One of the SageTools that SageCircle has devoted a significant amount of effort in building is the Analyst Relations DiagnosticTM. It represents such a significant research investment and a major advancement in evaluating AR programs that we decided to trademark it. In addition, it’s one of the coolest tools this long-time analyst has seen.
The AR Diagnostic evolved as we worked to develop a systematic approach for evaluating AR programs. We had to balance gathering a comprehensive set of information with putting too much of a burden on the AR manager. In addition, the AR Diagnostic had to make analysis efficient while yielding insights that supported pragmatic recommendations. The approach selected uses text questions (e.g., AR goals for the year, concerns, executive perceptions) to gather overview information about the AR program and a detailed questionnaire that asks the respondent to answer “Yes”, “Somewhat” or “No” to statements.
SageCircle created this tool to permit quick data capture and automatically generate graphs (click on example to enlarge) showing where the AR program tracks against SageCircle’s AR Effectiveness Matrix. Using this tightly packaged information, the strategist can then create an individually tailored analysis and set of recommendations. The entire process efficiently uses the client’s time and requires only two phone calls to execute; one 30-minute call to gather the information and the second hour call to deliver the analysis and recommendations.
What makes this tool even more powerful is that we are offering the AR Diagnostic Mini-workshop at no charge for non-clients.
Why should an AR program invest even 1.5 hours in this exercise? There are a number of benefits to participating in an AR Diagnostic including:
- It can be an educational tool to use with executives in building a business case for AR. Many executives do not understand AR and where their companies’ AR program stands. What is needed as part of an effort to increase AR investment is a credible third-party evaluation of the AR program to use with the executives.
- It provides a motivational tool to help the AR team refresh its approach. Some long established AR managers feel that their program is “in a rut” and due for a change. An AR Diagnostic can provide a fresh look that motivates the AR team to change how it is planning and executing critical AR activities.
- It acts as a data point for measuring AR program progress. The AR Diagnostic can be part of an overall measurement program.
- It will organize input for AR planning exercises. Participating in an AR Diagnostic just before an AR planning exercise is a good technique to get the staff focused on what needs to be accomplished over the planning horizon.
- It is a great source of ideas for AR activities to add to the program activities portfolio. One interesting side effect of doing the AR Diagnostic is that the process of responding to questions about the program often sparks ideas in the AR manager and the AR team. Often we hear “hmm, that’s an interesting initiative, maybe we should be doing that?” or “wow, if we were doing that, I can see how we would have more impact.”
By the way, the cynical reader should not think that this is simply an exercise for SageCircle to sell additional products or services. The second phone call is strictly focused on the capabilities assessment, recommendations, suggested inquire topics, and references to SageCircle content. If the AR manager is interested in how SageCircle can help carry out the recommendations, then that discussion is handled in a separate phone call.
Bottom Line: The AR Diagnostic was created to assist AR managers and strategists in quickly and systematically evaluating AR programs. The information gathered through an AR Diagnostic generates a profile of your AR program against a standard set of strategic initiatives and operational foundation components.
AR Teams: How do you manage your planning process and measure your success?
Analysts: Do some vendor teams demonstrate far better AR initiatives based on good planning?
Is your AR program ready for the challenges that 2008 and beyond will throw at it? SageCircle Can Help: SageCircle Strategist can conduct a free SageCircle AR Diagnostic and provide you with a concise analysis of your program.
Click here or on grahic for SageCircle’s AR Diagnostic Mini-Workshop brochure — It’s free, it’s fast and it’s easy.
Contact us at info [at] sagecircle dot com or 650-274-8309 for more information about how SageCircle can help take your AR program to the next level.