Doing the Digital Transformation the Right Way

December 29, 2020

The Road Ahead

Road ahead to Digital Transformation

When our top gun wrote this, it got me thinking…who are we? what all did we get done? Yes, it’s the same old (new and shiny) technology and a team well versed in delivering projects in an offshore product development model.

We are ordinary people doing extraordinary things…

In this short 2 year span, we have been fortunate to tackle some of the cool ML problems and on the other side ended up building some really amazing and cool technical solutions and platforms. Just to name a few….

  • End to end the mobile-first platform for the Health Care Provider ecosystem, using Blockchain and launched in Africa
  • Building out a marketplace for all the players in the food processing industry, thus creating a blue ocean market for our client based out of Singapore
  • A solution that we built for a 50-year-old US-based Provider that is transforming the lives of at-risk youth and this solution resulting in the spin-off as a separate company. Truly AI for good!

We’ve had customers come to us with just an idea – a BIG idea, enough groundwork, and research that supported their belief in building this out. And when you as a customer, are on that path to realizing your dream, the IT partner that you choose is a major decision. Let us not kid ourselves – Bringing an idea to bear, is no less than being on a racing track 🙂

So, how do we as a team, then, constantly deliver and live to tell the tale?

  1. Discover & Define – Dig through the backlog and discover what is the most relevant user story/feature (and do this by elimination – what is not extremely critical). That becomes your Sprint scope definition
  2. Ideate & Iterate – Explore different ways to implement. Draw wireframes (in PPT, use tools), stitch existing screens together to show and tell, get the UI guru to draw some screens. Work in parallel, while the dev team is working on sprint, optimize, and work on defining the next sprint!
  3. Release & Refine – How much ever we plan, ideate and iterate, only when we release and use will we find better ways of doing the job. Don’t fret. Refine the approach and add that back to your backlog
  4. Launch & Learn – Deliver an initial version. Learn and go back to the grind of Discover – Ideate – Release – Launch

This isn’t a new delivery model or approach to execution. It is the same – Agile / Scrum. Pick up 3 weeks sprints (so that we can end up delivering something  useful!), try a few tools and approaches to validate how the model works (sometimes we end up changing the tool for tracking midway during a sprint and that’s okay!), work with the customer and understand the changes (also help them understand why certain things cannot be done – e.g. it’s not that simple to build a google-like search, it does take time!)

So, what’s our mojo?

Oh, it is many, many things but the most important one being Always, always believe that digital transformation can be done byte-sized. Start and keep building on it relentlessly. And then viola, after a lot of road bumps, near misses, the edge of the seat releases, you will reach the finish line!!

We did make a lot of mistakes along the way and hopefully figured out what it takes to make this whole experience better…

  • Prioritize fanatically. It is very difficult to put away a few ideas. But yes, they can wait till the users have used the application
  • Celebrate small wins. In all the chaos, you’d normally stop pausing to smell the coffee. Do it!
  • Do not leave any UI/UX fixes to the end…keep improvising, keep prioritizing feedback
  • Most important of all, realize and anticipate when the gears have shifted from the platform being an MVP to an actual product. That is a different beast!

Where does this take us from here – onwards and upwards! It’s going to be an interesting, mad, crazy ride 🙂