Having made many technology purchases over the course of the last thirty plus years, I have had my share of positive and let’s just say, not so positive experiences with the implementation of the various technologies. I’ve thought a lot about what make a successful purchase/implementation and found that while cost/price, vendor reputation and ease of implementation are consistent themes that I have looked at over the years, time to value has risen to the top of the list in recent years.
What is Time to Value?
In today’s world, speed is of the essence. Instant gratification seems to be the mantra of the day. As the speed of business increases, the notion of “Time to Value” is increasingly important. So, what is “Time to Value”? Time to value is the time it takes a customer to derive value from a product or service that they have purchased. The faster the solution starts solving your business problem, the better the experience for your employees. It also drives a much quicker Return on Investment (ROI).
The best opportunity to see time to value is with the onboarding process. If the onboarding process is cumbersome and takes months to implement and get your employees to adopt the technology, the time to value is long and you risk creating “shelf ware.” Generally, a company will remain in the onboarding process until they can successfully and independently integrate the technology into their daily workflows. The quicker this can be done, the better the experience and the quicker the ROI.
Four Tips to Quickly Realize Value
So how can you as the “customer” help improve time to value and ensure a faster ROI? Here are a few tips that I have learned over time that will help you more quickly realize the value from your technology investment:
- Don’t try to implement every feature at once. Simplify the initial scope. Figure out what are the 1-2 most important features that will bring the most value the quickest for your company and start there.
- Make sure that you have all of the stakeholders on board ahead of time and that they understand the initial scope. If you are in HR and need IT approval for security or network access, make sure that you have that completed before you purchase and try to implement. Removing the obstacles up front helps to eliminate churn on the backend.
- Create a marketing plan to generate excitement. Change is hard. Most of us don’t like change so it is important to create hype around the “WIIFM” – what’s in it for me. Ultimately a great marketing plan will help drive adoption.
- Build a training plan. Once you have generated excitement, it is important that you help your employees use the technology effectively and efficiently. Your training plan and courses should be the foundation to do this.
At the end of the day, you really want your employees to feel like they have technology that is providing immediate value to them so that they keep going back for more. They tell their colleagues about this great product/service that they have been using and help promote product adoption. You want to be able to create a “pull” and not have to “push” new technology. Time to immediate value drives ease of implementation, ease of training, strong adoption and ultimately – a great employee experience!
Bobbi Dangerfield is a senior Technology and Operations executive. She has held a series of executive level global General Management roles with P&L responsibility of $250 million and managed budgets of $500 million at Dell Technologies. Her experience spans high tech, transportation, utilities, and government sectors with emphasis on global operational excellence, customer experience, Information Technology, and mergers and acquisitions. She has over 30 years of global operations leadership across the Americas, Asia Pacific and Japan and Europe. Bobbi is a Strategic Business and Technology Advisor for MeBeBot.
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