Lessons Learnt With Dave Kelsall: Digital Transformation Pitfalls To Avoid

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In the latest addition of my “Lessons Learnt” series, focusing on speaking to key leaders across digital and tech in the healthcare sector, I speak to Dave Kelsall about pitfalls to avoid in digital transformation.

With extensive NHS, private, and third sector digital transformation, procurement and implementation experience, Dave discusses the challenges and solutions he recommends in 5 lessons learnt.




1. Consensus on Purpose

"I think the first thing you need to do is actually have a consensus around what the purposes of the exercise you're trying to do."

Lesson Learnt

Ensuring that everyone is on board with the project's goals right from the start, is crucial. If people aren't clear about what they're working towards, it's like trying to solve a puzzle without knowing what the picture looks like. Efforts can end up going in different directions, leading to confusion and inefficiency. Aligning everyone's efforts towards a common purpose, your team can work more cohesively and effectively towards achieving digital transformation objectives.


2. Engagement of Stakeholders

"You've got to really make sure you've engaged with everybody that's going to be involved in this."

Lesson Learnt

Engaging all stakeholders ensures a richer perspective and fosters a sense of ownership in the project. By including diverse voices, the implementation plan becomes more comprehensive and reflective of the broader needs of the community it serves. An inclusive approach not only enhances the quality of decision-making but also cultivates a collaborative environment where all parties feel valued and heard. Ultimately, involving stakeholders fosters a sense of unity and shared responsibility, leading to more successful project outcomes.


3. Leadership Involvement

"It's got to be led by the clinical people as they will be the ones using it and getting the benefits from it."

Lesson Learnt

Leadership involvement is crucial, especially from those directly impacted by the project. Their guidance ensures decisions align with operational realities and frontline needs. By actively participating, leaders provide invaluable insights, championing the integration of technology into daily practices. A hands-on approach not only fosters trust and buy-in but also enables smoother implementation and adoption. Ultimately, leadership involvement ensures that the project remains relevant, practical, and aligned with Trust objectives.


4. Risk Management

"Recognising all the risks involved right from the word go."

Lesson Learnt

Early identification and management of risks are essential for project success. Conducting a SWOT analysis and maintaining a risk register allow teams to anticipate potential challenges and develop mitigation strategies proactively. By addressing risks upfront, teams can prevent issues from escalating, maintain project momentum, and ensure resources are optimally allocated. This proactive approach fosters resilience, enabling smoother execution and increasing the likelihood of achieving project objectives within the established timelines and budget constraints.


5. Technical Compatibility and Governance

"You've gotta make sure that whatever you do fits in with the local governance arrangements."

Lessons Learnt

Technical compatibility and adherence to governance protocols are vital for seamless integration into existing systems and processes. Ensuring that new technologies align with current infrastructure minimises disruptions and maximises efficiency. Moreover, compliance with governance standards guarantees data security, regulatory adherence, and ethical considerations. By prioritising compatibility and governance, Trusts can mitigate risks, optimise performance, and sustain long-term success in their operations, ultimately enhancing overall organisational effectiveness and credibility.


Interested in hearing more? Watch the full conversation here 👉 Lessons Learnt with Dave Kelsall.




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