on April 6, 2020 in Investment Governance

3 Steps to Scoring Proposed Initiatives to Make Strategic Decisions

two people holding a tablet while one person explains the graphs

Managers at companies of all sizes often struggle with efficiently evaluating proposed business initiatives. It can be difficult to understand how specific proposed investments align to strategic initiatives and even more challenging from the standpoint of assessing whether specific strategic initiatives are receiving the appropriate level of focus in terms of particular projects and budgets. Beyond alignment, it’s also important to quantitatively assess the strategic value of proposals against the company’s ability to execute. Potential challenges include analyzing benefits that are financial and non-financial, and then balancing the contribution of those benefits with the company’s overall strategic goals and programs. Although there’s no silver bullet, digitized and standardized idea scoring can be an effective method for gauging a project’s viability and enabling leadership to easily understand the tradeoffs and strategic benefits for any new investment decision.

When implemented through an end-to-end digital platform for strategic investment governance like Inpensa, idea scoring powered by a consistent set of rules and taxonomy, as well as standardized financial calculations, can help make business decisions more efficient. The truth is the most effective scoring rubric will be built in close partnership with a trusted solution provider and those who know your company best: its managers and executives. With the right solution, managers can create a digitized alignment and prioritization framework and governance model that can empower their teams to make better investment decisions. Here are three steps to jump start your thinking around and idea scoring process.

1. Capture Data & Metrics

When it comes to scoring proposed business cases, capture of important financial and related data are key. That’s why Inpensa designed a platform that can help your team easily collect and assess the data you need. With standardized data governance, business rules, and financial calculations, Inpensa ensures all of your business cases will include the information you’ll need to make an optimal decision. The foundation to building decision-making strategies requires access to the right data and a standardized idea scoring framework. The Inpensa platform provides a collaborative environment that institutionalizes data standards and makes it easy for team members to ensure data are accurate and complete the first time. This is tied to standards around taxonomy, related classifications and calculations.

2. Evaluate Strategic Alignment

Effectively assessing a business case requires a framework that allows managers to evaluate projects against larger corporate strategies. Proposed investments represent competing priorities that need to be assessed, in part, on alignment with corporate strategies. An effective framework ensures business leaders are planning initiatives guided by these strategies. At the most senior level, top executives can be confident that each key strategy is being addressed proportionate to its criticality in terms of specific initiatives and budget allocation.

3. Create a Prioritization Matrix

An effective scorecard implements a framework unique to your company’s strategy in order to rank the impact of programs and investments on micro and macro levels. Critically, you need to gauge the strategic value of a project against your team’s ability to execute it. A digitized prioritization matrix can provide a sophisticated framework to visualize and analyze data. For example, Inpensa’s Digital Investment Governance Platform supports a company-specific configuration of weighted ranking for criteria key to the calculation of strategic value and the organization’s ability to execute. Automated ranking for proposed initiatives at a program or portfolio level can be plotted in a bubble chart quadrant format. At a glance, these analytics clearly define high priority initiatives based on optimal intersection of strategic value and ability to execute.

The Takeaway

Basing strategic decisions on initiative scoring can help simplify and standardize your process, however, you need to build the right solution with the right partner first. With strategic guidance and software tools like Inpensa, you can create a framework that scores ideas based on the needs, goals, and capabilities of your company to revolutionize your decision making process. Standardizing data capture and idea scoring ensures your team will have the information you need to make informed objective decisions that are aligned to your corporate strategies.

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