How to build a business case for a workforce communications platform

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Over the years, Firstup has built many business cases with Fortune 500 companies to help them secure the funding and the support that they need to purchase a workforce communications platform that meets their needs and achieves their desired outcomes.

Obtaining budget for a new communications platform is no easy task. It is a multi-step process with many participants. Budgeting by itself can have three milestones: allocation, approval, and release.

Lean into this process and use it as your opportunity to educate and build support. Everything starts with a vision, and if you have that vision and build those use cases, you’ll find the process of selling a business case is less complicated. 

Here are five steps to building a business case for a workforce communications platform:

1. Define your problem

Identify the scope, challenges, and urgency of your communication issues. For example, can only certain employees access your intranet and others not? For those that can access the intranet, do you know what content they read, and why?  Similar challenges exist for email – do all employees have access? If so, do you have metrics regarding which emails are opened and what content is consumed? What is your content creation, curation, and publishing process? What are the inefficiencies, and what analytics do you have that can help you define your needs and measure performance?

2. Determine the solution

Agree on the overall philosophy and model for the solution. Determine the high-level requirements in the form of use cases, designed to describe how you or your users will use the communications platform to receive relevant content and information.

Once you’ve determined the use cases, then you have a firm basis from which to evaluate the platforms and companies that align with your requirements and your use cases. Further, determine your timeline.

Have more questions and concerns getting the budget approval to modernize your internal communications? Read our new ebook now, How to Secure Funding for a Workforce Communications Platform.

How to Build a Business Case for a Workforce Communications Platform

3. Get buy-in

Before you get started in building your business case, it’s important to build a coalition of other leaders and teams from across your company, who can get behind your plan to reach every worker in your organization.

Confirm the commitment of resources and senior leadership support. Leadership buy-in is key, and here’s why. As the pace of business accelerates, it’s more important than ever to operate an aligned and agile organization. Unified companies are more productive, more compliant, and have less turnover. Build your business case with hard evidence. Consider running a survey to gauge how informed your employees really are or use some industry benchmarks to justify your ask.

4. Anticipate IT concerns proactively

IT can often be a detractor when rolling out a new technology platform, especially when they have other priorities or have concerns about security, integrations, and ongoing support. You might want your new platform to co-exist or integrate with your intranet or other platforms. And then you’ll want to get a head start in thinking about the employee authentication model, e.g. when an employee signs in, is the authentication coming from their email address, or from other sources of data? Single sign-on (SSO) is another popular option, so employees just have one set of username and passwords. Understand IT’s concerns up front and include the proper requirements in your business case.

5. Plan your launch

In order to achieve your desired goals, work with a trusted tech partner with an experienced customer success team, which provide customers strategic advisory services and expertise to optimize their software investments, support your implementation, and achieve your business objectives.

Everybody on your team should understand that it’s not just preparing for launch and rollout. You’re investing in a communications platform that will power communications across your organization, sometimes even reaching outside for recruiting or employee advocacy.

How to Prepare for the Top Three Questions Your CFO May Ask

1. Why do you need something at all?

Your CFO may not understand your communications struggles at face value. You’re going to have to educate her with a solid business case to explain this technology’s value and how it fits with your current systems. Be sure to add data to back up your research. With your business case, you will need to demonstrate:

  • What’s missing from your current communications, e.g. lack of analytics capabilities, no targeting, the inability to reach deskless and distributed workers, etc.?
  • How will a modern communications platform integrate with your intranet or other collaboration tools?
  • How will a workforce communications platform help you reach more employees than ever before?

2. Why spend the money?

The typical way to evaluate a software investment is to quantify the total cost of ownership by considering all the resources you use to send messages, create different content formats, and measure their impact. Where can you get economies of scale? And what is the value of reaching every employee? How much are you spending (and wasting) on tools that don’t actually get the job done?

3. Why this communications platform?

Create a list of the critical features you’ll need from a workforce communications platform, how they will address your use cases, and set concrete goals, such as how many more employees you hope to reach. With this list, you can clearly lay out your expectations.

You’ll also want to add the wow-factor of how your company will be first in your industry to have a competitive edge. Here are some features that will impress her and bring home the importance of this aspect of digital transformation:

  • Source, curate, and control communications from a single platform
  • Publish to multiple channels, including a company mobile app, email, and intranet
  • Personalize your communications to reach every worker, even deskless and distributed
  • Measure the impact of your communications on an easy-to-use analytics dashboard

Don’t forget to make it clear that doing nothing has its consequences, too. Provide your CFO the cost of inaction and how the severity of the problems will only escalate with delay.

Read the full story now, download our new ebook today, How to Secure Funding for a Workforce Communications Platform. Or sign up for a demo to learn how Firstup can help you reach every employee on the device of their choice.

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