For most organizations, the prospect of delivering value is old news. Why else are we in business if not to create, evolve and advance the products our customers truly want? The simple truth is that with enough money, anyone can buy anything. That’s why value remains a benchmark that only true leaders adopt, and only the foolish ignore.
In previous blogs, I explored the concept of spearheading a Value-Driven Transformation within your organization to refocus priorities around strategic responsiveness, rather than cost and predictive modeling (in other words, why do it). That led to a discussion of Effective Insights in Digital Transformation, most notably, the need for flexibility and speed of implementation in the form of overlapping, incrementally responsive strategy. All of which leads to greater efficiency, cross-departmental collaboration, enhanced product delivery, simpler processes, smarter solutions, happier clients.
So with all these advantages, only one question remains regarding an enterprise wide Value-Driven Transformation: why haven’t you started yours?
Step One: Planning Your Approach
For most organizations, simply deciding to embark on a value-driven transformation is an achievement in itself. And that’s not a criticism. The migration from standard, cost-above-all business strategy to a more fluid, market-reactive model is not a small thing. It takes dedication, discipline, and typically, a seasoned partner with experience in the process. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
The first step is deciding to make it happen—unequivocally—with total buy-in at all levels of the organization.
If this task feels easy, you’re well on your way to a more Agile framework. If this task feels impossible, never fear. Simply start with a top-down catalog of what your business truly values, and build from there. Remember, values are unique to your brand, your vision, even your product category. Values can be quantitative or qualitative. And they can include any combination of products, services, suppliers, partners and initiatives that enable you to meet your customers’ goals.
Use your awareness of company culture to guide your efforts. Is this value-based deep-dive into your corporate DNA best managed by a small tactical team? Or would you gain more momentum by engaging wide scale input from multiple teams, units or departments? If the idea was assigned, have the strategic leads been empowered to seek assistance and provide authentic recommendations (read as: potentially unpopular)? All of these factors affect the long-term viability of value-driven transformation…before you even get started.
Step Two: Mapping Your Unique Value
Once armed with the hard-fought knowledge of what your business truly values, now the real work begins. Adopting an Agile framework centered on responsiveness and collaboration requires not only an awareness of what you hope to be. Perhaps more importantly, Value-Driven Transformation demands you center your operations around your capacity to deliver true value to your customers. Know that, and everything else falls into place.
Consider all the ways you may be delivering customers value now. Where are you succeeding? In what areas are you falling short? Begin to identify the components that contribute to value at each stage in your development cycle: ideation, digital development, marketing, customer relationships, retention, product maintenance, innovation. How can you iteratively deliver value? Better still, what processes can you eliminate based on their failure to deliver true value? Now is not the time to venerate the bottom line. With a Value-Driven approach, efficiency and responsiveness drive profitability; not rigid adherence to traditional cost-based design. Consider this: a higher value product that responds to consumer demand may cost more to produce, but ultimately be easier to market, cheaper to maintain and more efficient to up-sell. Savings in production (cost-based thinking) doesn’t always translate into savings in life-cycle fulfillment (value-based thinking).
The goal here is to pivot your organizational structure away from a bottom-line-only approach. True value, even with its varying individual costs, ultimately delivers higher results for the enterprise, the product and the transformation.
Step Three: Digital Transformation
Organizations that have successfully advanced a Value-Driven Transformation to this stage independently are undoubtedly ready to take on an experienced digital partner. By pairing your business and operational staff with rapid application development teams with deep experience in the science of digital transformation, you can gain the efficiency and responsiveness needed to more quickly deliver greater value.
Our Whitepaper on Value-Driven Transformation outlines processes that allow you to take advantage of the transformational outcomes and benefits of the process.
Rob joined Small Footprint as an Engagement Manager and Senior Consultant in January 2010 and now serves as VP Global Practices & Strategy.
He has over 25 years of experience in technology leadership positions at start-ups and major corporations. He has held a number of executive positions (C-level, VP, and Director) in Application Development and Enterprise Architecture directing small and large professional teams at companies such as GMAC Financial Services, United Airlines, Comdisco, and SHLSystemhouse (EDS). He has significant experience in building large scale enterprise solutions and eBusiness systems.
the culture behind the code
Founded in 2003, Small Footprint is a software innovation company. We offer ideation, design, development and managed services to organizations that rely on innovative software to differentiate themselves and improve their businesses. Small Footprint makes custom software easy to manage through client partnerships based on collaboration, transparency and business value generation. We build intuitive software products, integrated enterprise systems and compelling digital experiences. Each of our employees shares the goal of being a part of innovation that impacts people’s lives and invigorates companies.
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