You’ve been appointed by your management team to run your company’s RFP for a new technology. This addition will affect many levels and departments within your organization, so it’s essential that the company considers as many opinions and capabilities as possible. How can you make sure all opinions, requirements, and options are weighed and included in your decision?
No matter the type of technology you’re acquiring or the transformation your organization is looking to make, building use cases that the new technology will need to fulfill should be your first step. These use cases will act as a north star for both your organization and the bidding vendors to ensure everyone is working toward the same goal.
You may be familiar with the more common application of use cases: developing ten or more instances that, together, encapsulate all customer journeys within your organization. In the situation of a technology RFP, however, we should narrow these down to one or two use cases, which in themselves may be beyond what your company is currently (or plans to be) capable of in a single customer journey.
Rather than describing individual journeys, the intention should be to catalog all possible technological capabilities within the framework of a use case. This will ensure that a vendor meets all of your organization’s needs if you select it for a contract.
Getting your team on board
While building these cases can certainly take a substantial amount of time, there are some compelling motives for doing so, including:
Alignment of organization: Working together to build use cases will ensure that your team has aligned on what it considers most important to get out of technology, as well as where it wants your marketing program to go.
Vendor clarity: The more detail a vendor has on what your business is looking to achieve, the more time it can spend reviewing the functionality most important to your teams.
Selection confidence: Having clear narratives and capabilities for a vendor to demonstrate will help your team review and critique each demo effectively because they’ll be able to follow along and note successes or failures quickly. It will also provide a standard across vendors so that your teams can compare fairly.
Involving the right people
Building a team that represents a cross-section of your company will give you the best results in developing these use cases. This includes both technical and creative perspectives to thoroughly understand what is currently possible within your organization today. You’ll also need both executive-level team members, for budgetary and brand involvement, and delivery-level members to give feedback on working in the tool daily. Additionally, hiring a technology strategy partner can add industry-wide technical expertise and vendor landscape awareness. They can also help your business build the technical requirements of each use case and understand the future-proofed journey.
Building an effective use case
Each use case should include a series of components to showcase how your organization plans to utilize the technology. These can include:
1. A customer-focused narrative of how this case will work between the technology and your other systems. Describe how your customer would engage with the brand from primary interaction through purchase. This narrative should envision your future state with this new technology.
2. The background activities that your engineering teams would need to complete to support the customer’s journey.
3. A list of capabilities that the technology must have to successfully support your Use Case like databases, internal technology, file movements.
4. A breakdown of the data sources needed to support the customer’s journey.
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