Partnering to Drive your Digital Roadmap

06 July 2017
Leigh Gammons
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“I don’t know what good looks like, but I’ll know what it will feel like.”

These were the words of a client recently in a definition workshop. I think, if we’re all honest with ourselves, this is how many of us feel at the definition stage of a project. We can’t after all, predict the future, or even say with any certainty what the digital landscape will look like in five years, or even one year, for that matter.

The truth is that the questions that may be asked at this stage are not even the questions that you really want answered. So how should your technical partner respond at this stage in the game?

A ‘supplier’ might try to sell you a pre-canned solution that may seem relevant now but may well not be in a month. That may solve an immediate problem but won’t fix issues, yet to be defined, that will solidify the on-going relevance of the relationship.

A ‘strategic partner’, however, may simply listen. They will also be very honest. They will have the guts to say ‘no’ and will be looking to sell you what you really need, not what they want to sell. And they will be looking to solve business problems, not just marketing problems.

They should also offer you a solid process to get you from digital strategy to digital roadmap. This is where you will begin to discover together “what good might look like”. At Cognifide, this is a three-phase process in which two teams, client and agency, become one.

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Phase 1 - Strategy and Solution

This is where we set out to define what success looks like, for the business and for the digital platform. We’ll review your current digital ambition and strategy and, based on that, share some good practices. These might be digital models, measurement frameworks and reference architectures, that show you what your target digital services, capabilities and solutions might be. We’ll define your KPIs and build a high-level reference architecture, specific to you.

Phase 2 - Digital Operating Model

This is as much about your organisation and ways of working as it is about technology. Here we’ll look at your current platform and product management strategy and identify the gaps between your current ecosystem and your target. There’ll be solid outputs such as a business adoption model, and a RACI matrix for the future operation of your platform.

Phase 3 - Roadmap and Programme Plan

This session will outline a multi-year strategic roadmap to build up your platform and implement the new operating model. We’ll cover what your MVP build will look like and consider issues like legacy migration. Again, it’s not all about the platform. We’ll look at governance, roles, teams, structures and agree on a plan to deliver the roadmap.

The Output

At the end of the process, you’ll have a strategic roadmap that will take you from digital vision to reality. It will go beyond ‘the build’ to ensure that you will reap the full value of your platform. It will give you a plan to ensure operational success and provide you with solid KPI’s up front to measure that success. In short, this is where your business strategy and your customer experience strategy come together in a digital implementation strategy.

A True Partnership

This definition process is where our partnership with clients begins. We don’t start with a bunch of preconceived solutions up our sleeve and we’re honest enough to own that up front. So definition is the start of a shared journey in which we set out and agree on what the roadmap looks like.

As another client put it recently when asked about partnership, “I want to know that we’ve got someone who’ll be in the trenches with us when things go wrong”.

And that’s what partnership means to us; planning the journey together, sharing the risk and collaborating to drive success.

If you'd like to find out more about working with us to define your digital roadmap, get in touch.