Second testing of counseling toolbox reveals that trust continues to be key for a successful process 

As the first tests also showed, trust remains an important factor in the consulting process, which intermediaries should be especially aware of

After some adjustments from the first round of tests, the SNOwMan project have been testing the toolbox once more during the summer 2019. 

Trust continues to be a key factor for success

As the first tests also showed, trust remains an important factor in the consulting process, which intermediaries should be especially aware of. The feedback from the participating owner managers also emphasize that skills and experience of the intermediary is essential. They found it very important that the intermediary spend some time to learn about the company before the actual meeting. 

The usability of the toolbox has improved

The overall feedback from the first round of tests showed a need for an iterative consulting process, instead of a linear process that guides you from step 1 to step 6. This have been taken into account during the second test round, which have made the flow of the consultation process more fluent and flexible. 

For the second test round, the intermediaries were instructed to adjust their consulting to fit the context and situation of each company, which looking at the feedback, have improved the evaluation of the counselling process.  

The extensive list of questions will remain

Even though the quantity and quality of the questions asked during the counselling process are thought to be extensive, the partnership have decided to keep the list, as it serves as a help for the not so experienced intermediaries when counselling the companies. Furthermore, the many questions makes it possible to view the company from a 360-degree angle. The extensive list should however be seen as a “pick and choose” solution, for the owner managers and intermediaries to choose the questions that makes sense to the company.   

It was also mentioned in the feedback, that the language sometimes is too academic and that the wording is perceived differently across the participating countries. As a result, each country have adjusted the wording to fit the context and situation of the companies in their respective countries. Moreover, the feedback emphasized that questions about “non-technological innovation” is difficult to understand. To make such questions clearer, the intermediaries elaborated and discussed the term in a business context that the company can relate to. Adjusting the wording and elaborating the term “non-technological innovation” gave a positive reaction from the owner managers in the evaluations.   

Visualizations improve the user experience

The feedback points out, that visualization is an effective tool to demonstrate the current and targeted situation of a company. Importantly, the comparison between ”now” and ”future” in the toolbox should be visible in the same frame, to visualize the potentials of improvement and encourage the companies to continue the work they are set out to do.

The overall satisfaction of the toolbox have improved

The adjustments that have been done from the first test round to the second have increased the overall satisfaction of the toolbox. The counselling process have been made more fluent, which is well received by both owner mangers and intermediaries, because it enables a more context specific counselling.