Accelerating through digital

John B Kotter has researched and developed a set of principles that can be used by companies to accelerate change delivery. At the heart of the theory is the concept of a second operating model powered by volunteers from across business teams. Lightweight, networked and focussed, this team can deliver business change at a far greater pace than the traditional slow footed organisation. As part of the digital strategy series I want to explore digital’s power to drive acceleration.

1. Collaboration

Whether it’s Skype chats or GitHub for code collaboration, there are plenty of tools that will allow a distributed team to communicate and share files. Task management tools such as Asana and Trello can help to distribute the work making it easier to track what is happening. Similarly Skype, Basecamp, Google Chats and GoToMeeting can all provide easy methods of communicating.

Whilst Box or DropBox might appear to be good options for file sharing, I’d urge caution on their ability to track versions and provide shared workspaces. Google Docs might be a good option as well as Sharepoint, GitHub or Basecamp.

2. Prototyping

The market is awash with tools that can be used to rapidly wireframe and test solutions. Marvel, Balsamiq and even my own ProtoPoint are easy tools to use in the creation of a simple, clickable view of the end product.

Furthermore, simple digital tools allow you to quickly roll out complex functionality that could have previously taken months to develop. You need data capture? Set up a Wufoo account. You need CRM? Get a Salesforce license or two. Ultimately these tools can be turned off and on very quickly.

3. Rapid scalability

Many of the SaaS products can grow or reduce in size to suit the success your team has. Let’s say you’re rolling out a new customer service initiative that grows quickly in popularity. By using cloud based services the solution should be able to organically grow in line with your success or shrink back when there is less demand.

Is speed an issue for your organisation?

I’d be interested in hearing if your organisation has struggled to get ideas into implementation. Have informal networks helped you achieve more or are you trying to push through transformation in business change.

Share your examples in the comments or connect with on Twitter – @sealeyd

Further reading

For John’s original article visit Accelerate! on HBR. Alternatively you can pick up his #1 best seller which is also called Accelerate

David Sealey is a trusted adviser to senior executives on getting the most from their investment in digital and data. David created Storm81 as a place to share his passion for business, digital technologies, multichannel marketing and everything else around these topics.

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