Measure Impact and Communicate Success

Business value measures, defined and documented during the Initiate phase, aren’t just defined in order to ‘justify’ the budget for a new product. They should be living concepts that are revisited and validated throughout the development lifecycle and, as noted in the Build stage, used to prioritize the development backlog and make mid-course tradeoffs and corrections.

Once the application is launched, it’s time to revisit these measures to use them as a foundation for capturing the actual business value delivered by your new application. Remember, most Appian applications deliver value through inflecting one or more of the following business value categories.

  • Reducing costs 
  • Reducing risks 
  • Improving customer experience 
  • Enabling new products or services 

Each one of these can be quantified as a business value measurement. Once you’ve identified the core value measures for your application, and your Application is now launched, it’s time to measure the benefits actually achieved.

Step 1: Baseline

You can’t measure the impact of your new application if you don’t know how the targeted business capabilities you’re seeking to improve are performing in the first place. Part of the application launch process should be devoted to capturing and recording foundational performance measures associated with the systems or workflows your new application will impact.

 Key Insight: Use ‘Good Enough’ estimations wherever possible

Sometimes, baselining critical KPIs can be challenging when legacy processes are highly manual and performance is difficult to measure. However, when it comes to baselining, detailed performance measurement isn’t needed. Instead, validated estimations of current performance are sufficient to allow a general view on the performance impact of a new application. Quite often, SME interviews and estimation exercises are sufficient.

Step 2: Measure Impact 

After your application is launched, most teams monitor application performance measures like uptime, latency and overall end user adoption and satisfaction. While all worthy measures, application performance is not the same as application impact.

Use your business value measures, combined with your initial business capability performance baseline to calculate the estimated business impact of the application.

Step 3: Communicate Impact

Don’t forget: sometimes communicating value is just as important as creating it. Use an impact dashboard or value capture document to track the benefits yielded by your application to date. Key value indicators (e.g improve inventory turns, $ value of staff hours saved) can be tailored based on the interests of your target audience (e.g. Finance executives, IT leaders, etc.).

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