A Roadmap for Unlocking Your AI Potential

Unlocking Your AI Potential:
A Roadmap for Your Successful Pilot in 6 Months

As businesses navigate an increasingly digital landscape, Artificial Intelligence (AI) emerges as a transformative force. When properly implemented, AI can significantly enhance operational efficiency, foster innovation, and solidify competitive advantages. Although it may seem a daunting hurdle from afar, with the right mix of strategy, skillset, operating model, and technology decisions, it is possible to realize value within 6 months through a small pilot.

Three Core Phases

In order to reach your business goals in 6 months, our suggestion is to form your AI Pilot roadmap with three core phases as follows:

  • Phase 1 AI Strategy and Operating Model: 2 months
  • Phase 2 AI Execution/Build Pilot:  4 months
  • Phase 3 AI Operation/Run:  After 6 months

Phase 1 AI Strategy and Operating Model

First, conduct a Strategy & Operating Model project under the board and CEO's leadership.

To most effectively use artificial intelligence (AI) in your company, you first need to focus on the operating model and its details, in tandem with your strategy. While models need fine-tuning to align with organizational dynamics, common approaches include Decentralized, Strategy Centralized, and Centralized models.

Based on our experience with medium to large-scale companies, we believe the most significant benefits are derived from a Centralized model. Considering the limited AI skill set and the need to evaluate AI platform choices, a Centralized model provides a solid base to support your company-wide business vision.

Even if you have an existing operating model centered around legacy platforms, our advice is to keep this initiative separate and define Roles and Responsibilities as follows:

  • AI Strategy-Planning-Governance: With leadership at the Board level and participation from all C-Level executives.
  • AI Execution/Build:  Under C-Level leadership, relevant GMs should organize their teams and create project teams with broad participation and inter-team skills, talents, and roles. OKRs should be continuously measured, initially by the C-Level and then followed up and governed by the Board. An important point on technology: in the AI platform's implementation, the healthiest approach involves selecting a partner—a business partner with an established platform—rather than trying to build internal development teams to create a brand-new platform.
  • AI Operation/Run:  Managed by Business Leaders/Managers across the entire company, follow-up of results and KPIs should occur both at the team level and at the C-Level and Board level.

As your pilot becomes successful, and you feel clear and confident about your platform choices, you might consider transitioning to more decentralized models when you're ready to roll them out to additional business units.

During this two-month period you should:

  • Define the operating and organizational models.
  • Define the AI Development Life Cycle (AIDLC) from requirements collection to delivery and change management.
  • Select the initial business use cases.
  • Assess the selected platform for the target AI platform's compatibility and sustainability within the existing IT infrastructure, ensuring it can achieve the business goals.
  • Determine the delivery model with both insource and outsource options, integrating tightly with IT architecture.
  • Identify necessary talent characteristics.
  • Choose the AI platform and complete the preliminary setup.

Phase 2 AI Execution/Build Pilot

After establishing the necessary model and selecting the platform; Initiate AI Pilot case request flows interlocked with business units.

The central AI execution team should carry out implementation in coordination with the business unit's responsible team:

  • Determine AI business responsibilities within the business units in this operating model.
  • Coordinate requests by the central AI execution team with business units, maturing, and scheduling them.
  • Train the business unit throughout this process. Ensure the business unit manages change operations (excluding the AI platform) and measures KPIs.
  • Make sure the AI platform's technical operation is managed within IT service management standards by the partner service provider or the relevant IT unit.
  • Evaluate progress weekly and fine-tune the processes.

Phase 3 AI Operation/Run

After the Pilot is live:

  • Business unit's responsible team should start the change management process and refine outcomes
  • Responsible infrastructure teams should operate AI platform for Pilot

Common Pitfalls to Avoid

  • Artificial intelligence use should be integrated into the entire company culture, as with digital transformation, as it's a skill and a phenomenon that must be embraced.
  • AI should not be designated as a separate physical role or function (such as a Chief Data Officer), nor as a single department (like an AI Directorate). Instead, establish a central agile delivery team that works in concert with the departments.
  • AI should never be considered merely as an IT or technology project, like those for digital services and product development.
  • Regarding the operating model, the AI delivery team should be a part of new generation speed IT structures. Whenever possible, prefer cloud technologies (as-a-service) infrastructures. Keep only operational and infrastructure management within Low-Speed IT (traditional IT).
  • Within businesses, firms, and organizations using the People-Process-Technology framework, AI should be considered a capability internalized by every employee, using existing proven solutions. Developing new AI products or solutions should not be pursued.

Looking Ahead

If you do not achieve your intended outcome within 6 months, instead of continuously moving your deadlines, it is better to assess and address the bottlenecks, creating new, execution-focused trials. Every three months, reassess and retry until you obtain tangible business results. Constantly shifting deadlines can create deeper motivational issues within your organization and diminish its appetite for adoption.

The sustainability of your business vision hinges on your ability to adopt AI with the right Strategy, People, Operating Model, and Technology. Make the most of your initial journey and continually strive for improvement!

Other Posts

Let's talk 👋

Contact Us

Let's talk 👋

Contact Us

Let's talk 👋

Contact Us

Let's talk 👋

Contact Us