The Case for Company Intelligence
A pain point for a company is defined as a perceived problem, regardless of the organization’s size. Many noted entrepreneurs have referred to the pain point as the ultimate goal for any startup’s solution. If your company isn’t solving a pain point, then success will be difficult–if not impossible–to achieve.
meco.works has been retained by Brainwise to identify the pain points for companies of varying sizes and industries with regards to the way they work, so as to determine the “path of least resistance” for Kimonus, a software platform, in the United States.
The pain points that our potential users have are surprisingly common across companies. We’ve identified several key problems that companies are experiencing that will allow Kimonus to resonate quickly with potential customers and gain traction in the US market. These pain points include:
– Human Resources
– Internal communication
The American market is a beacon for many software companies, as usage and integration of technology is high. Consumers are accustomed to leveraging technology to solve problems, and are commonly willing to try new solutions if they claim to solve a particular pain point. Our research has led us to identify common pain points in the target market for Kimonus, which we’ve described in detail here. As we encounter new pain points, additional information will be added.
Because tying administrative processes into the way projects are viewed and executed at companies is such a unique concept for established organizations, there is a mindset shift that will need to occur in most cases. What we’ve learned is that agile and lean methodologies are very popular in companies trying to innovate in the way they work on projects. However, this methodology isn’t being transferred over into the administrative work of the organizations. Therein lies an additional opportunity to establish Kimonus as a thought leader in the market, creating content around the concept of company intelligence and becoming recognized experts in the field.
Kimonus is a company intelligence tool that will empower the streamlined operations of companies around the world.
At not-for-profit organizations in particular, inter-departmental collaboration is a stressful topic. Teams or departments define and use their own project management or collaboration solutions, often requiring users from other departments to jump in and out of different platforms to find the information they need.
There is no real use of dashboards, prohibiting senior executives to understand the overall status of the company at a glance. Dashboards are replaced with in-person meetings and updates, requiring the C-level team to piece together data they receive from finance, communications, development, outreach, administration, and more.
When it comes to staffing and resources, we’ve found two main types of needs, dependent upon the stage of existence of the company.
Companies that are growing rapidly need to quickly and efficiently onboard new team members, ensuring that everyone has access to the right information and resources. In many cases (especially in startups), the onus lies with the new hire to seek out the information they need, as traditional onboarding processes don’t cover every single thing.
What we’ve found with companies with a global footprint is that staffing is a bigger issue, especially in project-driven companies such as agencies. With a workload that varies from month to month, these companies are struggling with assigning the right expertise to each project. Tools such as PeopleSoft from Oracle are attempting to make sense of the processes, but as companies transition to more agile practices, traditional hiring and staffing solutions don’t work.
Communication with the clients hasn’t seemed like much of a problem for the companies we’ve interviewed. What has come up repeatedly is the fact that companies are using in-person meetings and phone calls in order to get the information they need from one another. Only one of the companies we’ve spoken with has mentioned significant use of Slack, but they, too, also use email for even more communication.
The attitude toward internal communication is that it’s a necessary evil. Company representatives have led us to believe that there is only communication between departments when absolutely necessary. Studies have shown that lack of communication can lead to duplication of efforts and non-optimized workloads, as well as unrealistic budgets and forecasts.
Rules of Roll-out
We are collecting what we consider to be the most important factors in communicating the value of Kimonus for American companies. The biggest paradigm shift the company should consider is transitioning materials from referring to Kimonus as a project management tool to a company intelligence platform. The strengths of the platform lie in the ancillary functionalities already built or being built. There are many solutions on the market for project management tools, and it will be difficult to gain traction in this niche.
What we’ve found is that companies’ frustrations lie within the way that administration functions around the organization’s projects. Tying in a human resources functionality as a basic feature will allow us to resonate strongly with potential customers and gain market share more quickly.
Adoption is Key
The thing most people don’t like about certain “project management” platforms is the need to start from scratch. They don’t know where they “should” go, so they abandon the tool. Several interviewees have mentioned trying Asana, in particular, several times. They have a new project and try to track their progress on Asana, but eventually fall off. Either they have a teammate who doesn’t understand how to collaborate without in-person meetings and email, or they don’t have the time to set up the project on the platform.
The most interesting case was where a marketing team uses Asana for their projects, but only to create assets and creative content for the company. The other teams only use Asana when the marketing team is involved, creating a “jump in and jump out” use case.
If only one team uses a particular solution, company-wide adoption presents a challenge. While pilots can be tested in isolated departments or teams, we recommend that the whole company find a starting point for rollout.
The biggest opportunity we’ve seen from potential users is eliminating the need to jump across various software platforms, and to easily have a birds’ eye view of what is happening in their company.
With full Office 365 and G Suite integrations, users should be able to manage their emails pertaining to clients and projects from within Kimonus. At the very least, relevant emails should be synced to the platform, and users can still operate their email from the original platforms. We suggest having a “drill-down” feature so that users can easily dive deeper into each project as needed.
This information should be delivered both qualitatively and quantitatively, through dashboards and reports.
As Kimonus is solving a problem that is much larger than just project management, there may be an opportunity to create an additional revenue stream through trainings and workshops. Each workshop should be tailored to the target audience, as organizations tend to work differently based on their efficiencies and processes.
For many nonprofits, Agile methodologies and lean process management are completely new concepts, and may meet some resistance initially in potential clients. However, a presentation or workshop atmosphere will allow the organization leadership to gain a better understanding of how they can apply these tools to the way they work.
When it comes to startups entering the scale stage, the Kimonus team will be dealing with entrepreneurs that may not know how to run an actual company. In these cases, information regarding best practices and productivity “hacks” will be helpful and well-received.
This information should be presented as thought leadership in a variety of formats, including live presentations and workshops, blog posts, and social media content. For examples on how to create content for more than one audience, click here.