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[eCommerce Business] Salesforce Camp Success 2019 – On Digital Transformation

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Salesforce hosted its first ever Camp Success Day in Singapore on 26th Sep (Thurs) at Westin Hotel for its users.

It seems like one of the key agendas for the day was to help us transit from Classic users to Lightning users. If you are not yet familiar, you may find a good camparison between Salesforce Classic and Lightning Experience here.

I attended one of the Theatre talks about a topic that is especially close to my heart – Build Your Digital Transformation Strategies Around Salesforce. This was presented by Kim Galant, Director, Advisory Services from Salesforce.

I simply love how each and every slide resonates with how I deeply feel about Digital Transformation. I was so about to go “Amen! Amen! Preach it!”

So here goes…

How 84% of Digital Transformations Fail

  • Culture resistant to change
  • Siloed people & data
  • Lack of talent and skills
  • Inability to execute
  • Organisational inertia
  • Lack of alignment
  • Ambiguity
  • Fear of failure and risk

What Successful Digital Transformation Requires

Customer Experience Obsession

Your customers will define your success or failure.
Place your customers at the heart of your decision-making, make them your shining light, your North Star for change.

Modern Digital Operating Model

Business & technology must collaborate in order to succeed.
Increase business agility by synergising business and technology capability with purposeful, designed processes, structures, technology & culture – all destined to reduce cycle time.

High Performing Culture

Culture eats strategy for breakfast, so better work on your culture.
Innovate from within by leading with a culture of controlled risk-taking, fast decision-making, accountability, CX obsession & collaboration.

Addressing Customer Experience Challenges

Here are some Customer Experience Challenges Salesforce Trailblazers Are Addressing:

  • Technology-oriented business cases creating poor end-user experience and missing growth opportunities
  • A blinkered ‘technology’ department that ‘knows best’, is detached from business and customer strategy and over-complicates implementations
  • Perceiving Customer Experience as just “post its’ or a drag on product delivery – not the core competitive differentiator that it is
  • Hierarchical structures that are designed around old power structures – legacy core corporate functions
  • Navel-gazing, internally focused leadership and strategy, missing opportunities to create new customer experiences by “looking outside”
  • A ‘busy work’ business, disengagement with technology delivery teams, not recognising technology as the enabler.

Sidenote: Interestingly, Kim has used an established framework from the Organization Development studies. It was the People-Process-Technology triangle that originated from Harold Leavitt’s 1964 paper “Applied Organization Change in Industry”. The original framework was a diamond shape of People-Task-Structure-Technology. Along the way, people combined “Task” with “Structure” to form a triangle of People-Process-Technology, also known as PPT. This is particularly note-worthy and exciting for me personally because Organization Development is a field I’ve been exploring since 10 years ago. In the Singapore context, the expertise in OD is usually confined to HRD professionals, and most of OD work would revolve around coaching, consulting and training activities. I’ve always felt quite uncomfortable with the way things were in OD. Today, I ask myself – can it be that Organization Development and Digital Transformation are twins from the same womb? Or are they really ONE? Food for thought for another post.

The PPT framework was used to discover how much of the work to be done in each aspect is going to be a People-work, how much would be a Process-work and how much of Technology-work.

Some of the Customer Experience strategies with varying effort vs business impact we can adopt:

  • Understand your personas – employees, customers, partners, ops (LOW EFFORT, LOW IMPACT) – PEOPLE WORK
  • Talk to your customers & analyse your data (LOW EFFORT, LOW IMPACT) – PEOPLE WORK
  • Leverage your partners to start the revolution (LOW EFFORT; MODERATE IMPACT) – PEOPLE WORK
  • Use frameworks – LIghtning Design System (LDS) is your friend (MODERATE EFFORT, MODERATE IMPACT) – TECHNOLOGY WORK
  • Educate & enable teams on the “why” behind Customer Experience (MODERATE EFFORT, MODERATE IMPACT) – PEOPLE WORK
  • Hire UX professionals with Salesforce expertise (MODERATE EFFORT, MODERATE IMPACT) – PEOPLE WORK
  • Win over leadership with small-wins – show the value (MODERATE EFFORT, HIGH IMPACT) – PEOPLE WORK
  • Create senior leader accountability for Customer Experience (LOW EFFORT, HIGH IMPACT) – PEOPLE WORK
  • Define & orientate your intake process around Customer Experience & value (HIGH EFFORT, HIGH IMPACT) – PROCESS WORK
  • Align your teams around the customer experience (HIGH EFFORT, HIGH IMPACT) – PEOPLE WORK
  • Leaders must lead through daily action (HIGH EFFORT, HIGH IMPACT) – PEOPLE WORK

As we can all see from the strategies above, most of which are categorized under “PEOPLE WORK”.

Addressing Operating Model Challenges:

  • Sound business strategy ‘chewed up’ by intake / investment selection
  • IT-designed change vs customer-experience led
  • Lack of deep Salesforce expertise in delivery, resulting in tech debt, missed opportunities and reduced agility
  • Commercial model not designed for agility – “we’re building to the contract”
  • ‘Them and us’ attitude between business and IT – business don’t care, IT too expensive / slow
  • ‘Fire and forget’ project mentality, lack of focus post go-live
  • CAPEX driven culture that creates big, long cycle time, project delivery
  • Purposefully re-defining an operating model that no longer works

Some of the Operating model strategies with varying effort vs business impact we can adopt:

  • Inject Salesforce expertise into delivery to accelerate through-put (LOW EFFORT, MODERATE IMPACT) – PEOPLE WORK
  • Re-visit your operating model – intentionally design (LOW EFFORT, MODERATE IMPACT) – PEOPLE WORK
  • Introduce adoption / ‘customer success’ capability (MODERATE EFFORT, MODERATE IMPACT) – PROCESS WORK
  • Incorporate value metrics into intake vs project delivery metrics (MODERATE EFFORT, MODERATE IMPACT) – PEOPLE WORK
  • Challenge governance – automate, remove or accept risk (MODERATE EFFORT, HIGH IMPACT) – PROCESS WORK
  • Co-locate business & technology (LOW EFFORT, HIGH IMPACT) – PEOPLE WORK
  • Answer the question – how can we deploy every day? (MODERATE EFFORT, HIGH IMPACT) – TECHNOLOGY WORK
  • Introduce venture-funding style investment management (HIGH EFFORT, HIGH IMPACT) – PROCESS WORK

Again, most of the strategies belong to the category of PEOPLE WORK.

High Performance Culture Strategies from the Field:

  • Enable & excite your employees – impower them to innovate, then capture (MODERATE EFFORT, MODERATE IMPACT) – PROCESS WORK
  • Define the behaviors you want, your failure models and plan to get there (MODERATE EFFORT, MODERATE IMPACT) – PROCESS WORK
  • Purposefully create modern digital operating model to industrialise change (HIGH EFFORT, MODERATE IMPACT) – PROCESS WORK
  • Think beyond training – apply holistic framework to change (LOW EFFORT, HIGH IMPACT) – PROCESS WORK
  • Lean decision-making framework & empower your people (MODERATE EFFORT, HIGH IMPACT) – PROCESS WORK
  • Leadership lead every day – ‘do as I do AND as I say’ – PEOPLE WORK
  • Re-visit measures – Do hard KPIs empower your people? (HIGH EFFORT, HIGH IMPACT) – PROCESS WORK

In the instance of cultural change, most of the strategic activities fall under the category of PROCESS WORK.

Kim Galant summing it all up for us beautifully –

We need to move the customer to the center and use Salesforce as System-of-Engagement, change the culture to high-performance, Customer Experience obsessed and realign the overall operating model, to deliver successful Digital Transformations.

But really, by the end of the day, when we talk about Digital Transformation we are talking less about how we can improve our Technology but more about how we can change our People. If the way organizations work remain the same, no Digital Transformation success is going to happen regardless of how much technology we develop. Therefore, the entire essence of Digital Transformation is going to be about PEOPLE, and less about TECHNOLOGY.

Sidenote again: We see more professionals preaching this in the industry, but not as much relevant work done in this PEOPLE aspect. When we implement the use of Salesforce in an organization, we have to be very careful to always come back to the entire purpose of using it – to help our people to serve their customers. Is our use of Salesforce helping or impeding? If it is currently impeding, then how can we work around it to make it even more friendly while not completely eliminating such a great digital tool that can bring us much potential for business growth. How can we prevent “new release fatigue” that can potentially happen with 3 new releases per year? Perhaps, whoever is leading the implementation of Salesforce really need to put more thoughts into how to place reasonable limitations to different users so they don’t find the frequent changes / upgrades too draining for them.

Salesforce implementation is definitely one good direction for Digital Transformation. I will be blogging more on Salesforce moving forward, so do keep posted.

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