Part 2 of a 3-Part Blog Series
This week, in the second part of our 3-part blog series, we’ll explore how to build a strong business case to gain the management support you need to move forward in your digitization project. We’ll also cover the importance of setting up a pilot test and how this step will help you fine-tune an effective strategic approach to digitization.
Four Steps of a Business Case
A well-constructed business case demonstrates how improvements to the file management system can result in cost savings for your organization, supporting future decision-making and helping to track performance. By exploring alternative options and the benefits, costs and risks of each, you’ll justify your recommended solution and generate crucial support for your digitization program.
It is likely that the people to whom you’ll present your business case are not experts in the area of information management. Gaining approval for funding and resources to support your program will require clear communication of the cost impacts and savings to the bottom line.
Identify Business Need
The first step towards creating a strong business case is to identify the business needs driving the transition to digital imaging. Look at where the strongest cost-saving opportunities exist to ensure your organization remains competitive. Will labor and material costs related to file management/retrieval decrease? Will the change improve collaboration and productivity?
Outline Solution Options
In part one of the blog, we showed how to calculate costs of your current file system. In the business case, compare alternate solutions to illustrate cost savings. Consider all costs and be transparent in reporting. Some costs are not as obvious as others such as ongoing costs for software and equipment updates.
Recommend a Preferred Solution
Thorough analysis of solution options is critical to support your rationalization for the preferred recommendation. Show how the solution is meeting the business need. How will it impact the bottom line? How will it affect how people work? How does it add security and lower risk for the organization?
Present the Implementation Plan
Share details about administering your recommended solution. Your implementation plan should include information about these points:
How much will your recommended solution cost?
Who will do what? Will existing staff need to be reassigned and trained?
What is the required hardware and software support?
What is the estimated implementation timing?
Will it happen in phases?
How will everyone be kept informed throughout the process?
How will progress be monitored and success measured?
Your business case acts as a roadmap that guides your digitization journey. To ensure that your plan forward is the best it can be, you may want to test your strategies and ideas in a pilot.
The Pilot Project
Conducting a pilot project within a defined record set before proceeding with the full implementation will help test the technology and strengthen your implementation plans, including procedures and workflows.
Valuable questions to ask include:
- Is the new workflow process intuitive?
- Are staff buying in and using the new process?
- Are the staffing resources sufficient? Is more training required?
- Did users experience productivity improvements such as easier access?
- Is the new system aligning with key performance indicators?
- Are process changes required?
The pilot test is designed to help your strategic approach deliver a digital file management plan that is on target to meet your business’ unique needs. It will inform your case, strengthen credibility and gain the support your plan needs to move forward.
Access understands the complexity of energy industry information and can help you plan for digitization regardless of where you are in your journey.
Our next and final blog post in this series shares the importance of a change management component and understanding compliance standards. We’ll also peer into the digital future, so come back next week for the next set of tips!
In the meantime, check out the Playbook, Adventures in Digitization for energy companies, for a detailed roadmap of each step of the journey. Use it to glean many more detailed tips and expert advice on building a strong business case and planning your pilot test.