When creating products, the perceived best practice is to test with real people as soon as you can. Sometimes called user testing, user feedback, or an aspect of market research. This tends also to be the perceived wisdom of services or even courses – sell the idea, then build the service or course.
However, digital transformation, while involving products (shiny toys), is more than just products. The clue is in the second word – transformation. Organisations engage in digital transformation by transforming their processes, people, culture. Sometimes the ‘digital’ part, the software and gadgets can bring people together and that helps organisations change.
However, I do wonder if we can use the idea of ‘user testing’ and ‘fail fast’ in organisational change/transformation work. Certainly the idea of engaging people early and co-designing sounds nice and should be a good thing. And yet, change and uncertainty tends to create fear, raise anxiety, and so on. But perhaps it is our approach? Perhaps it would be different if we talked with others about digital products and service asking ‘how might this be helpful to our work?’ Or ‘what impact would using this have on our team, our processes, our people, our culture?’
Or perhaps much of change is related to trust between team members and teams. Do we feel ‘seen’ and ‘heard’ by the others? Do we feel like humans or are we just a cog in the wheel or a robot on an assembly line?
It likely makes a difference to whole experience regardless of how shiny the toys are.