While there are lots of websites, blogs, analysts, etc. to help you evaluate projects and software, sometimes the advice out there can be a bit overwhelming. Here are a few things to keep in mind to help you get to the end result: choosing and moving forward with a great solution for your business.

Tip 1: Have a Good “Why”

With a good reason of “Why” you’re doing something you can align key stakeholders in your business and help with change management down the road. Having something that people can see your vision of helps motivate people to move forward. It will help you net out which solutions are best for your business and which are a priority now.

Examples include:

  • Challenge the status quo and think differently
  • Make every interaction meaningful
  • Turn every customer into a raving fan

Everyone wants to help and get behind solutions that do that. A good why is important for brand and can tie into what you’re looking to do. It gains a following. For great examples of this, just look at Apple and Airbnb.

Tip 2: Get Finance Involved Early

While budgets come from different places, cash is typically controlled by the finance department. When there is something that can positively impact the finance department, they can help you allocate the funds needed and move around budgets to support your project. Two key areas of interest are typically cash flow and recurring revenue streams. Is what your evaluating somehow tied to speeding up cash flow? Can it help with a recurring revenue stream (i.e. contracts, subscriptions)? Showing ways that your evaluation can tie to one or both of these can help you get your project through and have someone else write the check for it.

Tip 3: Keep it Simple, At First

With all the technology out there it is easy to get enamored with the possibilities. Layer on top of that some snazzy marketing and your initiative to speed up the customer delivery process; which now requires Drones and self-driving cars. Very cool stuff — just maybe not in your budget right now. Often times everyone involved has a different wish list and you can end up with several requirements. Then the evaluation gets into the hundreds of requirements and it can end up costing more to evaluate something than it would to purchase and implement.

Today, most systems are integrated and intertwined, making for a lot of opportunity. Sometimes that flexibility is too much. Look for something that can be prescriptive, while giving you the flexibility down the road.

Focus on the most important, or “top 10 key requirements,” and “top 3 vendor/platform-specific requirements”. This will help net out what is most important and keep the project team from getting de-railed on requirements that might not be necessary.

If only it were that easy! Hopefully this helps in your next project evaluation and am curious to hear others top tips.