Technology investment. You pour your budget in, and the list of projects grows. But not in the way you want your house plants purchased during lockdown to grow.
You want to address data privacy, analytics, mobile, content management, and a whole heap more, but your watering can is running low. Managing technical debt just got a whole lot harder. These pain points eventually get backlogged for the next 12 months because you don’t know where to start.
Let’s take you through how to prioritise your technology pain points, and transform your business for the better this year.
What is a technology pain point?
“Thank you for your enquiry. We will respond within 24 to 48 hours.” Except it never happens and manual follow ups are needed. You know the feeling.
A technology pain point is a problem waiting for a solution. It’s blocking you or your customers getting from A to B. You react to the pain and it’s something you try to avoid.
Slow response time is just one example of a technology pain point, among many others. Anything that causes operational business friction and forces a workaround each time is considered a pain point even Nurofen won’t be able to ease.
A reactive approach to technology instead of a proactive approach is also another example.
Don’t wait for a technology problem to pop up before making an improvement. Technology problems need to be tended to fast when something starts burning. Think of a website crash when you try purchasing something. Any downtime on a server or network can do damage to your brand and you can lose many opportunities.
Perhaps you want to build a successful software product. You may have more pain points you plan to address and pave way for, but that’s all they seem to stay as - plans.
How do I prioritise them?
Initially, it may be better practice to hold off any new projects until you create a list of priorities. This gives some breathing room and foresight to new changes you want to execute. This can piggyback off your company’s strategy and goals. Being sure to understand top-level preferences from department leads or seniors makes for a great starting point.
Before you line up your list, you need to know the answers to these questions:
- Is the technology you already have sufficient?
- How does your existing technology and business processes help or hinder progress towards goals?
- Are there options for streamlining processes with the help of technology?
- What options exist that will make the job easier, and can they be used to support other goals?
Once the tech pipeline is ready to go, you can disperse resources to different projects. Remember to keep executives and different departments across the plans; decisions don’t need to be concrete at this point, but representation among the whole company is an important driver.
Remember, project prioritisation involves the whole team.
In many cases, technology infrastructure is a critical area that should be tended to first. Data management, websites, email, and social media can follow.
Line up each of your issues as:
- Critical: Stops everyday business and prevents staff or other stakeholders from accomplishing tasks.
- High: The business can function, but on a time-consuming and painful level. Contingency is high due to workaround time.
- Moderate: Business is functional, but involves addressing issues such as streamlining processes.
- Low: Needs to stay on the radar, and can get addressed once high-priority issues are taken care of.
- Nice-to-have: Not urgent, but have small quality of life factors and can be done later down the line.
Look at your list for Critical issues and detect which takes the most staff time to fix and causes the most complaints. If they sit within a common business problem or within a common problem statement then this will give you a unified milestone for a project. If they are dispersed across different areas then it is worth prioritising which problem statement to address first.
Repeat this process for the rest of your categories. Now take a trip to your closest Ashley & Martin clinic if required.
In the event where you’re unsure how to prioritise a technology project, including the easy wins in the first round of projects is advantageous. These are the projects that involve minimal time or monetary investment. When you reach the larger projects, be wary of time allocation – more than 40% of resolution time is spend on problem isolation and root cause analysis instead of solving the actual issue.
It’s also a good opportunity to validate the software development company if you choose to outsource the design/development. Our philosophy is to deliver on an initial pain point, preferably low hanging fruit and once successfully completed, deliver on larger projects.
These feats can be hefty, so keep everyone engaged through the journey and share updates on wins and project statuses.
If you’re prepared to plunge into the next stages of your technology roadmap or would like a consultation to help prioritise, give us a buzz here.