As discussed in a previous blog, IoT program success requires support from across the company. One management model that has been successful is to create a cross functional team to help coordinate the efforts and keep them all on track.
A cross functional team starts with clear executive commitment across all functions. What is the mission or business goals to be accomplished? How will the program be funded? And importantly, how will it be measured? The team needs to have a scoreboard and milestones to drive change in the organization. If you are an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) or service provider, your team members should include an executive sponsor plus representatives from engineering, IT, sales, marketing, and service.
If your IoT program makes a connection to customer equipment or devices, the connection and the data that is transferred must be protected. Someone should own the job of defining and confirming security requirements are being included at every level. This is something IT should be worrying about every day.
Without data from the connected devices, there is no IoT value. End customers are going to trade the connection for some additional value. It is up to marketing and sales to help define where that value will come from. Packaging and pricing can create a strong incentive and should be defined early in the process so it can be incorporated in the design.
Product management controls the roadmap. They need to bridge between the needs of the new IoT program and the customer/stakeholder demands for enhancements and other new features.
The development team has to balance the integration of new and often unfamiliar technology with their existing development process and time lines. Expect lots of discussions around make vs buy where the need for speed conflicts with the desire to create something bespoke.
The main value of the cross functional team is to keep all of the departments engaged throughout the process. If one group decides it is too busy, the entire program can grind to a halt. Talking, planning, and constantly communicating up and down the organization is one of their main jobs.
A high value IoT program is an enterprise level effort. A cross functional team staffed with senior people and supported across the executive team will help insure a successful development and launch.