Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Value Proposition for Agility

I'm sure I'm not the first person to think it, but I just came across the description of a newly published book whose title made me think about this subject. The book is:

Reading Minds and Markets: Minimizing Risk and Maximizing Returns in a Volatile Global Marketplace, by Jack Ablin and Suzanne McGee.

The title immediately made me think that this was the right language to use when communicating with business-people and senior management to describe what agility is in terms of its benefits to the bottom line.

Investopedia describes a "Value Proposition" as: "A business or marketing statement that summarizes why a consumer should buy a product or use a service. This statement should convince a potential consumer that one particular product or service will add more value or better solve a problem than other similar offerings."

So I think that "value proposition" is the right term to describe what is it about agility that I want to describe to a business-person or senior manager that should make them want to care about what agility is and why they should adopt it.

With the above in mind, here is my "value proposition" for agility:
Agility is all about harnessing the power of collaborative people and frequent delivery to:
  • learn & adapt to change,
  • minimize risk & cycle-time, and ...
  • maximize returns & customer-value
in a volatile global marketplace.

There! Top that! :-)

Think you have a better value-proposition for agility that is more succinct while still touching on the minimally sufficient set of key attributes? (the people-factor, frequent value-delivery, cycle-time, responsiveness to change and risk/ROI)

If so, then I want to see it! Leave a comment and let me know!


6 comments:

zx12bob said...

Too many words for an executive... :(

Brad Appleton said...

Hi Bob! So if the above (which is <40 words and takes <20seconds to say) is too long, then please provide a revised alternative that you believe is better.

Most so called "elevator pitches" are much longer than the <40 words I have above. Perhaps as a single sentence it is long, but as a value proposition it is roughly 2-3 times shorter than the typical elevator pitch (which tends to be a minute or two.)

So if you have something better, please don't keep us dying in anticipation anymore and let us see it!

galleman said...

Brad,
We use a structured approach to writing the vale prop statement.

It's a matrix with phrases that don't change and the answers that do, depending on the domain

It goes like this...

For ... the target audience
Who ... what they do
Our Solution ... a one sentence statement of what the process or product does
That ... a one sentence statement of the outcome
Rather Than ... a one sentence statement of the alternative solution
Providing ... the close sentence

These are touch to write in the beginning, but once you get the hangof it, you'll see other's value props are missing one or more the parts needed to be a "real" value proposition.

The statement ...

Agility is all about harnessing the power of collaborative people and frequent delivery to: learn & adapt to change, minimize risk & cycle-time, and ... maximize returns & customer-value in a volatile global marketplace.

There is no statement of who this targeted at, what is the alternative. Other parts are there.

Brad Appleton said...

Hi Glen! Thanks for the response (and the template).

I guess for some reason I was thinking that a value proposition isnt so much the same thing as an elevator pitch, but it seems I am mistaken.

I was going after the part of an elevator pitch that would actually quickly and succinctly describe what "agility" is to business persons, but not the part that tries to say the "For," "Who," "Rather than," or "Provides" in the template you use. I was thinking strictly of the "what" & "that" portions.

I like your template though (its an interesting contrast to Geoffrey Moore's template for an elevator pitch statement.)

Brad Appleton said...

What synchronicity! My co-author Steve Berczuk has a new blog and just posted an entry regarding Pitching Agile and the Elevator Test

Ethan said...

I agree with galleman, but would simplify the value proposition into:

Convince (who?) that (what?) because (why?)

It's a very valuable marketing strategy to enhance agility in the marketplace.