A common challenge organisations have when embarking on digital transformation is figuring out where to begin. Often, there are no shortage of problems to fix or opportunities to seize.

It can be tempting to spend time researching, assessing and prioritising all these opportunities. However, this can sometimes lead to 'analysis paralysis'. It's often better to just get started on something, rather than trying to conduct a comprehensive prioritisation. This will emerge over time.

A good approach is to pick a small number of areas - exemplars - where you can:

  • Build consensus. It'll be much easier to make progress if there is wide agreement that these are the right priorities.
  • Deliver real value in less than 6 months. This is critical to build momentum. Find areas with high levels of engagement and no 'show stoppers' like insurmountable information governance issues.
  • Learn from the experience. It helps if the exemplars are representative of the kind of problems you're trying to solve.
  • Make a real impact. Exemplars should focus on things that matter to patients, clinicians and stakeholders.


Crucially, your exemplar should be in a part of your trust that wants to change and try something new. It is likely there will be a number of exemplars from your organisation's response to COVID-19. As a board, it is important to promote these successes internally and externally and apply the learning across the trust.