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KPIs for Success: Problem Solving and Impact Analysis

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). The two critical components of a great concept or solution proposal are (1) a well-articulated problem that’s important to solve, and (2) a valuable solution that will provide compelling benefits to its audience and to the business. However, it’s not enough to simply state those two components when pitching a proposal or creating a business case — they must be substantiated through effective business analysis.

The business leaders and managers who evaluate proposals need to decide whether or not they believe that the stated problem is a problem, whether the solution proposed is the right solution, and whether the benefits of that solution are going to offer an opportunity worth the time, money and effort the leadership is being asked to invest. In case they do decide to invest, leaders then are concerned with how quickly and for how long they will be able to realize and sustain the anticipated benefits.  Of course, if the problem solving or rationale for pursuing an opportunity is flawed, then the decision to fund the proposal might turn out to be a costly one at worst, or return minimal benefit, at best.

This course covers the problem solving, impact analysis process and critical thinking that lead to the decision to move forward with a solution or at least create a business case. It’s an Enterprise Analysis class that provides frameworks and techniques to help students appropriately analyze the business situation and select the best solution. Finally, it includes lessons on developing the right KPIs so students can architect and measure success for any solution they’d ultimately propose.

Interactive workshops allow students to practice the techniques as they learn. It supports the standards outlined in the IIBA BABOK® Guide V2.0.

Learning Objectives:
  • Analyze, define, size and justify the importance of solving (or ignoring) a particular problem
  • Identify considerations for analyzing and sizing a potential business solution or opportunity, including important stakeholder characteristics and an effective comparison of the potential solution to the problem size
  • Develop a sound solution position statement that clearly describes intended business value and outcomes designed for success
  • Define Key Performance Indicators, measures and requirements for solution success and benefit delivery; describe how this information supports effective program design, project scoping and planning to maximize benefits delivery
  • Identify potential risks to achieving critical solution results, describe the different risk responses and planning strategies, such as mitigation and contingency plans, and identify key considerations for ensuring solution success.

Outline

Introduction

  • Describe Enterprise Analysis and Measurement with Key Performance Indicators
  • Consider “is it important?” by assessing the situation and defining success
  • Decide “is it valuable?” by analyzing impacts and assessing options
  • Determine “is it worth it?” by evaluating benefits and planning strategic value delivery
.5 hour

Evaluate the Problem

  • Assess the Situation
    • Identify issues and needs
    • Define and distinguish goals and outcomes.
    • Examine the business area. Apply critical thinking to extrapolate business problem(s) from tactical issues and identify organizational impacts.
    • Characterize the situation. 
  • Define Business Success
    • Contrast success with an acceptable outcome. 
    • Identify critical business results. Describe and practice an approach to identifying results required for desired business outcome and value.
    • Clearly articulate the problem(s) using the Value Validation Cycle
  • Size the Problem
    • Evaluate the problem and assess the impact. Practice impact assessment; compile and quantify critical impacts.
    • Decide if solving the problem "matters".  Describe process for defining evaluation criteria and deciding which problems “matter.”
    • Finalize and prioritize the problem(s) to solve.
3 hours
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Generate Solutions

  • Define Solution Success
    • Describe the difference between Business Success and Solution Success
    • Identify solution needs. 
    • Assess solution capabilities for strategic value
  • Identify Opportunities
    • Identify potential for incremental delivery or solution roadmap. 
    • Determine “Minimum Marketable Features” or milestone successes --
    • Create a strong value proposition for the solution (bundle) using the Solution/Product Position Statement.
  • Generate Solution Options
    • Identify potential solution options.
    • Identify solution option assumptions and constraints:  identify “best” vs “necessary” capabilities and prioritize. 
    • Identify required solution results.  Describe the components of the KPI Impact Analysis Framework™ and utilize the process to derive necessary results.
    • Scope the solution option(s). 
3 hours

Position for Success

  • Identify Conditions for Solution Success
    • Determine solution performance conditions
    • Identify measures for performance success
    • Identify solution risk(s)
  • Identify Solution Option KPIs
    • Select and quantify KPIs
    • Consider how and where to apply KPI measures across lifecycle
3.5 hours

Course Summary

  • Key Takeaways
  • Develop an Action Plan with next steps, based on the student’s current project
.5 hour

Job Aids

  • Risk Analysis and Planning
  • Leveraging KPIs across the lifecycle 
  • Considerations for problem and opportunity sizing and evaluation 
Appendix

KPI Workshop

Half day workshop to apply KPIs learning to your project
Onsite Optional