When discussing mobile form implementation experiences with a few clients recently, I was interested to learn that one client in the construction sector had opted to kick off their programme by tackling their most challenging data capture issue. In their words:
“We focussed on what we wanted to achieve with this project. The transition from paper to mobile forms is like walking into a huge warehouse where you can pick and choose whatever you want. There are many nice-to-haves, which could sidetrack you. We wanted to secure our biggest wins right at the beginning. We created our biggest, most complex form first, which was a learning curve- but all the forms we created after that were a lot easier. The first form we created also had the biggest impact on our business straight away. We noticed the benefits immediately.”
The approach created stellar results for this client – and has done for a number of others; read the 7 learnings from construction companies that digitised their field data capture process. If I think back on my own experience, I’ve tended to kick off projects by focusing on quick wins. Why? Because it’s low risk, quicker to implement and provides an opportunity to learn and build confidence. The downside of course is that it takes longer to start tackling the issues that deliver the big benefits. It’s the risk vs reward equation.

Balance out the size of the win with the degree of complexity

The great thing about tackling your biggest data capture problem first is that you soon discover whether the solution is fit for purpose. If it is, you will start reaping the benefits quickly. The learning curve is steeper, but the ROI is greater and the impact on your service delivery will give you a more immediate competitive advantage. The only caution I would give is to strike a balance between the size of the win and the degree of complexity. I’ve provided a matrix below for prioritising mobile data capture implementation, which I hope you find useful: Mobile form solution matrix

Which option would you take?

If you’re looking at transitioning to mobile data capture, feel free to post any questions in the comments below or get in touch.

Author Bio

Tim Howard is the co-founder of Formworks, an award winning, secure and agile forms platform that boosts mobile workforce productivity. Our solution encompasses the complete data journey – from point of capture in the field, to processing in the back office, to storage, archiving and the provision of management information.