[Lean Digital Transformation #3] People | Transformation Always Starts with People

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Even if we had great digital tools, clear business goals, and teams with great technical skills, Digital Transformation cannot happen without people with Digital Transformation mindset. So, what kind of mindset do we need? 

Here are the two main reasons companies struggle with Digital Transformation because of “people”.

1. Command & Control Leadership Model

“Command and Control” has been the major Leadership model for most of the companies and it used to work well. However, if you want to win in this unpredictable new-normal society, this model is no longer the solution. While we look for more innovative solutions, collective creation cannot happen when managers are the only ones that have decision-making authority to direct team members. Because every action needs to go through a long process to get managers’ approval, the team would lose agility for the competition as well.  

Trust - a key for leaders in a new era

Firstly, if an organisation has to change, its leaders must change first. What we need in this new-normal era is “Lean-Agile Leadership”. Leaders with a people mindset with digital literacy, open for collaboration and learn new things with team members.

At CI&T as we work with clients’ teams we apply simple Lean tools like Gemba, which proposes the manager's work alongside the teams, learning, directing and investigating problems on the spot. Everything together. Another tool is the A3, a visual method that facilitates the identification of the causes of this problem and, based on this clarity, the planning of the solution. A3 also assists in the development of people using the same logic of identifying opportunities for improvement and planning actions in a simple and structured way. So we develop a way for our leaders to be truly prepared for change.

Closer to people, more aligned with the company's digital transformation goals, the manager participates in the fluidity of the teams, the agility of techniques, the speed of changes and develops new ways of solving problems and leading successful teams.

It is necessary to build a structure that allows them to make the most of their ability to generate value and to innovate. Companies involved in a true digital transformation process have multidisciplinary teams that work collaboratively, having access to accurate information, which are easily understood and which allow quick actions. This is how the culture of innovation is created and developed anywhere in the world.

Felipe Rubim, VP, CI&T Asia Pacific

2. End up with “failure” just as “failure”

For many companies, one of the common problems is that “failure stays as failure.” For example, PoC is one of the crucial concepts in Digital Transformation but it is not easy to succeed in the first try. Here, what actions are taken after finding errors make big differences. 

Plan, build, measure and learn - the paths to Success

Failures are Golds, we need to use them effectively and wisely. After noticing an error, teams need to work on analysing it, keep continuous improvements, and work through until the improved solutions finally achieve success. For this, CI&T always has a Plan, Build, Measure, and Learn cycle running as a base.  We understand an error as an opportunity for improvement, and with improvement, we can build something better than what we planned at first. 

In our Agile projects, we have several opportunities to communicate and discuss some issues and solutions. For example, in every two weeks of the development cycle, we have a reflection session called “RetroSpective” to share the status and define next steps. We use metrics to visualise the status with all the stakeholders and discuss “what/how can we improve.” With Kaizen and growing mindset, we do not just leave failures as failures. We learn and try until we reach the goal. 

This disruption can be perceived as clear evidence of the need for being more Agile: “COVID shows that there's no longer space for multi-year projects running on top of a waterfall approach. Quicker and constant results is a must.

Felipe Rubim, VP, CI&T Asia Pacific

Transform yourself, and be a part of Digital Transformation for your company

Sometimes, we don’t realise the importance of people transformation in Digital Transformation. However, people are the only ones that decide to change and make the change happen, not technology or digital tools.

Digital transformation or acceleration has been a common theme across many industries in the last few years, but without an agile and people-oriented culture in place — and a data-driven mindset to match — change can be difficult to achieve.

 Leo Abdala, CI&T ANZ Digital Transformation Director