There are degrees of digital transformation, but the term is generally meant to refer to maximizing the use of digitization in the organization. "Digital transformation is the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business, fundamentally changing how you operate and deliver value to customers", according to The Enterprises' Project.
That's a sweeping project that affects every aspect of the business. It means eliminating many paper based processes, and even whole jobs. It means training in new functionality and systems. It means overcoming the natural resistance to change of people.
Large scale implementation of technology, enterprise systems for example, has taught us that these - the people issues - are the most difficult part of any technology implementations.
So while some companies approach digital transformation as an event - something that just needs to be implemented and then life goes on - other wiser organizations recognize that it is much more than that. It is the beginning of the implementation of a new basic strategy, one that will become an ongoing part of the fabric of the organization. A recent article in Forbes Magazine puts it well, It is a journey.
It starts with strategic planning, with all the implications of that process - consultation, discussion, agreement, strategic objectives formulation, champion identification, project scheduling, action plans, monitoring, assessment and re-assessment and ongoing revision and refinement.
Remember that initial definition above - fundamentally changing how you operate and deliver value to customers. Those are fundamental to the business and any changes like that require a strong commitment by the people involved. Definitely not a one-off project.