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Selecting the best-fit cloud system for your business

When a business first starts out, decision making for the founder or owner tends to be more intuitive and based on experience…

Link: Our mini-course on this topic

Trade-offs…

As a business grows, so too do the number of stakeholders who want their needs met. Sometimes these needs are in conflict or are a trade-off with other needs in the business, so an approach is required to work through these trade-offs. When it comes to aligning people and process with the right system, it can be a challenging endeavour to get everyone on the same page.

Enter the Decision Matrix tool and our approach to selecting the best-fit system for your business.

5 steps to evaluation

  1. Defining the overall problem or objective

  2. Collecting issues to address from your key people - which can be translated into requirements, and to categorise them appropriately ready for analysis

  3. Jointly prioritise the requirements you have captured and have a level of agreement on these priorities from your key people

  4. Score each option to get an objective score based on meeting your criteria

  5. Compare and contrast the options you are evaluating based on the objective scoring, and come back with a recommendation based on the objective assessment and incorporating other, more subjective factors to help your team make a decision

1: Overall problem or Objective

Framing is critical in determining the problem we are trying to solve.

For example, by the end of the process, it is useful to come back to the overall objective: “As you know, our business has been experiencing a period of rapid growth, both in revenue and headcount over the last year. This has led to the inefficiencies of our current systems being pushed to their limits, with our staff, clients and suppliers asking if we can do things better, faster and smarter. We want to know what is the best platform for our business, given the broad range of needs across our people and stakeholders. We believe the best option is <insert option here>, and here is why...”

2: Requirements Defined

To assess what is happening and build criteria to assess options against, it’s important to come up with the ‘hit list’ that your team agrees on.

Note on objective requirements v.s. subjective requirements: The best requirements to use for decision matrix assessment are those that are objective, measurable and clear pass/fail for any person in your organisation. Based on the objective requirements assessment and scoring, subjective factors (such as look/feel/usability) can be added over the top of the assessment.

3: Prioritisation and Agreement

Priorities are the basis for comparison of objective requirements. We want to give a relative priority score, based on value to the business.

4: Scoring each option to your criteria

We recommend a four-point scoring system:

  • 0 - Not possible

  • 1 - Custom software development required in order to meet this need

  • 2 - Vendor configuration required - you have to go through them in order to have this need met

  • 3 - Out of the box, user configuration required (e.g. admin settings access required to meet the need)

  • 4 - Out of the box, no additional configuration required

5: Compare, Contrast and Come up with a recommendation

From your scoring of each option AND your prioritised requirements, you can come up with a weighted score for each option that you can compare which option will best meet your needs.

You can then showcase your results back to your team, perhaps in a presentation whereby you take them through the process you have taken, the scoring methodology, and your objective scoring of each option. On top of the objective top-level scoring, you may want to include other factors such as pricing, highlights such as pros/cons and subjective feedback such as useability, perceived risks, quality of the sales process/responses so far, and any other known companies using the software you may be able to reach out to for a testimonial.

Interested in being walked through the above steps?

Please head over to the Apparatus Quo Academy to our short course, “The free guide to selecting the best-fit cloud system for your business” which delves deeper into the above approach, or reach out directly for a call to discuss where there may be a fit to work together on your system selection project.

LINK: Our mini-course on this topic