“If You Fail to Plan, You Are Planning to Fail” — Benjamin Franklin

May 15th, 2020

This article is by Jesse Cugliotta and originally appeared on the Qlik Blog here: https://blog.qlik.com/if-you-fail-to-plan-you-are-planning-to-fail-benjamin-franklin


Creating a Plan for Success

Training plans change and so do business plans, which means having a flexible plan is important, one that accounts for mishaps, a need to backtrack or reset at different stages. That begs the question: How do you create a plan that is both flexible and still has goals and a clear roadmap to success? Afterall, an unyielding plan caves when encountering the unexpected, but one that is too loose with no signposts of success or progress markers fails just as badly. First, plan for all possibilities, including negative and inopportune ones, which might throw off your timeline. Second, realize you can dust yourself off and try again. Third, pick a coach who can help you create the right plan for you and your business.

One of the benefits of working with a coach is collaborating on a plan – in my case, getting back to racing. We discussed my goals to determine the outcomes I was striving to achieve in the context that things could happen to interfere with — or slow down — my progress. In addition, the plan evolved to accommodate the demands from the other roles I play: husband, father and leader of a Customer Success team.

3 Rules of Customer Success

At Qlik, when we plan with a customer, we focus on the 3 Rules of Customer Success: Customer Centricity, Customer Experience and Customer Value. Customer Value is not “one-size” fits all. Customer Success Managers (CSM), who are our customer champions, work with their accounts to tailor a unique customer success plan similar to an athlete’s training plan. The Qlik Customer Success plan ensures we prioritize efforts toward business outcomes while also anticipating roadlbocks and hiccups along the way. No plan is perfect but the more it accounts for the future, the better off our customers are.

Working With Our Customers On Planning

CSMs know this well. They sit at the center of developing, executing and reviewing plans, helping customers understand and define an analytics vision and strategy and ensuring they receive the right mix of services and sources. CSMs marshall the help of Customer Success Engineers (CSEs), who provide technical expertise; senior support engineers, who troubleshoot issues; a Qlik Consulting Team, which helps to maximize the business value of our offerings; and Qlik leadership, who can help provide high-level guidance. In bringing all these resources together, CSMs work with customers to develop the most robost success plan and also one that acknowledges the realities that delays and roadbumps can happen.

One example of how the Qlik Customer Success program supports customers – helping them navigate the terrain toward success – is the work we recently did for an interntional firm. The company was looking to drive self-service, as well as reduce time to insight and reliance of various departments on IT developers. Just like my coach with me, a CSM and CSE team, along with other Qlik support members, collaborated on building a plan for the company’s success, noting where they had encountered problems and planning prospectively to combat them. It was a custom plan built around the customer’s needs, responsibitlies and capabilities. This involved multiple meetings, touchpoints and online discussions to ensure alignment and benchmark setting.

Additional key activities included a workshop to onboard employees, training programs with a Hackathon for developers, and an awareness campaign to highlight available assets to drive adoption and end-user self-sufficiency. These efforts resulted in achieving the customer’s goal of increased user adoption and freeing up bandwidth for the development team to focus on additional analytics applications.

Like my coach with me, we took time with the company, tweaking, calibrating and modifying the plan as needed to keep progressing toward the goal. We didn’t stop because something didn’t go quite right; we course corrected and kept on moving. That drive to keep on going, to be flexible, to be open to change and possibility as a plan is executed – that is the key to meeting your goals.

As writer and aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry wrote, “[a] goal without a plan is just a wish.” Do you have a plan to achieve analytics outcomes or is it just a wish? Read about out how Qlik can help you create that plan by reading up on the Qlik Signature Success program and our Data Literacy Consulting services.