Digital Roadmap Series: Define Priorities

Let’s recap what steps we have completed to get to this point.  First, we defined the problem that we are trying to solve.  Then, we took the opportunity to document the actual process and where it was not working for us.  Third, we used that process to redefine the process through digital technologies and other investments. 
The fourth and final step of building your digital roadmap is to prioritize all of the opportunities identified.  There are several ways to do this, so let’s discuss a few options for you.  (Note:  I would assess these compared to your culture and need to determine best fit for you.  You might be able to use a combination of the below.)
Option #1:  The “30, 60, 90, 120” day approach
This technique focuses on how quickly you can accomplish the goals at hand.  Your “day” buckets might be different, depending on the need.  For instance, it might be 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, 1yr+ or 6 months, 1 year, 2 year, etc…  This technique is good if you what to focus on getting some quick wins for those easier opportunities and the more investment intensive ones you be later in the roadmap.
Option #2: Return Based
For this option, you write all of the opportunities in a list and you have two columns to the listing – amount of pain you have today if the option is not corrected (labeled “pain”) and the estimated amount of value that could be delivered when corrected (labeled “value”).  For the pain column, 1 is least amount of pain and 10 is the most.  For the value, please do not get overly scientific on this.  We usually just identify if it is over a certain dollar value of opportunity and place a check in the column. 
Go through the listing as a group to get consensus on the pain and value ratings.  Then, sort the “10s” for pain and those with the check to the top.  Those at the top are the biggest opportunities to get placed on your roadmap.  Then, discuss as a team where each one should be placed on the roadmap (ideally with the top opportunities first, then the lower ranking ones in the later years). 
Option #3:  Sequencing
This one is focused on instances where your opportunities might logically need certain investments to be made first before making other investments.  For instance, you might need to invest in a Contract Lifecycle system before you can do advanced analytics on your contracts.  Or, you might need a P2P system in place before you implement RPA on the P2P process.  This option can be used with option #2 above, to help you sequence the roadmap of top opportunities.
Option #4:  Heat Map
This option I find most used by consultants that I have worked with.  This is where you plot your projects on a heat map to drive prioritization.  The X axis is value and the Y axis is difficulty of implementation.  There are four quadrants made on the map.  Lower left – easy to implement, low value.  Upper left – hard to implement, low value.  Lower right – easy to implement, high value.  Upper right – hard to implement, high value.   Ideally, you would consider the lower right as your quick wins that you would implement first and your upper right those opportunities that would be placed in the future.  You can also look at the lower left as potential quick wins. 
These are the four options that I have used most successfully in the past and I think the most common ways to approach developing your roadmap.   Most recently, I used the sequencing and the return based option together to build a roadmap.  It seemed like a great balance between driving value and sequencing where it was needed.
With that said, that wraps up how to build your digital roadmap.  In the coming weeks, I will be covering what is next because there is still a lot to do!  Topics will include now that you have the roadmap, how do you gain approval for the investments and how to manage the changes with your teams. 
I would love to know your thoughts on the digital roadmap series and if there are any other suggestions that you might have to share with others.  Please feel free to comment and share. 
Have a great week and shine on!!

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