We buy new software solutions expecting that we made the best choice in technologies and service providers, and that we’ll get years of productive use out of them. And, we were right… at the time. Then, we ask ourselves, “Why are my users complaining that the software stinks? That performance is unbearably slow, or that it simply doesn’t work for them anymore?” It’s something we at Revelwood call the Alignment Gap.
When we first rollout our new software solution, it’s in perfect alignment with our business needs. We gathered our current business requirements and probably worked with a consulting firm or service provider to translate those requirements into the ideal solution. At the point of rollout, the gap between our needs and the solution is hardly visible. However, over time several things happen:
- First, our business needs evolve. We enter new markets, make acquisitions and reorganize ourselves to address these changes. Perhaps we start to outgrow our original requirements.
- Second, we start to tinker with the solution to make it work better for us. These one-off tweaks start to look like holes in the dam that we’re plugging without any overall plan on how it should all fit together.
- Finally, the technology itself improves, but we fail to take a step back and figure out how we can take advantage of its new features and capabilities.
These dynamics create an ever-widening gap between our needs and the solution we were once so excited about. The wider that gap is, the greater levels of dissatisfaction we experience from our users and by the organization as a whole. Eventually, we get to the point where nobody is happy, and users begin to trash talk the software itself, rather than how we’re misusing it. So, how do we keep the Alignment Gap as narrow as possible?
The biggest mistake companies make is that they don’t ensure an ongoing review and assessment of their software solutions so that an Alignment Gap never occurs in the first place. Imagine never going to the doctor for a check-up, but expecting that you’ll remain in perfect health forever. Imagine not bringing your car in for service periodically to make sure that you don’t break down when you’re out on the open road. It is critical to examine your software solutions on a regular basis to ensure they continue to meet your ever-changing business needs. And, you must invest in incremental improvements to reflect those needs and keep your solution current and relevant. These incremental changes will cost a lot less than the impact of low user adoption, unreliable results and the effort required to revisit the marketplace and invest in a whole new technology platform to solve the problem. Chances are, your current technology is not the problem… it’s how you’re using it!
Fortunately, Revelwood has a service offering for FP&A solutions that eliminates the Alignment Gap. It’s called Performance Tune-Up and involves a thorough review of your solution at an appropriate frequency to ensure that it continues to operate efficiently and meets your changing business needs.
Don’t let the Alignment Gap erode the health of your FP&A operation. Talk to us today about our Performance Tune-up service.