Case Study: Define Standard Opportunity Management Classifications

Overall Project Mission

The overall project mission was to improve the global visibility into opportunities for a leading global consulting firm. Traditionally, opportunities were entered & tracked on an office-by-office level. Yet when the opportunity was won, the team members assigned to the engagement were often from various offices. Therefore, it was important for the firm to enable global visibility into and tracking of opportunities.

The Classification Challenge

To improve global visibility, the firm consolidated the individual offices databases into a global database. However, the opportunities still were not “global” because the classifications, such as industries & functional areas, each office used were different. Since each office traditionally operated independently, they had full control over the naming and usage of classifications. As a result, the number of these classifications grew and the names were not consistent across offices. Thus, while the data was consolidated, the information was not useful because there was no consistency.

The Solution

The solution consisted of analyzing opportunities for the past two years to standardize the list & providing customizable local fields to accommodate office specific classifications.

To develop the standard list, the opportunities for the past two years were analyzed. The most frequently used unique industries & functional classifications were used to develop the standard. Additionally, the team reviewed the standard classifications list used by the finance group to find additional classifications captured in the financial system when an opportunity becomes an actual engagement. Communications were sent to affected offices to ensure their needs were met by the new classifications and historical data was converted to conform to the new standards. Additionally, the ability to add new classifications on an ad hoc basis was removed to ensure the standards were maintained.

As the team analyzed historical data and reviewed the results with the office, it became apparent that there was a need for offices to have their own classifications. Therefore, the application was modified to allow for office specific classifications where the office was able to maintain the list and use it in whatever manner they chose. By doing so, the resistance to adopting the standard list was addressed.