By David Barclay, National Practice Manager, Data#3 Limited
[Reading time: 2.30 mins]
Delivering technology-enabled mobility throughout an organisation is such a transformational journey, it is hard to really understand what is possible at the outset. You can only plan for what you know. What you can do though is learn from the experiences of others. In this blog post I’ve shared some of the key insights from customers reflecting on the good, the bad and the ugly from their mobility journeys.
Most mobility projects undergo considerable changes as new possibilities become apparent during proof of concept and pilot programs. Taking time to understand the possibilities up front and not be constrained by traditional thinking is the key to minimise scope creep and potential budget blowouts. Read widely and engage collaboratively with your technology partner to co-design your mobility solution. Don’t start with technology; that almost always limits your perspective. Start first from a consideration of the needs of end-users and the business and focus on the art of the possible. Painting a picture of the ideal future enables you to work backwards to discover the technology solution to make that future possible. It’s a small but significant change of perspective that can deliver a big difference to the likely outcomes of your mobility project.
Why reinvent the wheel? Your organisation has unique characteristics but there is no need to start from scratch. There will be other organisations that are further progressed on their mobility journey and you can take advantage of that. Talk to other organisations to learn from their experience. Most people are happy to share their experience over a coffee. It sounds simplistic, but it is surprising how many leaders don’t do this. That hour invested in talking can sometimes save you months of mistakes and considerable dollars. Talk to your technology partner and ask them to facilitate introductions to customers with similar characteristics to your organisation.
Don’t be afraid to fail fast, fail little and refine fast. Rather than attempt massive change in one go – with elevated risk – design your project plan to enable you to test and refine early on with small proof of concept or pilot projects. Factor in time to review outcomes of each proof of concept and refine your mobility plan for subsequent phases. There is nothing wrong with iterative development, provided you factor in time for those phases in your project plan. This practical planning avoids unrealistic timeline projections destined to fail.
Another common pitfall is not having a clear picture of the complexity of a process, or true visibility of the many components of the process. This might be brought about by taking a technology-only approach. This may fail because it overlooks the need to thoroughly learn about the users being impacted by the change.
User needs and characteristics can provide an accurate picture of the related data interactions and how much these systems need to change. Understanding user behaviour can give you a more granular understanding of the level of complexity of your mobility project so you can plan accordingly.
Even with the best of planning, the reality is your organisation’s mobility journey will evolve over time. Recognise this and plan to tackle mobility in stages. Invest the time to develop an informed overall vision but get the foundations right. Know what to do first, identify where the quick wins can be, and take it from there. Every step of the way, recognise the change management aspects of your mobility project and communicate little and often to take your users on the journey.