A Strategic Delivery Framework Sets the Stage for Success
When you establish a repeatable process, you build a framework that
enables best practices that add to the business benefits
of the process itself.
Adopt 21st Century Success Measurements
21st century success measurements say that its not enough
anymore to have a project delivered "OTOB"—on time
and on budget. These are the traditional measurements in
any technology-centric services organization. The problem
is, even by these simple measures, most technology projects
are a failure. SDF builds in mechanisms to deliver projects
OTOB, and these assurances lower risk by all accounts.
But to truly raise the bar and to assure CUSTOMER success,
the following must also be measured:
- Delivery within project constraints – This
is the traditional OTOB measurement. Good for the customer,
and good for the Solution Provider.
- Smooth deployment and ongoing system management – In
a customer's eyes, a smooth deployment is indicative of
good technology. Conversely, a poor deployment not only
puts the Solution Provider in a bad light, but the customer
begins to suspect the technology itself.
- Delivery to specifications based on user requirements – User
adoption is critical to the success of a solution. It seems
obvious, but many technology vendors and channel partners ignore this
basic truth and focus on IT. Ignoring the customers of IT can
be a big mistake and can lead to perception of a poor solution.
- Deployment after knowing and addressing all issues – Advanced
technology can be full of bugs. To not address these bugs honestly
and up-front can lead to project failure. Set correct expectations
when the problem appears. Don't worry if you can't solve
every problem today. Be honest and have a path to solving
- Referenceability – Surprisingly, most
solution providers and vendors don't get the reference
until they need it for another client, a marketing initiative
or whatever. Get the reference immediately after you have
implemented the solution. This is the best time—customers' memories
fade, people change, environments change, solutions can break.
- Demonstration of business value to the customer – In
the late 90s, speculation was enough to fuel demand for
advanced technology. Today's market is much more difficult. You MUST
be able to demonstrate and deliver business value, or you will not
survive. This should be a key success measurement in your business.
Go back in after the fact and personally assure that your customer
is satisfied in this area.
- Profitability based on management objectives – We've
all experienced a customer who will beat you up on price,
even if what you are offering is demonstrable to their success.
Decide what your profit metric should be to define success or failure.
You can still make a profit but be considered a failure if the next
customer would have paid a fair price, gained the same amount of value
and taken your resource the same amount of time. This is opportunity
Create a Belief System of Superior Execution
Finally, in an organization that has accomplished differentiation,
a belief system will mature from a traditional "trades"
mentality (such as plumbers, electricians etc.) into a
true "professional services organization (PSO)" mentality.
Information is currency in today's market. Whether you
choose to place monetary value on information, it has intrinsic
value to your organization. SDF allows organizations a
very fast transformation to a PSO model. A pure PSO model
places value on all information exchanges, and you can
charge accordingly for knowledge and execution. Examples
of pure PSO's are law, accounting and engineering firms. Can you imagine
if your sales resources were able to bill for their time at a customer
location? SDF gives you a mechanism for this and customers readily
accept this if they see you as a PSO.
There are many business benefits of SDF (see Position "Process" as
a Competitive Advantage and A
Framework That Works for Delivering Services). Creating
differentiation and value through process creates compelling
competitive advantages in today's very tough market. The
ultimate business benefit of these competitive advantages
is to survive and then thrive.
For More Information
Contact Andrew Cadwell at email@example.com or
(503) 803-2692 if you would like to differentiate your business or gain more
business benefits as a result of process or creating your own Strategic Delivery
About the Author
Andrew Cadwell is a contributing member and principal consultant
affiliate of KickStart Alliance, a marketing and sales consulting consortium
that helps businesses of all sizes with business agility. Andy is a
serial entrepreneur with 20-plus years of experience in rapid growth
companies and markets. Andy has owned, managed and spun out several
successful businesses, most recently in the technology industry. Since
he has started his consulting practice, has provided strategy, leadership,
sales and operations consulting services to both early stage and mature
companies in the technology industry. His clients range from start-up
companies to distinguished members of the Fortune 50.