7 Traits of a Successful Digital Workplace

There are several specific qualities of exceptional Digital Workplaces that stand out as contributing factors to success. The good news is that these attributes can be executed regardless of the technology selection.

Your Digital Workplace with LumApps
7 Traits of a Successful Digital Workplace


Like any disruptive change event, Digital Workplace failures can be attributed to a programmatic disconnect. This can stem from an overall misaligned strategy to poor employee engagement. Nonetheless, there are common characteristics of “world-class” Digital Workplaces that truly reshape the manner in which the business operates.

1. A Clear Vision

The most successful Digital Workplaces possess a clear and concise vision for the future.

The vision could be part of the company mission or even a statement related to a multi-year change program. Either way, this acts as the Northstar of any business transformation initiative.

All of the decisions within the transformation plan – from the goals and objectives of the program strategy, down to the applications, use cases, and user interface design – all relate back to the vision. Every consideration ultimately leads back to a stated purpose.

Interestingly, this is often an overlooked aspect of Digital Workplace planning, and yet, the most crucial.

2. Strong Governance Framework & Resources

World-class Digital Workplaces maintain healthy and evolving governance programs, coupled with the resources necessary to take action.

Establishing a well defined governance framework will continue to serve you over the lifetime of your Digital Workplace.

Consider, as the governance program evolves from launch and into the first year, there is the potential to make positive business impacts well beyond technical outcomes.

Proper oversight weighs decisions across different layers of responsibilities, with appropriate stakeholders per layer. A best practice that has emerged over the years is a model that segments stakeholders by Strategic Ownership, Operational Imperatives, and the Tactical Implementation/Interaction – as appropriate to the organization’s culture.

3. Delivers Definitive Business Value

The value to the organization is clear and defined – aligned to the vision and mission.

The most successful Digital Workplaces outline a clear set of goals and objectives aligned to the vision. The very best, determine a timeframe of delivery over the course of a year.

This results in a more defined governance scope, use case focus, design delivery, and minimizes customization decisions as there are clear, quantitative guardrails established at the beginning of the journey.

4. Executive Champions

Transformation is a tremendous risk for any organization, and it requires strong, active leadership.

The word ‘champion’ is used here for a specific purpose. Sponsorship as a formality is falsely reassuring to employees. Thus, for trust to develop around any change effort, leaders must be open and transparent about the activities, communicating frequently and celebrating the road ahead.

Executives must drive the initiative forward, ensuring the success of their application owners and program strategists. When barriers arise, executive champions provide assistance. Otherwise, competing priorities within the organization will cannibalize time, attention, and resources.

5. Utility Rich Use Cases

Why do some digital workplaces become vibrant hubs of usage, collaboration, conversation, and engagement? The answer is utility.

For a digital workplace to thrive, it must positively answer the timeless question of, “Is this useful to me?”

Far too often, Digital Workplaces will focus on an abundance of consumption-driven use cases – an overwhelming pile of news and announcements which overload the users’ path to more useful information.

In other missteps, the focus becomes too much on design and creating an “on-brand” experience to satisfy specific business leaders. These implementations will always fail and miss the mark in creating tangible business value that changes the way employees work.

6. Supported Employee Base

To achieve revolutionary changes, best-in-class Digital Workplaces assist employees in becoming part of a new future.

One of the foundations of change is support. World-class application owners build internal communication and support programs as part of the digital strategy. This lessens change anxiety, as transformation efforts begin to take shape. Additionally, this allows employee populations the opportunity to help provide insight with rich feedback cycles.

Program owners should seed this location with pertinent information, training, and communications – cultivating a vital hub for employees to understand the ongoing digital plans. In fact, strategies like these can turn your most hardened digital detractors into change champions.

7. Program Strategy & Roadmap

The program strategy is the overarching heart of the transformation, including organizational readiness, measurement planning and governance. Most importantly, it serves as the roadmap to the future.

The very best digital strategies focus on creating a vibrant living program within the organization, delivering a compelling employee experience that reshapes the customer experience.

Ultimately, great application owners refuse to treat the transformation effort as a project (with a definitive end date), but as an ongoing program.


Bringing it All Together

There are many great qualities of successful Digital Workplaces. The most exceptional will align each of the 7 traits in a cohesive manner.

The Transformation Strategy Pyramid is a tool I have used over the last ten years to structure thoughts and guidance for my clients. For Transformation initiatives, it is used to show traceability of Vision + Decision + Action.

The Transformation Strategy Pyramid

Your Digital Workplace with LumApps


Rob Ryan
US Sales Engineering Director


Digital Workplace

Published on

November 15, 2019