Critical pieces of information – or raw data – course through the veins of modern businesses everywhere. However, tapping into this invaluable resource presents many challenges. The high volume and disparate nature of all this data makes it difficult to collect, organise and extract the kind of insights that will drive a business forward.

We know that creating a data strategy roadmap is the first step toward enabling such a project. But to build a roadmap, all current business, technology and resource commitments must be accounted for. This allows an organisation to identify realistic goals, align all activities to complement and build upon one another, ensure all resources are used efficiently, and importantly, deliver frequent, iterative value to the business.

Extracting more value with Forefront’s Strategy app

At Forefront, we exist to help enterprise organisations link their growing volumes of data to real business outcomes, delivering rapid and continuous value. Our methodology is intricately linked to ROI ensuring projects quickly return profits to our client’s bottom line. To support this approach we’ve developed an advanced business tool – one of five in our kit bag – that works with our methodology to support the delivery of more efficient data-driven projects.

It’s quite simply called our Strategy Roadmap application.

We created this app to overcome the barriers present in data initiatives and to help organisations quickly generate significant economic benefits from their information assets. The closest comparison might be Jira, in the Atlassian suite of tools, but ours has a focus on strategy curation, value monitoring and the business outcomes – with data at its core.

Using a proprietary algorithm grounded in agile principles, the Strategy Roadmap application enables clients to track project completion over time whilst quantitatively assessing the efficiency of project execution and the incremental business value being delivered. To break down some of the key elements: 

  • The entire project and roadmap is defined upfront, regardless of whether it will be executed as one or in stages 
  • The project steps are mapped with dependencies and prioritised based on a cost and business value (more on this below!) 
  • The visual dashboard is live and offers value to everyone from data scientists to execs needing to keep their finger on the pulse

The application of this tool for curating strategy, or defining and managing any strategic project (or project with multiple initiatives) is extremely powerful.

How the Strategy Roadmap application works

Using the application, client stakeholders work with Forefront consultants to generate a set of user stories, before developing business initiatives (outcomes) and epics (tasks) to fulfil those user stories. Based on a set of customised criteria, business initiatives are subsequently scored – by cost and value – in order to measure projected impact on the organisation.

The application’s prioritisation algorithm then generates a project roadmap, accounting for:

  • the availability of resources
  • the desired timeframe for completion
  • the prioritisation score of initiatives
  • the dependencies between epics and initiatives.

By prioritising projects at the level of epics and business initiatives, the application delivers an instant overview of a project’s entire timeline. Its flexibility also allows users to rapidly assess the impact of altering the resources allocated to the project, or the prioritisation of business initiatives. Customisable business value metrics are also used in conjunction with the prioritisation algorithm to project the ROI of initiatives over time.

In addition to planning projects, the Strategy Roadmap application enables clients to track project completion over time to assess the efficiency of execution and the incremental business value that initiatives deliver. Being 100% cloud-based, stakeholders can easily access up-to-date information on project planning and execution, from the minute details of user stories to the overarching strategy guiding initiative prioritisation.

For organisations undertaking a strategic data initiative with a platform build, the app allows project managers to prioritise the platform, or values, or outcomes. For example, a data outcome may only require a small part of the platform – so it may not be necessary to develop the entire platform in order to realise value. This ability to identify dependencies and deliver as needed allows organisations to see value much faster, while investing incrementally.

Perfect for project managers

This app has become an invaluable tool for our client’s data-driven initiatives. While there are plenty of smarts behind the app, it’s been designed as a business app, not a technical one. This means it’s perfect for project managers - inputs are simple and as a project progresses, new initiatives and the relevant details can even be added or farmed out to another business unit to populate the required information.

While the Strategic Roadmap app is currently used here at Forefront as the fabric of all of our strategic data projects, at the conclusion of a project, clients have the option to purchase a license and continue to use the app inhouse.

To learn more, please don’t hesitate to contact us.