Activities, Objectives, and Results- Why Activities should be the focus- Pt I

There’s dirty data everywhere—especially in your job card software. Your implementation best practices checklist may talk about data cleansing but does it cover how to make sense of what data and when?

 

Most companies today seem to find themselves in one of two scenarios with regard to hvac service software. See which one sounds the most like you:

Scenario 1:

You’ve implemented a new ehs software, and you’re struggling with user adoption. Even more troubling, you aren’t seeing the lift in performance that you used as justification for your substantial investment.

So, what do you do now?

Re-do the software?

Overhaul training?

Update your resume?

Scenario 2:

You are currently implementing a new ngo accounting software, and you’re six months away from Scenario #1 as listed above.

It would be impossible to count the number of times we’ve encountered the scenarios above. It’s literally a daily occurrence. And sadly, this story has been playing on a loop for more than two decades.

Software burst onto the scene in the 1990s, and the technology has steadily improved ever since. And yet, Scenarios 1 and 2 have remained a constant. field service management software in 1998, 2008, or 2018. Different date, same fate.

What Does a Successful Implementation Look Like?

What can be done to make sure that the ERP Software implementations of the future don’t meet with the same fates of those of the past? Well, part of the solution will certainly be to continue improving the technology. Getting complete, trustworthy data into systems without excruciating manual entry is still a barrier for user adoption—both at the rep and the management levels.

This has steadily improved over time, and will continue to get better in the future. But the business reality is that we need to improve the impact of systems now. Not after your system vendor releases its next five user interface updates.

The real question isn’t “What can we do to improve the technology tomorrow?”, but “What can we do to improve  impact today?”

What Role Does a Manager Play Here?

There’s a lot of data being reported in your manufacturing software right now. In fact, probably too much data. We have heard of businesses distributing 28 management reports every month to its front-line managers.  And each manager using, on average, three of those reports.

 

Are these managers using the same three reports? No. They are using the reports in a consistent way to manage their reps? No. But they had a lot of data, whether they wanted it or not.

Use (act on) the data you already have

We believe that organizations already collect the data that their managers need to manage and coach their teams to higher levels of performance. The issue is that these organizations haven’t taught their managers how to select the right data and how to use it in constructive coaching conversations.

Instead, sales managers are taught how to log into their CRM tools, navigate the screens, and run reports. But what then?

  • How many ERPNext deployments include training on which metrics are the most important?
  • And what that data means?
  • And how to use it in a coaching conversation?

In our experience, none.

To use an automobile analogy, it’s as though managers have been given the operator’s manual to a really fast car, but they haven’t been shown how to drive it. They are taught what the steering wheel does, but they’re not told how to decide which direction to turn it.

They are taught that the accelerator makes the car go faster, but they’re not told how fast to drive in different situations.

Back to the business world, managers are told they need to achieve quota, but they’re not given instructions on how to get there. In essence, they’re taught the technology, but not what to do with it. Managers need driving lessons for CRM Software.

1) Categorize your sales data

We uncovered a metrics framework that helps managers wade through the morass of data posing as insight. It categorizes all data as either a Business Result, a Objective, or a Activity.

It also demonstrates that of these three types of metrics, only the Activities can be managed. This helps managers focus on the things that they can actually control.

2) Use activity data to prioritize time

We discovered causal relationships between the Activities, Objectives, and Results that allow  managers to isolate the few Activities that will have the highest impact on performance. This helps managers make better decisions about how to prioritize their time and the time of their reps.

3) Use data in constructive coaching conversations

Finally, we discovered techniques that help managers use data in constructive coaching conversations. Rather than using data as a weapon of mass inspection, managers can use sales data to re-frame their interactions with their team as high-value sales coaching. And that is the best use of data, no doubt.

In the end, systems are is just a machine that does what we tell it to do. And all machines are useless without a good set of instructions. If we want to turn ERP into an amazingly powerful tool, then we need to train our managers to understand what to do with all the data that resides in that fantastic reporting machine. And now there are some simple frameworks to help managers do just that.

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