Getting everyone to agree on what a project should accomplish—and what’s best left for a future effort—can be a real challenge. This is particularly true with digital transformation initiatives, which must often balance the difficulties of long project durations against the market realities of ongoing technology advancements that can quickly change what’s needed (or expected, or available) in a new solution.
And because most system implementations are more than just IT projects, bringing numerous operational considerations and workflow changes as part of the equation, project teams sometimes struggle to bring a diverse group of stakeholders into alignment.
If you’ve had a tough time gaining consensus on your digital transformation project’s scope and deliverables, consider some of the datasets that can help your leadership team determine what’s worth pursuing now and what should go on the back burner.
1 – User data
Something as seemingly bland as the number of users that are expected to interact with the new system can be hugely influential in determining a project’s scope. Sponsors may prefer to keep the list of deliverables short and the parameters of the project tight if a large portion of the workforce will need to come up to speed on a new technology. Growth plans may also change what executives believe is most important in the near term.
2 – Operational data
The project’s duration, budget, projected staffing needs, and other resource requirements may sway the leadership team’s opinions on how far-reaching a digital transformation initiative should be. This data enables decision makers to assess financial outlays over time, for example, and can be useful in determining if expenses for an ambitious project are realistic to support given the expected revenue over the same time frame.
3 – Market data
Information on customer behaviors, pain points, and trends within your organization’s industry will help leaders identify the project deliverables that are most valuable to the business and will have the desired effect on revenue for the current effort. Similarly, data related to the technology market is useful in determining whether to include specific functionalities in today’s project or to postpone implementation of features that are still in the development phase to a later initiative.
4 – Competitor data
What are your competitors doing when it comes to their technology posture? This data is useful in highlighting where you risk falling behind if your project doesn’t achieve the right deliverables. It may also offer a glimpse into what isn’t working out so well for others in your market segment. If a competitor is struggling to adapt to new workflows, you may choose to trim your project scope so you don’t encounter the same difficulties.
5 – Financial data
The money side is something executives already consider, but project teams can provide targeted datasets that enable company leaders to make the best strategic decisions. Factors such as anticipated ROI of the current project, the average of returns achieved on previous digital transformation efforts, and insight into elements with the potential to affect the forecasted ROI (either as a positive or a negative) will all influence how broad or narrow the scope should be for the project that’s under consideration right now.
6 – Regulatory data
Compliance requirements are often an important factor in many digital transformation initiatives. The mandates that relate to your organization or your industry could call for the inclusion of specific elements in your project. Conversely, you could risk finding yourself noncompliant if you do implement specific features. With clear data on the applicable compliance frameworks, your sponsors can make informed decisions on the project’s scope without compromising your regulatory position.