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Workbook
Course Leader
Dr John Paul Kawalek
MSc2812
Digital Transformation
& Data Analytics
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Contents
Getting Started ....................................................................................................... 3
Session 1 : Introduction to Digital Transformation .................................................. 6
Session 2 : Strategic Analysis The Spider ............................................................. 8
Session 3 : Diagnosis & Contextual Analysis for Digital Transformation................ 11
Session 4: Digital Building Blocks: Quick-Build (server side) Environments .......... 14
Session 5: Process modelling for Digital Transformation Management I ................ 15
Session 6a : Process modelling for Information Systems Management II ............... 17
Session 6b: Process modelling for Information Systems Management III ............... 19
Session 7: Digital Transformation of Customer-side Processes .............................. 22
Sessions 8-14: Developing a prototype .................................................................. 23
Session 15a: Blockchain ....................................................................................... 25
Session 15b: Digital Trends ................................................................................... 26
Session 16: A project plan ..................................................................................... 27
Appendix 1: Assessment grading guidance on the workbook ................................. 28
Appendix 2: Areas of required change ................................................................... 30
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Getting Started
This workbook is to designed to help to crystalise and reflect on a DT&DA&DA
Project that you are going to develop during this module.
In doing this, we will be guided by a well-known set of ideas called the ‘Systems
Approach’,
1
and in particular draw out the ‘soft’ systems methodology as a basis
and guiding philosophy.
2
In all tasks and activities, we will consider the application
of the ideas, principles, techniques, technologies and tools, that are presented in
the lectures. Following this, we are going to explore further abstractions, i.e. (i) the
usefulness of taking a systems based approach and what it means for our project,
application of tools, technologies etc, (ii) the way you use the concepts, ideas and
principles, as a basis for improvement, and (iii) assessment of what you need to
improve the way you use these concepts, ideas, principles and technologies. This
encourages reflections on (i) the usefulness of taking a systems based approach, (ii)
the methodological assumptions used in a given more orthodox approaches to
Information Technology.
You are encouraged to work in small teams to compare your work with that of
others. Obviously, you will be working on different client organisations, so your
work is necessarily different, but the use of methods, ideas and concepts can be
compared, analysed and contrasted in those small teams. These teams are termed
‘Innovation ThinkTanks’. As a member of an Innovation ThinkTank, you will be
expected to:
Apply the principles, ideas, concepts, methods and technologies, in order to
develop robust and justifiable intervention actions;
Critique your own and other members’ use of the principles, in order to
refine and develop your own;
Identify practical changes that you can take back to your organisation or a
given client.
1
A systems approach is used because it allows the analysis of changes in business and
organisational systems. Without it, we can end up guessing, or allowing ‘gut feel’ to
dominate our project implementations.
2
We will be using some elements of Checkland’s ‘Soft Systems Methodology’ (‘SSM’).
However, we will not be using SSM in its entirety. But it is appropriate to consider our
approach as ‘soft’ because at all times we will be using the ‘systems’ idea as an ‘inquiring
system’, and subjecting it to critique, as a basis for its improvement.
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Organisation
You should contact 2 (or so) colleagues to form an Innovation ThinkTank. This will
be the locus of energy and activity to help drive the thinking, and transformational
activities. The ThinkTank process, requires you to think carefully about how you
are coming to conclusions about possible transformation actions. It is an
opportunity to share ideas, methods, techniques etc. You will sharpen your own
thinking by considering the perspectives of other members of your ThinkTank. No
one perspective is ‘right’ in an absolute sense, but we have the responsibility to
continue to refine our ideas, and defend them with precision. Use your ThinkTank
to do this. Remember, at all times, you should take responsibility for sharpening
your own thinking!
You and your ThinkTank have huge responsibility - you are undertaking something
fundamentally important to define workable performance improvements in an
organisation, to demonstrate the value of them and to document their impact. This
is a fundamental aspect of leading a transformation.
Please Note
Topic areas are identified as a title.
Introductory words are in normal type.
Instructions are in italics.
In Appendix 2, there are sheets which can be used to identify your areas of action
and change. Many consultants, will carry such sheets around with them to help
remind them of on-going change actions and ideas. It is probably a good idea to use
the same technique.
Please try and fill in as much as you can of this workbook, using your research and
ThinkTank to help you. You should apply the ideas methods to your own case
organisation e.g. the one that you work for, or a client organisation.
For each session, you would normally be expected to:
Listen to the lecture;
Explore and complement the ideas presented by undertaking some form of
inquiry, using references given, and/or some internet based exploration.
Consider the relevant task in the DT&DA Workbook’;
Compare your answers and ideas with one or more colleagues in your
ThinkTank, by a process of mentoring each member;
Refine your ideas and improve your thinking about the DT&DA Workbook’
task;
Insert your completed task into your workbook.
There are 20 sessions in the lecture series, and 18 sections in the workbook. You
should complete the workbook in class time as far as you can, and hand to your
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class tutor electronically during the final class based session. You can write by
hand into the workbook, and then scan it. Or you can use electronic tools to
complete your workbook.
**Please note**
In each section there are recommended things to read and to inquiry into. The
lectures will ‘introduce’ key themes, and it is expected that individual research will
compliment/deepen/develop and personalise the learning. It is for this reason that
all sections of the workbook should be attempted, as far as possible. Treat it as a
learning tool!!
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Session 1 : Introduction to
Digital Transformation
Here are a number of ‘themes’ either an industry sector, or a technology
application theme. They may help you focus your mind on a potential Digital
Transformation project that you are going to undertake as part of this module.
Have a look at the DT&DA.zip file that can be found on Moodle.
The goal in this module will be to develop a proposal for a Digital Transformation.
You will find some specific documentation in your course pack on moodle that may
help us to kick-start your DT&DA project, as in this workbook.
Please specify the names of the people that you are going to work with in your
ThinkTank, and the e-mail address of them.
Their e-mail addresses
Insert your ThinkTank Name
Your ThinkTank Name
e.g. “Ace Consulting Corporation”
Name of case organisation (this can be a pseudonym if you want to hide identities)
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Describe your Sector (this may or may not be from the list above)
Take a definition of ‘Digital Transformation’ that you you are happy with and insert it
below.
Digital transformation is….
Take a definition of ‘Data Analytics’ that you you are happy with and insert it below.
Data Analytics is….
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Session 2 : Strategic Analysis
The Spider
A DT&DA will typically start with the strategic drivers of a Digital project i.e. what
and how can technology deliver strategic value to the organisation. In this section,
we will consider the drivers of strategic value, in order to ‘frame’ our proposed
DT&DA project.
In your ThinkTanks, develop a spider for each of your organisations (one per
member).
You should be clear in what each dimension means, and why it is important
for your client organisation.
You should be able to defend it in front of your bosses/investors (as in a
‘dragons den’).
The dimensions chosen should be desirable and feasible within context.
Treat the dimensions, and the strategic spider process as an inquiry, not a
statement of fact.
In doing an inquiry, we need to be:
o precise in the meaning of our ideas, constructs etc.,
o to provide detail so we can deeply explore the key issues, and
o develop transparency in the conclusions drawn (others need to know
how we have come to a conclusion).
Try to identify ‘measures’ which give indication of ‘how do we know we have
got there’ to each individual dimension;
The strategic Spider will be referred to regularly as we progress through
programme. We will adapt it, change it, adapt it, refine it!!
You can use the template (over) to get started. You can include explanatory text in
and around it. Use additional sheets if required.
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Define each measurement (we can call it a ‘KPI’ for now). This is going to help us
define our Digital Transformation, ensure it is scoped with strategic impact, and
ultimately how we might consider its impact.
Add or take away columns or rows as you see fit.
KPI definition
Measure now
In 1 Year
In 2 Years
In 3 Years
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Session 3 : Diagnosis &
Contextual Analysis for Digital
Transformation
Problem Diagnosis
Undertaking a diagnosis can be considered to be an inquiring activity which focuses
on perceived ‘problems’, and the situations that cause the so-called problems. The
inquiry is undertaken simultaneously by both clients and consultants.
All DT&DA projects are applied in the context of human organisations. Ignoring
these dimensions will cause problems later. Further, it is very easy to throw
technology at a perceived problem, and subsequently realise that the ‘real’ problem
still remains.
Diagnose your client organisational context, identifying the explicit and implicit
(or hidden) problems.
Treat the diagnosis as an inquiry, not a statement of fact.
Don’t let yourself get into a mode of thinking that is simply ‘whinging’. Try to
look at the situation analytically and thoughtfully.
Remember ‘blaming others’ is not an intellectual diagnosis. If you find yourself
blaming others, it is likely that you are not understanding their situation fully.
Try to understand their situation, and the source of your frustration with them.
Be open with the suggestions of other members of your ThinkTank.
Using your ThinkTank to help you, make a list of perceived ‘problems’ in your
client context. Use the space below to make notes of your thoughts.
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Problems and symptoms
A diagnosis is more than ‘identifying problems’. Rather it is an inquiry into the
fundamental causes (and effect) of the problems. For instance, in organisations, one
‘problem’ is often related to or caused by another problem. So a diagnosis includes
the analysis of ‘other factors’ which give rise to a given problem. In effect, our
‘problem’ might be the symptom of something else. Both problem and symptom
should be explored.
Taking each problem that you identified in the previous step, write down if it is
caused by something else. If so, try to articulate that causes this ‘problem’ to arise.
Use the space below to express your ideas. You can use a Rich Picture to express the
context of the problems that you see!
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Defining your Digital Transformation & Data Analytics
Project
From your spider, your diagnosis, define the most important area for your Digital
Transformation. Explain why you have concluded this.
Please note
You may want to identify a small and focused digital transformation/data analytics
project in your department or business unit. Or, you may want to develop the scope
more widely. This scoping is a question of context, desirability and feasibility.
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Session 4: Digital Building
Blocks: Quick-Build (server side)
Environments
Outline your ideas (so far) of a digital technology that may help you to achieve your
Digital Transformation.
Please note
This may or may not be based on example technologies that have been
demonstrated.
You should note that the definition of a technology is not normally
considered sufficient to solve problems or achieve strategic goals. Technology
should be considered to be an ‘integrated element’ (in systems terms) or an
‘enabler’ of processes, in more general ‘management speak’!
Try to be as clear as possible, and justify your ideas. Use your ThinkTank to help you
develop and justify your ideas.
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