For those experienced in the trials and tribulations of measurement, analytics, and reporting ("MAR"), you might be thinking - "What else do I have to worry about?" Well, the answer is that it depends on where you are at in your MAR maturity. Let's start at the beginning and we'll build out the mid and later stages in following posts. Take a look at the maturity model at the bottom of the post. We'll start by focusing on the change management to get to Stage 2, when you first begin.One important thing to remember is that change management in this space will evolve, so this should be something you revisit regularly. It is not a one-and-done activity. This should be something you plan and revisit often as your strategy evolves. At the outset of implementing your MAR strategy, consider the following:
Document All the Things. This includes assumptions, rationalizations, and requirements. It's critical that there are resources supporting areas such as KPIs, evaluation content, standard communications, data architecture (simple), full operating procedures with MAR activities built in (roles, activities, expectations).
Begin Building Capabilities. It's never too early to address this area. Generally, the "M"easurement area is the biggest opportunity area. Even folks with experience in more academic/scientific settings don't always get this right. Business measurement and academic/scientific measurement have the same foundation but can look very different. Consider hiring a specific resource or finding a partner to help with this piece. For "A"nalytics and "R"eporting, usually there is more intuitive capability, but it's critical to ensure that folks have an understanding of general analytical capabilities, as well as those around specific report generation (system or offline) or analytics tools available.
Set Expectations with ALL Stakeholders. First, document your stakeholder groups. What decisions do they need to make? What types of information do they expect? What reporting requirements do they have? After this, it'll be much easier to document the what/when/how for your stakeholders. When should they expect data and how? What are they expected to do? What role do they have in the process? Don't forget to list your employees as a stakeholder group! They are the ones providing the feedback in evaluations and consuming your programs.
Clarify Technology Requirements & Gaps. We can't undervalue the importance of technology in our strategies and this is no different. Most organizations have to start with what they have. Use this opportunity to document the requirements of your strategy and then align those to your current solutions. What gaps exist? How critical are they? What is the implication of the 'gap' on your strategy, process, stakeholders, etc. Even if you aren't able to secure new technology right away, this will help create a more compelling case for optimizing your solution in the future.
I know many of you reading have already gotten started and that's OK! Go back and see if there are areas that were under-addressed and make updates. The saying that all of us have used fits perfectly here - "Better late than never!"