FieldAware’s Marc Tatarsky outlines three key areas of focus service organisations should be aware of when approaching digitalisation...
Has this ever happened to you? You're leading a digital transformation project (i.e., you are implementing new technology to automate what you do day-to-day). Your executive support and future funding are under pressure. The project hasn't lived up to timing and ROI expectations. Unfortunately, this can happen to anyone, even with the best technology solution or the best project team in place.
When field service organizations decide to digitize their operations with a Field Service Management solution, often the decision to fund the project is predicated on delivering significant business ROI within a set timeframe. Many projects fall significantly short of achieving these goals. This delivery shortfall typical puts considerable strain and pressure on the executive sponsor and the field service organization. This pressure can result in poor decision making, which can lead to compromises in the original vision. Once the vision and strategy are compromised, the overall success of the project is at risk. All too often, the Field Service Management solution and/or the project leads are the scapegoats.
In hindsight, this is a very predictable challenge, and yet many project sponsors and service providers fail to anticipate and mitigate these challenges adequately. At FieldAware, we have experienced these challenges as well, which is why we have developed a robust methodology to address this common challenge. It has been developed based on our many years of experience of working with hundreds of field service organizations across all business segments. We call it “Quick Path to Value." The steps of this methodology help lead to successful Field Service Management solution implementations. Today, I want to share a brief outline of our insights. The goal is to arm field service organizations so they can realize better results and achieve a rapid ROI on their FSM investment.
Metrics, Metrics, Metrics
The first step in the “Quick Path to Value” methodology takes a cue from Peter Drucker. It focuses on identifying the critical business key performance indicators (KPIs) that the project must impact to be successful. Peter's adage "If you can't measure it, you can't improve it" is at the heart of this step.
It may come as a surprise, but most field service organizations haven't spent much time selecting and measuring KPIs. It may be because their old way of operating didn't make capturing KPIs feasible. Or, it may be driven by the fact that the operations managers were too consumed with – well – operating.
"The process of just agreeing to the KPIs itself delivers tremendous value. But, having a baseline for measuring performance provides a solid foundation for communicating the impact your project is having to the critical elements of your business..."
Whatever the case, identifying the critical metrics for the business and ultimately for the project helps to align everyone on the same goals. The process of just agreeing to the KPIs itself delivers tremendous value. But, having a baseline for measuring performance provides a solid foundation for communicating the impact your project is having to the critical elements of your business. Every project sponsor and executive team will appreciate the simplicity of translating your project success into business terms.
If this is a step that requires significant effort on your part, there are several resources available on the web to help jump-start the process. For example, FieldAware has published a periodic table of metrics for some of the most common KPIs used across different functional areas. What is import is that, as a team, you determine the measures that will allow your business to drive better business decisions.
The path less traveled - Roadmap & Timelines
Once you have gone through the hard work of agreeing on your KPIs, the next phase of the “Quick Path to Value” process is a derivative of the famous Benjamin Franklin quote – "if you fail to prepare, you are preparing to fail." We take those words to heart, so the next step is to determine a technology transformation roadmap and the realistic timelines for achieving the steps identified. We use our Field Service Maturity model to help align the operational and technology transformation steps that are required to change your field service operations. We prioritize the steps to ensure the project maintains a focus on the areas that will begin to deliver the results that are contributing your KPIs.
While we use the word "quick" to describe our methodology, the reality is that delivering value is a journey. "Quick" is a relative term. The process of defining and creating a technology transformation roadmap helps to guide the journey and break it down into manageable sprints that are delivered in a reasonable time. Each of these sprints represent the critical steps to the success of your field service organization and need to be valued by the executive team.
The Winds of Change – Embracing Change Management
The last phase of the methodology focuses on ensuring the short-term and long-term success of the program is embraced throughout the organization. "People don't resist change. They resist being changed." This quote from Peter Senge helps to assert the necessity for adopting change management with any field service transformation program.
To realize the full value of your digitalization program, the entire organization must embrace the change you are implementing both immediately and long-term. Establishing a change management workstream within your project that focuses on the following key areas is critical:
- User Adoption
We have identified these key areas as the critical path to long-term success. If you don't manage expectations and deliverables across each of these areas, the momentum that is created by your transformation journey will stall.
There is a lot of work that supports each of these major steps in the “Quick Path to Value” methodology. Acknowledging and working towards a high-level framework like the one I outlined is an essential first step. Whether you are working independently to implement your digital transformation project, or you are working with a Field Service Management solution provider, make sure you adopt a value journey mindset from the onset.
Our “Quick Path to Value” process is a time-tested approach for ensuring your Field Service digital transformation project will deliver results and manage expectations. Don't underestimate the value of any of the steps or the effort associated with being successful within each. While the simplicity of "Measure, Plan, Manage" seems incredibly intuitive, it is surprising how many projects ultimately lose support or funding by not adhering to the basics.