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Innovating At The Speed of Your Customer - Align Resources with Intent

Align your resources with your intent to innovate at the speed of your customer.

Finally in our sense and respond model, comes alignment. The align part of the operating model is where you put in place a repeatable and predictable way to align and balance the interests of multiple, engaged stakeholders. This is critical for sustained success. This is not just something you do when it is time to set the annual budget. It is a continuous process that keeps all stakeholders working together toward the outcomes that drive your corporate vision.

Appropriate alignment processes ensure timely decisions are made to allocate corporate resources to the initiatives most likely to achieve stakeholder value. Granted, those initiatives may change throughout the course of a fiscal year, but that makes alignment all the more critical. This part of the model ensures teams aimed at strategic imperatives drive real stakeholder value, and achievement is measured in terms of value realized (not just tasks completed).

Success and alignment might require you to move beyond a “one-and-done” project model to a continuous sense-and-respond delivery cycle. Traditional project metrics such as time, scope and budget may not be as relevant as business outcomes such as increase in revenue, improved cross-sell or upsell, or a decrease in marketing costs. This might mean that you take on your Salesforce innovation project focused on a roadmap of outcomes rather than line items and milestones. Fortunately Salesforce partners like Summit Technologies LLC think the same way.

Remember what we said in the first article in the series: Customer needs and wants are ever changing. In order to be responsive yet responsible, we have seen our most successful customers shift to this funding and alignment approach. It holds teams to the ultimate level of accountability — a business outcome — while enabling them to make pivotal decisions as a result of stakeholder feedback or changes in the marketplace. It requires a new set of operating norms and collaboration across all levels of an organization. While moving to this type of funding model is not a simple change.

In order to grow a sense-and-respond operating model at scale, you need three things: an empowering context that encourages actionable insight and creative ideas, the latitude to iterate and test, and the ability to achieve recognition by championing your customers.

While adapting to the speed of your customer is an ongoing evolution, constantly fueled by new thinking, the five steps we’ve talked about in this innovation series offer a strong foundation. It doesn’t matter where you are today. The secret is just to start the process, and move toward your goal, one iteration at a time.

Modern development teams should be encouraged to rethink their focus: “In this product-focused world, teams don't work on a project; they own a product from concept to decommission. Imagine the difference in quality and in employee engagement when teams own products instead of being treated like resources to be shuffled around.”

Having strategic alignment on an innovation project (or an innovation program in general) means that your organization has undertaken innovation with specific goals in mind. You have mapped out what you are hoping to discover, how it matches with the company’s vision and overarching objectives, and have at least a vague understanding that there will be various roads to reach an indeterminable set of outcomes, each with unique yet important milestones along the way.

As a Salesforce partner, our success is determined by our client's success.

Summit Technologies is a Columbus, Ohio based Salesforce Consulting Partner consisting of a talented and creative team of Salesforce certified Consultants, Developers, Analysts and Project Managers. We specialize in building innovative solutions for our clients within the Salesforce family of products including Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud, CPQ/Revenue Cloud, Experience Cloud, Nonprofit Cloud, Education Cloud, Marketing Cloud Account Management (formerly Pardot) and Field Service Lightning. Summit Technologies' strategic services solutions bring custom Salesforce technology to work for your business.

Our leadership team has over 40 years of CRM experience designing sales and marketing automation solutions for growing organizations. We actively listen to and work with our clients to craft technology solutions tailored to their specific needs, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach.

​We work with many industries, including: nonprofit, small businesses, higher education, transportation and logistics, insurance, healthcare, retail, telecommunications and municipal and state government.


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