Monday, April 14, 2008

LTV at LTC: Alarms and Diversions; the New Media Department (NMD)

In LTC, we had a department dedicated to exploring new technologies and new media applications. The technology to really make NMD's projects really go wasn't slated to go live until the year after the LTV project, but they were still very interested in the LTV project. Their interest culminated in a meeting that nearly ended the LTV project.

NMD had segmented the customer base, and had identified the segment they wanted to market to. NMD was horrified that one of their potential customers might get a poor score, and so perhaps not get the best possible service. Never mind the equal possibility that their potential customers might get good scores and receive preferential treatment – NMD was terrified at the possibility of anything bad possibly happening to their potential base. The most vivid quote of the meeting was “We have to stop this!”

If NMD really tried to stop the LTV project, I am fairly sure that we could have overcome their resistance but I'm certain that if the meeting ended there we would have a lot of unnecessary turmoil. What I did was I put back on my Project Designer hat and let NMD specify a value formula just for them that would identify the customers NMD most wanted. This approach was successful because I was able to promise right then and there that NMD could design the formula the way NMD wanted and that it would be published along with the other LTV scores.

In a typical project situation there would have been an initial meeting with NMD, their concerns would have been taken back the the larger group, possible solutions discussed, project forms filled out and signed off on, and all this over a course of several weeks. During these weeks NMD would have solidified their position and the LTV project would have been threatened by a protracted political fight that would weaken the project at best and conceivably stop the project all together.

No comments: