Once you have support for the digital strategy and vision, it is time to document it and find the right suppliers to support implementing the component parts of the strategy.
Create & deliver your strategy
Capture the strategy in a document, but be mindful that this is likely to change. Business requirements can change quickly and the digital strategy needs to be able to respond, so plans cannot be set in stone, they may have to adapt throughout the year.
Outline the goals of the strategy and the approach that will be taken. Then get formal signoff as needed, from the various areas of the business who are key to delivering the strategy and whose support will be required to implement, fund and approve the milestones throughout.
Communicating the strategy to the business is an important step, so the business knows what the digital goals are and how they’re going to be delivered. This is also a good time to re-enforce those stakeholder relationships you’ve been working hard to create.
Implement Action Plans
Drilling down into the action planning is just like any other project planning. It is an important time to think about the implications of digital strategy activities to other areas of the organisation.
Understand the dependencies that exist, particularly if there are technical projects that will determine parts of the strategy. It is also important to clearly outline ownership of objectives, targets and activities.
Working with new suppliers might require a Request for Proposal/Quote/Information process – these can be very time-consuming and complex. If you don’t have experience in these processes, seek help for this. If engaging a supplier doesn’t require an RFP/Q/I, then there are a few tips on making the process more effective.
Make it clear to any suppliers what you expect of them. Surprisingly, often the first time a supplier realises their client is unhappy is when they are losing them. So put in place measures that define what you require, and meet to discuss activities on a regular basis. Regular account meetings as well as annual reviews should give you an opportunity to raise any concerns and keep things on track. Document all the discussions, and particularly if there are any issues, track these so that there is a way to measure how things have been managed.
It can also help to share the broader digital vision with all suppliers – giving greater insight into the objectives that the business and the digital strategy are aiming for can help suppliers align their services to the business needs more effectively.