A data-driven, value-led approach to projects in the technology and telecoms space has become critical – not only to ensure project success, but to better showcase that success when it comes to reflection and audit time
The reason such a methodology is needed is due to the scale of projects in these industries, typically involving highly complex system environments, with significant overhauls en route, extending over numerous stages and a considerable period of time. Maintaining a laser-like focus on the initial aims until you reach the finishing line isn’t always easy.
The project was rolled out, change has occurred, and transformation has taken place. At first glance, the vendor has done its job. But, did the transformation succeed in resolving the challenges the customer was facing? Has it delivered the desired business impact? Is the new state of play conducive to the customer’s future vision? Only with data and a value-driven ethos from day one can these questions truly be answered.
Consultants and vendors in this space must ask themselves how they can showcase the connection between initial business KPIs and the project’s end-product. To demonstrate true business value, KPI measurement needs to be a constant consideration from start to finish. And make no mistake, the start is where vendors should be focusing much of this effort.
Transparent collaboration from day one
Running a value-led programme across an entire project lifecycle is the best course of action, but too often the early ebbs of this lifecycle are forgotten by the end.
That’s why the first step is crucial. It revolves around the notion of transparent collaboration and begins with identifying everyone who needs to be involved on both sides, throughout the entire transformation process.
It’s not just an accountability move. Rather, it is a way to ensure the initial business objectives and KPIs are clear and understood from the outset. Being able to map impacted business areas and key targets will inform resultant programme governance, but also the siloes of data that will be judged at the finish line.
KPIs can also be prioritised by using this philosophy – again, aiding the audit process when it comes to assessing project success. From this mutual foundation, a measurement approach can be set out with clarity. Each KPI – as many as 10-15 to ensure viability – is clearly defined and therefore measurable against a baseline expectation.
A dialogue and framework for the entire project are set.
Measuring progress in real time
With a clear and mutually understood baseline established, projects are already on the right track from an assessment and evaluation perspective. However, there are multiple ingredients between those sandwiching moments.
To optimise business results, KPIs should not only be kept in mind, but measured, throughout the project. With an open dialogue already in place, progress can then be monitored, edited and optimised in regular increments.
Following go-live, KPIs should be measured again after the stability period and after significant migrations have taken place. This accounts for any expected teething issues early on, before becoming less accepting of shortfalls as the transformation gets closer to completion.
Regular measurements should take place as frequently as required, and – ideally – can be informed by a shared performance dashboard to ensure transparency in real time.
Proven, communicated success
As both vendor and customer enter the latter stages of a project, the aim is to avoid some form of revelatory, envelope-opening moment where both find out if the project has hit its mark. Instead, if regular measurements took place, there should already be a mutual understanding of how successful the project has been.
Post-completion, it’s time for the vendor to demonstrate the results of that collaborative and data-yielding project and communicate it effectively. Proof that business-specific goals can and have been met will need to be showcased.
Leading with a value-based, data-driven proposition is a signal of intent that paves the way for bespoke project success in the volatile and complex tech space.
It is therefore vital in maintaining industry reputation, as – finally – proof can be offered to existing customers in need of ROI validation, and potential customers seeking comfort that their own transformation journeys will also end up at the right destination.
About the author
Judi Weiss is a Customer Success Manager at Amdocs, a leading provider of software and services to communications and media companies. As part of the Customer Centricity practice at Amdocs, Judi leverages over 20 years of varied business and managerial experience to help customers measure, achieve and celebrate the success of their engagements with Amdocs.
This blog first appeared in TechNative