Posted by Gary Voight, CorasWorks President and CEO
Recently I spoke about a Federal customer and commercial prospect pursing greater operational efficiency and cost reduction by increasing their visibility into existing projects. Since then I have heard more stories from other organizations supporting the notion that “It’s all about visibility.”
In my previous posting I focused on how getting visibility into projects through common operating metrics and reporting enables organizations to identify redundancies and reduce costs. Some of the follow-on discussion pointed out that this does not apply just to projects. There were three examples:
1. A major law firm did a root cause analysis on some of their case losses and project overruns. The one major finding was that the Number 1 problem was inefficient or lack of communication. They determined that many losses could have been avoided if more people were aware of a situation and could engage early enough to correct the course of events.
2. A large engineering firm produced a large fixed price bid using just their proposal management and account teams. When they subsequently won the bid and began staffing the project, several of the project members were mystified as to some of the estimated deliverables. Had they been aware of the deliverables during the proposal development process they could have made recommendations that would have increased the chances for a successful implementation and also increased the operating profit margin for the work.
3. A non-profit organization leader was frustrated by the inability of the organization to engage its workforce, solicit new ideas, and then expose those ideas up the management chain. He knew ideas were coming from lower levels of the organization and volunteers, but also knew those ideas were not working their way up the management hierarchy to him.
These examples seem trickier to me than what I posted before, and the solutions may be more challenging. However, the theme of visibility still applies. In this case it seems that better collaboration is a fundamental requirement. How can this be achieved?
One thought is to use some basic crowdsourcing, combined with an efficient review and decision-making program. The solution must be intuitive for all users (without requiring user training) along with an effective stage-gate review tool for quick decision making. We have delivered this type of solution with the combination of the CorasWorks Software Platform (v11) and the CorasWorks Idea & Innovation Management (CIM) software. This software is completely based on SharePoint. I now realize this type of solution supports the notion of “It’s all about visibility.”