Part One Recap
Part One of this series examined the importance of team engagement, defining what success looks like to your organization, prioritizing short-term pain points against long-term vision and conducting a fit/gap analysis on your existing technology solutions. Let’s move onto the final four aspects to consider.
Risk and Obstacle Evaluation
Once the organization has decided it is indeed ready to take on the daunting task of fulfilling a roadmap, the next round of tough questions begins. The Definition of Success section asked some tough questions about getting started. This section is meant to challenge the organization to identify and assign implementation risks and obstacles as well as brain-storm mitigation and remediation strategies. There may be some redundancy in the two lists but there will likely be other factors unique to your organization. It is critical to take the time to be develop realistic, proactive plans in order to provide the highest probability for success. Some common pitfalls include:
Are there others that your organization should be planning for?
Return on Investment and Business Case
As you can see, a lot goes into developing and executing a long-term roadmap strategy. It would be negligent to embark on this journey without thoroughly investigating the potential return on investment. Ask yourself the following questions to gather the high level concepts for your business case:
Using these concepts, build your business case. Are there technical gains, cost savings, or productivity increases to be had by resolving some of the issues you’ve outlined? Better yet, by improving some of these pain-points, are there top line gains to be had?
Consider this example: ABC Company chose to execute a CRM Implementation in the first phase of its roadmap. Once in place the solution provides a 360 degree view of the customer to ABC’s sales, customer service, marketing and executive teams. This shifts the relationship from reactive to proactive management. CRM also provides an advanced look at ABC’s sales pipeline, which aids executives in making critical decision about marketing spend, production planning, resource planning, as well as valuable insight into potential quality issues. Because the CRM application replaced ABC’s former claims management tool and three ancillary marketing tools, the core customer service and marketing teams now have fewer systems to manage their day-to-day activities and IT has a smaller application footprint to manage. There are several quantifiable wins in this particular example, but the most important is how it allowed several disparate teams to now function as a unified front where customer relations were concerned, thus improving satisfaction, increasing customer retention, increasing repeat sales and ultimately increasing revenue.
Perform the due diligence to identify these opportunities, quantify them and most importantly, measure them.
Culture Change Management, Training and Adoption
Don’t let all of the organization’s effort to execute, and investment in the roadmap go to waste, plan ahead for culture change management, training and adoption. The investment is too important to let these fall by the wayside. As mentioned in previous sections, change is difficult, don’t just assume that if you build it, they will use it. More often than not, that is not the case. Remember these key concepts:
Set It and Forget It? Absolutely Not.
Last but not least, the roadmap is a living document. Spend the time to conduct periodic reviews and adjust the plan based on the organization’s current needs and vision. Your number one priority today may not even be on the radar twelve months from now. Not to mention how rapidly organization’s must adapt to keep up with industry trends and customer needs. Evaluating the roadmap and course correcting as needed will ensure the vision stays top of mind and will aid in following through on the planned execution.
Assign ownership of this document to the leadership team. Ensure the review is a planned activity and agenda item for discussion every six months, or at a minimum at the close of each project phase within the long-term plan.
For more information about roadmap planning and execution, this particular blog or C5 Insight, Contact Us.
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