Capabilities that organizations require to sustain business digital transformation

Recent data indicates that we have vaulted five years forward in digital adoption in around eight weeks. But how many will be able to sustain this business digital transformation?

While organizations have incorporated technologies to keep pace with industry digital transformation as the need of the hour, systems and processes are still catching up to meet the demand. Organizations need to realign their systems and processes and have a clearly defined roadmap to meet this transformation. Time and results have shown that a systemic approach can make this transformation sustainable and enduring with excellent end results. Here are some sustainable strategies for digital transformation:

  • Hiring experts with diverse knowledge: Hiring and building a deep bench of diverse expertise and skill sets is first step when adopting new innovations. Retraining and reskilling existing employees to new positions created by technology might be time consuming. To fill gaps in a short time without compromising quality or work culture, companies will need to look at outsourcing to or hiring experts.  This not only results in lower lead time but also cuts hiring and training time and costs. Aligned Studios has been playing this role with great results for several clients in the US.

  • Adopting cloud-based and other technology: Invest in reliable cloud-based technology as the second step. Even post-pandemic, practices adopted due to social distancing, which includes cloud-based services can make it more efficient to connect with consumers, improve supply chain efficiency and monitor remote operations. This investment will yield greater agility, lower capital expenses, enhance collaboration and can increase security in the near and distant future. Read more about reinventing remote working.

  • Implementing structural changes: From vertically oriented, task-specialized ones to creating velocity through cross-functional teams. Organizations today are experimenting with cross-functional teams for both development and support. These can help the technologically lacking teams take to new technology with a specialized team member, aligned for that task.

  • Orchestrating a cultural shift: From silo-based culture where information is not shared across departments and goals are aligned separately, organizations need to shift to an environment of collaborative relationships and shared goals. Changing the boundaries of what define “us” and “them” through systems establishes trust-based relationships that move relationships from transactional to co-operative and finally collaborative.

  • Realigning leadership strategy to reinforce a common purpose: Establishing processes and systems is not enough. Process governance, systems thinking, and lean leadership are required to keep an organization flourishing. The main role of the leader then, is to emphasize the constancy of purpose and a common approach across teams.
  • Assessing shared performance goals as against individual activity measures: While traditionally employees have always been assessed on individual performance thus leading employees to focus on their own singled-out outputs, organizations today need to create and redefine shared process goals.

Leaders and teams must first resolve the following five questions to access whether these strategies will work for them. Can they:

  1. Agree to share by engaging in systems versus silo-thinking?
  2. Agree on one way to do something and reduce complexity and variability?
  3. Agree to focus on simplifying how that should be done by focusing on value added activities and reducing waste?
  4. Agree to use one tool for collaboration and to reduce technical debt?
  5. Agree on an integrated solution over a niche solution to help automate delivery pipelines?

To be able to sustain business digital transformation, organizations must move from a reactive environment to an improved system that delivers value consistently and reliably. Ownership roles need to define, deploy, sustain, and improve processes to support the organization’s objectives. Ultimately, it comes back to leadership and culture.

Aligned Studios is empowering organizations with customized and sustainable strategies for digital transformation. Our services promise great results from this collaborative association. Contact us to learn more!

How employers can help in work from home motivation

Feeling lack of work from home motivation is a real problem. The pandemic has necessitated and almost pushed some organizations and its people to accept the remote work culture without having any kind of real readiness for it. Based on a recent survey by Indeed, those who work from home miss a lot of things about working in the office. However, these remote work challenges can be overcome if the company develops the work culture to suit remote needs.

At Aligned Studios we have identified shortcomings of the work from home culture and compensated well for it to arrive at tried-and-tested solutions. Here are some suggestions for an employee-friendly remote work culture that is stable and yet flexible enough to meet customer needs.

Instead of utilizing that extra time available for work, employers can encourage people to dedicate this time to healthy sleep hours, physical exercise, and quality time with the family. At Aligned Studios, we organize wellness workshops, yoga sessions and encourage taking up a hobby. This keeps the employees creatively stimulated and motivated to work.

This is the toughest challenge faced by many. Although virtual interactions cannot replace physical interactions completely. As leaders, we encourage extensive work-related as well as non-work-related interaction between our people. Virtual buddy lunches, coffee chats, informal interactions should be sponsored and encouraged by the company. We have found this to contribute to higher productivity. And once the situation allows, a monthly or quarterly company-wide meeting can be held to keep everyone connected.

Spontaneous conversations are difficult to have virtually. Online exchanges are more structured, premeditated, formal and impersonal. We experience “sitting with ourselves” for long hours without distractions. Cats and dogs and other pets are great company but do not make good conversation and do not provide for juicy gossip! We encourage interactive fun activities on a weekly call that are not only ice-breaking but also lead to strong bonds being formed.

Logistical constraints might affect the employee’s productivity. To tackle this, companies can encourage the “work from anywhere” mode as opposed to just “work from home”. Cafeterias, co-working facilities, a quiet beach, or hill resort are all real options we are exploring.

Here again, options like cafeterias and co-working spaces are encouraged. Employers can even tie up with a chain of co-working spaces to get the employees a deal where they can work peacefully or with a chain of cafes to give coupons that the remote employees can use.

Employees find it difficult to motivate themselves towards skill upgradation. Having regular trainings and providing skill upgradation modules, along with access to online libraries and global publications will encourage the remote worker to stay up to date. If an employee wants to do a course while working, the company should allow them to take leaves for the same. Employees who are constantly upgrading their work to meet global standards, will take your company to great heights.

Primary fallouts of mental health arise out of loneliness, anxiety, and stress. These, in turn lead to the onset of depression. Companies can address this very critical issue by:

  • Conducting mental health training sessions.
  • Conducting team building activities regularly.
  • Checking-in with teams regularly, keeping them in the loop and providing feedback.
  • Encouraging physical fitness. Fifteen minutes of daily walking reduces risk of major depression by 26%.
  • Appreciating and rewarding good performance.

At the core of any organization, irrespective of the work model adopted, lies the fact that ‘’people matter; they always will”. Employers need to invest in work from home motivation for the employees. The challenge, particularly in remote work culture is letting people know that they matter because without them the organization is an empty shell. Employers who want to retain the right talent, need to deeply understand the subtle difference between being ‘in charge of people” and looking after “people in their charge”.

Reinventing the remote working module for design studios and AEC firms

Remote working has been a big challenge for design studios as design, which sprouts in its ‘studio culture’, is a collaborative practice involving face-to-face interactions nurtured by skilled and experienced mentoring. Remote working deprives the design process of these essentials. However, strategic planning and technological integration can make remote working for design studios a strength more than an obstacle.

Now that the “remote working” module has travelled through a good part of its life cycle, we are far better equipped to understand its strengths and weaknesses, to make it workable for design and AEC firms as well. While some firms are moving back to a completely physical office, some are staying with a completely virtual one. But we, at Aligned Studios know that the post-pandemic workplace is hybrid.

Knowing that a good 73% of all teams will have remote workers by 2028, employers can no longer remain indifferent to this very sensitive and vital consideration. It is vital that these essentials are consciously reinfused into the remote working process now to gradually move to a hybrid set-up post-pandemic.

Experienced design professionals are often not familiar with technological advances and thus need to be specially trained to communicate better using latest technology where face-to-face is no longer an option. A ‘virtual studio’ environment needs to be created where liberal exchange of ideas and thoughts can happen. It is again the onus of the employer to create such a platform.

Remote working opens up possibilities of ‘virtual studios’ to be across the board of departments, companies and even countries, thus encouraging more productive brainstorming.

Working remotely for the design process makes it possible to access global talent from across the world and from different time zones resulting in enhanced quality work in shorter timespans at optimal costs.

Working remotely for the design process makes it possible to access global talent from across the world and from different time zones resulting in enhanced quality work in shorter timespans at optimal costs.