Read Time: 9 minutes

Picking the Right Moment to Start Your Pricing Implementation Project 

Chris Kennedy-Sloane< Chris Kennedy-Sloane June 10, 2024

When it comes to commercial excellence, timing is everything. And there are a ton of factors that go into determining the right moment for a new software implementation. Chris Kennedy-Sloane, Business Consultant at Vendavo, explains everything you need to know – from the factors that indicate it’s time to make a change and the frameworks that can help you assess your process to how to navigate potential issues and beyond.  

Timing matters in pricing implementation projects, but waiting for the perfect moment is a myth. Let’s get this out of the way early: The timing will never be exactly perfect, and your organization will never be completely ready.  

Instead, pay attention to key indicators that it’s time to kick off a project – and the potential downsides of inaction.  

One clear sign is when inefficiencies and errors start popping up. If you see processes causing external issues, it’s time to act. Here are a few things to keep in mind: 

  • Adding more resources to a broken process isn’t always the answer  
  • Sometimes, more people can slow things down  
  • Internal support for change is crucial  
  • Check the external economic environment, because it’s like the soil your project will grow in 
  • Technology plays a big role, so make sure your ERP systems are aligned and data structures are solid  
  • Perfection isn’t the goal, making progress on improving your data flow over time is  

When processes start causing issues beyond their scope, that’s your cue. Don’t wait for a complete breakdown. The moment you see the earliest signs of trouble, it’s time to start evaluating and adjusting your processes. 

Assessing Readiness: The DICE Framework 

Timing a project needs a clear method. Enter the DICE framework: Duration, Integrity, Commitment, and Effort. Created by BCG, this tool lets you score different parts of your project to help prioritize efforts for the biggest impact.  

Focus on quick wins to build momentum before tackling more complex areas. This structured approach means you’re not shooting in the dark. 

Let’s break down the DICE framework: 

  • Duration – How long will each part of the project take? Shorter durations usually mean less risk and higher chances of success. 
  • Integrity – How capable is your team? Consider the skills and experience of everyone involved. 
  • Commitment – Measure the commitment from both leadership and the team. High commitment leads to better outcomes. 
  • Effort – Think about the effort needed to complete the project, including time and resources. 

Scoring these elements gives you a clear picture of where to focus. Projects with high DICE scores are great places to start to build momentum and credibility. 

Navigating Challenges and Pitfalls 

It’s never going to be the perfect time for everyone. Balancing the demands of different stakeholders while managing those for whom the timing isn’t right is key. Flexibility within the project can help, but you also need to handle negative input well. It’s about building a strong business case and managing the imperfections.  

Here are some common problems you might run into, and suggested solutions:

  • Problem: Resistance derails the project 
  • Solution: The goal is to manage dissent without letting it derail the project. Effective communication is crucial. Keep all stakeholders informed and involved, but don’t expect unanimous support. Align interests and show value to win over skeptics. 

  • Problem: You wait too long to start 
  • Solution: Start planning even at the worst possible times. It’s about preparation meeting opportunity. A well-prepared project plan, even when resources are tight, positions you favorably when the timing aligns. 

  • Problem: You have a solid plan on paper, but you aren’t prepared 
  • Solution: Start by identifying your project’s objectives and key deliverables. Work backward from your desired outcome to create a roadmap. This ensures every step is purposeful and aligned with the end goal. 

  • Problem: Overplanning kills productivity
  • Solution: Focus on a high-level plan that outlines major milestones and critical paths. Allow for flexibility and expect changes. This adaptive approach helps you stay responsive to real-world challenges. 

  • Problem: You try to get total and complete consensus 
  • Solution: Aim for alignment. Ensure that stakeholders understand the project’s objectives and their roles. Clear communication and decisive leadership can guide the project forward, even in the face of differing opinions. 

  • Problem: You implement the technology and call it a day 
  • Solution: Avoid the trap of reverting to business as usual. Include a maintenance structure in your project plan to continue capturing benefits. Without ongoing support, progress fades, leading to repeated efforts down the line. 

  • Problem: There’s no feedback loop 
  • Solution: Sustainability should be built into the project. Establish processes for ongoing monitoring, evaluation, and improvement. Create a feedback loop that allows for continuous learning and adaptation to deliver value over time. 

Case Study: A Real-World Example 

A global manufacturing company started a commercial excellence project and initially struggled with timing and stakeholder alignment. Their processed looked like this: 

  • They used the DICE framework to identify quick wins and prioritize efforts  
  • They managed dissent by keeping communication open and promptly addressing concerns 
  • Their initial plan was high-level, with built-in flexibility to adapt to changes  
  • They avoided overplanning and focused on critical milestones  
  • Post-implementation, they established a sustainability structure to maintain progress. This included regular reviews and updates to the project plan. 

The result? Significant improvements in efficiency and profitability. The project didn’t just deliver short-term gains but also laid the foundation for continuous improvement. 

Get Expert Help with Your Pricing Implementation 

Pricing implementation projects – and commercial excellence projects of all types – are dynamic and require continuous effort. By maintaining flexibility, effective communication, and a focus on long-term sustainability, you can ensure yours not only succeed but thrive in the long run. 

Ready to take your organization’s growth and profitability to the next level? Reach out today to speak with a Vendavo expert about how our full suite of commercial excellence and revenue optimization solutions can help.