Aug 31st, 2020

End to End Delivery

Part 2: Defining Success

  Written by: Craig Vosper, Chief Delivery Officer

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In my last article, I talked about what pieces of information customers require for project success. To recap they included:

  1. Timeline
  2. Cost
  3. Business Value
  4. Quality

Today, we are going to talk about Business Value, more commonly stated “How do you know your solution worked?”. My colleague, Jesse LaDousa, wrote an article in 2019 titled What Problem Are You Trying To Solve that introduced this topic and shed some light on this very important question. While customers rarely start with this question, it needs to be elevated as everything in our solution will tie back to this.

Often our customers approach us with a solution in mind. For instance, it might be something like “We need an iOS mobile application for our field service techs”. As Kirk Hoaglund mentioned in his article Customer Satisfaction: Caring, we need to understand why this is important to our customer, our stakeholders, and the team we are working with. To do so, we must define the objectives of the project.

There are many ways to determine what your objectives are. We use a technique to help drive out the objectives called Value Focused Analysis. You can find more information on that technique in this article from earlier in 2020 by our founder and CEO, Kirk Hoaglund.

We define objectives with measurable statements. Below are 2 examples of those measurable statements along with a stated goal and an acceptable tolerance. The biggest benefit of defining these objectives is the agreement between you and your stakeholders on how you will measure the success of the project.

Objectives Chart

Following objective definition, we must understand and measure the current state. We use Kaisen based techniques to document current state as close to actual users as possible. This analysis can lead to uncovering new stakeholders who will likely have additional objectives and can identify dependencies and process changes that may be required for the users of the system.

Properly mapped objectives provide us a great understanding of what project success looks like. We will also use them to help identify and select solution options, decompose work, and ultimately prioritize features for implementation.

Next week we will discuss how we use these objectives to develop solution options. These options can then be used to answer our customer’s timeline and cost questions!

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