Leading Digital Transformation


Positive Leadership in Project Management


By Frank Saladis, PMP, PMI Fellow

New York, NY, USA

Most business’s today, and most governments and non-profit organizations are managing through, or initiating some form of Digital Transformation. Digital Transformation can be defined as the process of assessing existing technology, identifying gaps or areas for improvement in the delivery of services and products to stakeholders, and utilizing modern technology to create new services, modify existing processes, change the culture of an organization and enhance the customer/ stakeholder experience.

That is quite a definition and it clearly indicates, or raises the awareness of, the complexity of a Digital Transformation Project or Program.

According to Tim Vaughn, https://www.poppulo.com/, there are four main areas of Digital Transformation:

  • Process Transformation – Modifying the elements of an organization’s business processes in order to achieve new strategic and operational goals
  • Business Model Transformation – Reviewing the current model and innovating to create a new business model. A reinvention of the organization’s approach to providing services and changing existing services to meet the continually evolving needs of their customers. Becoming more flexible and agile in how an organization does business.
  • Domain Transformation – New technologies that are becoming available can provide the ability to redefine products and services offered by an organization. This is a crossing over of traditional industry boundaries into new areas and creating new opportunities for more non-traditional competition. Non-traditional competition is basically an approach that breaks any existing “rules” about how to compete. Offering a service that is not considered part of an organization’s “normal” and accepted practices. Literally bringing the saying “coming out of left field“ to life.
  • Cultural/Organizational Transformation – A successful digital transformation is much more updating technology, building new infrastructure, or redesigning products. It requires an organization to align the transformation with its internal values and behaviors. It requires leadership to shift a mind set and create an organization that is adaptive, agile, and flexible to change as the world business environment changes.

Leading Digital Transformation requires the organization’s Leadership Team to be 100% Change ready and to establish a change readiness attitude among the entire organization. A rethinking of strategy is necessary.

If we look more closely at the strategic elements or domains of Digital Transformation, according to David L. Rogers in his book “The Digital Transformation Playbook”, Columbia Business School Publishing, there are 5 Domains of Strategy involved in Digital Transformation:


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Editor’s note: This article is one in a series on Positive Leadership in Project Management by Frank Saladis, PMP, PMI Fellow, popular speaker and author of books on leadership in project management published by Wiley and IIL in the United States. Frank is widely known as the originator of the International Project Management Day, the annual celebrations and educational events conducted each November by PMI members, chapters and organizations around the world.

How to cite this paper: Saladis, F. (2021). Leading Digital Transformation: Positive Leadership in Project Management, series article, PM World Journal, Vol. X, Issue XI, November. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/pmwj111-Nov2021-Saladis-leading-digital-transformation-positive-leadership-in-project-management.pdf

About the Author

Frank P. Saladis

New York, USA


Frank P. Saladis, PMP, PMI Fellow is a Consultant and Instructor / Facilitator within the project management profession and has over 35 years of experience in the IT, Telecom Installation and IT Project Management training environment. He is a senior consultant and trainer for the International Institute For Learning Inc. and has been involved in the development of several project management learning programs. Mr. Saladis has held the position of Project Manager for AT&T Business Communications Systems, National Project Manager for AT&T Solutions Information Technology Services and was a member of Cisco Systems Professional Services Project Management Advocacy Organization. His responsibilities included the development of Project Management Offices (PMO) and the development of internal training programs addressing project management skills and techniques.

He is a Project Management Professional and has been a featured presenter at the Project Management Institute ® Annual Symposiums, Project World, PMI World Congress, CMMA, and many PMI Chapter professional development programs. He is a past president of the PMI New York City Chapter and a Past-President of the PMI ® Assembly of Chapter Presidents. Mr. Saladis is a Co-Publisher of the internationally distributed newsletter for allPM.com, a project management information portal, and a contributor to the allPM.com project management website.

Mr. Saladis is the originator of International Project Management Day and has written numerous leadership and project management related articles. Mr. Saladis is also the author of the Project Management Workbook and PMP ® / CAPM ® Exam Study Guide that supplements Dr. Harold Kerzner’s textbook – Project Management, A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling and Controlling?, 9th Edition published by John Wiley & Sons and the author of Positive Leadership in Project Management, published by IIL Publishing. He is a member of the International Executive Guild and the NRCC Business Advisory Council. He has also held the position of Vice President of Education for the Global Communications Technology Specific Interest Group of PMI ® and holds a Master’s Certificate in Commercial Project Management from the George Washington University. Mr. Saladis received the prestigious Lynn Stuckenbrook Person of the Year Award from the Project management Institute in 2006 for his contributions to the organization and to the practice of project management.  He can be contacted at saladispmp@msn.com

To view other works by Frank Saladis, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/frank-p-saladis/