Strategic Goals and Investments with Cloud Coach PPM

Nic Widhalm

Sep 11 2016 9 min read

Welcome to our sneak peek into the Cloud Coach Deep Dive Track for Delivery 2016Portfolio Project Management

By leveraging Cloud Coach’s powerful PPM tools, you can improve ROI and minimize risks with strategic project selection.

In this session you’ll learn how to:

  • Align projects with strategic goals and business units
  • Structure programs and projects that correspond to those strategic goals
  • Manage demand intake and investment requests

The Problem

Our executive has been tasked with overseeing the post-sales process for his organization through the next fiscal year. Specifically, he’s been charged with reducing customer churn by 20% by the end of fiscal year, 2018. He needs a tool to track this objective, all its constituent parts, and the ability to turn planning sessions into action.

Let’s take a look at how we can solve this problem using Cloud Coach PPM tools

The Solution

Our exec is going to make use of Cloud Coach Strategic Goals to record those high-level plans and align them with the next tool—Cloud Coach Investments. By using Investments, our executive can prioritize, plan, execute, and analyze all of their investments and ensure they’re getting the biggest ROI.

Create a Strategic Goal

Alright, let’s get to work. The first thing our exec needs to do is create a new strategic goal so they can record and align those high-level objectives. Since we’ve been tasked with reducing churn by 20%, why don’t we start by creating a new strategic goal, making sure when we’re finished to mark it as an “Active Goal.”

That’s a fine looking strategic goal, but it’s not doing much just sitting there in Salesforce, so let’s move on to the next step and create a new investment.

Investment Step One: Request

We begin our journey to investment Nirvana by creating a new Investment and choosing the “Request” record type:

We get many fields right away, which allow us to enter the pertinent information like the pain-points we’re trying to solve, and our proposed solution.

Once we’ve entered in all the information, it’s time to align that investment with our strategic goal. Let’s click the “New Strategic Goal Alignment” button and add our goal:

If we wanted, this would be a great time to create an Approval Process and send this investment up through the ranks. But for now, let’s assume our exec got the nod from those on high and move on to the planning phase.

Investment Step Two: Planning

Moving right along, let’s click on the record type field and change it to “Planning”:

We can drive those numbers by filling out the Strategic Fit, Qualitative Benefits, Level of Effort, and Investment Risks rows. You’ll notice, we didn’t mention Direct Financial Costs or Direct Financial Benefits. We’ll cover those in a moment.

Alright, now we’re ready to enter in our projections for Direct Financial Benefits and Costs by clicking on the links in the top left corner and entering in our financial details:

We picked “Annual” in this example, but our exec also could have chosen Monthly or Quarterly for their financial input.

And now that we’ve entered in our projections, we can go back to our investment and check our weightings. How did our investment hold up to the scoring?

So let’s break it down: We have our negatives column, headlined by our Costs Weighted Impact at -4.05. Not great, but it’s balanced out by the Benefits Weighted Impact of +4.75. If we continue to go down, we can see how the choices in our other rows influenced the weighted impact (Investment Risks, in particular, are pulling us down), which ends in a Total Investment Score of 0.70.

Now that our exec has a total score, they can go to the board and make a presentation that shows real, quantifiable data and decide whether or not this is an investment worth pursuing.

Investment Step Three: Execution 

Next stop—Execution. Change the record type to “Execution” and we’re on to the next step, where we can put our investment into action, and—most importantly—launch some projects.

We have the opportunity to make adjustments to any of the fields we used in the planning phase, but assuming that data is the same, we can start executing some projects:

A nice benefit of Cloud Coach PPM is that as we add Actual Expenses in our Projects, they will roll up those costs to our investment, where our exec can monitor them in the “Total Actual Costs” field:

Investment Step Four: Maintenence 

The final phase, Maintenence, allows our exec control and visibility over the long-term effects of their investment. Now they can enter Actual Benefits in the Direct Financial Benefits link the top left and compare the actual vs. estimated effects of their investment:

And when we’re done entering in the Actual Direct Financial Benefits, we can go back to our investment detail page and see those numbers calculated in the Total Benefits field:


So did we solve the problem? Well let’s see: our exec now has the tools to record and manage their strategic goal—reduce customer churn by 20% by 2018. They have a process to weigh multiple investments and make the best financial decision for the future of their company, and by using Cloud Coach PPM tools they can track the entire process. Problem solved.

It’s just that easy.


Nic Widhalm

Nic is the Global VP, Customer Experience, at Cloud Coach

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