Digital strategy



The digitalization puts established companies on the “spot”, since innovative start-ups develop smart market opportunities including in the banking industry. Hence, our client had to work out a digital strategy for themselves. A lot of possible directions with digital components, many of them having mutual dependencies, generates a high complexity.

Affected managers hold different views and there are a disparate views with regard to maturity around digital options made it hard to set priorities. At the same time one had to agree to a realistic assessment on budget and a plausible resource allocation.


With a two-stage process we first developed and signed off the digital target picture with the help of a large group workshop. With a second step we worked out the implementation roadmap accordingly with another large group workshop. During preparation for the ‘Target-picture-workshop’  the project team analyzed relevant digital options and condensed these into a few scenarios.

With regard to customer interactions some exciting ‘digital customer journeys’ were drafted. Also for digital operations new ideas were introduced. At the end of the preparation phase a Factbook – about 60 pages – contained interesting internal and external facts as well as a collection of possible scenarios. About 50 carefully selected participants joined the ‘Target-picture-workshop’ and contributed with their experience and know-how to discuss and finalize the digital target picture.

A constructive but hefty debate around the best possible solution could not be avoided. Too many perspectives and interests were involved. It is part of the process and it has to be accepted as part of a ‘sportsmanlike competition of ideas’. Even when all participants bring all their passion and arguments to the discussion, it was not a democratic process though. The top-managers had to decide and they did. After 3 intense days of workshop, the digital target picture of the bank was clear and priorities were set.

In the following weeks necessary investments were validated and the availability of resources was checked. Again, scenarios were developed as a starting point for discussion during the workshop. This time it was about who takes on responsibility for developing and piloting digital projects and how a roll-out sequence for the countries could look like.

The second large-group-workshop – about 8 weeks later – was organized for the same group of participants to finally build and align on the digital roadmap. This time it was 2 intense days running with a comparable methodology. In addition the teams worked out topics like a governance model and communication plan. The preparatory work was equally intensive since robust figures needed to be discussed and assessed.


After 4 months the bank had an aligned digital target picture as well as a roadmap for implementation of  the upcoming change. Clear responsibilities were assigned and immediate next steps defined. The results were directly confirmed, committed and documented. Additionally an important outcome was created through the fashion in which participants were collaborating – especially during the large group workshops. 50 participants became ambassadors of the upcoming digital transformation – in the context of change management activities; a highly appreciated asset.

The opportunity for employees to participate in shaping the future of their own company produces a higher motivation than anything else. The flip side – taking serious responsibility for implementation – has to be accepted as a result. It is very important to state, that there is no observer role during the workshops. All participants were clear about the fact, that the workshops is of  a binding nature and there is no room for retroactive influence.