Companies that survive and thrive share a common characteristic; they outperform their competitors in planning and executing the activities required to satisfy their customers – they have effective operations. This level of performance results from a relentless focus on superior customer value and a willingness to take the journey of changes needed to achieve that goal. Since all functions contribute to delivering customer value, each must take the journey – product, sales, marketing, supply operations and finance – and all dimensions must be considered – people, process, data and technology.
Segments of the journey may focus on certain functions or dimensions more than others, but all functions must be included. Likewise, initiatives within a function – a change in process, data, technology - must be considered in the context of the journey to superior customer value.
For those companies that aspire to market leadership, superior customer value and effective operations, it is a worthwhile journey. It is also a significant undertaking and can carry significant risk when approached as a traditional initiative with a 6 – 12 month timeline. Specifically:
Design Risk: The risk of a disconnect between requirements and the actual solution is significant with a lengthy project. Testing does not occur until the later project stages, well after the solution has been built. There is limited opportunity for an early catch of off-course development.
Requirements Risk: A long project timeline increases the chance that the solution will be outdated by the time it is completed. At the same time, some change should be expected in business conditions or opportunities, whether in channels, customers, products, manufacturing or suppliers.
Opportunity Risk: During the project’s lifecycle, the company’s ability to respond to changing business conditions will be limited. Even where the opportunity is attractive, it will be difficult to justify destabilizing the project or jeopardize the related investment.
Time to Value: A traditional project of this scope and duration could easily the push time to value out beyond a year. Add in the risk of delay due to design and requirements disconnects as well as missed opportunities and it’s easy to see why some executives choose to invest in other projects with a shorter ROI even if they might be less impactful.
Valizant's Road to Performance is a different approach which minimizes risk as well as time to value. The Road to Performance is a roadmap for your journey to operational effectiveness and is comprised of short segments, none more than three months. The segment sequence is based on your business priorities and can change with your business conditions and opportunities. Short segment duration greatly reduces design and requirements risk since visibility to the solution begins within weeks and testing in less than two months.