Project Management

The Human Side of Digital Transformation

Luis Cáceres is an Associate Partner for LATAM in Global PMI Partners and a Managing Consultant in Improving Performance Ltd. He is certified as a Change Manager, Professional Coach, PMP and Agile PM. He is an author and speaker on the development of managerial competences and has over 16 years of experience managing projects and PMOs in Latin America. He is currently focused on managing post-merger integration on M&A deals.

The complexity of the human side of digital transformation can be illustrated with the following metaphor: Does anyone lose weight just by wearing workout clothes or acquiring fitness equipment? No.

Reaching a desired weight is more complicated than that; it requires following an exercise routine and healthy eating. Is it enough to enroll in a gym? It may help, but could someone develop the required discipline if they believed exercise was a kind of medieval torture? No.

Goals are achieved by changing beliefs and developing new behaviors. In this example, it could be useful to start by making small daily “sacrifices” for the sake of a long-term goal. This means waking up early to exercise—and avoiding the temptation of fatty meals—in the name of respecting a serious commitment to reaching a desired weight at the end of the year. Of course, as we all know, this is easy to say and hard to do.

Looking at this example, it seems obvious that wearing workout clothes is not enough to reach the goal. Yet sadly, it’s common to see executives expecting results by dressing the company in new clothes, and acquiring new systems and processes. Such is often the case with digital transformation.

But just like losing weight, the expected results do not come by acquiring technological tools or by dressing the company in new slogans. Goals are achieved …

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"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not Eureka! (I found it!) but rather, 'hmm.... that's funny...'"

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