Why should you measure the result of investment in communication and collaboration solutions?
It can be very expensive to make decisions about existing and future investments in communication and collaboration solutions (also called Unified Communication & Collaboration) based on inaccurate information. There are therefore several good reasons for measuring outcomes, for example:
- Starting point: Where are we today? In order to make decisions about where we want to be in the future (the goal) and how we get there, we must know what the starting point is.
- Progress: How well are we succeeding in our change process and do we need to change something on the way to achieving the goal? The earlier faults and deficiencies can be detected the better.
- Recycling of experience: Can we do something better, simpler and more cost-effectively than we do today?
- Benefits: Can we raise the quality and increase efficiency in the business and in our customer service?
What can be measured?
Here are some examples of information which may be extremely important for future business decisions:
- User behaviour (meetings, travel, commuting, etc.)
- IT user needs (need for IT support at work.)
- Utilisation rate of communication and collaboration services, such as digital meetings, conversations, live chat, texting etc.
- User experience (easy/difficult to use the obtained IT tools.)
- User benefits (saved time, reduced stress, increased satisfaction, etc.)
- Business benefits (faster, easier, cheaper, income, etc.)
- System statistics (number of users of the function/service, communication patterns, etc.)
How can it be measured?
Naturally there are different ways of gathering information. Here are some which we use ourselves and would recommend:
- User surveys via an online survey to identify working conditions, meeting culture, collaboration behaviour, communication behaviour and utilisation rate of communication and collaboration tools.
- In-depth interviews of key individuals and focus groups.
- Utilisation rate of existing IT for talking, meeting, and messaging services via the system statistics.
- Identifying areas of improvement via Helpdesk cases.
When should it be measured?
Regularly, but not too often. Some information can be measured on a monthly basis in order to operate in the short term, whilst other measurements can be made annually or less frequently to provide a basis for information for longer-term change. For example, system statistics on how users utilise digital conferencing services may be appropriate to follow monthly in order to identify trends and possible measures needed to be taken. Whereas user surveys via online questionnaires are preferably done annually whilst in-depth interviews with focus groups can be done more often.
However, the question about what is important to measure should always be asked in order to operate, plan and make the right decisions about future investments.
A tip! The SMART model is a simple and effective method of creating clear and measurable goals.