Over the last 20+ years of my career, I’ve been working with teams who are engaged in some form of source data gathering. Sometimes this information collection was done on paper (checklists, audits, etc.). More frequently, we would work with – or move the teams to – mobile devices.
The goals for these efforts have always been:
- Make the overall process easy
- Make the data reliable
Everyone knows that old or untrustworthy data is, in reality, useless for our businesses. In today’s fast-paced market, the timing of information and the ability to rapidly adapt to changes has added complexity to this whole “source data capture” process.
A tempting approach might be to think that you can just have someone record it on their phone and share it. But it’s not quite that easy.
In identifying a mobile data collection solution that truly provides the results your business needs, there are 5 challenges to address:
- A clear set of objectives – What is the end result that you need this solution to accomplish? Set aside the “how” to collect data, and focus on what final outcome needs to look like.
- Ease to organize & manage work – How does the solution create and manage the users’ tasks? Something that easily defines task work and packages it for the mobile device user will go a long way to making the lives of your administrators easier.
- Intuitive for users – Does the solution have clear directions and all of the necessary tools for the mobile user? If the solution is easy for the mobile user to run and guides them to make good decisions – you’ll get quality results.
- Minimal deployment and support – How quickly can you implement the solution and put it to work? An ideal solution will make everything easy to configure for your needs, quick to implement in your business and easy to support – with minimal extra effort or workforce disruption.
- Rapid ROI – When can you start seeing results? Usually, the need is immediate – so being able to get quick results is ideal. Getting your solution installed and in production will enable you to start seeing the benefits as soon as the data starts coming in from the mobile devices.
These challenges, along with our original two goals, provided us with the blueprint for our mobilePLUS solution. That blueprint has also enabled us to easily create versions of mobilePLUS for specific markets like Workday, PeopleSoft, DPAS or environments using RFID and/or industrial tablets.
It’s easy to get distracted by cool technologies or the latest tools and gadgets. They may have some great contributions to what your end solution will include. But to have a successful solution that will provide the greatest impact on the problems that you’re trying to solve, I believe that the best approach is to address the 5 challenges first. If you keep those elements in focus, I believe that you’ll get the best results.
Some Additional Thoughts
As you get started defining what your solution needs to look like, here’s some additional information that may help:
- the approach (The Case for An Effective Process)
- communications (Solid Communication – An Approach & Reward)
- transitioning your solution into production use (The Key Components to Move a Pilot to Production)
Great customer experiences – for the mobile users across your organization to the teams leveraging the data results – don’t just happen. They are a result of intentional effort and maintaining focus on addressing the five challenges.
At HL Group, we pride ourselves not only on our mobilePLUS solutions but more importantly, the results our customers achieve through trusting us to help them address their problems.
Contact me if you would like to better understand how mobilePLUS may benefit your organization.