You may be surprised at how few organisations know who their users are, their needs, or have any systematic way of monitoring how well those are being met. Maybe your new organisation is the exception and knows all this — but chances are it isn't. Therefore start here, because a Digital Transformation is far less about digital
(as your organisation has been buying this for decades) and far more about how well you satisfy user needs. How does SCT work?
Let's assume that a project owner has a project which exceeds his discretionary spending limit (e.g. $100,000). He needs to answer the SCTs initial three questions:
- Who are the users?
- What are their needs?
- How will you measure / monitor their satisfaction?
To which the project owner may respond something like:
- I don't know
- Why do I need to know that?
- Why do you keep asking me stupid questions!!
Of course, as the project owner holds the budget, he can simply ignore SCT questions if he thinks they're "a waste of time" or he is too important to be challenged. So what happens next?
Let's assume the project owner ignores SCT and does the work anyway. If it goes well then great! However, if it goes badly there is now a paper-trail that shows they refused to answer even the most basic questions about their project. This is the other side of challenge — you ask the questions and then you audit what happened. By doing this SCT builds up a picture of what the organisation is doing:
- Projects in process
- Users we serve
- User needs we're aiming to meet
- How we measure/monitor success.
This also builds up a picture of which project owners listen, accept challenge, and succeed in projects (because they're user focused) and who isn't. At some point there will come a showdown with one of the failing project owners where you can prove how their lack of challenge leads to failure, while those accepting challenge increase their chances of success.
At this point you can drive home that people can't just keep on doing stuff without understanding users, their needs and some basic measures of success or ways of monitoring them. This showdown won't be comfortable but now you can push for no exceptions to the idea of being challenged and once you're there, the beach-head of change has been made and you can start to set things up a gear. Step Two — Increase Situational Awareness
Now we can extend SCT to ask more questions — not just about users and needs but about what is needed to build a successful project. These principles are shown in blue: