TECH TALK: Enhance your tech capability by adopting a human-first approach, says ALASDAIR HENDRY
When driving digital change in your organisation never forget that it should be human-led, involving everyone in the journey. At Exception we view digital transformation as the process of integrating such technologies to create new, or modify existing ways of working to meet an ever-changing business and market landscape.
If you are looking to leverage the power of technology to transform processes and services, it is critical that you understand your end users and their needs. Service design puts the user at the heart of the digital transformation journey, making sure that the end solution delivers maximum value.
Here are four important ways that service design enhances digital transformation:
It’s not digital transformation – it’s human-led transformation.
One of the elements of digital transformation that is often de-prioritised is the human element. Organisations employ digital consultancies for their technical capability and invest less in technology adoption across the workforce.
Whatever the size of the organisation, there will often be a broad range of users, some of which will be technology savvy and ready for change, while others will be resistant. In the discovery phase of digital transformation, a human-first approach should take precedent.
By building an understanding of people’s needs, challenges, and concerns, and only proposing technology after we have understood these circumstances, end-users will be more open to technology, as it makes sense in the context of their work. They become activators of change, support adoption and help champion technology further.
Bringing everyone together on the journey
Large-scale digital transformation programmes encompass a myriad of ongoing projects across multiple teams and business units
The complexity and diversity of this activity can lead to tunnel vision and siloed working within teams and across the organisation.
From an end-user point of view, the scale of change can contribute to feelings of uncertainty and disconnection, as they do not understand the current state of change and what it means to them.
Service design brings all stakeholders and functions together and actively involves them in the service design process.
This holistic engagement strengthens relationships inside and outside of the delivery team. It helps identify opportunities for knowledge exchange across projects and provides a common ground where the top to the bottom of an organisation can interact and share ideas and experiences.
The art of the possible
When employees have been working in the same job for a significant period, it can be difficult to understand potential change and how technology is relevant to their working context.
Service design uses the insight generated from research and paints a picture of how technology can support users.
This is achieved through variations in language and visualisations for different audiences to help them make sense of a future that excites and is relevant to them.
Painting a future picture does not only help the end-users – it supports others across the organisation in understanding the current and future experience of other roles.
It’s never finished
One of the major cultural shifts needed within large organisations in their digital transformation journey is a shift to more iterative work.
Large organisations are built on rote working practices. The transition to digital requires the need to become more flexible and the development of a culture that encourages incremental changes, testing, failing, and learning.
Service design, like all design disciplines, is iterative by nature. From initial research – where business and user needs constantly evolve and are reframed, to the final implementation of technology – when pilots enable testing and learning before a wider roll-out.
Actively involving all business stakeholders in the service design process reinforces the value of iteration and discovery.
Ultimately, those organisations that take a human-centred approach and integrate service design into their agile development methods will develop better products and services that are more likely to be readily adopted by target users.
Alasdair Hendry is head of transformation & consulting at Exception, a digital services and solution provider dedicated to driving value through the power of technology.