Beyond general adoption, there are plenty of other metrics that can be measured after rolling out a new technology solution to ensure it’s being used to its fullest potential.
In this piece, we’ll explore how a solution champion can practically identify metrics to measure the success of the project, collect data that shows return on investment (ROI), and use this information to build the case when it comes time to introduce future resources or projects.
The Importance of Measuring Success
To be able to measure how successful something is, you have to define what success looks like. Ideally, success is defined early in the project, but if it hasn’t been, it’s never too late to start!
A simple way to narrow down which metrics matter is to ask yourself “What does success look like in 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, etc.?” Once you’re able to answer that, you can figure out which metrics you need to track and hold against these goals.
Remember that you’re probably not going to hit rabid adoption or crazy-awesome results immediately. So it makes sense to start with “simpler” milestones and ramp up over time. For example, you may begin by measuring general usage then add in efficiency and productivity metrics before folding in one of the most popular success indicators—numbers-based ROI.
Whichever metrics you decide to track and whenever you choose to introduce them, just be sure to measure and document the results at regular intervals so you can accurately capture change over time.
Getting Started with Measuring Results and ROI
There are tons of metrics out there for measuring the results and ROI of new technology—it all depends on the goals and context of your project. That said, the following methods are a great place to start to get your creative juices flowing.
Various Metrics for Measuring Adoption
“Adoption” is pretty hard to quantify, but one closely-related and easier-to-measure metric is usage. Usage can be broken down in a few ways. When we work with companies to integrate any of our digital transformation solutions, we like to recommend a few metrics:
- The percentage of people (or projects) actively using the solution
- The percentage of logins to the solution
Since training is such an important element in influencing adoption for new technology, we also recommend watching how training changes over time after the solution is implemented. Some metrics that measure adoption as it pertains to training include:
- Number of training attendees
- Resources committed to developing a full training curriculum
- Inclusion of solution training in employee onboarding
Furthermore, there are some activities that, when they begin to happen outside of your realm of influence, can indicate that adoption has gone company-wide:
- Inclusion in company-wide audits, improvement efforts, and so on
- Emergent use in unanticipated situations
- Integration with existing processes
- Established processes being converted to better fit in with the new solution
- Inclusion in the company intranet
- New departments becoming interested in using the solution
Displaying the Impact of a Change on Employee Efficiency and Productivity
Efficiency and productivity are closely linked when it comes to knowledge work. Looking for improvement here isn’t really about measuring direct output, but rather about looking at a more nuanced combination of output combined with speed without a drop in quality or value.
In a nutshell—a lot of consideration goes into measuring the impact a new solution has on employee efficiency and productivity. Over time, you’ll hone in on what’s most effective for your team, but until then here are the numbers and places where we’d start:
- Quality of an employee’s and the team’s work
- The time it takes to produce the same quality of work
- Employee and team participation in new technology training
- Ability to achieve team and individual goals
- Overtime hours, viewed in the context of changing workloads
- Overall labor effectiveness, calculated by dividing total sales by number of employees
- Turnover rate, found by dividing the number of separations by the number of active employees
Of course, sometimes you’ll want to look at how a new solution affects specific roles. Here are some metrics to get you started measuring impact on key positions:
- Sales growth, including individual performance against targets
- First call resolution
- Average calls per hour
- Customer satisfaction survey results
- Sales success
- Conversion rate, found by comparing the number of applicants to the number of hires
- Time to fill, which is the time it takes from when a job is posted to when the position is filled
How to Show a Return on Your Technology Investment
While a positive ROI isn’t necessarily the be-all and end-all of success, getting a good return from your solution does help indicate that your decision to adopt new tech was a good one!
We’ll keep it simple for the purposes of this article using this basic formula: Net gain/cost = ROI.
To make your ROI calculation even more accurate, you can add in related costs like staff training time and lost opportunity. Likewise, your gains may include the monetary value of improved work quality, speed, and more.
Conducting an analysis of ROI isn’t just great for backing up your company’s choice to trust your solution investment, it can also help you make more accurate cost and benefit projections for next time.
Don’t Forget to Communicate Your Successes! (and Opportunities)
Once you’re able to nail down the ROI and other results from your technology investment, it’s important to communicate successes (and/or opportunities for improvement), with business leaders, stakeholders, and employees. Their perspectives can help drive solutions and amplify success.
Communication methods in this day and age are plentiful, so we recommend a mix of digital and in-person touchpoints. Schedule regular status updates via email, plan to present your findings at company-wide meetings, and of course share results in any quarterly stakeholder wrap-up and planning meetings.
Where to Go From Here
Measurement will make or break the long-term success of your technology investment—not because you can’t perform well without measuring success, but because you can’t prove that you’re performing well (or not) without it.
If you’re already building measurement into the long-term vision for your solution, congrats! That means you’ve made it past many of the hurdles in taking new technology from just a mere idea to full implementation.
And stay tuned, because we still have one more awesome resource coming your way: A collection of all of the above tips and tricks in one easy-to-follow roadmap that you can use to achieve success on every new technology project that comes your way.