Upfront Education and Training

Blog Post created by Advocate on Mar 12, 2018

Best Practices in Strategy Design

This blog series features the opinions and experiences of five experts working in various roles in global strategy design. They were invited to discuss the best practices outlined in this white paper, and also to add their own. With combined experience of over 70 years, they partner with various businesses, helping them to use data, tools and analytic techniques to ensure effective decision strategies to drive success. The experts share their personal triumphs and difficulties; you’ll be surprised to learn the stark differences, and occasional similarities, in these assorted expert approaches to accomplishing successful data driven strategies across industries.

Therse henry cropped.pngTherese Henry is a Principal Consultant at FICO where she has worked for the past 5 years. She collaborates with a wide range of clients, varying from those that are new to the data-driven strategic approach to global enterprise corporations entrenched in it. Therese is a champion for upfront education and training before any analysis begins.

1. Client training

Client training is crucial to the success of any project, and it should be completed before any deep analysis even begins. Every client is at a different level of strategy development, however, establishing a base knowledge of terms, markets, trends, and processes will ensure a smoother campaign and build the trust needed between all participating parties.


The Best Practices in this paper span across industries and can guide a client through the different levels of strategy design, evolving from a judgmental approach all the way through to implementing data driven strategies. I believe it is most important for a team to be armed with the knowledge of terms, trends, and best practices. In my experience, this can help shift a project away from the “always done it this way” thought process to a “prove to me it works” mind set, to finally considering the gaps in the legacy approach and filling them with informed, data driven decisions.


When first adopting a data driven strategy approach, it is common for clients I work with to be content to follow the status quo of their proven strategies. However, shying away from cutting edge tactics will likely result in missed opportunities.


2. Develop strategy, know your goals
In developing a strategy, the most important factor to begin with is basic benchmarking and strategy design. Defining goals helps drive exactly what it is the client wants to achieve. Once goals are defined, the next step is to determine what is achievable, and what is necessary to get there. Knowing how to measure outcomes and what success looks like will inform the strategy design. Strategy will change depending on the maturity of a client or project. For instance, a newer client might require a basic approach with phased implementations, however, it is critical to talk through this process before pulling any data. Open communication and taking the time to confirm expectations will ensure goals, strategies, and execution are all aligned to produce the desired outcome.


In determining strategic goals, clients must consider the trade-offs necessary to achieve their goals. If they want to increase outstandings, that comes with a higher risk of default. To finalize strategy and ensure the right goals are being prioritized, stakeholders must decide what they are willing to live with, and what the bottom line cost of those goals will be. In other words, the ends must be worth the means for a project to deliver value.




3. Set baseline to track relative change

In order to measure outcomes and determine success, a baseline must be set. This baseline must consider project goals along with regulatory ruling needs. Having results in a vacuum won’t show relative change or shed light on what has impacted the bottom line; this often leads to frustration. Building out the first line strategies is important to each group in determining the benchmark.  All subsequent outcomes must be measured, and measured again, to track and learn from changes and deviations from the baseline. 


Final Suggestions

With FICO’s new cloud-based solutions, we are able to work with smaller customers, and also customers that are new to the process of strategy design. FICO offers a Foundations in Customer Lifecycle and Credit Scoring Course, available to help clients get the background they need to pursue data driven strategies. Many smaller organizations can benefit from automating simple strategies. Now, because of the scalability and cloud-first product focus, FICO can help. All FICO expertise is now available to a wide range of clients of all sizes and across several industries, including auto and healthcare. Regardless of industry or size, client training, benchmarking and goal setting remain paramount for success.  If you're already a FICO TRIAD client, join us at our upcoming customer forum in Atlanta, Georgia to discuss even more best practices, plus new features and user cases.


My experience has taught me that leading with comprehensive training and knowledge training leads to successful strategy design; several of my colleagues will be sharing their best practices in future blogs. Until then, I'd like to know how upfront training and knowledge transfer has helped your organization. Please share your stories and questions in the comments section below or chat with experts and fellow users in the TRIAD Community.