When introducing Amplify to future clients we are often presented with a dilemma: Teams are tasked with executing a transformation to maximize the return on investment (ROI) – whether it is through cost reductions, synergy targets, revenue enhancements, etc., and we are proposing a solution that will add an investment in software licensing costs. Our task is then to highlight the many ways in which Amplify itself provides a positive ROI, typically accomplished via three levers:
- Enhancing effectiveness – improving the execution capabilities of delivery teams
- Reducing risk – lowering the likelihood of cost overruns, schedule delays and delivery failures
- Improving efficiency – reducing manual effort by the delivery teams through automating repetitive tasks
Frequently we find that teams are focused on the last lever, improving the efficiency of their delivery team by automating existing tasks. As discussed in an earlier blog (‘Looking beyond the technology’ December 2020), while there is certainly benefit in reducing manual effort it should not be the focus of implementing a tool like Amplify. The benefit from enhancing the effectiveness of the delivery team often dwarfs the return from efficiency gains. Thus we focus initially on identifying opportunities to enhance effectiveness, and then later try to drive efficiency improvements through automation. In this article we will explore the three levers above in greater detail.
It is well documented, and we often cite in our marketing materials, that strategic transformations frequently fall short of their business goals. Studies show that 81% of cost reduction programs fall short of their goals, 87% of acquisition integrations fail to achieve “significant” financial success, and 73% of enterprises fail to realize sustained returns on their digital investments. With transformations that promise benefits of more than $100M annually, achieving only 90% of the target leaves $10M annually on the table. As you can imagine, a solution that even marginally increases the likelihood of 100% value capture would provide a very significant boost to your organization’s transformations. Teams that use Amplify benefit from the transparency and goal-driven approach in the tool. It provides a single source of truth so that teams are aligned on objectives, and the current statuses of initiatives and resulting value capture. Executives value the transparency that the solution provides, allowing them to rapidly evaluate the programs statuses and initiate course-corrections as needed. There is accountability for delivery throughout the transformation team, as members understand their targets and who is on-point for delivery. These all help to improve the effectiveness of transformation teams, and are key contributors to why teams that use Amplify are successful in achieving their transformation goals.
We have all heard the stories related to disastrous transformation programs, especially related to digital programs (CIO magazine featured some interesting anecdotes here). Programs run way over budget, extend well beyond their projected timeline, and fail to deliver the capabilities that enable value capture. These critical failures can severely impact the overall financial fitness of an organization, necessitating deferred investments, operational cuts and other drastic measures to offset the losses. With Amplify, teams have the transparency and access to data to identify and address challenges before they spiral out of control. Additionally, Amplify features stage gate processes to serve as structured checkpoints throughout an initiative’s lifecycle, providing a regular check on progress and an opportunity to reassess the business case. The combination of transparency, accountability and regular checkpoints help program teams identify and steer clear of the disasters that can severely impact an organization.
The most straightforward ROI lever is the opportunity to improve the efficiency of the PMO team through automation of regular, repeatable tasks. Data collection and reporting can be streamlined and automated with Amplify, reducing the effort required by the PMO team. Often we see that the team members who would otherwise be generating reports are reallocated to higher-value activities, such as active tracking and management of the initiative portfolio. In one example an Amplify client was able to reallocate 60% of its PMO team from report creation to program monitoring. Realizing the full impact of efficiency gains often requires commitment outside of the PMO team as well. Senior leaders who are used to having PowerPoints prepared on a bi-weekly basis need to adjust to viewing data in Amplify’s embedded Power BI reports. Initiative leads and KPI owners who would typically email their updates to their PMO point of contact for inclusion in the Excel model need to log into the tool to directly provide their updates. Note that these efficiency gains will also provide effectiveness benefits. When executives log directly into Amplify they will be able to see the latest statuses of their programs, not referencing reports that were created weeks ago. When stakeholders are logging their program updates directly into the tool it supports ownership of the initiative, rather than just providing updates to the PMO team for “their” program.
In this article you have seen why investing in the capabilities Amplify provide makes sense. Amplify enhances the effectiveness of your team, reduces the risk of program failure, and improves the efficiency of execution. All of this delivers a return on your Amplify investment that far exceeds the required costs. That being said, this is all dependent upon an effective implementation of Amplify coupled with a transformation team operating model that takes full advantage of its capabilities. To learn more, request a demo today!