Security Business

MAR 2019

Find news and information for the executive corporate security director, CSO, facility manager and assets protection manager on issues of policy, products, incidents, risk management, threat assessments and preparedness.

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96 Security Business / / March 2019 Your Business 5. Perform a technical readiness review. Once you decide to launch, are you really ready? Has operations signed off on the technical readiness of the team? As part of this process, you must consider how the new product or service will impact all teams, including the central station, billing, operations, customer support, marketing, sales, etc. Sue Duffy, my former Operations VP, once told me: “If we cannot provide consistency in service levels for the product we are going to launch, we shouldn’t do it.” Sue is now owner of Pacific Security Group, a California-based consulting firm. Thank goodness I listened to her – she was 100-percent correct. Potential pitfalls: This is a “no brainer,” but when a company gets close to the finish line, certain critical details often fall through the cracks. Avoid this mishap by directing the PM to take a step back, review the plan and gain consensus that you are indeed ready for launch. 6. Plan ahead. Throughout the review process, confirm that the program schedule is meeting its target dates and budget – which are finalized by sales and finance. All sales forecasts should be defined and approved by sales management. Potential pitfalls: I have seen times when a service provider launches a new service/product without a commitment from the sales team on a forecast – trust me, this never works. Remember, at the end of the day, you are a team. 7. Make the final decision as a team. The “go/no-go” decision should be an informed decision made by an executive council with representatives from all departments. If final approval is received, the PM is now well-versed on the details of the product/service implementation and has established relationships with the key stakeholders. In this way, the PM is prepared to successfully coordinate the launch across the business. Potential pitfalls: Transparency in the new service launch decision is critical. Companies that drive major business and product decisions behind closed doors and through informal hallway conversations often have the end-product sabotaged by key departments responsible for the new service’s success. Many great organizations provide project management support – I recommend the Security Industry Association (SIA)’s Certified Security Product Manager (CSPM) course. For more info: 8. Set measurable performance goals. Be specific about who is accountable for each key performance indicator; determine how the data will be obtained, its frequency and the reporting plan. Potential pitfalls: Do not fall into the trap of setting goals that cannot be quantified and measured and without a person collecting the data. 9. Prepare for the initial release. Complete product beta testing, qualify supporting processes, demonstrate manufacturability, and create and implement a pilot plan and testing that includes field trial reviews with key “friendly” customers. I recommend integrators establish an advisory group of technology customers who will give you honest feedback. Many years ago, when I was EVP at Post Alarm Co., in California, we called this the “Stanley Hayden test” – Stanley was a customer who could always uncover something that we were not doing well, no matter how small. Whenever we launched a new service or product we asked ourselves: Would this pass the Stanley Hayden test? Every company has a Stanley Hayden – find yours. Potential pitfalls: With beta testing, develop a list of beta customers you can use from time to time, but do not use your most valued and critical customers. If the beta test does not go well, you will be eating crow! 10. Revisit the launch in 30, 60 and 90 days. Have the launch’s goals and objectives been met? Review KPIs to make sure there is alignment. Has your vendor supported you as they said they would? Are you pleased with the launch? Potential pitfalls: Be sure it is an honest post-mortem with the entire team – then learn from mistakes and celebrate successes. ■ » Kirk MacDowell is the founder and president of MacGuard Security Advisors, Inc., a business consulting firm for companies in the electronic security industry. For more information about the company, please visit Companies that drive major business and product decisions behind closed doors and via informal conversations often have the end-product sabotaged by key departments responsible for the new service's success.

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