In this week's edition of our weekly 3@3 series, Al and Steve discuss the Agile method and DT best practice with Agile coach Paul Mathers. Paul was a business architect for 10 years before becoming an Agile coach with Arabica Transformation consultants.
The 3 questions covered in this episode:
In this weeks 3@3 conversation, we speak with John Hatfield from Second City Communications.
John joins us in week number 15 of the series, to give us his take on the following hot topic questions:
In this weeks 3@3, we are joined by CIO Keith Laidlaw.
IT is part of the team and is an essential part of the strategic leadership team along with operations, change management and HR. Keith suggested that years ago IT was considered a citadel department, too busy with other IT related projects to spearhead any organisational change programmes. Over time organisations developed 'IT islands', external to the IT department, which they invariably knew nothing about, which was fine to an extent, however, IT islands affected the holistic nature of the organisations IT systems. Suddenly marketing systems couldn't talk to sales, sales systems couldn't talk to finance, the island effect had created technology 'silos'. Had IT been involved in these change decisions, they would have had a more holistic view of the technology.
In this week's 3@3 Al and Steve discuss the role of skills development in the successful delivery of transformational projects.
Al talks about his own eclectic learning journey that incorporated further, higher, mature, online learning and everything in between. Having experienced the full spectrum of learning pedagogy's, Al suggests that the most important aspect of up-skilling is to find a learning approach that works for your circumstances and your preferred style of learning.
Within digital evolution projects, do the IT team lead or support? This issue (not surprisingly) comes up a lot. However, given the core driver for all these conversations are around people, their employees, clients, stakeholders etc, the process is ultimately a people-first approach rather than technology first. IT (of course) has its place at the table as evolution programmes are discussed and planned, due to their inherent knowledge about the business and current systems therein. IT departments understand how these systems currently work and how they can be developed and used to greater effect. Digital evolution projects run parallel with BAU activities and the BAU environment is a core part of that evolution discussion, as it is ultimately about improving on what you currently do.
In our Three@Three web series this week, Al and Steve are joined by Kerry Freeman, the owner of Free Human. Kerry is an expert in FS culture change. Today we are discussing the 3 factors for success in delivering a change road-map.
Al kicks off by asking, what does a healthy culture look like. Kerry suggests that it's important to recognise that there is no one 'cookie-cutter' answer to the question of what makes a great culture. However, Kerry's favourite definition comes from Carolyn Taylor's 'Walking the Talk'.
In this week's 3@3, Al and Steve discuss the things individuals and organisations should consider before embarking on a transformation programme.
Al kicks off with a hotly debated question in our sector, the definition of 'Digital'.
What does digital mean to your business?
The answer to this question is usually...it depends.
Steve stresses that the best way to tackle this deceptively tricky question is to first assess your organisation's digital purpose. Steve uses an example of a community trust organisation, where a client board or senior stakeholders defined the brief surrounding the DT programme, they believed that the organisation should be using the latest technology in the most advanced way to deliver the most compelling service for their clients.
Transformation Lead, This is Milk
Digital Transformation pullout from The Times newspaper (26.09.18)
On Wednesday the 26th of September, The Times newspaper had a fantastic pull out supplement on Digital Transformation created by Raconteur.
This supplement contains 16 pages of articles, columns, opinions and facts from some of the top minds in Digital Transformation. This really is a fantastic wealth of information and just because you didn't buy the paper doesn't mean you should miss out.
Below you will find a link to download a PDF version of this supplement and really we hope you enjoy.
(Blog first published 28/09/2018)
Transformation Lead, This is Milk
Increasingly we are seeing and hearing that digital facilitators do not have the right skills in organisations to do the job both now and in the future.
So in typical This is Milk fashion we did something about it and created the Digital Transformation Programme, shortlisted for a BIMA innovation award 2018.
In June 2018 we began the first ever training sessions of the This is Milk Digital Transformation Programme
The This is Milk Digital Transformation Programme is a 12 month career development programme designed to teach the skills needed to succeed in digital projects, whilst allowing the opportunity to develop those skills during live projects.
This programme has been created to tackle the prominent skills shortage for project professionals working in the digital projects industry in Scotland.
Students on the programme are supported by This is Milk, industry professionals, corporate partners, our alumni community and a dedicated mentor to maximise their learning throughout the 12 months.
Having the confidence to acknowledge skills or subject weakness and turn them into strengths is just one way that a current Digital Transformation Programme student managed to land their new dream job.
Words from a current Digital Transformation Programme student
“After only 2 weeks in the programme I had started to ask myself, what are the things that I’m scared of and why am I avoiding these things?
The DTP helped to shine a light on the elements of my mindset that I wasn’t facing up to. The early on Personal Branding & Intrapreneurship workshops made me look at situations in my life and ask questions. I wrote down what I wanted to work on and took the time at home to build resilience to the negative aspects of my career.
I realised that I was not the only one who didn’t know everything, I didn’t have to avoid situations. I could be assertive and directly change how I dealt with these situations.
This change in attitude has been incredible. Jobs that I wouldn’t normally have applied for, I was confident to take on. My new-found resilience and mindset have made me stronger when it comes to the interview process also. I walked in feeling strong and confident. Any areas of weakness in my skill set or experience, I was able to counter with my ability to go and learn. The programme has proven that I can learn new skills and build on these at home, any weaknesses have become strengths and I was judged on my ability as a person.
I am now in a dream job that 4 months ago I would never have applied for. I’m feeling confident about myself, confident in my ability to do the job and less worried about any gaps in skillset that may arise over the coming months, even years.
A lack of something is no longer a weakness for me.”
In this final installation of Digital Launchpad - Tackling the digital skills gap, we have a look at this new job role of a Customer Analyst. If you have no idea what we are talking about then please do read blog posts 1 & 2. Or hey, just go rogue and see what happens. You can always go back after.
Digital Launchpad - Tackling the digital skills gap - Part 1
Digital Launchpad - Tackling the digital skills gap - Part 2
All caught up, excellent, now in the words of Gene Wilder in Willy Wonka, "Off we go"
Imagine yourself at a busy business event/networking/conference/meeting/shop to buy your groceries when you meet somebody who asks you what you do.
Natural you say: "Hi I'm (Fill the Blank) and I'm a Customer Analyst!"
Which will no doubt be met with the response of: "aw excellent, sorry what is that exactly?"
Following on from Tackling the digital projects skills gap - part 1 blog, this 2nd edition looks to show you what This is Milk are doing to resolve this issue. If you haven't read the first blog yet, do so now and we will see you in a minute.
Doing what we do best
So we now know that there is a massive skills gap in Scotland, for professionals that are equipped with the skills needed to understand and research customer needs, taking those right the way through the project, from end to end.
This is Milk have been exploring ways to create a talent pipeline around these digital project skills.
Our solution is to create a job that does not currently exist. At the moment we're calling this A Customer Analyst - however the name is still up for grabs.
A Customer Analyst has the full understanding and skills needed to cradle a digital project from it's initial conception all the way through to project delivery. It takes the vital skills of business analysis, user research, strategy, service design and project/product management and amalgamates into a role that will change the way digital projects are delivered forever.
There is a distinct lack of skilled project professionals that have the skills and ability to handle digital projects. It's a staggering statement to make but unfortunately a very true one.
All is not lost however, there are some digital masterminds and yes they are very good, but the small numbers result in high costs and big demand. This is great for the person, not so good for the businesses in vital need of their services.
Now we know what you are thinking, Scotland is an ever-growing digital force, with thousands of graduates leaving university every year. We have a booming tech, financial, start-up and public sector market. So how can there be a lack of skills and what are we doing about solving this issue? Well there’s 2 problems here…. The industry is growing, but the right talent just isn’t there in the digital project space.