ROI is often a misappropriated term - the classic scenario of direct cost savings or increased sales sets an expectation of hard dollar metrics. While this metric is always relevant, there are a number of other parameters such as staff morale which are more subjective and difficult to communicate impartially.
These are generally categorised as Hard ROI and Soft ROI.
Hard ROI lends itself to dashboard interfaces quite naturally as items such as costs, error rates etc can be measured and represented on graphical reports.
Soft ROI is not so intuitive – items such as employee engagement and loyalty are often considered in more emotional terms and not linked to the Hard ROI parameters.
This can be enhanced by identifying Indicators and Focus Areas.
An example of this is to consider how Staff Engagement (a typical Soft ROI parameter) could be qualified on a graph in conjunction with standard Hard ROI metrics. The scenario in this case is based on surveying and submitting as-constructed information to GIS and Asset Management systems.
In general, if the process is ‘too hard’, when new assets are discovered (outside of the survey scope), they will not be captured by staff who are not engaged as the process is too cumbersome. Identifying how many of these are being captured after the implementation of new tools to streamline the capture process is a perfect indication of staff engagement. This metric works in conjunction with Hard ROI parameters as per the graph below.
This is extended by categorising the ROI parameters into distinct focus areas, each of which contains specific ROI parameters as well as Indicators. For the example above, we consider the following focus areas:
• Number of people involved in tasks.
• Time to complete Tasks
• Quantity of items processed
• Quality of submitted work
This allows multiple parameters to be interrogated and considered in true ROI context. The table below shows some of the extensions within the focus areas so that multiple data streams can be introduced to the dashboard environment.
The details are, of course, different for each scenario but the overall methodology is consistent. This version is primarily focused on the Utilities industry as Asset Capture and management is a key focus and building a complete solution is a significant investment so realistic ROI is a critical component of the business case.
A more detailed exploration of this is available here.