Brian Hinton, a consultant with a company called Strategic Contact, an independent consulting firm focused on helping companies optimize the strategic value of their customer contact technology and operations, spoke at the event. He referenced the practice of two customers of theirs that intrigued me. He said that both of the referenced companies have a "Technology Value Meter" that they post visibly for all to see. The Value Meter references to what extent the company feels it is utilizing or leveraging the value of the technology they have purchased.
Here is how it seems to work. A team inside the organization that knows the full capability of the products the company has purchased makes an evaluation of the percentage of those capabilities that have been implemented and are being used. If the company takes advantage of a new feature or function in the product, the level on the Value Meter goes up. If the software vendor releases a new feature, but the company doesn’t implement it right away, the level on the Value Meter goes down. Okay, I know…it’s all a subjective measurement. So all of you readers who did well in finance, math, and science (those subjects that have absolute measurements and answers) aren’t really buying into this. But hang on, I think there is real value here. Here is what I think it accomplishes:
- It causes an organization to think about the technology they have already spent money on, and how to reach the goal of leveraging it to its full capacity.
- It makes the organization accountable to others. You spent company money, now tell everyone else inside the company how much value you’re getting for that money.
- It causes a deliberate, needed thought of, "Before I go buy something else, am I getting the value out of what I’ve already bought?" That makes the company more efficient. That makes good business sense.
We sell software. I would LOVE for companies that use our products to implement a Value Meter inside their organization. I think if they did, they would realize that there is so much more they can do to leverage that investment they made. And in turn, that would mean their overall satisfaction with our products would improve as they take better advantage of the functionality and capabilities.
Thanks for the insight Brian. Here’s to Technology Value Meters!
Joe Staples — white-belt blogger