Digital Transformation Designed to Succeed: Fit the Change into the Business Strategy and People


  • Daniela Robu
  • John B. Lazar



Digital transformation, system and design thinking, future of work, business value, innovation, business stewards


Digital transformation has become a necessity in our volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) world. In their 2019 report, APQC found that 75% of organizations are undergoing digital transformation. Successful digital transformation requires a strong foundation of people, process, technology and content. Selection of the right combination of strategies and deep stakeholder engagement is important in early phases of change when transformation initiatives inform leaders and users why change is needed. Top drivers for digital transformation have business (e.g., increased efficiency and productivity) and people (e.g., optimize user experience with knowledge discovery) facets. This paper illustrates an example of digital transformation in practice led by Knowledge Management, within Alberta Health Services (AHS). AHS is Canada’s first and largest province-wide, fully integrated health system with more than 102,700 employees. Employees need a platform for collaboration on projects, as well as documents and idea generation to meet business needs and enable them to become more efficient and effective in their daily jobs. The design, development, and implementation of a collaborative platform within this large organization required close orchestration of strategies, stakeholders’ commitments and engagement, represented by a continuum of stakeholders’ engagement formats, relationship and trust-building. Setting the stage for successful implementation and post implementation required a preview of technological and workforce trends to anticipate the future of work and worker. Fitting the change into overall business strategy, developing the knowledge of how change would affect the workers, and setting up a mechanism to inform leaders about adoption and user engagement were added as overarching strategies to better align with the line of sight in digital transformation. The platform was implemented with 23 business areas that expressed interest; it has demonstrated the potential to enable system transformation if implemented organization-wide. Business value was demonstrated with an ROI calculation on time savings.



24 Sep 2021