Setting your digital business transformation up for success with North Star

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  • Digital transformation

A digital transformation must support the long-term goals of your organisation. Without that alignment it won’t reap the full benefits of your innovative solutions.  

North Star framework, part of the MMT signature agile delivery toolbox, is designed to help you develop a coherent vision for your business that drives organisational change and ensures the right solutions are implemented. 

By providing a clear end goal, the North Star guides all the work that follows and lays the foundations for our Compass and Engine frameworks, which together form the MMT end-to-end digital service.  

Compass puts in place the agile methodologies and high performing teams you need to successfully move to the Engine stage, when we build and deliver solutions. But it’s our North Star framework that enables these parts of the process. 

North Star combines three key elements: vision, discovery and definition. During this process we dig into your business processes to discover its challenges and capabilities, define opportunities for change and state a clear vision.  

There are four principles that underpin each of these elements and set the scene for an agile approach that delivers real value.    

1. ESTABLISH A BUSINESS VISION  

Are you building the right digital product or service? Does it address a pain point or challenge that is holding your business and employees back?

Making sure your digital business transformation is going in the right direction from the start may seem obvious, but establishing a vision and how to get there is often overlooked, rushed or based on assumptions rather than facts.  

Answering these questions means interrogating how your customers engage with your services, both digitally and offline, and connecting what you discover to your business goals. You can then define your vision and the agile methodologies that will take you to that future state, while allowing for change and adjustments along the way.  

For example, we helped a leading charity define what it wanted to achieve from a digital business transformation – in this case to transform people who give one-off donations into regular givers – before developing a personalised digital experience around that principle.    

2. TRACK VALUE  

Measuring the success of your digital transformation is vital. Identifying and tracking value is a key pillar of agile project management, enabling you to pinpoint problems early, refine your digital solutions and ensure they are consistently delivering a high-quality digital experience. 

Putting performance measures in place in the initial stages of a digital business transformation, ensures the knowledge you need to adjust your course as you travel towards the overall vision.

For decision makers, hard evidence that demonstrate the value of investing in digital innovation, can also become part of a compelling narrative that aids change management.   

3. PUT THE USER FIRST  

Your customers and users are the starting point for any strategy. Digital solutions should be built around the way they interact with your business, whether they’re digital-first consumers or more comfortable operating in the real world.

Understanding their goals and how digital technology can improve their experience, should shape the solutions you implement to ensure they are relevant and provide value.  

For example, when working with a large chain of veterinarians, we identified the need to develop a personalised digital experience that was an extension of the relationship that pet owners have with their individual vet.

Pets are part of the family and their healthcare isn’t a standard retail interaction. We wanted to reflect this by blurring the lines between digital products and services and the in-practice experience, to provide that sense of one-to-one care. Solutions were then built around this customer-centric purpose to provide real business value.      

4. DRIVE CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT  

The North Star framework doesn’t stop influencing your agile transformation once it has moved into the Compass and Engineer stages. It enables ongoing agile development by putting in place the metrics and processes that unlock improvements as the project progresses.

And when unforeseen issues or opportunities emerge, models and capabilities have the agility to respond to them effectively.  

During our work with the charity mentioned previously, we were eager to constantly collect and analyse the data our solutions gathered, to improve the personalisation of their digital experiences.

We built a number of assets that took users on a journey from the initial touchpoint right through to becoming a regular donator. We then continued to iterate these journeys to shape them around the insights users were giving us.  

Following these four principles will enable digital leaders to think strategically about their digital business transformation and embed agile methodologies. It may be tempting to rush through the crucial planning stages, but successful organisational change relies on solid digital groundwork.  

The foundational nature of this stage is why, as a digital agency, we have developed the North Star framework. Alongside our Compass and Engine frameworks it forms our leading digital transformation package.

Together they ensure you implement solutions capable of rising to your business’s most pressing challenges, that boost the speed to market of your services and enhance your return on investment.  

The value of our North Star framework is summed up by Jon Rhymes, Head of Digital at Origin Digital, who we recently worked with: “Our engagement with MMT brought clarity to our strategic objectives across the group.

By applying their value model we have been able to align multiple stakeholders and establish a clear and prioritised roadmap for product delivery against these objectives.”  

If your organisation needs the support of a digital consultancy, that specialises in mapping digital futures and harnessing agile development that drives growth, get in touch to book a discovery call.

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