"Successful entrepreneurs don't need a summa cum laude degree, they need tacit knowledge." - Rainer Zitelmann
In all industrial revolutions, the best business models have always taken the lead in the market. There is nothing to suggest that today or tomorrow will be any different. When digitalizing companies, the focus must always be on developing technological solutions that fit perfectly into the business model.
The digital transformation does not proceed chronologically and is finished at some point. More crucial is the skillful switching between the different levels of abstraction to keep actions congruent at all levels. Your refined strategy must be supported by the levels below.
The digitalization strategy is not your business strategy, but the way you use new technologies to strengthen it. Without a business strategy aligned to the digital world, the creation of a digitalization strategy achieves little or nothing. The new technologies enable globalized markets and open up new demand.
In strategy development, you have to break new ground. Keep moving and use technological developments to constantly improve your offer. Here, focus on the benefits and not on the features. Tell stories. People pick up on this form of communication best. The digital world is made for stories.
Track down what it takes to deliver a unique customer experience. There are several possibilities. Higher benefits do not necessarily mean higher costs.
You cannot avoid designing an organisation. Because in order to build the necessary competence , you need the right organisation. When designing the organisation, I always start with the value creation process. This is the best way to derive the structural requirements and the various user stories. User stories are perfect for designing the use of technology.
Separate the daily business from the implementation of innovations. After all, you don't know yet if and how this project will succeed.
I am an advocate of agility, especially when it comes to steering a ship through uncertain waters. Mix specialized qualifications from different departments. This has the side effect of keeping the projects in dialogue with the goals of the departments. Give the people who will work with it the opportunity to take care of it themselves. Project teams with flat hierarchies and diverse skills produce good results the fastest. At Zara, each team can design, produce and deliver new items.
You won't hit the jackpot the first time, keep reorienting yourself. Have a prototype or MVP built first to test the response in the market. Amazon first just sold books and Netflix shipped videotapes. Get inspired by trends and implement a process to stay informed.
In a world where almost every start-up differentiates itself through one technology or another, you rarely reach paradise with standard software. The unique features of your business model are often only made possible by custom solutions.
The concepts, built on stories and diagrams, are all well and good at the strategic and conceptual level, but not detailed enough for custom solutions. It is a fallacy to think that in an agile world you no longer need requirements specifications. As soon as you install more than just configured standard software, you need a bit more detail. According to my experience, the more we specified, the more appropriate the selected specialist and the more accurate the costs and schedule estimates.
You will now think, the developer should create this? In a requirements specification, you do not describe the solution, but what the solution should do. You know that better than the developer.