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After the entirely scary year that has been 2020, there is finally something good to scream about: Halloween is on a Saturday!

No rushing home from work to throw costumes on and scarf down pizza, or worrying about strict bedtimes so everyone isn’t too tired for school the next day. Whether your kids will be out for some traditional trick-or-treating or you’ll be celebrating at home with The Sanderson Sisters on the screen, one element is a constant – there will be candy. Probably bowl full!

Year after year, I find that the candy bowl disappears quicker than I had anticipated. Between the candy I purchased to hand out and the pounds brought home by the kids, I get a stomachache looking at it all and guarantee myself, “this has to take us through to next year.” But, every year, you can make your Thanksgiving Day football bets on a clean candy bowl before turkeys arrive at the grocery store.

How does this happen?!

Piece-By-Piece, A.K.A “The Candy Bowl Approach”

Piece by piece, the candy slowly dwindles. You vow to only have one piece a day, but that quickly turns into one piece an hour (especially working from home!). Multiply that by however many people are in your house, and that’s the rate at which your stash is being eaten through – literally!

What if, instead, we could apply this concept to digital transformation? If we saw the results in cost and time savings, customer satisfaction and more robust processes instead of our waistlines?

That sounds like a much better plan to me.

Just the concept of “digital transformation” can seem so daunting, can’t it? It evokes the anticipation of extra, internal work, training times and lots of meetings. You can already hear the groans from disgruntled and confused staff – uncertainty will do that to people.

But fear not: we’re here to reassure you that digitally transformed offices, departments, agencies and cities don’t happen all at once – like the candy bowl, it gets done piece by piece. Just as the processes it enhances, digital transformation itself is also a process. In fact, you may find you’re never completely done. So indulge in the development – take your time, partner with the best vendors, stay within budget and leave wiggle room for new doors to open (hopefully there’s not a creepy butler standing behind them!).

From one candy aficionado to another, here are some tried-and-tested tips for unwrapping digital transformation one bit at a time instead of all at once – A process I affectionately refer to as “The Candy Bowl Approach.”

Start with the obvious: If I have only a few Reese’s Pieces and a ton of Twizzlers, I’m starting with the obvious choice (after all, when you share a candy bowl with a household, it’s every person for themselves).

Apply this same concept to your digital transformation process – start with the obvious pain points. If storage and retrieval is costing you several hours of frustration per day, knock it out first. Research a scalable, enterprise content management system that will centralize all your documents, cases, files, photos, evidence and more in a secured, digital environment. Not only is the information you need always a keystroke away, but Cloud-hosted systems ensure your remote staff have secure access from wherever they may be.

Don’t Be Afraid to Mix-and-Match: I have a friend who puts Skittles on pizza – no joke! Granted, I will not go that far, but I do enjoy a more compatible double duo.

Be just as adventurous with your implementation as you are with your sweets! You know you could probably automate some work, so maybe you investigate a robotic process automation tool. But what if you could take it a step further? What if, instead of just automating the process up to the signature, you digitize the signature too? Everything stays in motion without the costly disruptions of printing, wet-inking and scanning. You may even find this option to be more secure and offer faster turnaround.

Do Not Put Unwrapped Candy Back in the Bowl! I take this rule very seriously as it’s a repeat offender in my house. We’ve all unwrapped a candy only to take a bite and realize – yuck! That is NOT what I wanted. Understandable, yes. By all means: please trash it. But whatever you do – please, please, please do not put unwrapped, half-eaten candy back in the bowl. I promise you: no one wants it!

For some at your office, like some people in my house, the temptation may be too much – you may find them occasionally, for certain tasks, resorting back to old habits (i.e., pushing paper). Maybe they aren’t yet comfortable with the new system and so they decide to just go with what they know. Put a hard stop on it – flip the switch once and for all, and ensure everyone is taking the time to learn and properly use the tools you’ve invested in. One of my favorite examples of this is the Project Paperless story, which included project hype and, now, annual celebrations with T-shirts, signs and sheet cakes! If you rally your team behind the idea and get everyone moving in the same direction, your new process will be a quicker, more fun transition.

And if you have a candy bowl problem like me, I’ve found that agreeing a candy is appalling gives your family the permission they might need to throw away certain candies – who likes the strawberry cream filled chocolates anyways? 

May Your Bowl Be Endless

No matter what Halloween 2020 looks like for you, I hope you never find your bowl empty (especially before Thanksgiving) and, if you do, that you’re not afraid to refill. We all need something sweet to look forward to and a few good ideas to constantly chew on.

After all, digital transformation is no trick, but it can be a real treat if you let it!

Happy Halloween!