This article is the overview part of a series on practical digital transformation. In it we will discuss how to connect and work with tools and services that are available today. This is an attempt to explain digital transformation from the ground up using zero bullsh*t. to pull this off, we need to start with why businesses exist.
If we boil things down to the simplest (first) principles we can say that an organization is:
taking input + adding value = creating output.

The flow of a physical products business made simple / Linus Öhman /disrupt.re    

To make sure we do this in the best way possible we need to know four things.

  1. What’s the expectation of the output?
  2. What do we need, to create the difference, between input and output?
  3. What requirements does that put on the input?
  4. How did the experience meet the expectation? loop back to 1. 🔗

1. Expectations

External – what expectations does the customers/users have?
Internal – what do we expect?
(Mapping all stakeholders is a good idea but let’s keep it simple for now)

External expectations:

We need to be in constant communication with our customers/users to validate that we are on the right track, meeting or exceeding their expectations. We need to get to know the needs and desires of our customers. If we do this in an organized way we will be able to map out important expectations from all the input. We can then prioritize the expectations and let them guide us in what to focus on while “creating the difference between input and output” in other words, designing the solution.

Expectations mapped out and selected

Internal expectations:

What we try to accomplish can vary greatly and depend on anything from the vision and mission of the organization to this quarters results. But defining this is crucial for knowing if we are doing the right thing. Starting to measure in some direction is more important than getting it 100% right the first time around. Pick some things that seems to make sense and start from there.

Select a few KPI’s that makes sense now, as a relearning organization we know things will shift.   

2. Adding value

So now that we have an idea of what the customers want, and even better we might know how to exceed their expectations, we start designing solutions. As we design, we realize competence/knowledge/abilities we lack and can reach out to experts and sources of knowledge. We also want to be able to test designs on our customers/users. We know what they want, and we know what we want -it’s a good start. In a perfect world, this should be easy to do with the digital tools we use. So we are going to choose tools that can help us do this.

3. Requirements

Now we come to the granular parts of the product. Driven by the design we have a pretty good picture of what we need in form of material and infrastructure.

   Starting with what the customers need inverts the classical production cycle.

4. Experience vs Expectation – connect the relearning loop

The most important part is to start the relearning loop as soon as possible and start validating and co-creating the value added. We need everything from sourcing to customer experience to be visible to us. Once we ship v.1 of the product we can start measuring and gathering real feedback from user and customers alike.

Redrawing the operational model to become a relearning organization.
 

This is digital transformation

Understanding the reasons to be “data driven” and how that translate to becoming a relearning organization. We have to be so close to our customers needs that we can predict what they will want tomorrow. We need to be able collaborate internally and externally as we can’t have all the experts employed every time we need them. As a relearning organization we are constantly reinventing what we do and that means we need super quick, seamless setups for collaboration.

Next is how to connect and test a digital way of working that empowers us to do the above. To summarize the realizations:

We need tools and processes that empower us to see, co-create, design, test and validate our offering seamless with whoever we believe can help us along our path to exceed our customers expectations. From holistic to details, from me focus to all-focus. Anywhere, anytime. When we need it. Ideally we provide the settings for personal and collaborative flow.

We want to enable a natural flow state between complex tasks. Empower ourselves with clarity and clear next steps. We need a new operational model and it needs to be digital-by-default.

This is the overview piece of a series of articles to help tackle digital transformation. Next up is to make practical connections with real software that is already available.

Next up – connecting smart with visual with communication for a grand-slam system. 

We will be looking at a relearning tech stack in articles to come and here’s a Sneak peek
miro.com – radically simple, visual, digital co-creation platform
monday.com – simple, easy task management
Funnelytics.io – visual, realtime, customer flow mapping
datastudio.google.com – drag ‘n drop analytics dashboard
slack.com – chat based platform with easy integrations
+ many more.

Any favourite services or tools you would like to recommend? Reach out, comment and engage. There is no “one way” to do this, so all insights make for better work.

This article is the overview part of a series on practical digital transformation. In it we will discuss how to connect and work with tools and services that are available today. This is an attempt to explain digital transformation from the ground up using zero bullsh*t. to pull this off, we need to start with why businesses exist.
If we boil things down to the simplest (first) principles we can say that an organization is:
taking input + adding value = creating output.

The flow of a physical products business made simple / Linus Öhman /disrupt.re    

To make sure we do this in the best way possible we need to know four things.

  1. What’s the expectation of the output?
  2. What do we need, to create the difference, between input and output?
  3. What requirements does that put on the input?
  4. How did the experience meet the expectation? loop back to 1. 🔗

1. Expectations

External – what expectations does the customers/users have?
Internal – what do we expect?
(Mapping all stakeholders is a good idea but let’s keep it simple for now)

External expectations:

We need to be in constant communication with our customers/users to validate that we are on the right track, meeting or exceeding their expectations. We need to get to know the needs and desires of our customers. If we do this in an organized way we will be able to map out important expectations from all the input. We can then prioritize the expectations and let them guide us in what to focus on while “creating the difference between input and output” in other words, designing the solution.

Expectations mapped out and selected


Internal expectations:

What we try to accomplish can vary greatly and depend on anything from the vision and mission of the organization to this quarters results. But defining this is crucial for knowing if we are doing the right thing. Starting to measure in some direction is more important than getting it 100% right the first time around. Pick some things that seems to make sense and start from there.

Select a few KPI’s that makes sense now, as a relearning organization we know things will shift.   

2. Adding value

So now that we have an idea of what the customers want, and even better we might know how to exceed their expectations, we start designing solutions. As we design, we realize competence/knowledge/abilities we lack and can reach out to experts and sources of knowledge. We also want to be able to test designs on our customers/users. We know what they want, and we know what we want -it’s a good start. In a perfect world, this should be easy to do with the digital tools we use. So we are going to choose tools that can help us do this.

3. Requirements

Now we come to the granular parts of the product. Driven by the design we have a pretty good picture of what we need in form of material and infrastructure.

   Starting with what the customers need inverts the classical production cycle.  

4. Experience vs Expectation – connect the relearning loop

The most important part is to start the relearning loop as soon as possible and start validating and co-creating the value added. We need everything from sourcing to customer experience to be visible to us. Once we ship v.1 of the product we can start measuring and gathering real feedback from user and customers alike.

Redrawing the operational model to become a relearning organization.
 

This is digital transformation

Understanding the reasons to be “data driven” and how that translate to becoming a relearning organization. We have to be so close to our customers needs that we can predict what they will want tomorrow. We need to be able collaborate internally and externally as we can’t have all the experts employed every time we need them. As a relearning organization we are constantly reinventing what we do and that means we need super quick, seamless setups for collaboration.

Next is how to connect and test a digital way of working that empowers us to do the above. To summarize the realizations:

We need tools and processes that empower us to see, co-create, design, test and validate our offering seamless with whoever we believe can help us along our path to exceed our customers expectations. From holistic to details, from me focus to all-focus. Anywhere, anytime. When we need it. Ideally we provide the settings for personal and collaborative flow.

We want to enable a natural flow state between complex tasks. Empower ourselves with clarity and clear next steps. We need a new operational model and it needs to be digital-by-default.

This is the overview piece of a series of articles to help tackle digital transformation. Next up is to make practical connections with real software that is already available.

Next up – connecting smart with visual with communication for a grand-slam system. 

We will be looking at a relearning tech stack in articles to come and here’s a Sneak peek
miro.com – radically simple, visual, digital co-creation platform
monday.com – simple, easy task management
Funnelytics.io – visual, realtime, customer flow mapping
datastudio.google.com – drag ‘n drop analytics dashboard
slack.com – chat based platform with easy integrations
+ many more.

Any favourite services or tools you would like to recommend? Reach out, comment and engage. There is no “one way” to do this, so all insights make for better work.

Covid-19 is here to stay but are companies taking care of business?

 

 

Call it telework, remote work or working from the home office. Corporations are letting their employees work from home as a safety and production risk management measure. The reasoning goes something like this:

“Due to COVID-19 we are reducing the risk of spreading the virus by letting you, the employee, take your computer and work from home. You’re welcome.”

This knee-jerk reactive solution might be OK to a short term problem. But as weeks turns to months and the pandemic situation is getting worse, not better, there needs to be a clear understanding of what is at risk and who is responsible.

Let’s not beat around the bush:

Employers a.k.a corporations are 100% liable for everything related to the workplace.

From ergonomics to clean bathrooms, infrastructure (phone/internet) to regular breaks. From clear expectation to productive ways of working. It’s all responsibilities that falls on the employer. The productivity and longevity of the producers (employees) are in the best interest of the corporation. Nobody questions why there’s dedicated staff for cleaning, maintenance, IT support at the office. But what about the home office?

Questions that employees should be asking themselves:

“Am I providing my own office/workstation/desk/setup at work?”
switch into
“Am I providing my own office/workstation/desk/setup at work-from-home?”

Equipment, materials, tools. Who is cleaning? Who is restocking everything from coffee to toilet paper? Who does the maintenance? Who is making sure that internet is working? Who is paying for internet? Anything you get “included” at the office is something you don’t have to worry about while working from the office. But how does employers take action on this in work-from-home situations?

Is it really OK to ask every employee to have their own self funded office on demand at home? No, of course not. If we flip to the alternative, is it an OK alternative to risk catching a deadly virus if you can’t provide an office from home? Again, of course not.

Understand your employees

When all benefits of the physical workplace is removed — and everything else is said and done, employees come to work to do the job that gets them paid. The requirements for “doing the work that gets them paid” has changed drastically.

When the honeymoon phase of eating the forbidden fruit of working from home wears off, what is left is a much larger burden on the employee.

 Long term effects of reactive remote work 

Are employees expected to run mini-offices all on their own just so they can do the work they were hired to do? Is it reasonable that the employees pay the cost of building a nice and productive office space for their employer? No, no and no.

The responsibility to build and maintain a productive work environment is, and always has been, on the employer.

The bottom line is that a reactive attitude towards the remote workplace quality, productivity and wellbeing suffers.

The employer is to provide for everything related to the workplace, remote or not.

Let’s be crystal clear. The employee does the work they are hired to do. The rest is to be provided by the employer. Internet. All devices. Every piece of material. All digital services needed for the employee to be productive. Ground control a.k.a cleaning, restocking, maintenance. All part of the buffet of responsibilities for the employer.

This realisation needs to hit home twice, from the employee perspective and then at the employer perspective.

There is a lot of things that go in to providing a good working environment. Organizations struggle to get it right with the much smaller scope of a regular office space, and now the reality is that we need a scalable micro-office setup for the majority of our employees.

Damned if you do, doomed if you don’t

There’s no end in sight of the mountain of salt that Covid-19 is pouring into the watering eyes of employers.

Exposing the entireworkforce to working-from-home-practices will invite the realisation that this is a possible way of working. Not only for the current employer, but anyone willing to pay. You don’t need to go into consulting to start shopping around for the same (remote) job in a better paying part of the world.

So on the one side, if it’s terrible to work-from-home in your organisation people will want to leave. And if it’s nice, they will realise that they can do this for any organisation from the comfort of their home office.

So how do we turn this around?

Organisations that wants to thrive in the landscape of tomorrow will invest heavily in key areas. Let’s divide it up into Baseline, OK and Impressive. Like a pyramid, you can only reach the top if you have the step below.

Baseline

The physical wellbeing of employees. Make sure your workforce have what they need in the form of the physical home office. Reduce stress and let them focus on the tasks they were hired to perform.

The Work Space

  • Quiet space
  • Good lighting
  • A door / ability to focus / shut out distractions
  • Comfortable chair
  • Adjustable desk

Equipment (example)

  • Right amount of computer monitors
  • Audio + Video equipment they can use
  • Mouse and keyboard
  • Strong and reliable internet connection
  • Remote tools, applications and services that works
  • Phone

Maintenance (example)

  • Cleaning
  • Restock materials
  • Snacks
  • Coffee / water

OK

You show that you actually try to turn this situation into something positive for the company and the employees.

Way of work

  • New and clear expectations that reduce guilt load and promote working less rather than more. The unexpected overtime and added stress that most employees experience working from home is real, and needs to be tackled proactively and clearly by the employer.
  • Clear digital places to collaborate, co-create and be productive together remotely
  • Concrete reductions of time expected to do standard work if anything from maintenance is not provided by employer

Benefits

  • New and improved benefits that reflects the new needs from the organisation
  • Add bonuses, treats, time off, celebrating wins together remotely

Impressive

Be proactive and you stand a chance to come out as a winner employer (corporation) that employees and customers love.

Change everything (Disrupt & Reimagine)

  • Communicate clearly that you see the new world as an opportunity and that positive changes are coming.
  • Start working with a vision based in the new reality — remote working is here to stay and it changes every aspect of business.
  • Let the vision be the spark that ignites a new way of working, a new offering, a new reason for the corporation to exist.
  • Become a Relearning organisation set out to do great things with the people that matter the most to you, the customers and employees.

Responsibility and opportunity

The realization that you have the responsibility for thousands of micro-offices instead of just a handful macro-offices can be daunting. Providing the best employee experience was hard pre-covid. But look at it from the opportunity side, can your business provide something to this new world order? If you realize the shift today, the huge market for services related to millions of new micro-offices popping up everywhere might be a new blue ocean for your products and services? Understand what you need to do and take advantage of being early adopter.

You can’t afford is to play it by ear and hope that your employees will keep performing while dragging their laptops back and forth, packing up, packing down. Take it serious because your corporation’s existence depends on how you proactively tackle this challenge.

Unfinished notes related to the topic

Laggards who thinks that employees should just deal with it

If you want your workforce to provide the tools, methods and spaces for working — your best bet is to start looking for consultants. The price of a consultant is high not only in money, but also in turnover if your not the best in class that furthers the consultants career. Consultants are representatives of other corporations. They will either bill more or leave if you’re not providing for their needs.

Societal shift in the long term

This goes much wider than “the employer is to provide for everything related to the workplace, remote or not”. It questions many laws on deductions, benefits and classifications. Insurance? Who is responsible if corporate goods get targeted in a home? Compliance? Secure IT? Parental leave, sick leave, — where should this take place when home is someone else’s office? This pandemic opens up a whole can of worms that needs to be addressed.

TL:DREmployers need to take responsibility for all workplaces their employees are expected to work from. This require a holistic approach and thinking outside the box.

Whats your thoughts on the subject? Obviously this is a huge topic and there’s volumes of things missing from this piece. Think of it as a conversation starter. Let me know what you think!

Hi I'm Linus - let's get the conversation going!

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