How to Develop a Culture of Visibility

BrandPost By Smartsheet
Mar 22, 2018
IT Leadership

The rewards of achieving visibility across your business make the challenges worthwhile.

Business decisions made without full visibility—particularly at the executive level—can put your company at risk. On the other hand, informed decisions based on relevant data can help your employees become more efficient, increase customer satisfaction, improve business performance, and, ultimately, drive growth.

Creating a culture where visibility is the norm (and not a nice to have) is vital to maintaining a competitive edge. From the engineer who pairs incoming requests with the best staff member available, to the sales team whose success depends on anticipating clients’ needs ahead of the calendar, a true, real-time, and actionable view of work in progress can enhance decision making, improve operations, and enable agility.

Fostering a Culture of Greater Visibility

The process of building a culture of visibility isn’t without its challenges.

Today’s employees and teams are often dispersed globally, across time zones and cultures.  While workers may have access to an abundance of data, it’s often outdated or not contextualized. And, more than ever, organizations operate in ever-changing markets that require immediate decisions in order to outpace (and outsmart) the competition. Yet, many business leaders are hampered by siloed data spread across their business.

But there’s good news: creating a culture of visibility is not insurmountable.

Transition from Reactive to Proactive

Too often organizations operate in “fire drill” mode. That is, sales plunge, a campaign doesn’t perform as well as expected, or a product release veers close to missing a deadline. In a reactive mode, everyone scrambles to collect and analyze data to determine what went wrong and how to correct course. This analysis can take hours, or weeks, and this drain on resources just slows down business versus driving it forward.

As a business leader you need to help move your organization beyond a fire-drill mentality, and teach  teams to proactively track and report on critical information in real-time. Encourage employees to take stock of projects and processes they’re working on, then find ways to track that work and give visibility to stakeholders — other team members, executives, partners, or even customers.

Something as simple as carving out time for planning is also important. Without a fire to put out, you and your team can share critical information from across your business, consider that information from various perspectives, and make decisions based not on panic but on what’s best for your business — both now and in the future.

Select and Deploy the Right Technology

Having a platform that surfaces important information to the right audiences at the right time can better position your organization to make decisions around key business operations such as sales strategies, new business opportunities, marketing campaigns, people management, and more.

But technology is not a one-size-fits-all proposition – you must do your homework and then select the solution that best matches your organization’s unique needs.

As you evaluate technology to support a cultural transition to greater visibility, be sure to ask these questions:

  • Does the platform provide automation capabilities to seamlessly distribute and centralize information? If yes, does it require coding know-how, or can anyone, regardless of technical ability, automate processes and reporting?
  • Is the platform versatile? Can you easily move from strategic planning to budgeting to portfolio reporting with ease?
  • Does the solution have strong organizational budget and planning capabilities? Is it built to support your fiscal success?
  • Does the platform  provide visual and customizable reporting?
  • Will the solution easily integrate with your organization’s other enterprise cloud solutions?
  • Can the solution you’re considering scale with your business?

The transition to a culture of visibility may take time, but in the long run the advantages are clear.

Learn more about the three layers of visibility your business needs to compete.