What is a Planning Engagement with Innovia?

We often hear the question, “Why do we need to do a planning engagement?” A related question that also comes up frequently is “What is a planning engagement?” To help answer both questions, Innovia responds with an analogy that most customers understand.

What is a Planning Engagement with Innovia - Final

Imagine you were building a home. There are several preliminary steps you take with your architect to ensure the process goes smoothly. You work through all the following questions to ensure both you and the builder know what to expect.

  1. How much will this cost?
    • In the case of the architect, with a little information about location, square footage, and high-level finishing decisions, a high-level estimate is free and generally accurate.
    • In the case of Innovia, with a little information on your current system, the number of users, and which functional areas you use, a high-level estimate is free and generally accurate.

  2. How can we both know with a higher degree of certainty?
    • In the case of the architect, this step involves creating blueprints, which is billable work. This formal process has two major effects:
      • It reduces the uncertainty as to components included in the overall design.
      • It clarifies expectations regarding the finished product.
    • Turning back to Innovia, this step involves a planning engagement. Just like drawing up blueprints, this step is billable. Again, you get two key benefits:
      • Less uncertainty on what is included.
      • Clear expectations for the result.

  3. What will impact the estimates from above?
    • In the case of the architect, lots of factors influence the ultimate price. A few examples include:
      • The customer changes their mind regarding the number of rooms or layout.
      • The customer selects higher-end finishes.
      • Market prices for the materials shift after the project begins.
    • When it comes to your work with Innovia, fewer factors influence the final cost, but a few of them are similar.
      • The customer changes their mind regarding functional areas or project scope.
      • The customer shifts the timeline for the project.
      • Work completed on custom components uncovers complexity that was not originally understood.

As you can see, the similarities between these two processes are striking. In both cases, new requests or changes to previous decisions will impact the project timeline and/or budget. By taking a thorough approach to the planning/design process, we can mitigate this risk together.

What Type of Planning Engagement is Best for Your Company?

This largely depends on your business’s level of complexity, your desire for additional functionality from the new system, the degree your company can absorb change, and the number of users involved in the steering/testing process. To help better understand your options, we will describe each type of planning engagement and why a business might choose it.

Simple On-site Planning Engagement

This type of planning engagement is conducted in person during a single day at your location. Companies should choose this option if they are transitioning from a simple system but may have more complex processes or business requirements that are best seen in person. This type of engagement results in a basic write up of system goals and a statement of work for the above items.

The price is a fixed fee of $10,000, plus direct travel expenses.

Custom Planning Engagement

Companies with complex business processes, highly modified systems, or systems that have been in place for over 10 years should opt for the custom planning engagement. It is conducted over 2-3 days at your location and results in:

  1. A basic write up of system goals
  2. A fit gap document describing where the system does not meet the desired goals and mitigation options
  3. A project plan to achieve the goals in provided
  4. A statement of work for the above items

The price for a custom planning engagement is a fixed fee of $39,995, plus direct travel expenses.

Many customers and prospective customers want to describe themselves as “simple businesses”; but there are important requirements that must be met to support future growth or strategic plans. The best way to ensure this is accomplished is through a Custom Planning Engagement.

Minimizing Surprises—Maximizing Results

When the subject of planning engagement comes up with our customers and prospects, we often remind that they aren’t going to “not tell us something” on purpose, and likewise, we aren’t going to choose to “not ask,” but things are bound to come up during our project together that we did not talk about. The more time we mutually invest in the planning process, the better chance we have of mitigating surprises. Our mission at Innovia is:

We build lasting relationships by delivering business solutions that exceed clients’ expectations through teamwork, dedication, and innovative thinking…ON TIME / ON BUDGET.

The odds go way up when we mutually work toward creating the best project plan possible. The first step of that partnership is the Planning Engagement.

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