“Why people need to “know before they go”
Today people can – and do – prepare for every aspect of any experience, big or small. Whether they’re taking a vacation across the globe or dining at a neighbourhood café, people have a low tolerance for surprises.
The implementation of business solutions requires a collaborative approach to working. Early activities for a traditional waterfall project are design workshops. These are one or two day events where subject matter experts consider the As Is and design the To Be Processes. Afterwards a design document is written, and templates issued to populate in readiness for the software configuration to commence.
Traditional project approach
The date or dates for design workshops were booked as part of the initial project planning. An agenda would be issued out listing the main areas for discussion. At the workshop there was an assessment on the preparation work required for configuration.
Advanced preparation and ‘Know Before You Go’
With this change in wider behaviours, more detailed information is needed about the design workshop. The attendees want to know the specific questions that will be asked, what types of answers are required and in what format. Where appropriate process flow diagrams will be needed to explain esoteric concepts.
Touchstone Spend Management have developed a suite of Know Before You Go documents. Each one is individually written for specific subject areas. An example is the ‘Preparing for the Proactis Purchase to Pay design workshop’. There are six key themes to be covered. For each subject area the workshop attendees are posed one or more questions such as (for Suppliers):
- Do you have any preferred suppliers?
- Do you know who your suppliers are?
- What is the process of selecting a supplier?
- Is there a requirement for one-off suppliers
‘People feel a need to prepare for every detail of their experience – from exploring maps to confirming business hours … Researching these smaller details ahead of time alleviates stress and gives people confidence heading into an experience’ 
As behaviours change in society, so project delivery approaches must also do the same. Embedding knowledge in project delivery documentation and providing this briefing in advance, reduces stress and builds confidence in the project team.
John Chapman, Programme Director