7 Essentials Of Communicating A Plan

7 Essential To Communicating A Plan OpsVantage

1. Build your story: By the time you get around to presenting a plan, you will know the subject inside and out. The people you are sharing the plan with will likely have no context or understanding, so methodically build your story. Too many people jump around between the details, big picture, strategy, execution…It becomes a confusing mess. Tip: If you are delivering the plan as a presentation and need a slide with lots of bullet points, you might as well stop talking, everyone will read the slide and ignore you. Either give people time to read the bullets before speaking, or (sparingly) use animation to build the list and unfold … Read More

Getting Software Implementation Right – Sustaining

Software Implementation Sustaining OpsVantage

If you have had the fortitude to endure this series on software implementation, you are rewarded with a short final installment. In prior posts we covered preparing the implementation, selling the implementation, and doing the implementation work. This post covers how to move a customer out of the implementation process and into a healthy sustaining relationship with your company. Graduate If you have ever been on an implementation team you know that it is sometimes nearly impossible to get a customer to stop calling you when they need help. You did a great job making them feel comfortable, well supported and welcome as a new customer…Maybe too good of a job?? … Read More

Getting Software Implementation Right – Implement

OpsVantage Software Implementation

This is the fourth post in the series about Getting Software Implementation Right. We have covered why implementation matters, preparation, and selling. This post picks up after the kick off meeting has occurred, and we are digging into the implementation work. Kickoff recap It was mentioned as a Pro Tip in the last post, but I am going bring it up again because it is SO important. If you are going onsite for the project kick off, bring your implementation team along and require the client to commit to having their team available all day for several days following the kick off meeting. Yep…require the team to be available. If … Read More

Getting Software Implementation Right – Why It Matters

Many software packages don’t require implementation, you simply sign up with a credit card and go. That is a great model because there are usually no long sales cycles, the customer receives value immediately, and revenue recognition starts on month-one. Not all software works that way, especially when it comes to larger packages that are an industry-specific solution or something large like a financial system or ERP. When it comes to a system like that, there are a ton of things that can go wrong that will slow down the implementation, or in the worst situations, end up killing the sale after it’s been made. This blog series is about … Read More

Enabling Growth Through Business Architecture: Training

OpsVantage - Balancing Stones

This post is the third in a series on dealing with growth through business architecture. In the first article we covered how and why to understand your business capabilities.  In the second article, I shared about the importance of establishing metrics and controls. In this post we will make a pivot to discuss how you keep supporting growth while your organization works to digitize and automate for limitless scalability. By now you have an understanding of the capabilities, major functions, and the supporting processes. Beyond that, you now also have metrics to track historical performance and projection information that indicates where the scaling issues will be most severe. These scalability … Read More

Enabling Growth Through Business Architecture: Understand Capabilities

When a company has been successful and begins to scale, it is an exciting time and a validation of the product and the team. Investors are interested, customers are interested, and maybe even the media wants to learn what the secret to success has been. Congratulations, but it is time to think about the growing pains that will inevitably crop up. You will begin to hire new people at a rate like never before. How will you train all those people? Teams will buy new systems to support their goals, and data will be in silos. Those new sales people will be doing non-standard deals that you may regret later. … Read More

Decide: to make work better

Decision Time

Five frogs on a log is an excellent book by Mark Feldman and Michael Spratt about acquisition integration. The book begins with a riddle: Five frogs are sitting on a log. Four decide to jump off. How many are left? Answer: 5 Why? Because deciding and doing are not the same thing. The book builds on the riddle as a metaphor for fast action, I like the lesson that both the riddle and the book deliver, but there is that troublesome first step…deciding. More and more mid-size and large companies are struggling with indecision and it is vortex that drains the energy out of awesome people that want to do … Read More

Great products are built by great teams

OpsVantage - Great Products Are Built By Great Teams

The third annual study of product team performance is complete! Consistent with prior years, the results have shown that only a minority of product teams are performing well. Of course there are a variety of factors contributing to top performance, but one of five key finding from this year’s study was the important correlation between the role people play in creating a positive team environment, and positive results for the business. When asked to select which factors contributed to a positive environment for the team, high performing organizations give three quarters of the credit to just four factors: A common goal/purpose Effective product managers Skilled engineers Effective project managers/scrum masters … Read More

Q&A – How to keep a very large and remote team engaged over a very long project?

Q) We have a research team of 40 people who will begin working on a project next month. The team is a scattered group of people who may maintain low involvement for extended periods of time. I have to give them the opportunity to keep track of progress and contribute to general discussions. Do you have any suggestions or insights? A) It is important to keep in mind that low involvement = low engagement. When people only have a minor role to play on a project, keeping up with what is going on can become more of a distraction from the urgent regular work, so here are a couple of things … Read More

8 steps to take when team building doesn’t work

Team building events can be a fun way to get the group out of the office and working more closely. People can share their humanity in ways that erases past transgressions and smooth out future interactions. Sometimes there is no budget for team building, and sometimes the team dislikes each other so much there is no possible way they are spending out of office time together…Hopefully this is unimaginable to you, but on on the off chance that you can relate, I want to offer you my sympathy and an alternative I have used several times. If your team gets along okay but there is no budget, keep reading, you … Read More