Digital Channel Tender Maturity Evaluation 12 01 10

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A guide and checklist for people creating an RFP for a digital channel development - have you thought of all the angles?

A guide and checklist for people creating an RFP for a digital channel development - have you thought of all the angles?

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  • 1. “Online” RFP Maturity Assessment     Graham Honeywill Amberbuzz Consulting Oy 12th January 2010 Version 1.0 Contents Introduction   2   What is “Online” RFP maturity?   2   Why is it needed?   3   How do I assess my organisation’s maturity?   3   What can I do about it?   7   About Amberbuzz Consulting Oy   8   ©Amberbuzz  Consulting     Page  1  of  8    
  • 2. “Online” RFP Maturity Assessment     Introduction After 6 months lobbying and planning, you finally have the “green light” to develop a new web site. Your procurement team and IT team are keen to get started and the external communications, sales and marketing guys are equally excited. Now you need to find someone to work with – a partner that fits within you budget range and who can really help – at least that’s what the references have said. But how to find, evaluate, select and induct that company? Do you really know what you need? Can you take informed decisions about where to cut corners to save on time and on cost? Do you know what work your own internal team will be doing and how they should interact with these new business partners? The “Online” RFP Maturity Assessment tool has been created with exactly that in mind – to deliver a quick and effective assessment of how ready you are to prepare and release a tender or RFP document and to identify any need gaps that should be filled before trying to find the right partner for your new Online presence. What is “Online” RFP maturity? Wikipedia defines online, RFP and maturity as follows: • Online: Available over the Internet. • RFP (request for Proposal): an invitation for suppliers, often through a bidding process, to submit a proposal on a specific commodity or service. • Maturity: The state of being mature, ready or ripe Taken together, the term refers to an organisation or team’s readiness to issue a proposal for services concerning internet capabilities. The key issue here is “readiness”. Within the “online” context, readiness must include and integrate the following: • An understanding of the visitors to the web and to any existing internet pages that are within your scope of concern. Who are they? What do they want to achieve? Where do they come from? • An understanding of the organisational stakeholders, what they hope to achieve with the internet and how this integrates with internal processes and other channels • An understanding of the essence of your brand – design elements; thought leadership opportunities and requirements; brand advocacy opportunities; tone of voice. • An understanding of your enterprise architecture – processes and how they will need to adapt; organisational structure, roles and capabilities and how they will be impacted; security constraints and opportunities, especially where web 2.0 or mobile capabilities are involved; application and technical architectural integration, especially where intranet or extranet capabilities are involved • What does success look like? What KPIs and targets will be applied to the end result and how will these contribute towards your corporate scorecard? ©Amberbuzz  Consulting     Page  2  of  8    
  • 3. “Online” RFP Maturity Assessment     In each of the above areas there are specific issue that can only be known by your own team or teams, and which will have profound impact on any RFP response and subsequent selection activities. Why is it needed? The RFP process provides a powerful tool to enable effective collaboration between companies – however this effectiveness is fully dependent on correctly defining what is required and then accurately evaluating the responses received. If the specification is incomplete then the responses will be vague – making it difficult or impossible to evaluate effectively. This “Online” RFP Maturity Assessment tool will allow you to be confident that you have a complete set of requirements and will assist you in applying weightings to evaluation scores when evaluating RFP responses. How do I assess my organisation’s maturity? Following are a series of open questions that can be used to consider your maturity across each of the 5 topic areas mentioned above. These questions are the result of extensive experience in major multi-national commercial companies. As a result they may need minor re-interpretation when considered in a NFP/government or charity context, however the principles remain constant. To the left are the questions you should consider – to the right is the reasoning (why the question is important). The last two columns are for you – does it apply in your case? Is it addressed in the RFP? 1. Web visitors Question Reasoning Applies? Addressed? 1.1 Do you have descriptions Forms the basis for the set of of the types of people who requirements for the RFP. visit or should visit you web These are the people who will site? be using the new capability so 1.2 Do you have descriptions unless their needs are of the scenarios or stories for integrated into the process the each visitor type – ideally online presence will probably resulting in some sort of “call fail. This grouping of people to action” or activity that then allows for stories, or they would do as the result of scenarios, to be built to reflect a successful visit? expected behaviour. These stories then drive the site navigation or IA, as well as related issues such as onsite search. The “calls to action” are critical as without these it becomes quite difficult to define and measure “success”. 1.3 Do you have statistics to Important to understand your see where they have come current level of “organic from – what offsite behaviour search” success and the ©Amberbuzz  Consulting     Page  3  of  8    
  • 4. “Online” RFP Maturity Assessment     has brought them to the site? effectiveness of ad-words. Also important to assess the usefulness of banner placements and social media activity that could promote traffic to the site. If the RFP is to extend also to operating the Digital Channel then these are key issues to include now. 1.4 Do you have a Important to integrate this if visitor/customer there is such research as this segmentation model that needs to inform persona identifies different behaviours development and can allow for and calls to action for targeted online campaign different types of visitor? activity (behavioural targeting) 1.5 Do you have stories or Critical question, not just scenarios to separate out because it forces consideration anonymous visitors, registered of target customer groups that visitors, key customer might be otherwise forgotten, individuals, distributors and but also because it helps retailers and internal identify scope of the online employees? channel. For example, what is the relationship between a corporate internet, the intranet and extranets? 1.6 Do you have demographic Important to help identify profile information and localisation issues and also key stories concerning translation needs. Translation, geographical location, if required, can place an language preference? enormous burden on a web site’s operating costs so needs to be considered carefully 2. Internal Stakeholders Question Reasoning Applies? Addressed? 2.1 Is there a clear Critical to ensure there will be understanding of the business engagement and content flow stakeholders and their from the parts of the business expectations for the new web needed to develop the presence? extended content network. A 2.2 Is there commitment from detailed content strategy needs the content providers for web to be included as one of the content? Especially Corporate development activities – and at Communications, Marketing this stage it is important to get communications, engagement from the sources environmental and social of this material in order to responsibility teams? ensure this activity is correctly 2.3 If there is an internal handled in the RFP. Knowledge Management initiative in place, is it engaged with this activity and with Thought Leadership ©Amberbuzz  Consulting     Page  4  of  8    
  • 5. “Online” RFP Maturity Assessment     activities? 2.4 Especially for intranet- related RFPs, but also partially with internet RFPs, are the corporate values integrated? 2.5 Is there commitment In addition to content flow the from the process owners for other major stakeholder group processes of related offline are those people with process activities such as order responsibility for those process fulfilment, query responses that will be impacted by the etc? Especially, e-commerce web presence. This includes and e-care also budget owners, P&L- 2.6 Is there a cross-channel responsibles for those parts of strategy or at least the business impacted understanding of the interplay between online and other channels, for example stores, events, distributors? 2.7 In a global or multi- Local businesses have a business unit organisation, is tendency to expect their own there support and visitors to have unique needs engagement across all that can only be served locally business entities? and in a local language. This needs to be explored and aligned with corporate vision in terms of communications flow and global accountabilities. Localisation and translation can become extremely costly if not managed carefully. 2.8 Is there legal support Internal legal teams may need available to develop site external support for Online terms, opt-in terms, and Channel legal issues avoid any legal pitfalls? 3. Brand Question Reasoning Applies? Addressed? 3.1 Is there a digital style- The digital channel places guide to guide and support use some unique opportunities for of brand assets in digital the brand to come to life but environments including use of this needs to be done in close brand logo online, digital alignment with the brand design elements, use of photos, team or can create a “show movement etc.? stopper” later on. It may 3.2 Is there a brand guideline become apparent that some to steer the tone of voice for brand development or brand the brand online? This is also identity development needs to important when allowing be done in parallel with the visitors to engage with the web site, in order to optimise brand, addressing guidelines the opportunities that can ©Amberbuzz  Consulting     Page  5  of  8    
  • 6. “Online” RFP Maturity Assessment     such as moderation, blogging emerge. and thought-leadership. 3.3 Is there a programme or policy concerning or supporting brand advocacy, both internal and external, that can or will influence the development of the web channel? 4. Enterprise architecture, IT Question Reasoning Applies? Addressed? 4.1 Is there a clear policy for IT security and the IT Corporate Security that has implementation of corporate been implemented into IT security policies need to be security? How do those policies carefully considered. support internal and external Development of a new digital digital identity requirements? environment requires careful How do those policies support review of corporate policy information confidentiality especially concerning digital issues that will emerge as the identity (single sign-on) and web opens up and social media information classification. The is taken into use? IT implementation of Corporate Security requirements can create major problems if not handled at an early stage in the process 4.2 Are there existing Proprietary, global platforms architectural decisions in place versus open source platforms concerning content for web activity. This is a key management and document issue that needs to be handled management platforms as part of the RFP. The issue here is structure and re-use versus flexibility and innovation. 4.3 Extranet capabilities and Especially if e-care and e- back end application sales are in scope, or in cases integration where there is likely to be tight process integration – it is important to understand the architectural constraints and opportunities from back-end systems and to include these within the scope of the RFP. 4.4 Metadata policies and This is a critical area for both capabilities internal and external search that is often overlooked at the RFP phase but which requires considerable effort if not established early on – to ensure people can find what ©Amberbuzz  Consulting     Page  6  of  8    
  • 7. “Online” RFP Maturity Assessment     they are after using search 4.5 Desktop/laptop image The browser and desktop constraints office image can become 4.6 Mobile device support and major constraints or use opportunities for intranet development. If this RFP extends to internal visitors then this needs to be carefully considered too. If the RFP scope is primarily external this is still needed, but mainly concerning browser support, screen specification supported and use of related technologies such as Adobe flash or Adobe Air. 5. Corporate scorecard Question Reasoning Applies? Addressed? 5.1 Is there clear positioning of Development of an effective the objectives for this RFP online channel can take many within the Corporate strategy months to complete. It is and top level KPIs? important to get top 5.2 Are there targets set for management focus and the Online channel within the support for this by overall business financial demonstrating the role of the targets? digital world as an element of 5.3 Are there targets set for the business world and then the Online channel within the reflect this into the RFP in overall customer satisfaction terms of linked targets that targets? can be used to develop 5.4 Has an overall business partnerships with vendors case been established to support this activity? What can I do about it? Once you have completed this assessment it will become immediately apparent whether the RFP document is ready for submission or not. If there are open issues identified here it could indicate the need for some sort of Digital Strategy development work or it could just indicate a need for some fine-tuning of the RFP document itself. Typically, issues involving stakeholder buy-in or visitor understanding indicate the need for some strategy work – as these issues impact on the basic scope of the RFP, which could compromise the entire process if not managed. This list is a brief description of some of the strategic development activities available from Amberbuzz Consulting Oy that you could consider in order to address any issues you identify from this RFP maturity assessment. ©Amberbuzz  Consulting     Page  7  of  8    
  • 8. “Online” RFP Maturity Assessment     • Review of the current online Operating model including a process review, SWOT analysis, stakeholder survey analysis • Review of your current web visitors, profiling, expectations, experience • Review of your Competitor web sites as a basis to assess your own web presence Development of a Digital Channel Vision and target state • Development of the business case for new Digital Channel capability • Brand development online>site design and template creation • Development of personae and scenarios to form the basis for the web site structure, content and capability • Development of a new Digital Channel operating model (core/context analysis) • Enterprise architecture high level requirements • Development of Online process (call to action processes, content development and launch process, content translation process, requirements handling process • Content strategy development including search strategy • Information architecture • KPI development About Amberbuzz Consulting Oy I am a small, independent consultant, based in Helsinki, Finland. I specialise in Digital Channel Strategy development and execution activities including the activities described above. I have two primary modes of operations: 1. I will work directly with you and your company to provide independent and objective strategic services, tailored to your specific needs 2. I will work through Digital Media Agencies, either our own or as selected by our clients, to augment the agency skills with the necessary consulting (strategic and facilitation capabilities). For more information please contact me, Graham Honeywill at graham@amberbuzz.fi. ©Amberbuzz  Consulting     Page  8  of  8