Published on February 18, 2014
Empowering Your Team: Selecting the Right Technology Partner Cheryl Marks Young CFO, Easter Seals New Jersey
Agenda • Introductions • Technology Acumen for Leaders • • • • Technical vs Strategic Personality types – dealing with information overload Key Technology Concepts Cutting through the data – 5Qs – What does it all mean? • ROI (return on investment) and WIIFM (what’s in it for me) • Telling your story • Influencing outcomes • Using data and SMEs (subject matter experts) • Case Studies 2 © 2014 Proformative
Quotes • “In god we trust. All others bring data” • “If you can't describe what you are doing as a process (briefly), you don't know what you're doing.” • “If you do not know how to ask the right question, you discover nothing.” ~ W. Edwards Deming ~ Father of Statistical Quality Control & Inventor of the “Plan-Do-Check-Act” Cycle 3 © 2014 Proformative
Technology Acumen • Technical versus Strategic Thinking • Definition/Description • When to use which concept • Knowing your limitations and those of your audience • Speaking their language • Minimize or define mnemonics or abbreviations or subject specific lingo. • Wear your own hat of authority - credibility • Use the expert rules and regulations as a resource to back up your recommendations as the underlying premise only • Enlist SMEs (subject matter experts) where necessary 4 © 2014 Proformative
Personality Type With Data • Dealing with data overload • The goal is to influence the outcome • When too much of a good thing is not effective. 5 © 2014 Proformative
Technology Acumen – Hierarchy of Financial Leadership (with credit to Warren Tranquada, VP & CFO of NJPAC and apologies to Maslow) Tranquada’s Theorem “You can’t do the fun higher level stuff unless the base of the pyramid is strong” Strategy Planning Strategic Leadership Risk Management Analysis Reporting Control Compliance 6 © 2014 Proformative Base Tactical
Technology Acumen – Key Questions Key Questions to assess technology needs • What problem am I trying to solve? • What output/outcome is needed? • Who understands the problem internally? • Who supports the technology solution internally? Externally? • What is the competition using? • Do I see any trends in technology projects internally or externally? • What decisions do I need to make and/or actions do I need to take based on the technology and financial information? 7 © 2014 Proformative
Cutting Through the Data 5 Qs • What? • Why? • When? • Where? • How? 8 © 2014 Proformative
Choosing Your Team • Committee Structure • Cross Functional Teams • Internal Subject Matter Experts • External Subject Matter Experts • Stakeholders • Mediators • Time keepers • Note takers • Guardians of the “Gate” 9 © 2014 Proformative
Team Responsibilities • Review • Design • Decide • “Sell” • Implement • Test • Adjust • Test • Repeat Test/Adjust/Test as often as necessary until desired results achieved • Train • Go Live 10 © 2014 Proformative
Selling Your Decision • Influencing Outcomes • Rules of the Road for Success • Be Brief • Be Specific • Include credible data and use expert references as needed • Be Mindful • Be Solution Focused • Translate the benefits of what you are trying to achieve into a benefit for your customer • Be Prepared • Respond to questions – “Good Question”; I’ll get back to you vs I don’t know. • Follow up 11 © 2014 Proformative
Telling Your Story – Getting to YES • Perspective is a Critical Success Factor The Goal is not to implement a winning strategy or program… It is to accelerate operational (or other) excellence to create sustainable competitive advantage. When we look for “Silver Bullet” Solutions we can wind up with a “Program of the Month Mentality”. Nobody will buy another one of “those”. Balance your perspective and walk in the other person’s shoes before you make your pitch. Communicate a Value Proposition they can use. 12 © 2014 Proformative
Telling Your Story – What is “Value” “The Value of an item must not be based on it’s Price, but rather on the Utility that it yields” ~ Commentarii Academiae Scientiarum ~ Imperialis Petropolitanae, Tomus V ~1738 “Value depends entirely on Utility” ~ The Theory of Political Economy ~1871 “The inherent worth of a “product” is judged by the customer” ~ The Lean Lexicon ~2008 13 © 2014 Proformative
Telling Your Story – “Creativity Before Capital Request” $1 Million vs $1 Dollar Solution During the early days of the Space program, engineers spent $1 Million to invent a ball point pen that would write in space. Our then competition, took a pencil. Remember to think about perspective and value propositions. 14 © 2014 Proformative
Exercise – Case Studies – Influencing Outcomes • Review Committees – Cross Functional Teams • Your job is to review and rate each case study and answer the following questions: • What problem is being identified? • Where is the problem? • Why is it important to solve this problem? • How is the problem being solved? • When will the problem be solved? • What resources are being requested? • Who benefits: positive and negative results of this project? • What is the ROI for this project? • Would you approve this project and all related funding? 15 © 2014 Proformative
Discussion – Case Studies • General Ledger Package • Electronic Records Management System • Electronic Billing System • Customization vs Out of the Box or Off the Shelf • Keeping it Simple 16 © 2014 Proformative
Getting to Real Results Lessons learned: • Identify internal and external champions • If at first you don’t succeed… • Think outside the box: your first solution may not be the only solution • Creative problem solving is critical • Cross functional teams are beneficial to success • Quality Improvement projects are not always a zero sum game 17 © 2014 Proformative
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Thank You For Attending Empowering Your Team: Selecting the Right Technology Partner Cheryl Marks Young CFO, Easter Seals New Jersey Email: Cyoung@nj.easterseals.com LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/cherylmarksyoung/
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