Avoiding digital transformation regression: Six top tips

Transformation regression – it’s a dreaded term within the public sector digital landscape. Referring to poor or non-adoption of new processes or solutions, it’s one of the most important scenarios to avoid when uplifting your operations. Transformation regression can really negate investments, dampen ROI and uphold pain points – and it all starts internally! So how can we avoid it? Here are six top tips to get you started.  

Understand your process 

We all know by now that if we fail to prepare, we should prepare to fail – and that sentiment isn’t lost in public sector digital transformation. It’s absolutely imperative to gain a concrete understanding of how a process works before digitising, uplifting or transforming it. It’s not just about knowing the steps involved (although that is key), but it’s also about understanding the why. Without a true, in-depth understanding of a process, it’s impossible to build a solution that ticks all of the boxes. 

Involve your end-users  

Not only will this help you understand your process, but engaging end-users helps with internal buy-in as well – from clinicians and nurses to housing and council officers. It’s easy to get swept up in steps, best practices and processes – but don’t forget to find and meet the requirements of those the solution will be built for. Your idea of convenience and effectiveness might not reflect that of those working with a process day in, day out – and that’s the opinion that really matters. Involving your end-users doesn’t just lead to a good solution, but a good reception too.  

Keep it simple 

You might find that “simple” means something completely different to your end-users than it does to your technologically advanced digital teams. It can be easy to get swept away with projects – particularly if you’re using something that makes complex digitisation simple, like NDL Evolve. Be careful not to overcomplicate your solutions, or feel tempted to add some really impressive functionality that may never be used. Especially for busy public sector workers who need to get the job done quickly and effectively, it’s important to prioritise user experience. Don’t overwhelm your end-users – remember simplicity is the goal.  

Provide training 

A massive element of end-user adoption is knowledge. Your solution might completely streamline what was once a convoluted process, but if your end users don’t know how to use it, it won’t be any easier. Allowing your users to get to grips with new technologies in an open, non-judgmental environment is imperative – planning and delivering training is a key factor of your anti-regression plan. 

Maintain it 

It doesn’t matter if your testing process is impenetrable – you’re bound to run into a bug one day. Especially with ever-evolving processes and systems within public sector organisations, there may come a day that something isn’t working quite the way it should. And while that can be extremely stressful for your development team, it can be even more frustrating for your end-users. Preventing them from completing essential processes or providing efficient services, snags in your transformation can really take a toll if left too long. Be sure to find the time to assess and maintain your digital transformation proactively, run the latest updates, prioritise security and make the most of the latest functionality - you’ll have far fewer complaints to contend with.  

Invite feedback (and action it)  

As you can probably tell by now, transformation regression often starts with unhappy end-users. The regression process can be severely accelerated if users feel they have no input and don’t have a say in the processes that are integral to their roles. Feedback is a great way to ensure your end-users are heard, and your transformation improves – rather than regresses. Of course, not all feedback can be actioned – but what can, should be!  

Ready to start the journey? 

Looking to implement a successful digital transformation project within your organisation? To learn more about the NDL Evolve Digital Transformation Platform, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a member of our team – or join the NDL Community at one of our upcoming events. Looking for some inspiration? Don’t forget to browse our library of real-life public sector use cases.