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A new guide from IFS, titled ‘how to achieve value from an enterprise-wide technology change’, primes management consultants and transformation managers driving high value, low risk business transformations with C-suite stakeholders. In this fourth preview, James Harrison, Regional Director for Business Value Engineering at IFS, considers what defines business value and the factors that affect it.

In today’s business climate, at a strategic level, most CEOs are scrutinizing value in three business areas. The first is cost – reducing and removing it where possible. The second is risk, and mitigating exposure. And the third is revenue — improving performance and profitability.

Clearly, this is a high-level view. But what does value look like for those at a tactical level – the staff tasked with driving the outcomes within business? What does value mean to them on a day-to-day basis?

For employees, value may well be seen as something that makes a job or task easier. Automation and technology, for instance, could enable a professional to complete tasks more efficiently and flexibly, reducing the need for out of hours working and creating a better work-life balance. Removing the need to manually compile reports by presenting data on dashboards may free up valuable resources to focus on other more important matters.

At IFS, we’re obviously looking to be value creators for our customers. Our products, tools and services indeed typically make life easier for staff right across an organization. However, value is not a one-off component. The ways value is defined will often shift during the lifecycle of an engagement and also during delivery as the market and organization changes and evolves.

Continuous cycle

Traditionally, organizations will undertake value engineering in the presale phase to define and describe the value that might be seen from the provision of a service or a product. In contrast, at IFS we approach this as a continuous cycle. We start by looking at the outcomes that are being sought and asking how changing factors and features and capabilities within an organization will drive meaningful value. We can then start to envision what that might look like, for example to employees controlling production or service technicians working in the field.

We drive value as quickly as possible during deployment to attain value as quickly as possible once the system is in the hands of the users, making sure that a customer is taking the right steps around its processes, people, training, and utilization of the platform to realize the required outcomes. However, it’s important that wherever this value is being realized, it is also recognized within the organization. By carefully measuring and empirically quantifying all performance and efficiency gains, and regularly sharing this data with all stakeholders, we ensure the projected value is being delivered. In this way, employees can see and understand the benefit of the changes they have undertaken, and, by remaining fully engaged, drive further continuous improvement.

Outcomes in partnership

Jointly taking ownership of driving the outcomes – both by the organization and the technology supplier – is pivotal for any engagement. IFS, for example, offers an engagement framework, bringing in experts focused on specific, meaningful outcomes – defined in a Success plan – a joint set of objectives and governance that is continuously coordinated and monitored by a dedicated IFS Customer Success Manager and a service owner from the customer.  This ensures that we are collectively focused on creating more value in every part of the engagement and owning the desired outcomes.

Advisors need to define business value clearly and ensure all stakeholders share the same vision and commitment to driving outcomes.

For practical guidance when advising the board, download the guide now:

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