Does your business have room to breathe when it comes to available resources? Are you and your staff running at 100% (or more with overtime)? If this sounds like your business then implementing Digital Transformation will be hard, but here are a few ideas on how to find some time.
Being busy in a business is good, having plenty of work to keep your staff occupied and more importantly earning money for your business is a great problem to have. But this needs to be sustainable, this needs to be tempered with having time to invest in your business, especially if you are looking to introduce digital changes.
How to find time
Investing time into Digital Transformation to speed up or even fully automate your processes should pay back in available time, many times over if done correctly. Here are a few tips on how to find the extra time for Digital Transformation.
Employ more staff
On the face of it this is the easiest option, but in reality employing new staff should never be taken lightly. If you do go down this route then make sure your staff are truly going to make a difference for Digital Transformation. If you simply get a new member of staff to duplicate a current role in the business, then it is likely that within a few weeks they will have work offloaded to them from other members of staff, which after a while will put you in the same situation you were in before you recruited, this may be great for your business growth but not necessarily for your Transformation targets.
Employing someone with a skill set that you are missing or someone that is dedicated to Digital Transformation without being overloaded with day to day tasks will give you a much greater return. If you are truly committed to transforming your whole business and really want to introduce a continuous improvement mindset within the business then this is the way for you. If you are starting out with Digital Transformation then I would not recommend this as your first step.
Contractors or Consultants
The warning for this is the same as employing more staff above, although the risks are slightly less as you can release them quicker. Additional risks are their lack of business knowledge, but that can also be there greatest strength as they will not be influenced about how a process has been done in the past and should bring with them experiences from other businesses.
Other benefits include getting a specialist in Digital Transformation with no long term commitment to you and in the long run at a fraction of the cost compared to a full time member of staff. Their time would be dedicated to transforming the business and they would not get caught up in the operations side.
Use your own staff - quiet times
OK so your current staff are up to their neck in work, but is that 100% of the year? If you have any sort of downtime then maybe you could arrange for some time to dedicate to Digital Transformation.
If you have a few weeks or months where workload is quieter (e.g. you are a seasonable business) then focusing your staff on this and getting them to put the same effort they do throughout the rest of the year should pay dividends throughout the rest of the year. Spending 2 weeks improving your core processes to shave even just 5% of time off could save you 1000's of staff hours throughout the year!
It is typical for seasonal businesses to relax a little during the off periods, but I would argue this is one of the most important times of the year!
Use your own staff - close the office
Not always possible for every business and you may read this and laugh, but could you find a way to run on minimal staff for a short while as long as it was planned? If you really think about this you may find more flexibility with this idea than you first thought.
Investing just one day a week for 3 months could transform you business!
Remember why you are doing this
This article started off asking if you feel you are running at capacity. It is usually the businesses that are running at capacity that are in the most need for change and Digital Transformation can bring about that change. But you need to first find the time, otherwise your only solution to an ever growing workload is to employ more staff, which can bring more problems and certainly brings more overhead. Digital Transformation can be a smarter way to solve increased workload.
Finally, remember that Digital Transformation in much more than the responsibility of your IT Department. It is something that crosses the whole business and without a clear message to every department that this is a business priority then even the most well funded projects will struggle and some may even fail!
If you need help with starting your digital transformation project then please contact me