* This article was originally posted on Forbes.com *
We’ve talked about the elements necessary for successful digital intrapreneurship . Now it’s time for concrete action. If your organization is looking to jump-start a digital initiative, these 100 days could serve as a rallying cry.
Or maybe you’re coming into a leadership role in a new organization, or taking on a new level of responsibility in your current company. When you’re looking to make an impact and considering avenues for improvement, it’s hard to know where to start.
For digital intrapreneurs, there is often no shortage of ideas. This type of person looks constantly at outdated processes and archaic habits, considering how new tools and methods can be implemented to increase efficiency and output.
Great ideas can come from that, but the challenge is how to direct the energy, team and resources into the correct initiative. You want to score some quick wins in these early days while still moving toward the bigger goal you’re trying to achieve.
The following four considerations are universal, no matter your business. The first 100 days of a digital initiative or endeavor are foundational, and they set the tone for everything that comes after, so it’s vital that you choose the right areas to focus on.
1. Social Media Audit
First off, get your social media under control. While you might not think this applies to your company (whether your company is business-to-business, sells insurance, etc.), remember that things like online reviews on Yelp and Google fall into this category.
Anywhere people could be having conversations about you, you need to be aware of them — and participating as much as possible. You also need to know the current temperature. Are customers there, or is it a “dead” page? Do you have a lot of supporters or detractors? Is the page nothing but customer complaints? Know where you stand.
Once you’ve completed the audit, be quick to shut down any platforms you can’t afford to resource effectively. Just because everyone has a Facebook page doesn’t mean it’s right for your company.
If you can’t respond to a customer inquiry within 24 hours, you shouldn’t be on that platform. What’s the point of advertising a presence if you don’t monitor it? Don’t pretend to participate in the conversation if you can’t genuinely do it.
You’ll also be able to see where to double down. Then focus on the governance, monitoring and controls for each channel. Who has access? When someone is hired or fired, how is that controlled? This is essentially your public megaphone, so be prudent about not leaving the door wide open.
2. Real-Time Reporting
In any area where critical decisions are made, the timing and responsiveness of results reporting can often provide more value than the actual metrics themselves.
For example, your January results show up early to mid-February. You spend a week focusing on action items and regroup with your team on February 21. You set a plan to begin making adjustments beginning March 1. By that date, you’re two-thirds through the sales quarter, and you’re just now starting to react to what happened in the first quarter.
Even without 100% audited numbers, getting the number directionally correct two to four weeks sooner can make a big difference. Ultimately, time is the enemy. As a digital leader or change agent, finding a way to enable real-time reporting is a quick way to get a win.
Many reports (e.g., Google Analytics) can be automated. There are also ways to have things exported into CSV/Excel files for easier processing. It’s about getting the data into the hands of the stakeholders faster. Be transparent and honest, with the caveat that figures are 95-98% accurate. Doing this will give you more time for continuous improvement, which gives you a leg up.
3. Customer Communication
To evaluate and improve customer communication, focus on digital. And here, digital should be synonymous with responsive.
Consider the e-commerce industry and how a customer feels when they get an email with their tracking number. They’re excited! Their order is on its way with no chance of being canceled or out of stock. In some ways, that email can feel better than the actual delivery.
The same goes for customer communication. Any customer-facing position in a digital transformation should be focused on responsiveness. How quickly do your reps reply to emails? How do customers rank you on Net Promoter Score surveys? These digital metrics help keep communication top of mind.
If it makes sense for your company, consider a ticketing system to analyze the service-level agreement (SLA) on ticket response time, ticket close time and satisfactory closes. Otherwise, send out surveys. And don’t just lean on responding quickly; ensure that you’re responding accurately and fixing issues.
4. Internal Task Management
If your organization is big enough to be undertaking a digital transformation, you probably have at least 20 or more employees and would, therefore, benefit from some basic team task management tools.
This ties back into responsiveness, as it fosters a culture of responsibility. Your team is expected to be responsive to both the internal stakeholders (through project management) and customers (by way of digital communication tracking).
The biggest value of digital over physical is that things are more trackable. There are more logs you can query, and when looking at employee productivity as a manager, you have tons of data to optimize from.
When you bring on someone new, everything is centrally managed. A new person can easily get up to date with the last six months of a running project because it’s all kept in this task management tool.
You can look at what types of projects you’re working on, what types of skills you need to hire for and what areas have bottlenecks where you could backfill with external resources. With a system like this in place, you’ll have the data at your fingertips.
These first 100 days are crucial to the success of any digital initiative. Put these priorities at the top of your checklist to ensure you get off on the right foot.