We’ve all heard phrases such as no man is an island, or it takes a village. When it comes to creating a plan for helping accelerate time-to-value of Apptio these idioms hold true. To create support, you will need to connect with others who can help you “pave the way” towards utilizing Apptio and demonstrating value. You will also need to build good relationships with those required to supply data and information, such as Systems of Record Owners (SORs).

Managing working relationships with key people can be a delicate dance, but it is critical that you find ways to best communicate with team members, executives, and contributors.

Three:  Find Someone to Pave the Way

Call them an executive advocate, sponsor, or point-of-contact. Whatever you call this person, you will achieve better success by finding someone to help you pave the way and navigate the work-culture environment. To obtain the data required, you will need to work with SORs. Often office politics, blurred role responsibilities, or data security concerns make SORs reluctant to provide the information you need to support your plan and reports. An in-house or interdepartmental advocate can help you work with the SORs and more easily obtain buy-in.

When considering a sponsor,

  • Ensure that they understand the value of what you are trying to achieve.
  • Strive to find a person that knows the SORs and how best to work with them.
  • Pick a person that is an excellent communicator.
  • Choose someone that will advocate your efforts.
  • Ensure that the selected person has a backup sponsor should they leave the department or company.
  • Ensure that they have the tools and information to succeed.

Four: Designate Resources and Identify SORs

Along with your advocate, if you have one, identify the resources who can provide you with the information that you require to accelerate time-to-value. Early on discover who the financial, infrastructure, tickets, application, etc. contacts are. When you know who your SORs are, evaluate their bandwidth to determine how best to assign resource time and schedule tasks. This will help you manage your expectations.

When you establish who your sponsor and SORs may be,

  • Create a clear definition of how you plan to communicate with them
  • Define what your expectations are
  • Inform them how they can best communicate with you
  • Outline how you expect them to share required data
  • Create a “check-in” or “standup” type schedule
  • Provide them with logins, permissions, tools, and training if needed

If possible, create ways to automate as many processes as possible. If the SORs are concerned about data security, discuss with them ways that you can ensure that their data is protected.

Five: Build and Culture Relationships

The human element required to accelerate time-to-value is often the most challenging roadblock to overcome. By carefully building good relationships and fostering a supportive culture, you are more likely to be aimed toward success. Human resources are the “data owners” and “sponsors” required to support TBM (Technology Business Management) and Apptio initiatives.

Common barriers to support:

  • They don’t see the value, so they don’t care
  • Too busy or “not my job”
  • Feels the need to protect data
  • Feels the need to safeguard job or department
  • They experienced past failures
  • They don’t trust incomplete data sets

It is vital to start building the relationship you will need to succeed early in the planning process. And multiple relationships. Multiple connections are essential since the modern workforce changes roles and companies often. You do not want to start from ground zero if your primary advocate changes positions.

Ways to help build direct SOR (System of Record) relationships:

  • Create a culture where you meet directly with SORs and make them valued members of the “team.”
  • Educate them about TBM concepts to better understand the importance of their contributions.
  • Share the “results” of efforts and how they helped the company meet its goals.

Unfortunately, you will not find easy success without the support of SORs and executive supporters. In some ways, it is like the classic chicken or the egg situation – you cannot speed up the time-to-value without SOR support, but you may not get SOR support if you cannot prove value. With good planning and the help of your Rego Apptio guide, you can create a plan to demonstrate the value of an intelligent TBM investment.

Let Rego Be Your Guide

Our Apptio consultants are senior-level Apptio users, experienced TBM strategists, PPM (Project Portfolio Management) experts, and implementation specialists. One thing that sets us apart from other consulting organizations is that we do not have designated entry- or junior-level associates. Every TBM consultant has over five years of experience working with Apptio and Fortune 20 and Fortune 100 companies.

We can help with technical configuration as well as implementation, adoption, and roadmap challenges. With our proven Agile approach, we deliver results you can see – fast – while reducing time-to-value. 

Rego offers webinars, half-day training classes, and white papers. For more information, see Managed Support for Apptio. 

About the Author: Rego Consulting

As the leading Strategic Portfolio Management (SPM), Project Portfolio Management (PPM), Technology Business Management (TBM), Agile and expert services provider, Rego Consulting has helped hundreds of organizations achieve a higher return on their software investment, including 60% of Fortune 100 and 70% of Fortune 20 companies.

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