I care about business users 🤗. And I am a firm believer that in any digital transformation project, we must remember that they are the true VIPs of the show. But what does it mean to successfully address the users’ needs? Practically?
Over the years, I have collected some tips and tricks to facilitate the interactions with business users and zap away any significant issue in the journey. Here are 4 principles:
1. Focus on business outcomes
What I mean by that is that it is critical to really understand what value we are going to achieve. What is the business problem we are trying to solve? Because if we are about to invest effort and money into a new project, we really must make sure that we are investing in meaningful outcomes and solving business challenges. 100% of the effort should be focus on achieving the expected objectives and delivering value.
2. Get concrete and involve business users early on
Genuine human interaction is the secret sauce for user satisfaction. Every project is about delivering a great user experience.Customer, partners, and employees are the VIPs! So, we need to start by understanding them. But we need to get concrete. It’s not just a “one-day” brainstorming session. Typically, I’m bringing business users into the project early on and periodically check as we go with the various phases. There are always stakeholders who have particular insights into the problems we want to solve. And despite the apparent disparity of the stakeholders, talking to them often yields many common themes.
3. Be transparent.
A third important thing for me is to make sure we are transparent with our stakeholders all throughout the process. It is important. It is about being clear about where we are investing our effort, what is the expected return on the investment, for the organisation and clarity on the benefits for the business users (the famous “What’s in it for me”).
4. Collaborate, co-create and align
Another principle is to really engage, collaborate and align. But to be fair, in a typical project, it is actually quite complex. Complex in terms of the number of people involved, geographies involved, or the disparity of business functions in scope. It is important to require everyone to collaborate and go through the process together, explore ideas and possibilities. Then it is time to align around the target, the benefits we are creating and iterate. Is it usable and effective? During the process, it might be good to take a top-down approach to breakdown complexity into smaller manageable items. Also, don’t hesitate to share some of the lessons you learned from previous projects and benchmark continuously.
You can’t dictate great outcomes. But you can prepare for them. The purpose of those principles is to really align with everyone around the value that we are creating, learn from the different stakeholders, get feedback, and surface any misalignment.