Overview of Doctoral Research into Digital Transformation Mobilisation


The Problem

Successful Digital Transformation can deliver significant business outcomes, yet both transformation experience and research in radically transforming a business to deliver a new business strategy the majority of efforts fail and actually destroy shareholder value.

Although extensive research exists around the definition and implementation of strategy as separate activities, understanding how the mobilization phase (connecting strategy and implementation of that strategy) to effectively deliver business outcomes is extremely limited.

This Doctoral research project (Warwick Business School) focuses on understanding whether the mobilization phase is the critical driver of business results in digital (disruptive) transformation.


Research Approach

A “Delphi” study (a panel of experts) will be identified to define the critical components of mobilization which will be used to develop a “Mobilization Scorecard” with maturity measures for each component.  The scorecard will be applied at key intervals (startup, after 1 week, after 4 weeks etc) to a set of starting/ early stage digital transformation initiatives to measure progress of each against the scorecard categories. This data will then be analysed against the progress of the initiative after 6 months and 12 months to determine if initiatives that score highly initially on the Mobilisation Scorecard are more likely to achieve their defined target business outcomes (or are on the right track!)


FAQS


What is the OBJECTIVE of the research?

To improve the success rate of digital transformation initiatives,

What is a DELPHI Group?

A Delphi group is a research method where "experts" in the subject matter (you) reach consensus on key research questions developed by the researcher (me)

How MANY experts will be part of the group?

Ideally, the group would be around 20 experts. Unfortunately, I cannot guarantee that all individuals who respond to the questionnaire will be invited to participate in the research as their background and experience may not be suitable due to a number of factors.  Unsuccessful experts will still be eligible for the benefits described below in "WHAT is in this for the expert ?".

WHAT will the Delphi experts do?

They will define the key elements of pre-mobilization, mobilization, and post-mobilization phases for digital transformation initiatives and prioritize the relative importance of key elements within the mobilization phase.

HOW will the Delphi phase work?


Experts will respond to a number of online questionnaires (like this one) provided by the researcher about digital transformation mobilization which will then be consolidated and reissued for successive "rounds" until a consensus is reached.

How much TIME will this need from the expert?

Typically, 4-6 "rounds" of Delphi will be required. Each round will require 10-15 minutes of online questionnaire response by the expert.  This equates to 60 to 90 minutes of total effort spread over 8 weeks (so not too onerous a time commitment)

What happens AFTER the Delphi phase?

The consensus output of the expert group will be used by the researcher to develop a mobilization "scorecard".  The researcher will then apply the scorecard to a number of digital transformation initiatives at regular periods (3-5) as they progress from startup to completion to determine if there are key elements of mobilization that improve the probability of success.

What will the OUTPUT of the research be?

The final output will be a combination of a doctoral (DBA) thesis, a book summarizing the research, and a published scorecard as a separate asset. 

WHEN will the research be completed?

The current expectation is that all research will be completed by March 2021

What is in this for the "EXPERT"?

Being part of research to improve digital transformation efforts across the globe
Connecting to other experts in different countries and verticals (subject to individual personal privacy preferences)
A presentation of the results of the research by the researcher with Q&A
Experts will have the first call on the opportunity to apply the emerging scorecard in their own organization in the next phase of the research
Once the scorecard has been finalized, the researcher will conduct a diagnostic for a digital transformation initiative of the expert’s choice with a session to share the results and any recommendations
Accreditation in the thesis, book, and scorecard (subject to personal privacy preferences of the experts)
Copies of the thesis and at least one free copy of the book when published (expected to be in 2021)

What will the RESEARCHER do?

Develop the initial mobilization areas to be agreed and prioritized through my research and experience that will be the starting point for the group
Run the Delphi process to gather input from the individuals in the group to develop consensus
Develop the scorecard
Apply the scorecard to a number (9-12) of digital transformation initiatives (3-4 times per initiative) to provide longitudinal (time series) set of data
Analyze the data to see how successful the initiative is at different stages and whether there key elements within mobilization that influence success or failure.

Is the information that experts provide CONFIDENTIAL (including their personal data?

All responses are strictly confidential and Delphi expert’s personal information will be anonymized during the research. 

Does the research project operate under a code of ETHICS?

All research at Warwick Business School is subject to a strict code of ethics available on request.