Home is where the customer is

By Georg Tichy

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“Home” is where the customer is. The physical home is an extended home-zone, nowadays. If you want to be successful with your services, you have to reach the customer at his home where he uses his devices and sensors. More and more services are anchored at the customer-home – more services for easier coping with everyday life. The customer autonomy continues.
The battle for the living room of the consumer has not ended, as traditional lines of business still have to find their way to the living room of the customer. Technology is the enabler to reach the customer. The right sensors, the right App, the right Infrastructure is needed to generate a value added for the customer. And finally, (Data-)Security and Data Intelligence have to create real benefits for the customer.

Latest developments and examples are:

  • 3-D printing: manufacturing at home
  • Drones: logistics to your door
  • Smart meters: energy autonomy for your home
  • IoT: Sensors and Data-Intelligence decide for a lot of repetitive tasks what to do
  • Streaming vs TV: you decide what to watch
  • Smart loudspeaker

All those customer centric services increase customer autonomy. Technology is hereby an enabler. The more your business model supports customer centric autonomy, the higher the revenue potential.

In order to identify the needs of the customers (Voice of the Customer), you should have a unique customer approach, meaning that you are responsive to the customer needs and find solutions that fit best for the customer in his specific situation. Based on your experience you should know how to manage critical situations and how to ensure project success. The secret of projectmanagement success lies in the combination of

  • Tools/Methods
  • People Management
  • Processes vs Line Organisation
  • Industry Know-How
  • Experience

Tools/Methods:

Irrespective in which project phase a customer is, you need to find the right methods and tools to support him. Your methods could be based on Lean Six Sigma & Agile Methods, or more traditional project management concepts. In any case your services have to be documented in a proper way in order to enable a good tracking and understanding of the project-phases. Project Management, Integration Management, Time Management, Cost and Quality Management are basic methods that are underlying all projects.

People Management:

People are individuals that need to be treated with respect and honesty. You should follow a holistic approach that combines people’s skills and project tasks. Actively approach Project-Stakeholders and provide them information in a timely manner. Communication is key, should be multi-channel and can reduce project risks, if managed actively. Your projectmanagement-approach should be goal-oriented, people-centered and win-win based.

Processes vs Line Organisation:

Be aware, that processes are more important than line-organisations for project success. You should  know how important cross-functional and cross-departmental work-structures are. Therefore the treams can be multi-age, multi-lingual, etc and are often linked via new technology. Follow a flexible network approach to support the process-organisation of the company.

Industry Know-How:

You can’t change what you don’t understand. Knowing the industry and to be able to put things in the right context is essential for an efficient project. Choose the industries that you already have worked for, so that you can convince your customer that you have an excellent in-depth knowledge of the value-chain.

Experience:

Wisdom comes with age and experience. Have a positive attitude towards unexpected developments and be able to treat them fact-based, non-emotional and sometimes – if needed – with humor. Be innovative and creative at the same time. Be used to work in challenging environments and do not make decisions light-heartedly.

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