A Multi-course ROI Meal


October 18, 2014

The toughest challenge in a WFM implementation is to not lose sight of the big picture. There are just so many moving parts that projects get tangled up in all kinds of routine obstacles. It takes hardly any time for the big picture to fade away and for the day-to-day troubles to appear insurmountable. Project quickly gets lost in the mundane. The “What” and “How” make us lose sight of the “Why”.
But one must never let it fade into background. The “Why” is the ROI, the main driving force. That is where you began your project.
A WFM tool can deliver multiple returns on the investment: – Reducing time spent by managers on building schedules, Labor cost savings, Right people at the right time, Employee retention, Better visibility in store operations and Modernization. I have rarely seen a customer that doesn’t want one of these returns. And nothing irrational in that. The irrational part is when we want all of it at once! Clear your white-boards and write

WFM ROI is a multi-course meal, not a buffet

A few thumb rules of a WFM implementation project: –

  1. The truth: – Most returns on your investment cannot be measured in currency and all of the returns are not possible in each implementation.
  2. Baby steps: – Stagger your returns expectations. The worst damage one would do to a WFM implementation is to try and accomplish too much too soon.
  3. Start at the very beginning:- “better visibility” should be your first ROI target. It is as non-intrusive and simple as it gets. It also provides a strong analytical foundation for the work ahead.
  4. Know your reach: – Each ROI asks for varying degrees of sophistication and preparedness. The next ROI you focus on should be the next ROI you can reasonably accomplish.
  5. Long walk to freedom: – Installing the software can be a small project. But WFM in total is a multi year project.
  6. Compartmentalize:- Every ROI is a separate mini-project. It starts and ends with measurements.
  7. Objectify:- A particular ROI is the only goal of each mini-project.
  8. Don’t linger:- All ROIs put together end the implementation.


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