Business transformation, value and success
The success of any business is in large part dependent on the success of the customer. The customer both defines their success, and largely, the means by which it is realised.
As a software vendor, Oracle Health Sciences is key to catalysing value realisation, not only through the provision of software and supporting services, but also through the process of business transformation, which in our domain, is both common place and essential. This is further complicated given competing expectations from multiple internal and external stakeholders, which may lead to misaligned objectives. Managing expectations successfully across multiple lines of business and across both the customer and the vendor organisation is a guiding principle for being able to deliver a win-win scenario for all stakeholders.
Given the exhilarating pace at which clinical science is moving forward, promising to dramatically alter future healthcare outcomes, sponsors must make deeper and broader use of their data, their people and their processes. Hence the increased focus to re-engineer current business processes using innovative technology and re-imagined data science driven roles. Helping realise this clinical R&D ambition using technology has proven to be complex, expensive and risky.
The topic of this article is to look at why IT projects don’t always deliver the business benefits initially envisioned with complex, strategic business transformation initiatives, and how Oracle is addressing this delivery gap with a mechanism to measure customer success and satisfaction with our products.
Business transformation and IT project failure
Recently, I came across an interview from the new Novartis CEO who discussed what is becoming a mantra across the life sciences industry, namely, the transformation of clinical R&D to support new digital, patient centric research paradigms.
It is one thing articulating vision; but, it is quite another to develop a strategy to realise and deliver it across the enterprise. Digital transformation in any industry is costly, risky and time-consuming. Where IT is required and plays an essential role in the transformation of the business, it is more often the case that such strategic initiatives do not always deliver the promised results.
The Standish Group periodically publishes an insightful report that describes the reasons for the failure of IT projects to deliver pre-specified business benefits. It is quite astounding that only a third of IT projects are deemed to be successful, while the remainder fail or are challenged.
Looking more closely into the underlying reasons for this abysmal rate of success, it is suggested that involving end-users and working with them is a principal driver to mitigate against project failure. Furthermore, optimising project delivery milestones with sub-project tasks and clearly identified and aligned business objectives also significantly influences project success. Using a consistent group of integrated practices, services and products also significantly influences project success, which, in many cases, is included as part of a project implementation and delivery methodology.
It is worthwhile to understand some of the definitions listed in Figure 3. They are described by Figure 4.
It is important for any successful IT project that there is strong user involvement and that an integral part of the project delivery methodology is designed to deliver a consistent, repeatable customer experience that is aligned with evolving customer expectations.
Realising customer success with Oracle Data Management Workbench
In the clinical data management area of many life science companies, there is an inevitable desire to undertake some element of business process transformation to achieve new operational efficiencies. Typically, many organisations are challenged with process inefficiencies relating to:
- Managing clinical data flow by removing bottlenecks, process latencies and redundant processes
- Providing clinical data to stakeholders to make the best decisions as quickly as possible
- Dealing with change over the lifecycle of the clinical study so that change does not lead to delays and costly operations.
Oracle Data Management Workbench (DMW) is a solution that offers the potential to deliver significant business benefits by addressing these process inefficiencies. Using this solution, customers can re-engineer their business processes by configuring the solution with automation workflows, libraries, templates and standards. However, implementing DMW can be accomplished in a number of ways, primarily driven by the customer’s specific business processes and their business priorities.
Give the historical reasons for challenged projects, it is therefore important to involve the customer to help define project success and establish a baseline upon which the project success can be measured accommodating implementation variability. Using our extensive experience Oracle Health Sciences has developed a process and success measurement scorecard to help deliver Oracle DMW projects.
Customer success scorecard
To achieve a level of consistency across current customer implementations and to help customers identify and proactively manage critical projects success factors, Oracle has developed a customer scorecard that can be used to align implementation objectives and the customer’s business priorities. Using the scorecard as part of a customer engagement process to help deliver customer success is now an integral part of the implementation delivery methodology and continues throughout the customer implementation life cycle.
The primary objective of the customer success scorecard is to document known risks and to identify misaligned objectives between both the customer and the IT vendor on an ongoing, periodic basis.
By working with the customer, engaging in a structured dialogue that systematically considers different implementation tracks and asking detailed questions that are documented, it is possible to identify misaligned expectations and to implement remedial measures. The scorecard provides an early warning system highlighting areas of weakness between organisations and helps to structure the different considerations required to make the customers successful.
The scorecard is intended to be completed for each customer prior to the implementation of a DMW business release to baseline current performance with the existing business process. It is intended to be updated post-implementation on a periodic basis to track operational efficiency and identify any gaps in the delivery methodology.
By following this process, it is intended that the level of customer engagement, together with a strong focus on business objectives, can ultimately lead to more successful customers and more effective DMW implementations.
*Images 2 through 4 can be found at this URL: https://www.infoq.com/articles/standish-chaos-2015
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