Free Consulting Services During COVID-19

I admit.  We’ve been selfish.  

Our team of contractors have been distributed since ValTeo started in 2017.  They live in California and Illinois. So, we didn’t have much to plan insofar as distancing our team members. We keep in touch using different online tools or via web conferencing and calls.

So, we were just thinking of ourselves!  

This was probably not our best moment. 

We’re changing that today.  Last Friday, I announced on LinkedIn our offering: free consulting services for automating document creation and agreement signing.  

There are actually two offers here.  First, for any organization, no matter what services or products you offer, we’ll review your current steps for sending out agreements, figure out how we can automate the manual steps, and provide a plan.  Think of the plan as a checklist, as well as detailed steps, online resources and tools to use to develop and launch the document and eSignature automation. In other words, we’ll tell you what you need to do, draw the map and take the guesswork out of how to do it. 

Second, if your products and services are directly helping fight COVID-19, meaning you’re in healthcare or your products and services are targeted at healthcare organizations, in addition to the above, we’ll train you on the use of specific eSignature and document generation tools we’d recommend, as well as provide hands-on web conferencing to get you started with using all of them. 

Here’s where you can sign up for the next available time to get this process started.

If you have suggestions for other services we can provide, please fill out our contact form.

In this post, Scott Os of Synaptix Group will follow-up his recent post on what is a Center of Excellence (CoE), with information on how to establish and staff the CoE, providing you with supporting PDFs to get the process kicked off right.

Let’s say you’ve read about the importance of a Center of Excellence. On the road to your Digital Transformation, you’re now wondering, “what do I do now?” There are many things to consider, the various roles, responsibilities, and use cases that need to be defined, software and personnel costs that need to be reined in and stakeholders that need to be informed.

But where do you even begin?

That’s the premise of this post. I’ll talk about the structure, roles and responsibilities of a newly formed CoE as it relates to your company’s progress through a DTM Maturity Model, with suggestions on a path for how you can, not only create such an organization, but create the foundation to accelerate change while taking full advantage of your company’s Digital Transformation software investments.

General Guidelines

A CoE can be a service organization that provides expertise across projects in a ‘shared services model’. The function of the CoE is to drive standardization of quality products, architecture and governance policies, as well as processes across the enterprise. Leveraging a centralized management and automation platform for processes, consulting, and support services, as well as delivering leadership and advocacy to help the organization improve business outcomes.

The true value of the CoE will be around participation and the broader strategic efforts within the company. To accomplish this, the CoE needs to have strong alignment on business goals/strategy and the CoE mission. Additionally, the CoE must focus spending on the future of the organization, not just on the “squeakiest wheel.”

CoE Roles & Responsibilities

A component of the CoE charter describes the interaction of the CoE and the Steering Committee. CoE Leadership will be driven by Strategic Business Initiatives approved by the Steering Committee, and will either implement the strategic elements, or work with Project Managers & Architects to implement the policies, procedures, best practices at a more tactical level.

The CoE would be staffed with people who bring domain expertise about the business and technology. These should be from the population who run the day to day operation of your company and who are directly affected by the changes to any systems or processes. They are the people who know how changes will affect staff and what value they could deliver.

Keep in mind, this team will create a standard methodology and best practices to bring consistency and leverage to development projects. In other words, what’s learned from the initial implementations will set the precedent on what mistakes to avoid and how to accelerate adoption and change within your organization.

This added experience is the gem for creating a CoE: by creating the lessons learned and best practices, you’ll reduce the chances of wasted effort and investments in software and personnel.

In the larger context of the company’s continued Digital Transformation on the path to higher DTM Maturity, throughout the execution of the plans put in play by the CoE, the organization is creating reusable assets and a playbook that would be leveraged in the future by other departments and project teams.

Does all of this sound too big to take on?

Fret not! One of the key advantages of the CoE is that it can initially be built on a small scale, with minimal incremental expenditure. As its value is delivered to management, the staff, and individual project teams, it can iteratively evolve and scale up its resources, services, and capabilities. The CoE model can also be a critical asset for distributed organizations, providing centralized processes, infrastructure, and reporting.

Roles and responsibilities will vary depending on CoE structure and budget, but you will generally have resources that fall into one of the following four categories:

  1. CoE Leadership
  2. CoE Core Team
  3. Project Team(s)

CoE Leadership

CoE Leadership typically consists of the following:

  1. Executive Sponsor(s)
  2. Champion(s)
  3. CoE Manager

The Leadership team provides the executive support and governance to project teams. Because both are represented in leadership, IT and Business work as partners in project delivery.

CoE Core Team

The CoE Core Team is comprised of the following:

  1. CoE Manager
  2. Program Manager (Optional or could be the CoE Manager)
  3. Enterprise Architect
  4. Solution Architect(s)

This team handles demand and intake from project teams. They are tasked with standardizing the delivery process and performing the value-add services of the CoE. They own and improve best practices and methodology, enable project team members, deliver proofs of concept, and participate in program/project governance.

Project Team

Project Team(s) consist of the following:

  1. Project Manager
  2. System Architect(s)
  3. Business Architect(s)
  4. SMEs
  5. QA/test

Project Team(s) manage and drive the project on the ground. They are responsible for the day to day deliverables and scope and delivery project outcomes according to the best practices and methodology determined by the CoE.

One of the most effective tools that should be employed while constructing the CoE is a responsibility assignment matrix or RACI chart. This is a very useful tool during the formation phase to make certain all is covered and also during the operating phase to make sure nothing “falls through the cracks.”

Today we kick off our first blog post for ValTeo Tech.

Our intent is to inform, educate and help our readers and customers, preparing you for your Digital Transformation and Digital Transaction Management Implementations.

Assuming you are new to the topic of Digital Transformation, we’ll start by defining it and providing an example from our experience.

In the posts ahead, we’ll continue exploring this topic by reviewing how companies develop their transformative roadmap, what is Digital Transaction Management (DTM) and how to implement one, as well as the importance of a Business Adoption Acceleration Plan to ensure a smooth transition for your organization as it continues its journey.

Digital Transformation Definition

Digital Transformation refers to the digitizing of various business processes, activities, services and models within an organization. This activity is meant to be a part of an organization’s longer-term strategy to better compete in the market by freeing the departments to worry less about the mundane and instead focus on creative solutions for their customers.

As an example, a financial services / wealth management company we’ve worked with in the past, converted their paper based new account opening process to use a custom web-based portal in conjunction with DocuSign’s Digital Transaction Management platform.

Certainly, there was value in converting all processes to be digital and auditable under a single unifying system. The automation of all associated processes for data collection, validation by the Advisor, customer signature, headquarter review / validation and signing, as well as mailing could take 30 to 45 days. With the revised processes, they took less than 7! Of course, there were also hard costs associated with the printing of all documents and their mailing. In fact, the printing and mail costs savings alone were over a million dollars on an annual basis!

These tactical and hard dollar gains were certainly key and part of the success metrics we’d set out to achieve. However, the effect on the overall company strategy, what would be considered the ultimate goal of their Digital Transformation, was something else altogether.

The Transformation came when, freed from unnecessary training, validation, and manual steps, the Advisors were able to spend more time developing relationships with existing and new customers, and the wealth management company team members were able to focus on coming up with new creative financial instruments to offer the market.

In other words, their Digital Transformation focused the people on the organization’s main goals, how to creatively meet their market’s needs, instead of wasting time on the manual or paper-based steps that detract from such activities.

What’s Next

In our next post, we’ll explore how companies develop their transformation roadmap leading to their selection of various Digital Transaction Management (DTM) platforms. In the meantime, feel free to share your questions and comments, or requests for any other topics.

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