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How do I ensure the return on digital investments?

A system implementation for the management of operations, projects and human resources administration is a good opportunity to set up the processes of Knowledge Management as well as Governance & Data Management. For the commercial, operational and HR areas, they ensure the organization, structure and proper functioning of the business in a controlled, efficient and profitable way. The same processes represent the assurance of obtaining results following the investment in digital work management tools

How do I ensure the return on digital investments?
Management aspects

In the recent implementations at companies of the professional services, consulting and outsourcing I received the following question:

"We have implemented a very good application that fully covers commercial aspects and operations management. How can we ensure that all the functionalities of the application are entirely used by our colleagues? ”

That's a very good question. It refers to the efficiency of investment in the digital work management tool and the achievement of the benefits pursued at the time of the investment decision.

But the answers are not in the software platform. These are actually aspects of management and process - mainly knowledge management within the company.

Data Management and Governance

All these constitute an operational framework for the dissemination of explicit knowledge and their continuous updating, in order to preserve its relevance.

Even in these conditions there may be imperfections in operations that lead to various differences between results and expectations. They can occur from causes such as non-standardized approaches and/or data errors.

Therefore, it is necessary to regularly monitor a series of results relevant to the activities.

In order to pursue such results, a Data Management and Governance approach can be applied, naming a series of people responsible for data quality.

For the commercial area, some relevant data can be:

  • customer data are complete and correct,
  • the contracts implement the pricing model that can be managed and invoiced in the system,
  • the invoices are correct and complete etc.

For example, one approach could be for the Marketing department to be designated responsible for customer data. Thus, it will ensure through the operational procedure that the necessary data is entered into the systems. Through specific techniques they should be able to follow that the data is not missing and is correct.

There are cases in which differences can be detected. Such cases could be: billing email addresses are missing, contact email addresses are not spelled correctly or cannot be used for campaigns or marketing communications, etc. In these cases, the Marketing department will ensure the operation of the corrections in the systems. The operation will be performed by the departments authorized to perform operations on the respective data, and/or through centralized correction solutions, at the request of the Marketing department.

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Knowledge Management

Knowledge is explicit and implicit.

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All our colleagues - in a consulting company - have their own understanding of the processes in which they operate. This is implicit knowledge.

The vast majority can successfully perform their tasks independently. Occasionally it requires the assistance of a more experienced or expert colleague.

Some of the colleagues perform the tasks autonomously, without external support. They are recognized as the people to whom colleagues ask more difficult questions when situations require it.

A smaller number of colleagues can provide guidance, handle situations and answer expert-level questions for their areas.

Knowing your expert colleagues is the most valuable for the company. This idea ought be transformed into explicit knowledge and descriptive documents, lessons learned, subjective insights.

A knowledge management system begins by explaining the information about commercial and operational processes. However, expert colleagues will not be able to present everything or anything in written form. The vast majority of situations will be covered by the explicit knowledge contained in the documents. The rest of the situations will be solved in interactions with these expert colleagues. They will use their experience to guide colleagues to a solution.

Beyond the documentation, a series of processes is needed:

  • A process to ensure that all colleagues go through the documentation and acquire what is necessary to operate in an autonomous manner.
  • A process by which the documentation is periodically reviewed for relevance and updates with new cases
  • In the capacity management process, expert resources must be planned so that they have time allocated to respond to requests for assistance and guidance from colleagues.
When is the time to complete all these processes?

For any business the processes of Knowledge Management or Data Governance are important. Their explicit implementation requires the attention of management and the allocation of time resources, in different proportions, from all colleagues. Often this type of activity, with internal orientation, loses priority over current operations that may involve customers. So, whenever possible, it is the right time for these processes to be done!

Moreover, at the time of a system implementation for the management of operations, projects and human resources management, such as Oraroo. This is an opportunity to build all these processes of Knowledge Management of commercial, operational or HR processes as well as those of Governance and Data Management.

Oraroo can support medium-sized or growing companies with assistance in designing and implementing processes that ensure the organization, structure and proper functioning of the business in a controlled, efficient and profitable way.

About Oraroo

Remote working model of creative and professional service businesses requires solutions for managing work.

At a time when so many businesses are looking for productivity gains, by centralizing information into a single, holistic and real-time view, work management software eliminates the risk of overbooking and empowers project managers to make proactive decisions.

In the same context of remote work, employees need to be facilitated easy access to work related information, as well as quick, digital administration processes to maintain a high level of engagement.

Addressing the needs above, Oraroo aims at improving operational and financial performance of professional service companies by uniting project management, resource management, contract pricing & billing, workforce administration, business intelligence and integration with existing systems.

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