President at Performance Drivers, Inc.
14 October 2003 15:23pm
The biggest failures I've seen in most organizations has been to ability to optimize work properly. 9/10 times it doesn’t happen unless there is a complete failure of the initiative. I’m talking about places that typically put out solid work – smart people who just need to change the way they work. The opportunity for companies is to put in place learning methods and then to use those new insights to improve the business as a whole. These last tweaks often bring HUGE returns for the minimal amount of work done post-launch.
The largest mistake that I have seen in places both large and small is the failure to PLAN for optimization in their work cycle. Once the program is put into effect, people stop working toward the objective. This is often due to overextended resources or as a method of keeping budgets to a minimum - but it is critical that companies change this mindset. What overworked groups need to realize is that by focusing on getting the most from every initiative you will receive better returns than churning out projects.
Planning for optimization
What I typically recommend to clients is more formal methods of architecting their strategy that creates a performance driven environment. I know at Performance Drivers, they go through a process that ends in the creation of a Balanced Scorecard. For those unfamiliar with Balanced Scorecards, it is a method developed by Norton and Kaplan of the Harvard Business School to address the balancing of strategic objectives across multiple business perspectives. Additionally, these scorecards provide a way to monitor the success of these objectives through set methods of measurement. Although there are a few other methods exist, I have seen these scorecards do wonders to keep companies aligned and dedicated to a vision.
Now that you have planned for optimization, you can expect you to see results in two ways:
Short Term Optimizations
Simply put, when you take the time to observe and make improvements to your initiatives you will see improvement that will directly impact your ROI. Lead the charge in your organization by adding 2 revisions to the work by monitoring the active initiative. This can be an online marketing campaign or changes to a employee review process. Record improvements and weigh the time and money spent on the optimization to the cost associated with creating a similar “new” initiative.
Long Term Optimizations
Don’t throw that great learning away! Create a library of these case studies to extend the optimization into the future. You never know who will be leading similar projects in the future and by starting them where you left off. You new insights will create a snowball effect of success for years to come.
We will be tackling this issue soon on Marketing Latte ( www.MarketingLatte.com ). I welcome your thoughts on your experiences on optimization.
- Kevin Zundl
Free market research on digital marketing
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