Continuing this Digital Transformation series our Chief Operating Officer, Jonny Turner discusses three ways to improve operational agility within your organisation.
At Sport:80 we believe technology should be an enabler. It should help you be more productive, allow you to capitalise on trends, and give you a foundation to bring new initiatives to life. This idea revolves around one of the core areas of Digital Transformation; Operational Agility.
Now technology is the ‘go-to’ for operational agility, the challenge for organisations is knowing where to start. With that in mind, I’ve picked three areas which you should be considering.
Create a mobile workforce
Using technology to empower a mobile workforce is one of the best ways to improve operational agility and the productivity of staff.
Think beyond devices like laptops, tablets and smartphones and use the variety of applications designed for businesses to improve how staff can work remotely. These include secure file-sharing services like Dropbox and Google Drive, video conferencing software to conduct virtual meetings, and real-time collaboration tools like Slack.
A recent study by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) found employees who work for ‘mobility-optimised’ organisations are 16% more productive on average. Over a year that amounts to roughly an extra eight weeks of output.
Transform processes prone to bottlenecks
A key component of improving operational agility is the ability to transform processes prone to bottlenecks. One particular example we have dealt with recently is safeguarding.
We have experienced organisations with coach, officials and volunteer data in multiple locations, course registrations being sold through separate systems, and qualifications and DBS checks being processed in others. This disparate management of safeguarding inevitably resulted in bottlenecks and numerous weak points presenting increased risk.
We’ve worked with several organisations to improve this area, helping them to deliver safeguarding processes with security at the forefront. The first step was to centralise the data and tools linked to the management of safeguarding. This gave the organisations complete visibility of data and the ability to administer safeguarding processes from one place. We then introduced new processes to validate individuals’ information and automation that removes their status within the sport if any of their credentials expire.
In one fell swoop, we transformed a resource-heavy process in to a secure, centralised solution that prioritised the safety of participants. This is just one example where technology can introduce new ways of working that enable organisations to become more agile.
Embed flexibility and scalability
To effectively launch new initiatives, capitalise on market trends or solve inefficiencies within your organisations, your systems need to be flexible and scalable.
For example, imagine your organisation wants to introduce a monthly subscription membership. This would put demands on various areas of your organisation. You would require a registration system so members can sign up; a payment system to process recurring monthly payments; and the tools to make sure that members are receiving value month-on-month.
If your systems can’t support your organisation and bring your ideas to life, you will either find yourself regularly procuring new tech or just watching your initiatives fall flat. It’s important the technology you use is flexible enough to scale as your organisation does.
It’s essential to understand the importance of the areas covered above; however, they should be part of what is a more comprehensive digital strategy. Areas such as behavioural change, leadership and culture will also play big part in the digital transformation of your organisation.