Leadership Traits of Successful Digital Projects

Leadership Traits of Successful Digital Projects

Digital transformation projects require a focused leadership team to drive creativity and change. These leaders have the digital literacy required to implement projects, but they also have the people skills necessary to move teams forward.

Intentional change is a challenging aspect of every digital transformation project. It is not an organization’s nature to practice intentional change. Companies, like people, often resist change and build walls to avoid change. Digital transformation by its very nature creates change. Organizations not comfortable with change will resist the requirements of digital transformation projects.

Leadership can rise above the habits, routines, and sacred cows of organizations to drive the intentional change of a digital transformation project. It takes more than knowledge about technology.  It takes people knowledge.  These leaders know people and what it takes to drive a successful digital project.

Who are these leaders?  What skills are required to lead digital transformation projects? Several leadership traits are present in successful digital transformation projects.

1. Developing a Sound Strategy

Digital leaders develop solid strategies to drive digital transformation and create the necessary change within organizations. Uniting an organization around the strategy is a serious challenge for every project. The strategy must successfully deliver the technology and do it gently and purposefully with the people in the company.

2. Building Awareness

Successful leadership builds awareness about projects, goals, and the work required. Projects seldom develop according to plan and awareness of the critical aspects of the project is essential for people to optimize contribution. Unfortunately, “I didn’t know” is said all too often. Building awareness and communicating throughout the project is the solution to people not knowing how to succeed.

3. Setting Fair, Achievable Production Goals

Setting production goals is a critical aspect of project performance.  People need to know what is expected of them and what they need to achieve for success. Project performers need production goals to be achievable and motivating. If goals are too far out of reach, they can cease to be motivating.

4. Removing the Sacred Cows

Companies often have habits, routines, or traditions that have reached the status of sacred cows. They often impede performance and prevent real progress from occurring. Removing the sacred cows allows real change to occur.

5. Providing Daily Feedback on Productivity

Daily reports give employees, supervisors, and leadership vital performance information.  An employee will know where he or she stands daily. Daily feedback identifies problems and gives people the opportunity to solve problems before they become too big. Projects often fail in the absence of continuous feedback.

6. Identifying Major Productivity Constraints

In every project, some productivity issues are beyond the employee’s control.  Identifying major productivity constraints allows resources to be allocating towards solving the constraints so projects can continually move forward. These issues can be factored into the project and accounted for, so employees remain empowered.

7. Rewarding Productivity Gains

Leaders set up rewards for productivity gains based on the production goals of the project. Rewarding productivity keeps motivation high and people talking positively. It is difficult to keep projects moving forward in the face of constant change. Rewards help people recognized for achieving their goals. Positive feedback helps people continue to work and move forward in the face of change.