Posts Tagged ‘Software News’
Last week we identified setting success metrics, up-front, as the single most important practice in any ESD program. Identifying the stakeholders who will affect or consume those metrics is the second step to ensuring ESD success.
More often than not the first-pass at list of ESD stakeholders is limited to “Marketing” groups, or more specifically, those folks who “run the website”. Effective ESD programs include representatives from the internal organizations that create and produce the digital assets that you will be delivering.
DONE == DELIVERABLE == DELIVERED
Your ESD program and will be affected by when and how the asset is determined to be fit for distribution, or DONE. Once the asset is declared complete (functionally), the process of packaging, bundling, or turning that single asset into a salable and DELIVERABLE product begins. Only after this point do the presentation and DELIVERY functions come to the fore. Therefore you must include people from each of these domains in your ESD program.
Here are some titles ESD stakeholders we interact with
VP, Customer Service
Director, Configuration Management
Director, Marketing IT
Director, Tech Support
VP, General Counsel
Export Compliance Manager
Director, Product Management
At OMS SafeHarbor we consider the stakeholder process so important, that when we engage a customer we specify by name, in the contract documents individuals from IT, Operations, Marketing, Customer Service and Engineering that have agreed to support the project and be accessible to the project/program team.
To build a successful ESD program you need to have your goals firmly understood, and your stakeholders clearly identified. Knowing what you are going to do, and who is going to help you is your down payment on ESD success.
In the past few weeks I’ve been in quite a few meetings with software companies talking about electronic software delivery. And here is the deal: We can predict the degree of difficulty in forming a mutually beneficial operating partnership with you by asking one question, “A year from now, what successes will be be celebrating”?
Sidebar commentary: Inquiries we are receiving about ESD are up in 2010, in part thanks to our marketing efforts (thanks Darci, Charissa, and Chris!) but also because more companies, spurned on by the 360 business reviews of 2009, are looking for every advantage, and they are now getting to Delivery.
I never get tired of asking that question, or the responses it provokes. After more than 15 years in the business of helping high-tech companies get their products into the hands of their customers, going all the way back to the floppy disk days, the answer to this question (or the lack thereof) is the most important and most telling.
Your definition of success must be in place before you start your electronic software delivery project.
As much as I dislike the one-size-fits-all implications of “best practices” language, this one-time, I’ll concede. Too often we hear the “our customers are asking for it” response. While the customer demand is undoubtedly true, I can almost guarantee that your CFO won’t fund your initiative based on that justification.
Here are some real, quantifiable, definitions of success that have been used by some of our customers, in no particular order:
Reduce per unit costs versus physical shipping.
Accelerate revenue recognition.
Decrease call frequency and duration to customer and technical support.
Capture metrics on adoption rates for use by sales, marketing, engineering, etc.
Eliminate costly, repetitive, manual processes.
Provide quantifiable sales/import/export tax advantages.
Comply with (enter jurisdiction of choice) export regulations.
Re-allocate talented individuals to core business tasks.
There are more. Not all are necessary. Your objectives are for you to define. But, define them you must. The single most important “best practice” in ESD is to set your goals, up-front, and with conviction. Because, as many of you might already know, your ESD project will involve many more stakeholders and participant than might readily be apparent. You’ll need these goals to keep everyone on the same page, and to make sure you have something to celebrate.
Software related links to start your week!
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