digital transformation can cause significant changes in project management operations and practices.

Digital transformation strategy is an outline of a sequence of actions aimed at the restructuring of products and services around digital capabilities.

Digital transformation can be initiated by analyzing the market and understanding how the digital world has changed client behaviors and developing a strategy to structure existing products to fit the new client patterns. Digital transformation is essential because digital capabilities are becoming more and more pronounced. This changes how people obtain information and how their buying decisions are influenced.

As a project manager, digital transformation should not scare you. It may take time, effort, and some specific changes, but in the long run, it will make the project manager projects more efficiently, enhance the management of team members and, ultimately, enhance customer satisfaction.

While some companies adopted digital transformation, some others neglected it and stuck with analog marketing and paid the price. Some other companies accepted it late and experienced a massive boost. In 2012, Best buy was almost closing down, but they adopted a digital transformation process that boosted its stuck to 198%.

In 2017, Home Depot spent more than $11 billion on a three-year digital transformation plan. Since then, it has experienced a jump 59% jump in stock.

In 2014, after the installation of a new CEO, Microsoft began its digital transformation. In five years, Microsoft stock increased by 258%.

Domino’s, an American pizza restaurant, adopted digital transformation when its stock hit an all-time low in 2008. Between 2010-2018, its share increased by more than 3000%.

We look at how the digital transformation has affecting project management.

  1. Enhanced and Strategic Communication Among Team and Companies: Cross-team communication is one of the areas in which digital technology is redefining project management. Traditional email tools are usually cumbersome in times of collaboration because they are not built for real-time dialogue. Also, important emails can be drowned in a stream of emails. In contrast, collaborative emails allow team members to interact and engage with co-workers in real-time, minimizing email clutter, and saving time.

Apart from increasing the efficiency of intra-work communication, technology also improves effectiveness as well. Freeing team members from sorting emails gives them more time to strategize and work towards the project.

  1. Improved Collaboration With Team Members and Ownership: Modern work technologies are enhancing cooperation among teams. With the correct provisions put in place, project managers, team members, and executives can make comments, assign tasks, and do everything associated with the project without stress. The technology has saved companies from a whole lot of time-consuming meetings. Improved level of communication promotes overall collaboration, which inevitably improves output since there is improved synergy. Surveys have shown that workers who are part of a collaborative set-up have higher engagement, lower fatigue, and are generally more productive than those working individually.
  2. Result-oriented Process: Digital transformation is focused more on the result than the process. It has already curbed traditional processes like scheduling; the project manager now has more time to focus on strategy and delivery of services. It is predicted that a project that has digital transformation grows to companies across the board, project managers will assume a more strategic leadership role in their organizations. With more digital tools available, processes are becoming more automated, leaving project managers with more time to focus on the result and the best strategies to improve customer satisfaction.
  3. Improved Analytics: Digital transformation enables project managers to analyze data with some specific tools. Data analytics allows the PM to make better decisions based on data received and strategize to improve the results. Digital tools for analytics are also necessary because they are less tedious to collate in contrast to analog traditional data analysis, which is usually subject to error from individuals. They also give you statistical answers faster than analog tools.

What is the role of the PM during the digital transformation?

No project manager can carry out the process of digital transformation singlehandedly; it involves the entire team. PM’s, however, play important roles within their scope during the transformation process.

Change The Mindset: During digital transformation, there is a change in the process. People tend to have a slow response to whatever method is being introduced. Changing their mindset to suit the difference, a shift in attitude usually follows the change of mindset. Get them to improve their mindset, and their attitude changes too. It is the job of the PM to ensure that the workers are changing in the same phase as the system. This is important because the workers are a fundamental part of the system; you don’t want workers who are lagging. It is also essential to respect people while trying to implement the change. Habits are difficult to change, so it is necessary to fulfill your ideas on the workers patiently. Irrespective of the order coming from the management team, it is crucial to respect the workers while applying the change.

Receive Feedback From Clients: It is essential to receive feedback from clients for whatever change you are affecting. Understanding how your audience reacts to changes would influence whatever process going on. Receiving feedback will help you adjust to avoid problems at the end of the process.

However, not all cases require digital transformation, especially small scale businesses. All the small businesses may need is just a little introduction to digital technology and not an overhaul. It is the job of the project manager to understand which is applicable in any case.

The process may undergo specific challenges as with every other method, like scarce feedback from clients, which could be a significant challenge.

In conclusion, project managers are in the heart of the transformation process. It is the job of the PM to implement the changes and maintain communication with users and clients. While trying to inculcate this transformation into your team, it is important to jump ship to Planless; a project management platform that prides itself as the next step in the digital transformation of PM by providing modern day tools to ease the process.

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