(This post originally appeared on the Xenith Document Systems blog. It is republished here with permission.)

Digital transformation isn’t something that can happen overnight. It requires a desire to make improvements – not just changes.

To make those improvements, you’ll need to decide what “good” looks like and set targets that help you get there.

This means determining policies and metrics at organizational, team and individual levels.

Examples of targets and metrics

Below are some examples of the digitization targets your business could set, and the metrics that could accompany them:

  • A reduction in print volume: by document type, team or individual and measured by focusing on print waste and duplicate printing reduction.
  • Reduction in consumables: the tangible drop in paper and toner overheads.
  • Device usage: the more users per device will in turn mean a smaller printer fleet.
  • Energy and cost savings: a reduced carbon footprint and energy bill.
  • Increased use of scanning: to indicate that paper-based documentation (for example, incoming from customers) is being digitized.

The all-important policies

To help meet the targets above and gain the analytical insight you’ll need, some policies will be required.

Putting such policies together demands balance and a desire to help people understand why they’re being asked to digitize – after all, the last thing you want to do is drive users to costly workarounds.

Some example policies for meeting digitization targets might be:

  • a ‘when to print’ policy that governs the acceptable reasons for using paper;
  • a ‘how to print’ policy which swaps the obvious stuff for when to use double-sided, the use of cover sheets and when to send to a central print facility; and
  • an archiving policy that details which documents should be retained, where they should be stored and for how long.

Combine the above with recycling, overage and energy-saving policies, and you’ll create a framework that demonstrates exactly what people have to do to make change happen.

High-level metrics

To assess your progress towards digitization, it’s important to identify at least three high-level metrics.

While you’re doing this, think carefully about the data you can use to make sure the targets are realistic and achievable.

An example might be:

  • Metric: overall print volume
  • Target: reduce by 30% within six months
  • Source of data: managed print services dashboard

Encouraging change with meaningful targets

People need to feel they have ownership and control of the targets they’re working towards.

If they understand the targets in front of them and know how to achieve them, the business is already halfway there to success.

Despite this, there will be occasions when you need to be more proactive. You can do this by building awareness of the reasons for digitization by using e-learning and internet content, Q&A sessions with staff and flowcharts to help them make print decisions.

Lastly, it may be necessary to offer staff incentives to change. This doesn’t have to be monetary, either; a prize delivered to the team that performs the best against their targets will really help with change management.

Setting targets is a key component of the education phase of digital transformation; neglect it at your peril!

(This post was originally published by Xenith Document Systems, a leading provider of Managed Print Services, Document Solutions and Workflow Automation in London, United Kingdom. They are a Xerox Platinum Partner, winner of the Xerox MPS Partner of the Year award in the UK, and NewField IT’s Systems Integration Partner of the Year in the UK.)