A soft pipeline, long sales cycles, staffing delays, and project overages were becoming increasingly problematic for this ~$2B Global SW company and their delivery of services. Efforts launched at a corporate level to address these issues had not been successful and a decision was eventually reached to focus on the Americas region to stimulate progress. An additional hurdle to overcome was a leadership perception that many of the issues were a result of poor performance on the part of the services delivery teams.
Root Cause Analysis
- Assembled a cross-functional team of Professional Services Delivery SMEs, SMEs from other stakeholder functions and included a Global Program Manager and select representatives from other regions (EMEA, APAC) to facilitate a more rapid rollout of solutions.
- Performed a deep assessment of each of the problem areas and identified root causes which were consolidated into a small set of solutions categories.
- Key findings from the assessment which galvanized company leadership around the effort was validation that a large # of the issues were caused by poor expectations setting and ill-defined requirements early in the sales process and the lack of any official or supported resource management capabilities.
- The #1 deliverable was the creation and deployment of a comprehensive and integrated process which began with demand generation and concluded with deal closure and project start-up.
- Redefined and implemented roles and responsibilities to address issues of missed steps and clarity of accountability.
- To improve expectations setting and requirements definition, provided sales teams with standard practices and templates including training materials and “help desk” like SME support.
- Automated the submission and change-control of documents to highlight and ultimately reduce the number of unfortunate surprises.
- Leveraging standard tools and products from a corporate Microsoft 365 license, developed and deployed an integrated workflow for the entire resource management lifecycle which included offshore and 3rd party resources.
- Additional solutions were spawned from the efforts including an initiative to reengineer the existing Offer Portfolio and additional automation-of and integration-with supporting processes including full-visibility and tracking of Services opportunities in Salesforce.
Positive feedback from the initial Americas deployments sparked an imperative to accelerate deployment of changes and solutions to the rest of the Americas organization as well as the EMEA and APAC regions.
Positive feedback from Sales Leaders included a marked improvement in the smoothness of which opportunities matured through the pipeline and the increased % of opportunities resulting in highly qualified and closed deals. From a delivery results standpoint, the # of projects experiencing staffing delays, cost overruns, and “red” customer satisfaction went to nearly zero from a peak of 1 out of every 4 engagements experiencing materially significant issues. And consistent sentiment from all parties was the improved perception of “no longer operating in the stone age”.