Are you getting the best from your CPQ system? If you’ve been working with your own development team, or with a partner who implemented a solution for you, perhaps even a long while ago, it could be time to invite a fresh pair of eyes to look at how you do things.
It’s a bit like your first girlfriend or boyfriend. I know there are some rare people in this world who find true love at the first attempt, and stay together forever, but it’s often more likely to happen in fairy-tales than real life. More likely they helped you grow and perhaps realise what you did (and didn’t) want from the world. It’s the same with your systems, teams and partnerships. At Walpole Partnership we advocate an iterative, evolutionary approach to design and build, because too often we don’t know everything about what we need and what the world can offer before we get started.
Firstly, it’s worth assessing your development team or the partner who you have in place at the moment. Perhaps they don’t need replacing, but augmenting, or maybe they just need some assessment. It’s hard to stay current and up to date, especially if CPQ isn’t the sole area of focus for your team or partner. It’s also very easy to be too close to a project and too ‘in the weeds’ to get that 30,000 ft view of what is beyond the horizon and what can be seen from another angle.
It’s important to ask the following the questions when assessing your current CPQ situation:
- Are you hearing fresh ideas based on the latest developments in your CPQ tool?
- Is your development team aligned with your business goals as well as your IT strategy?
- Does your team or partner have all the up to date expertise they need in your CPQ tool to help you get the best out of it?
If you are inviting a new partner in to support or replace your current team, it’s critical to make sure they have done this kind of activity before. You don’t want someone to come in and ‘throw the baby out with the bathwater’ and steamroller their way through an operational system. It’s very easy to dismiss work done by someone before – just like the sharp whistling through teeth that you get when a new builder comes into your house and looks at what the last ‘cowboy’ did to your home. We have to trust that good decisions were made at the time, and that there was reason and good practice shown. That doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement.
The skill lies in being able to: a) unpick what the original design and build has achieved, while b) understanding how requirements have changed and emerged through progressive, iterative insight and c) having the experience to perform ‘open-heart surgery’ safely on a live system, ensuring that d) your system will be reformed to best practice and fully aligned with your current and future goals.
If this sounds daunting then don’t worry, Walpole Partnership has the experience of doing exactly this for some of the oldest and most complex CPQ implementations in existence. We’ve worked alone and with in-house teams to make this happen. If you take the opportunity to bring a fresh pair of eyes to look in, it gives your business a chance to grow, to future-proof your systems and to ensure they stay relevant to the business without the need to rip it up and start again.
When working on an existing system, we can do this through ad-hoc work, through an audit process which gives recommendations to existing teams, through a managed service arrangement, or as a planned programme of improvement projects. Every system is different, every support team has its own challenges, and every existing partnership may have something to offer. We bring the utmost respect for what has gone before, and we make sure that bringing a new partner into your world is a safe and productive step to take. And just maybe we’ll be ‘The One’ for you to spend the rest of your life with.