2020 was a challenging year without doubt, but it also showcased some amazing digital transformation within seemingly short timescales. However, many companies do not start their digital journey already capable of great innovation and agility. Often it is completely the opposite, with the digital teams faced with constant firefighting of day to day issues with very little time for proactive work and looking to the future.

Just before Christmas I had the pleasure of interviewing Danny Attias the CDIO of Anthony Nolan. Danny has experienced an incredible journey with Anthony Nolan, and in 2020 was ranked the number one CIO in the UK by CIO UK. I was keen to speak with him to pose the question of how you move a digital team from BAU to one that could genuinely be described as disruptive.

There were three key elements to making the shift; the people, technology and the business. Danny talked through how they implemented structured people development programmes through ‘apprenticeships’ which ultimately enabled three original team members to move into senior roles now looking at leading edge technology. What was most interesting was the fact that this development concept was also rolled out to the wider business with many employees learning about the fundamentals of data.

When digital teams move to AGILE transformation projects the wider business does not always match up with the fluid and to some degree uncertain state. In other words, it’s often difficult to define a project into the traditional time, cost, outcome. Danny talks about the journey with stakeholders and the shift to being measured on the success of the outcome rather than the narrow time, cost and defined outcome.

The need for patience and ‘time’ is clearly important. Danny recognised that this shift is not something that happens quickly, mindsets need to change, and mistakes will happen. What is Danny most proud about? Simply, his team. He is proud at how they have developed, embraced and grown from the BAU firefighting to now leading the charge in disruption.

It’s a great and open insight from Danny and well worth a watch. Thank you, Danny for sharing your journey with us.