BCH Global’s Blockchain Transformation Playbook
Updated: Aug 15, 2019
Similar to the dot-com era, acute executive decision makers are not expecting the initial phase of blockchain to be spectacularly overwhelming. They know it will take time, and that the right thing to do now is to set up a clear transformational plan.
All they need is a to incorporate blockchain in their business structure and strategy in order to:
Establish platform standards to implement blockchain at the enterprise level.
Identify industry-specific blockchain solutions. No time for general purpose.
Unlock interconnectivity between multiple independent blockchain platforms.
There is no magic formula but, rather, a consistent, pragmatic, structured methodology that leverages the experience of numerous enterprise blockchain projects. At BCH Global we have developed the Blockchain Transformation Playbook.
There are five basic steps in a transformational enterprise blockchain project:
1. Start with a small project: You absolutely need to convince your internal stakeholders to give you more budget and ‘political’ support. A limited pilot project that addresses an existing open issue lets you stay in control and reduce the inevitable risk factors. The objectives of the project must be clear, measurable, and show quantifiable progress within the first six months. There are no (as of yet) specific blockchain development frameworks. Companies using blockchain have devised existing frameworks and processes that have worked out in the past. Some enterprises launch pilot projects not to solve an immediate problem but, rather, to understand how things could be improved or, even, made possible when the current technology cannot.
2. Build a blockchain taskforce: External skilled staff is rather expensive (60% higher than the average employee salary). A long-term strategy requires a centralized taskforce with people from within the organization: Project Managers, Product Managers, Data Scientists, Security Analysts, and Implementation Executives. Some enterprises outsource the operational software development. You must create a blockchain division reporting to the CEO under the leadership of the Chief Technology (or Development) Officer. Even if you have skilled people from within the organization, it is still opportune to hire talent. A quick checklist for hiring blockchain talent. Skills to Look for:
In-depth understanding of blockchain protocols and architectures.
Ability to develop smart contracts independently.
In-depth understanding of data structures and their link to front-end applications.
Well-versed in cryptography and latest techniques.
Experience in application development.
An excellent understanding and knowledge of current blockchain platforms.
3. Train the team: The first to train will be the acquired talent, to assimilate the company culture, socialize with the current team members and create a cohesive and balanced task force. Online courses, YouTube videos, podcasts are all excellent online training resources that the team leaders and experts must combine to cover:
Basic understanding of what is blockchain, its current applications, and benefits.
The impact of blockchain on current enterprise systems and economies.
Industry sector case studies.
Technical understanding of the technology, how it works, and its challenges.
Understanding of development tools currently available.
Here is the recommended number of hours for different members of the team:
Executives: 4-6 hours
Individual team leaders: 12-16 hours
Engineers: 100-120 hours
4. Develop a strategy: Setting the strategy is not the first step as usual, because you need first your team to be trained and become familiar with the technology and the tools. To identify the areas to implement the blockchain transformation you also have to assimilate how blockchain innovation impacts core business practices. Blockchain enterprise practitioners address areas characterized by:
Lack of transparency between supply chain partners.
High complexity of the supply chain (e.g., number of players; geographical extension).
High need for security: current centralized IT architectures are vulnerable to hacking attempts that make them insecure.
5. Create internal and external communications: we have seen too many blockchain projects running aground due to lack of proper (especially internal) communication and marketing. As we’ve seen at the very beginning of this post, enterprise managers need to convince their stakeholders to get more budget and ‘political’ support. These are the key communication topics with key stakeholders of a blockchain project:
Investors: The value of the company has increased with the implementation of blockchain.
Public authorities: The project complies with regulations.
Customers and suppliers: Transparency, trust, accountability.
HR department: Your company is one that skilled talent want to work for. It offers creative space and independence.
Internal company employees: Reduce negative reactions by educating about the future they may have to walk in along with the blockchain transformation in the enterprise.
As already said, there is no magic formula but hard work and commitment.
The BCH Global Blockchain Transformation Playbook offers an initial set of clear and pragmatic guidelines that can be further enriched by becoming active member of BCH Global and engage with enterprise peers to exchange thoughts, experience, and practices.