Three keys of needs analysis in AVT Projects
Have you ever been tasked with delivering a technology project in your organisation but you’re not really clear on how to do it, why you’re doing it, or who it should be for? You might have been given some vague direction from those running the organisation but you feel a little overwhelmed and unsure on where to begin. That’s perfectly natural and happens all the time.
Every successful project starts with a thorough “Needs Analysis and Discovery Process”. This essentially means doing some research both within your organisation and outside of it. There are basically Three Must Do Steps which we always go through with our Clients.
The First Step is to uncover the true business requirements. When we recently worked on a large office accommodation project with the Star Entertainment Group, we took the time, together with the rest of the project team, to actually go and interview people in the different business units. This helped us understand what people were doing each day and how they’re interacting with others both inside and outside of the company.
Now, Star initially told us that they needed lots of video conferencing for their new offices. But after doing the interviews, we quickly discovered that the true requirement was actually quite low. There were only a few key people and business units that needed video conferencing as a communication tool. So, just by doing this relatively quick Needs Analysis study, we were able to potentially save hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Star Group nationally.
The next step is understanding your technology options. We recommend you work with an independent expert and get them to clearly explain and show you some of the different technologies. This could mean you go to showrooms, you have demonstrations, or maybe put a Proof of Concept system together. I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to experience technology in a hands-on way.
Think about the last time you went shopping for a new mobile phone. After picking out three or four different models and having a play, it probably didn’t take you long to identify your preferred one. However, would you have arrived at the same decision just by looking at the product brochures, or by relying on a salesman recommendation? Unlikely. So, take the time to do a proper assessment of options and settle on a technology mix that makes the most sense for your business needs.
The last step is to develop and document a clear brief and budget for the project. This is where your technology requirements are defined in a little bit more detail. So, in the case of the Star Group, we held a series of workshops with the key project stakeholders to agree on the definitive technologies and user experiences that were needed for each room and space type. The outcome of these workshops was a written technology brief customised to meet their business needs.
We also put together some detailed cost estimations for all the technology in those different spaces and by understanding the up front and ongoing investments, Star were then able to accurately plan their technology spend for the first of their new ABW workspace locations in Sydney.
So, just to wrap up guys. Doing a proper Needs Analysis and Discovery in your next technology project is a very important first step that should not be overlooked. Remember the Three Must Do’s and do them in this order: First, uncover the true business requirements. Second, understand your technology options and use an independent partner to help you with this. And third, develop a clear written brief of the final technology requirements as well as the associated investment. You will then have clarity and a plan and be able to start the design and implementation phases of your project with confidence.