The Ultimate Solution Experience™ - uSX Part 2
In our last entry, Solution Selling is So 2012, we introduced you to the Ultimate Solution Experience™. And now it’s time to dive in and show you how it works step-by-step.
You want to deliver the best possible solution. You want to be on time, on budget, and on target. You will need to design and align your organization to effectively deliver the Ultimate Solution Experience™.
People matter in the solution experience. Getting to the bottom of what drives people is the first step. But how?
Your first guess might be to start with the technology. But we’ve learned that technology does not drive the solution experience. The strategy itself must determine how the technology, people & process are fused to deliver the solution.
So, think about concepts like esteem, recognition, validation, and promotion. You may rarely associate with consulting services or projects. Mechanisms, communications, and processes can be designed to trigger these concepts. People act on these. People are moved by these. Solutions are born from these. We call these mechanisms or concepts “touch points”. The coherence, consistency, and combination of all touch points ultimately constitutes a solution experience.
Examples of touch points are:
- Project plans
- Ongoing support
Knowing what they are is half the battle. Now, how do we find touch points for each Ultimate Solution Experience™ Project?
Outline your goals, expectations, and metrics so everyone is on the same page. Each team formation depends on specific project needs and has resource constraints. However, each team should include the following roles: uSX manager, project manager, solution (business/technical) architect, business analyst, technical developers and designers, documentation, and implementation support. Some team members may play multiple roles, but your experience will be far more pleasurable if your team is composed of individuals with multiple overlapping skills. For example, the Business Architect should also have the skills of a Project or Program Manager. The Project Manager may also have the skills of a Business Analyst or Documentation Specialist. The Technical Developer/Designer may also have skills in operations.
1. Ask the Right Questions
Think in terms of what you want your customers to know, believe, feel, or do before, during, and after this experience and how they might relay this experience to others.
Ask yourself and your team these questions to guide your thinking:
- What customer needs and expectations will this experience address?
- How should the experience represent your capabilities?
- What specific business goals are you trying to achieve by building this experience?
- What kinds of experiences do your competitors deliver?
- How will you know that you have succeeded or failed?
- Urgency. Urgency may lead you to deliver a solution without first properly defining the problem, the true business needs, and the measures of success. This is usually the result of a critical need completely outside your control, but one you need to be aware of.
- Insufficient Resources. You may also find you do not have the right resources available or sufficient research capabilities.
However, by using the methods presented in this ongoing blog, you can quickly determine the basic components of the problem or issue and then develop a solid strategy. An important step in building your uSX strategy is determining the most important need of the consumer or audience and how to address it.
2. Determine Needs vs. Requirements
Needs vs. Requirements
Understanding the difference between a business need and a requirement will allow you to build a solid and executable strategy.
- Needs. Business needs define a problem or opportunity which needs to be addressed to meet business goals and objectives.
- Requirements. Business requirements are the detailed functional components to meet the objective of the business need.
Once the business needs and requirements are clearly defined, prioritization and dependencies are key steps in defining your Ultimate Solution Experience™ strategy. You can then create a logical set of phases for your delivery and will make it easier for you and your stakeholders to benchmark performance.
In the case of new technology and new solutions, organizations often confuse needs with requirements.
3. Define Success
To be successful, you first have to define success. Being on time and on budget are always critical measures for success. But these are expected. Surprisingly, they are rarely accomplished, but none the less they are expected by default and are easily forgotten. Remember that our goal is to get the customer promoted or bonused based on the success of our solution and delivery experience. We don’t need the particulars of the customer’s compensation package, but what we do need is to fully understand the goals, objectives, and measures of the company, organization, departments, and ultimately our primary contact within our client.
These details can then be mapped to the business needs, and requirements of our solution.
- What impact will our solution have to the goals, objectives, and measures we identified?
- Can we tie our solution impact to positive gains in productivity, quality, reach, performance?
- Can we quantify these positive gains in dollars?
What's Up Next?
Who do you need on your team to find the answers? Role Call for who you need on the Ultimate Solution Experience™ team is up next.