#Digital #Transformation is #About #People

Karl Smith will be talking at Digital Transformation 2017 on 23rd Feb Our Dynamic Earth Edinburgh organised by Scot TECH http://www.scot-tech.com/

Digital is about People, not technology. Digital is a response to the desire of people to focus their lives towards quick and easy tasks, simplify processes and utilise their time in micro experiences. The challenge for Digital Transformation is to not get trapped in limiting technology solutions but to really meet the desire of people to have less stress, highly engaging and focused experiences with shorter duration’s while maintaining quality and accountability.

  • Prioritise creating highly engaging, positive experiences

  • Focus on the simplification of process

  • Avoid getting trapped in limiting technology solutions

  • Ensure transformation strategy is evidence-led

  • Understand the relationship between culture, people & process

For more details register here http://www.digifutures.co.uk/register

Karl Smith has learned from clients in USA, Russia, China, Japan, Switzerland, UK, Germany, France, Australia, Brazil, Sweden etc how to transform them, not just, what to change.

BIO

Karl Smith Experience ConsultantKarl Smith is a highly creative and motivated person with keen insight ability. He is a critical thinker and is able to rapidly discover the essence of problems then define, communicate, create buy-in and deliver solutions. He positively motivates those around him and is able to engender a great team dynamic by leading from the front. He has business experience spanning 28 years at comparable levels in fields including defence, industry, construction, fashion, finance, banking, FMCG, property, publishing, healthcare, travel, policing, crown office, local and central government.

Recent organisational design roles include launching Enterprise User Experience in Accenture and setting up Wipro Digital.

He has a wide experience in management consultancy and digital technology including business management, strategy, innovation, marketing, advertising, governance, change management, project management, definition, design and delivery. He has been honoured by the British Computer Society for his eminence in IT leadership over the last 15 years with a Fellowship.

He mainly focuses on customer experience engagement and management in both B2B and B2C sectors but is also an inventor involved in creating new human-computer ecosystems. He works with directors and stakeholders whose main focus is increasing efficiency, transaction frequency and accuracy through the provision of knowledge driven, context focused, human-centered and responsive, future proofed (IoT, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence), progressive interactive organisational change, innovative business processes and technology systems.

“the difference between an engaged customer and an enraged customer is their experience, which customers would you prefer to have?”

“as a customer experience expert, I have no opinion, I wait and get the opinion of the customer as they are the subject matter experts and combine it with business strategy and acumen”

He is involved in defining new business concepts, strategies, requirements, governance (ISO/IEC 38500) and solutions that support businesses and organisation’s involved in transforming themselves to be adaptive and future proof themselves for market disruption.

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#Digital #Transformation a #Business #Guide

But we already have Digital, how can it be coming?

For the most part what companies have is Technology being sold as Digital Solutions or Digital Strategy, however Being Digital and participating in the Digital Economy is about fundamental change in how your company works, not by adding a channel.

Digital is not just another name for Technology or a Delivery Channel but it is a Pervasive Customer Engagement Productization

Having a digital channel, a CRM tool or a marketing strategy involving social media, does not make you a Digital Business in fact Digital Businesses have Digital Products. A Digital Product is not the envelope, like a website, app, message or other container, but the thing that is purchased, transferred or acquired by customers. 

As Technologies come and go, Customers are eternal

Without Digital Products your company won’t be able to access the coming benefits of the Internet of Things, Big Data or Artificial Intelligence.

What is Digital Transformation?

Digital Transformation is an evolutionary step towards the true open market that the Internet of Things and the Internets of All represents. For many companies digital transformation is about digitising existing processes which should be discarded completely. 

What does transformation and change look like?

There are many factors that can create the need for transformation and change changing markets, changing customers, disruption from unexpected sources to name a few.

There are a lot of people who miss the point of transformation or change programs, who simply revert to their worst fears.

Kurt Russell’s portrayal of Wyatt Earp in Tombstone does appear to be lots of people experience of transformation projects and in every view there is a grain of truth. The truth in this view is he has authority, drive and power and that the change is terrifying to people who thought they could control it.

Are you sure you need Digital Transformation?

It’s really important to count the cost and the gain before embarking on digital transformation.

Digital Transformation will disrupt you business, your staff and your customers.

And people who claim otherwise have never done one.

Why do we need to Transform, did we fail?

There is always a faint feeling of fear and desperation on a transformation or change project. This is because concerns over perception of value, the person or persons involved value to their organisation and their sense of self worth.

DID YOU FAIL, YES your not superhuman

You have not managed to pack the detailed life of a subject expert life into your already business expert life. So in effect NO, its supposed to be the first step in wisdom, the recognition that you need help.

The real issue for business people is how do you acquire that help, do it in a way that does not damage your credibility and still be able to influence that change so that it does not wreck your carefully crafted world.

Creating a Terms of Reference Document (TOR) and Business Case

The main role of the business is to own the problem, not the solution. It’s really important that the business is candid in their appraisal of the issues. Often businesses will focus on perceived solutions, to the perceived problem. That is a way to waste huge amounts of money and never fix anything.

Writing the Terms of Reference defines where the business thinks the problem is, sets out who is engaged from the business and suggests a high level timeline. The TOR is a guideline to the Transformation but not a rule book. The TOR provides targets and key performance indicators (KPI’s) so that the Transformation is measurable and understood from the “as is” situation described in the TOR.

For example; we need a mobile site, why? because our competitors have one and everyone needs to be mobile, why? So we are buying a mobile platform, whoa! Let’s go back to the beginning, what is the problem? “We are losing market share”, okay, what are the demographics of your target market, do they use mobile devices? “We don’t know”. Don’t you think you should find out before you buy a mobile platform? That’s not a made up conversation.

After the initial consultancy to determine the target of activity in the TOR a Business Case can be created to gain funding by explaining the impact of transformation. The Business Case is critical to distil and focus the programs activity so that actual value is given from all the ensuing activity.

Both the TOR and the Business Case are created by the Business with assistance from internal resources or contractors.

The Psychology of Change Management

How transformation is framed, communicated and done in organisations is often not enough to overcome the deep seated fears of the people it will affect.

This is why you may have been invited to be involved, it is not to steer the solution but to provide expert knowledge, regardless things will either change or the business will contract. Being on the project team from the client side is not your time to shine, you already did or you would not be there.

I have worked on both sides of transformation projects and I really do understand the personal and professional need to have impact. But most importantly was your impact an enabler, if you sort to set limits was it for reasons of context? Can you explain the rich knowledge behind your behaviour and passion, the articulation is critical to getting this knowledge into the project and benefiting your company.

Transformation and Change is not just focused on Technology 

If you plan to start this process of transformation you will need to accept that nothing is sacred. Transforming anything means looking at everything without preference and changing or removing it completely without regret. It will change people, their roles and responsibilities, divisional politics, funding models and budgets, business governance may be rewritten completely, processes may be discarded and loved software and technology scrapped.

But the choice is stark either engage digitally or accept second or a hundredth place in the market, until the customers who don’t use Digital die off and your business joins them.

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#IoT People in #London

#IoT People in #London

So I’m putting this list together of some really smart people I’ve come across recently as we all work towards making the open IoT a reality.

  1. Michael Bayler, Founder and Director, understands the true impact of IoT and aids clients prepare – Independent Consultant
  2. Erik Staaf, Managing Director at IOT-as-a-Service.com, what set him apart is he has actual case studies – Independent Consultant
  3. George Achillias, Digital Anthropologist, he understands the technology without driving clients to specific suppliers – Wipro Digital
  4. Karl Smith, CEO Paradigm Interactions, author and futurist, building a retail IoT test platform with 20% totally newly invented technology – Independent Consultant
  5. Brendan Mislin, Managing Director, total genius years ahead of the time – Accenture
  6. Jon Pearson, Co-founder & Director, an innovator involved in FinTech – Deutsche Bank
  7. Olena Kaplan, Senior Analyst, an innovator involved in HealthTech – Beecham Research
  8. Windahl Finnigan, design, research, strategy & innovation consultant, an innovator looking at the end to end experience – Independent Consultant
  9. Pete Trainor, Author, Speaker, Director of Human Focused Digital, an innovator looking at the end to end experience – Independent Consultant
  10. Nigel Willson, Global Strategist, involved in helping customers digitally disrupt and transform – Microsoft

This is a personal list and not exhaustive.

Independent Consultant can easily provide services, others work Client side for in-house teams or for Global Consultancies.

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Welcome to my blog

About Karl Smith

Karl Smith works globally with directors, stakeholders and customers of multi-national enterprises across all verticals and technology stacks whose focus is on new concepts and capabilities that drive customer engagement, interaction and retention.

He creates digital companies, strategies and services that drive customer centricity into the core of client companies, that in turn enable them to realise their ambitions to engage with and establish a consistent two-way communication and interaction with their customers.

These new companies and capabilities are underwritten with tailored blue sky work, digital strategy, management consulting and program planning fitting to tight timescales, strategically correct, fully featured, useable, governable, scalable, efficient, end to end business propositions, service designs, applications, integrations and software systems.

Karl Smith Practical Skills

He is a highly competent, personable, creative and motivated person with a keen insight and definition ability. He is a critical thinker and able to rapidly discover the essence of problems then define, communicate, create buy-in and deliver end to end digital and process solutions. He positively motivates those around him and is able to engender a great team dynamic by leading from the front. He has business experience since 1989 at comparable levels in fields including defence, industry, energy, pharmaceutical, biomedical, construction, fashion, finance, banking, FMCG, property, publishing, healthcare, travel, policing, crown office, local and central government. He has specialist banking experience with investment, private, commercial, business, trading, wealth management in Europe, USA, China, Australia, Japan and Russia.

Karl Smith is a Founder and Director of UCD UK Conferences.

Karl has worked with several companies to define for launch or redefine their service offerings, business structures or digital presence including;

  • Avaloq AG – Setting up enterprise wide adoption of design thinking principals, master plan delivered in just two months.
  • Wipro Digital – Launch Wipro Digital, Design Thinking, Service Design, Creative Technology Services, User Experience Strategy, Creative Design Services, M&A Designit – 2014
  • Accenture – Launch of Enterprise User Experience, Digital Services Launch, M&A Fjord – 2012
  • Pearson Publishing – Digital Services Restructuring – 2011
  • Deutsche Bank – Self Service Paradigm Shift – 2011
  • RBS – Risk Management – 2010
  • The Oxford University Press – Mobile First Digital Strategy – 2009

Karl Smith has a wide experience in management consultancy and digital technology including business management, start-up, business strategy, digital strategy, advertising, customer experience, user experience, productisation, governance, change management, project management (waterfall & Agile), enterprise architecture and project definition, design, optimisation, delivery and digital marketing. He has been honoured by the British Computer Society for his eminence and significant contribution to the fields of UCD and User Experience with a Fellowship.

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12 #UX things you need to know

Getting into user experience, what you need to know?

What will a person need to be able to do to get into user experience;

1. Can you think?

Not the most subtle way to ask, but can you be creative? Thinking at the beginning of a project can save a huge amount of money and time later, but many user experience people blast their way into a project by starting on wireframes, without knowing what they are doing.

A huge amount of user experience simply is not user experience, its pretty pictures with poor justifications ‘it’s best practice’ my usual response is ‘prove that it’s best practice’.

2. Can you find things out?

Do you have a critical mind, can you work out what is missing from the information you have been given.

A project requires a bit of detective work because there are always gaps in the information provided to user experience, mainly because clients and IT don’t know what to provide or what is provided has had the juicy bits (outlier views) removed because clients and IT don’t know they are important.

3. Are you objective?

Having a strong opinion on user experience is really important, but it must always be tempered with an open non judgemental attitude. Are you willing to be changed by what your client, users or IT people know?

User experience people are not the gate keepers of an absolute set of rules, we have two ears and one mouth, we should listen twice as much as we speak.

4. Can you discern Fact from Fiction?

Again talking with clients, users or IT people can be pretty confusing unless you can work out if what they are talking about is still within the boundaries and various time lines of the project. A quick guide;

  • Clients tend to talk about the desired end state
  • Users tend to talk about any snippets they have heard about the project or their hopes for it
  • IT tends to take the pragmatic approach by thinking ‘what can we really deliver’

They are all true or were true at some point, or may be true if we had more time and money etc.

5. Can you deal with the politics?

Can you avoid taking sides in the various feuds that were going on before you got there and not flame the fires of distrust between business and IT.

6. Will you understand the business you are serving?

Your in a service relationship with the business, helping them get past their assumptions about their users and giving them some facts to act upon.

7. Will you understand the users you are serving?

Your in a service relationship with the users, helping them get what they need and desire.

8. Can you test – concepts, theories, business thinking, user perceptions etc?

Your going to need a lot of guts to question other peoples thinking.

User experience people reserve the right to ask stupid questions, in order to avoid doing stupid things, by Karl Smith 1999.

I’ve been saying this since 1999, I say it on every project.

9. Can you seek validation?

The user experience person is not right, they can come up with concepts and questions but a user experience person never decides they are right, they must check out what they do with other people. Often this process of seeking validation reveals more information and opens door to previously inaccessible people.

10. Can you communicate – findings and concepts?

Can you talk to people and provide information to them in a digestible way? The best way to work is to not use jargon, not assume that people understand anything especially verbal references to famous people or design principals.

You need to be able to package your information in the users and stakeholders own verbal environment, so that they recognise and understand it when they hear it.

11. Can you understand and benefit from the project teams expertise?

Do you know what other people on the project do? For example do you know enough about technology to carry out research with developers to pre-scope extra user requirements.

Can you cope with the give and take that happens during development and know which things to fight for?

12. Finally do you keep your common sense active?

Can you spot a non sensible request, a great example of this was NASA spending $1,000,000 on a pen that would work in space, while Roscosmos (USSR) gave their astronauts a pencil. Can you give a reasoned non personalised argument for not doing something?

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