Digital Transformation


Insights Series – 1


Compiled and Edited by Ipek Sahra Ozguler

International Correspondent

Istanbul, Turkey

The Insights series is designed to provide exclusive opportunities for project management professionals to learn new perspectives on various key trends and topics.  The series will include thoughts and reflections by project management experts and thought leaders from around the world.

The subject this month is “Digital Transformation”.  Several well-known project  management leaders seek to address the following questions:

  • What is digital transformation?
  • How to manage digital transformation
  • How to sustain digital transformation
  • The Key Success Factors
  • Challenges / Opportunities

Invited Project Management Leaders this month:

Al Zeitoun

Andy Kaufman

Gaurav Dhooper

Jennifer Young Baker

Jesús Martínez Almela


Al Zeitoun

Chief Executive and Global Innovation Strategist

PMI Fellow

Past Member, PMI Board of Directors



Reflections on Digital Transformation – Creating True Benefits

I am a big believer in excellence in operating and delivery of strategic outcomes.  For me, the equation for excellence is built on increasing process autonomy, digitally capable people, and agile, delivery- focused governance.

This is where digital transformation fits into the mix.  In a time when 10X scaling is a strategic priority for many of our organizations, this is what gets me excited about digital transformation’s potential, especially as it links to the achievement of strategic outcomes of our businesses in the forms of programs and projects.  The immediate shock I get is that several studies note that around 70% of digital transformation initiatives still fail.  This brings me back to my classical statement that I usually make when talking with executives and decision-makers: “Programs and projects fail before they start because they start for the wrong reasons.”  In my view there are no more qualified candidates to fall into that trap like digital transformation initiatives.

As I digest the cases when I have encountered excited leaders willing to catch up or take the lead on being digitally enabled business, I saw time and again that they don’t take the time to truly understand why they are making that a priority, traditionally coupled with an extreme failure in communicating the transformation vision across the organization layers.  My observations, working closely with many global organizations pursuing transformation, is that we need a balanced approach and a model that addresses the three major spheres of focus: culture, systems, and people as will be shown in figure 1 below.


To read entire report, click here

How to cite this interview:  Ozguler, I.S. (2021). Insights Series – 1: Digital Transformation, report, PM World Journal, Vol. X, Issue VIII, August.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/pmwj108-Aug2021-Ozguler-Insights-Series-1-Digital-Transformation-report2.pdf

About the Editor

Ipek Sahra Ozguler

Istanbul, Turkey


Ipek Sahra Ozguler graduated from the Istanbul University, Turkey with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering and from Middle East Technical University, Turkey with an MSc degree in Software Management. As a project manager, she has more than 13 years of experience in various areas such as portfolio management, program management, project management, software management, business analysis. She became a certified PMP in 2012 and a certified SCRUM Master in 2014.

She has gained broader insights in a variety of projects across manufacturing, defence, FMCG (Cola Cola), insurance (Euler Hermes), audit (Deloitte), telecommunication, aviation and finance sectors. In addition, she has been working as an international correspondent for the PM World Journal since 2014.

Ipek is the creator and editor of the highly acclaimed book, The Perspective of Women Project Management Professionals, interviews with leading female PM experts and professionals around the world. The book was published in March 2020 and is available here.

Ipek is based in Istanbul,Turkey and can be contacted at ipeksahra@gmail.com. Her portfolio is published at the http://ipeksahra.strikingly.com/ and https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/ipek-sahra-ozguler/.