Good Answers and Bad Answers
You are sitting in a meeting with a senior leader and he or she asks "So how's that digital transformation project going?"
In this situation you probably want to answer with something better than "Good, thanks!"
A good answer would be "We're currently projecting an 11% uplift in conversions in the first year of platform operations that will make us an additional 8 million dollars by Q1 2017" or "We're currently projecting an average savings of 28 minutes per employee per week in time savings that equates to 1.2 million dollars in operational savings after the first year of post-launch platform operation."
If you're not able to answer this question in such a manner you need to figure out why. Did you put a framework in place at the beginning of the project in order to answer this question in a way that relates to how your senior leaders see it from a business perspective? Do you have an answer you feel confident in? Is it an issue that senior leaders need to ask you how things are going instead of having easy access to a way for them to check real-time on the project status?
Measurement is Credibility in Your Communications
Your ability to answer questions from senior leaders about the status of the project in a business-centric way is emblematic of your ability to succeed on your projects. It validates their decisions to fund what you're doing and helps to justify why they should continue to invest in the direction you're setting.
In addition to the ability to measure your progress as it impacts the business you need to be able to meaningfully communicate that progress to the rest of your organization. This is something that you cannot just tack-on mid-process once you are already rolling along. You have to know at the planning stages of the project what your goals are, the meaningful metrics that relate to those goals, and the benchmark you will use to measure your impact on the business through the course of the project.
In future posts we'll break down the process of how to establish meaningful goals you can measure against, how to structure your measurement work stream, how search and user experience plays a major yet largely hidden role in measurement success, and other deeper measurement topics.