As I prepare for the launch of my book “The Digital Transformation Success Formula”, I am often asked by friends who are not in the technology field “What is Digital Transformation?” That is a great question to ask and a great place to start. I say “start” because digital transformation will impact your life one way or another, like the industrial era had impacted your life and that of our parents. Whether you are aware of it or not, you will be making a choice between “digital transformation or death”. Leaders will have to decide first. I help them make the right decisions and guide them to succeed when they choose digital transformation.
What is Digital Transformation?
Digital transformation is how the latest digital technologies combined with strategic business innovation are reshaping the actual era, reinventing businesses, organizations and our lifestyles. Many professions as we know them today will disappear in a couple of years. Many of you have already changed careers or experienced the loss of a job. We see many “ends” but digital transformation also offers many “beginnings” and that is what I want to guide you to take advantage of.
Digital Transformation and Leadership
Technology itself is evolving fast, but it will not create the transformation by itself. I have as proof the many millions euros/dollars technology and business projects that I had the opportunity to either manage, lead, participate in or witness in the corporate world (and especially in Fortune 500 companies) over the last 20 years. In fact, relying too much on technology is the number one reason for technology project’s failure. Leaders are creating the transformation. Our lifestyles, businesses, and organizations will be how our leaders shape them. My new book, “The Digital Transformation Success Formula” is aimed at leaders so they can transform themselves first, and then transform our organizations, businesses, and lives efficiently.
Are you a leader?
Every leader, no matters your title, your industry, or your work status as an entrepreneur or an employee, you want to be involved. Join my group of Digital Transformation Leaders by opting in for the 1st report, “The N°1 Formula for Digital Transformation.” Just click the link to the portal below. Check out the blog on the site as well. I’ll keep you posted soon about the launch event for the Digital Transformation Leaders platform, as well as the book launch.
You won’t want to miss the launch event.
I’ll bring together a great panel of experts to deliver value to you on several aspects of digital transformation. Furthermore, for one hour, you will be able to download the Kindle version of the book for free. That’s not all. You will also be able to purchase the printed “The Digital Transformation Success Formula” book at a reduced price, all during a limited period of time. Additionally, there will be several other gifts to win.
Opt-in and join our group at www.digitaltransformationleaders.com.
Once you opt-in, I’ll then send you a private invitation for the launch event, coming in November and the Digital Transformation Report. You’ll also receive a video training on how to “Create Your Digital Transformation Vision in 7 Days”, for free.
See you there!
Tips for managing a cross-functional team
This sounds very self-conflicted. But it’s not. I’ve found that with a project team of highly skilled people, there’s at least a few people that will *really* bug you. They’ll get under your skin and annoy you in team meetings. The project manager’s first instinct is to “deal around” them. In other words, don’t get them involved important aspects of the project. Leave them out, don’t ask them questions, don’t get their opinions. You’re hoping that maybe they’ll get the message and leave the rest of you alone.
This is absolutely the wrong thing to do. You need the pests, you want the pests, the pests are your BEST friends! LOVE THE PESTS! Don’t get annoyed, simply smile and say “thank you!) When these people annoy you and the project team, they’re showing a unique quality that will, most likely, be very useful to everyone.
The best way I can think to explain what I mean is by picking a few personalities that stick in my mind. These are my recollections of real people, and there’s a chance they’ll recognize my description of them. That’s OK. They know we’re all friends that worked long and hard together.
Here are some of the best and most frustrating team mates I’ve ever worked with
ANNOYING TEAM MEMBERS
Always Wanting More Detail
I must say this is typically considered an engineering oddity. I have it myself. Some of the best engineers are NEVER EVER satisfied with the information they have. This behavior isn’t just restricted to engineers though. But, when I’m typing this, I’m thinking of our reliability / maintainability person. He never had enough detail to calculate reliability numbers or to insure we met our maintainability goals.
Whiner / Complainer
These folks will complain about every step in the project, every deviation, every change, everything that’s not what they think it should be. These folks are the first choice to work-around, do without or leave out of any project decision. That would be a big mistake. Here’s a few test cases:
These folks want to negotiate every detail in the project. “Can’t we do it differently – everyone does it this way?” “Let’s get the two teams together and work out a solution.” This is *after* it’s all be decided.
THE LIST GOES ON AND ON…
We all have a list like this of different personality types we’ve worked with on teams. The key is when the annoy you and everyone on the team -- remember this when you DON’T like them. But sooner or later, this person will help the project a great deal.
Embrace the jerks on your projects – they may be your best friends!
Please comment with a list of your favorite project jerks! And remember that's what you like them for.
MEET ME IN SAN DIEGO NEAR THE PROJECTMANAGEMENT.COM BOOTH.
The digital era is the time for inspiring and impactful leaders. We are no longer in a time where only the top manager commands, and everyone obeys or follows regardless anymore. Therefore your organization expects you to inspire them and make a positive impact in their organization and their future. Otherwise, you may quickly lose your shirt and more in this volatile market.
You’ll need real support from experienced leaders and facilitators while personalizing things for your business and most importantly, taking action. You position calls for a truly evolved and transformed person with a harmonious blend of skills and a broad personality. You are one of the brand new inspiring and insightful leaders of the digital age: you are a Digital Transformation Leader.
Therefore, being a Digital Transformation Leader who wants to live up to the highest expectations, here are 10 rules to act on so that you can succeed in your mission.
To support you and help you live to your organization’s expectations, I make it my commitment for you to succeed personally, professionally and holistically.
Join our community that is a place for coaching, exchanging, and creating more transformed and successful leaders.
Attending the PMI Global congress in San Diego? You can schedule an individual session with me in the “Ask An Expert” sessions and meet me in the Solutions Center (exhibit hall). Book your session here.
Attending the PMI Global Congress 2016 in San Diego? You can schedule an individual session with me in the “Ask an Expert” sessions and meet me in the Solutions Center (exhibit hall). Book your session here. http://congresses.pmi.org/NorthAmerica2016/sponsors/hours-overview
This is the fifth blog in a series dealing with the challenges and excitement managing “informationally diverse teams” of experts. My goal is to communicate the challenges, fun and “things that have worked” in managing projects team that has widely different backgrounds, experiences, education, and understandings. Informational diversity is based on different functional, educational and industry backgrounds that constitute information and knowledge resources upon which the team draws
THE FIRST FOUR CROSS-FUNCTIONAL TEAM BLOGS:
1. Herding a group of cats, cows, sheep, goats, dogs and llamas…. http://bit.ly/2cr0ddH
2. How hard is it to herd a group of cats, cows, sheep, goats, dogs and llamas? http://bit.ly/2c6n3Gv
3. Cats, cows, sheep, goats, dogs and llamas *CAN* be herded. - http://bit.ly/2cLpS2w
4. Things that have worked leading Informationally Diverse Teams - http://bit.ly/2cfkKka
“Projects are the means by which NASA explores space, expands scientific knowledge, and performs research on behalf of the nation” - from the NASA Project and Program Management handbook. NASA/SP-2014-3405 which can be downloaded (free) http://go.nasa.gov/2chNXuO
While the NASA project management handbook is very closely aligned with the PMBOK guide, there are some important exceptions. One being the absolute requirement for monthly status reviews (more on this in a later blog)
PROBLEMS WITH CROSS FUNCTIONAL TEAMS
Managing a cross-functional team can be very difficult. People are certain they are right, they KNOW they are right and everyone else just can’t see the truth. There are many well-documented studies showing some of these frustrations. When I give a talk on this topic, I ask people to raise their hands if they’ve experienced any of these issues. A lot of hands get raised!
THINGS I’VE TRIED THAT HAVE WORKED
Again, I didn’t start off knowing these things – I had a lot of mentoring (formalized), plus I failed a lot. So these tips come from years of “falling forward.”
Number 1: Establish a sense of Mission (blog 4)
Number 2: Establish a Communications Framework That Works
Neville Chamberlain famously established a set of war rooms in 1939. Churchill visited the Cabinet Room in May 1940 and declared: 'This is the room from which I will direct the war'. In total 115 Cabinet meetings were held at the Cabinet War Rooms. What were the advantages of a war room? COMMUNICATION. Everyone saw the same maps, the same schedules, the same plans and could talk about them. It was “total emersion” into the project problem.
Today there are many electronic, internet-based versions of war rooms, and they can work well. But the physical war rooms still exist. Google has used its war rooms for over 80 startups!
Not matter what technology you use - do it – CREATE A WAR ROOM. A central repository of information where everyone can see the same material at the same time.
Here’s a corner of one of my own war rooms from a $46-million-dollar project. What you are seeing is actually the network diagram of the project – along with a LOT of notes, photographs of the progress to date, completed “nodes” of our network.
MEET ME IN SAN DIEGO NEAR THE PROJECTMANAGEMENT.COM BOOTH.