It is a curious fact how I can predict your digital transformation after the COVID-19 just by looking at how you wear your surgical mask. I can really predict the transformation of any company by seeing how their managers use the mask and I can do that because the way you use the mask, the way you select it, determines whether your digital transformation is going to cost you a lot of money and be useless or, instead, successful. Let me tell you how.
There isn’t one, there’s a hundred
If you’re wondering why I said surgical mask and not hygienic, or even if you’re wondering why I didn’t mention FFP2 or FFP3, then you’re on the right path, you’re not in the group of people I am describing below.
The first group is a group of people who, when they see a mask, only see “whatever” that covers their nose and face and, of course, this is a problem. Masks should not only cover the face, but also prevent the virus from entering our respiratory tract, so they should have certain characteristics. This group of people only think about covering the “never better” file and do not even inform themselves about what types of masks are available, which ones are suitable for their case and which ones they should buy.
The same thing is happening with the digital transformation. Many companies just hear Apps and Agile and shoot for something that includes the words Scrum, post-it, colors, Product Owner, Scrum Master, and Agile Coach. Have you stopped to see which is the best option? Have you anticipated how you are going to perform your company’s transformation? Are you checking that results are improving? No, they are not, they are wearing “their mask”, how can anything go wrong?
The best sword is useless without a skilled hand to wield it
The second group of people wear the right mask, but have a slight problem: they don’t know how to use it. Recently, a video was shown by the Andalusian Health Secretary where he said, ironically, that it has not been possible to confirm that the mask worn on the elbow helps to avoid catching the COVID. Nor has it been confirmed that wearing it on the throat prevents the COVID or even a cold. Evidence shows that the only way to avoid catching the virus is by covering your nose and eyes. You’ll laugh, but walk down your street and then cry at the sight of people.
In the digital transformation we are witnessing the same show. Companies that insist on implementing the technique anyway, with a shoehorn and without any sense. So you see Scrum dailys that last for hours, you see Product Owners asking the team to define the requirements of their own system, you see post-its everywhere, but no sense in decisions. And most importantly, are they seeing that results are getting better? No, they are not, they are wearing “their mask” anyway, how can anything go wrong?
And, of course, there’s the last group, the ones who don’t wear masks. Those who won’t get hurt, those who, since I’m not in the risk group, won’t be affected, but… what about the old people around you? To top it all they do not keep the safety distance, come on, they continue as if nothing had happened and that is indeed what has happened and continues to happen, it is a worldwide pandemic and we have to continue with the precautionary measures.
And, of course, there is the last group, the ones who don’t wear masks. Those who will not get hurt, those who, since I’m not in the risk group, won’t be affected, but… what about the old people around you? To top it all they do not keep the safety distance, come on, they continue as if nothing had happened and that is indeed what has happened and continues to happen, it is a worldwide pandemic and we have to continue with the precautionary measures.
There are also deniers of the digital transformation, they think it is useless, that it is an invention, that they can continue to survive without making it, even stronger, and they prove it because nothing has happened to them yet. Of course, it is just that when you get infected, you may not survive. But… are you checking that the results are improving? No, they do not, they do not wear a mask. How can anything go wrong?
The digital transformation in the POSTCOVID era requires that we make some investment to understand the methodologies, understand the paradigms and provide governance for a transformation that we want to be successful. Without that governance, without that help from someone expert who can verify that the software developments we make are more efficient in relation to cost and effort, we will be immersed in the uncertainty of the ignorant who do not know what mask to wear, of the layman who does not know how to put them on, or of the reckless who let themselves go at the expense of destiny.
It helps to determine that we are improving and helps to know where we need to change to improve.
Are you going to let the fate of your company be decided by luck?