Digital Transformation: Begin with People Transformation

People Transformation is essential and bedrock for managing and driving business transformation, and preparing for Digital Transformation.

The purpose of People Transformation is to help deliver the improvements and benefits that business seeks for employees:

  • Build their capabilities
  • Increase their capacity
  • Intensify their engagement
  • Develop deeper connections between purpose and meaning

Organizations, business & HR partners, should co-develop a consistent theme to:

  • The transformation process
  • Methods and tools for sustaining changes in the long-term

HR Partner as a pivotal rolefeatured

The rapid growth of the knowledge economy, require organizations to build a committed and appropriately skilled workforce. Many administrative functions that were handled by HR departments, such as payroll, have been farmed out to 3rd parties. Organizations can therefore, more so now, enhance people expert role of HR, to place the function at the heart of the debate on a company’s strategic direction. And systematically unburden, HR partner, of some former responsibilities (e.g. payroll outsourcing).

Reshaping Business

The competitive environment based on knowledge and the ability to exploit intangible and soft assets e.g. human capital, information systems and intellectual capital, is reshaping how organizations are doing business. And there is now a need for tools and methods to help measure and monitor organization’s performance by integrating financial measures with learning and innovation.

Building a learning organization

Here the HR partner will create internally or with help of expert external partners focused and custom programs to meet varied development needs and across levels. Programs specifically targeted at building skills and competencies in Digital space. Program domains could include topics like Innovation, Design Thinking, Creative Problem Solving, Change Management, Managing Digital Transformation et. al.

Managing Change

This is another area, where the HR partner of your organization should build capabilities. Digital Transformation programs are long gestation programs and bring radical change. It is important that your HR partner has a 4 pronged change management plan that addresses: Culture & Behavior, Leadership Engagement, Organization & Processes and Knowledge & Skills.

‘How To’ guidance

Business teams should identify expert partners, internal or external, to build new skills and competencies required to move ahead on their various Digital initiatives. Some of the program areas could include: Innovation, Program Management, Problem Solving, Creative thinking, Guided imagination, Creation of Business Case, Benefits Management, Visioning, Business Transformation et. al.

Performance Management Framework

Build a comprehensive framework that measures and monitors programs that have been initiated in People Transformation. The framework should measure and monitor the following organization enablers:

The measurements and monitoring can be across the following dimensions:

Principles, Policies and Frameworks

  • Principles are limited in number and put in simple language
  • Policies are effective, efficient, non-intrusive and easily accessible to all stakeholders
  • Frameworks should be comprehensive, open and flexible, current and available to all stakeholders


  • Process is defined as collection of practices influence by the enterprise’s policies and procedures that takes inputs from a number of sources, manipulates the inputs and produces outputs

Organization structures

  • Include organization entities, clients, suppliers, regulators
  • RACIS links it to processes

Culture, Ethics and Behavior

  • Organization ethics, individual ethics & behavior towards taking risks following policies


  • All information relevant for enterprises, not only automated information.
  • It can be structured or unstructured, formalized or informalized

Service, Infra & Application

  • Service capabilities refer to resources such as applications and infrastructures that are leveraged in the delivery of IT-related services

People, Skills & Competencies

  • Different stakeholders assume different roles and each role requires distinct skill set
  • Lagging Indicators: Stakeholder dimension and Goal dimension (intrinsic and contextual quality)
  • Leading Indicators: Life-Cycle (how new people transformation initiatives are life-cycle managed) and Good practices 

To ensure performance of your People Transformation initiatives are effectively monitored and improved, it is important to follow these guidelines:

  • It should be clear and cohesive so that it is understood by all levels of the organization and that supports objectives and the collection of results
  • Effective communication with employees, process owners, customers, and stakeholders is vital to the successful development and deployment
  • Clearly identify what it takes to determine success and make sure that all managers and employees understand what they are responsible for in achieving organizational goals.
  • Provide intelligence for decision makers, to assess progress toward achieving predetermined goals and on the effectiveness of organizational activities and operations in terms of their specific contribution to program objectives
  • Compensation, rewards, and recognition should be linked to performance measurements.
  • Performance measurement systems are not “gotcha” systems, but learning systems that help the organization identify what works—and what does not—so as to continue with and improve on what is working and repair or replace what is not working.
  • Results and progress toward program commitments should be openly shared with employees, customers, and stakeholders.

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