The Best Tool to Empower Your Agile Project Management
October 11, 2019
Empowering Your Digital Transformation with an Agile Project Management Tool
It is not surprising that the tools smaller companies commonly employ to identify change areas, larger organizations can use, too. But when the more mature organizations judge those tools to be inappropriate, they are, in fact, resisting change.
Company leadership usually imagines change differently. If the company identifies a need for change, or at least agrees that they need to change, it is best is to create a separate team of people who are free from the burden of following standard procedures and who are motivated to pursue this transformation.
The Business Model Canvas
Many companies hire a consulting business to get an outside view and, as a result, spend months in analysis and process identification. The first step can be more manageable. The Business Model Canvas is a concept that can help your organization build a quick snapshot of your business and analyze the content of its core. Why is it better than standard SWOT or Porter’s Five Forces analysis? Because it focuses on different areas and helps to structure the discussion in one or another direction rather than trying to cover all company processes in general.
The Business Model Canvas is nothing new. Many IT companies have used it to build an action plan for change or to introduce a new product. It is an approach that has been documented and promoted globally. While mostly startups use it, if you want to change, why not shift the thinking about it in your organization?
Dare to Be Different
In the center is the important, core part – your unique selling proposition (USP). Referring to the #1 argument for change in my previous article, if the company needs to be competitive, the speed in which it provides value is essential. So, what is your company’s USP?
Know Thy Customer
Who are your company’s target customers? This is a fundamental question for many start-up companies, but it is equally relevant for big organizations that sometimes wholly forget for whom they are building solutions and instead focus on technology. There is a great number of the tools out there, e.g., the persona map, empathy map, customer journey, that can help to specify your core customer groups and provide a clear understanding of the person/organization who buys your product.
How do you reach target customers? Through which channels? This is the how your customer gets to know about your company and the products that you sell. The channels can be online and offline. For example, for a marketplace, it could be an online advertisement. If it is a B2B business, in many cases, the channels could be limited to the distributional partners and customer references.
What are the relations we want to have with our customers? In this part, you define how you want customers to view your company. For example, if your company sells electronics, you want your customer to think first about your brand when they have a need and to trust your organization to provide the right product.
Activities Are Key in Business Canvas Models
Moving forward with the business canvas, we address the next questions:
What are the key activities my company needs to support my USP? Whether it is more market presence, better packaging, improvement of the service, or full-stack automatization of the purchase process, organizations need to ask themselves this question often. Following with the main activities, it is crucial to understand what kind of resources you need (human resources, technical, or new material) and how you can use the network of partners that can support your USP and relations with the customer.
Many companies underestimate the power of the network of partner companies that can help to deliver unique services without acquiring the resources of those companies. The relevant partners and strong support from their side can reduce the cost and increase the revenue streams, which are two building blocks of the Business Model Canvas.
And now, sit and think how those modules of your business can be attacked today and in the long run. Competitors, progress in technology, and fast-growing startups constantly assail your company. The question is whether you can recognize those threats early enough to prepare for the change. If you plan to employ this tool for the quick assessment of your company situation, use this video for a quick visual understanding or visit the BMC website which can guide you through the process.
Keep Your Canvas Lean
In other cases, if you are already working on specific projects in your organization, you can use the Lean Canvas. Companies often use this tool in the early stages of business projects because it focuses on a particular problem that the project wants to solve, identifies a solution, looks at unfair advantages towards the competition (what you do that others can’t buy or copy), and lists metrics that can confirm that the project is performing as expected. You can find proper guidance for the Lean Canvas here.
As a result of this exercise, the company can determine the areas that are the priorities it needs to focus on for the core business to change and adapt. And yes, you can invite a consulting company that can prepare a nice presentation about the change your company needs, or you can ask your colleagues to build one. However, the best way to convince top management that the change is necessary is to guide them clearly through your business model and point to weaknesses that are obvious in each module.
It is up to you how you want to approach the change. Many companies have realized the need to follow the progress but are paralyzed by the number of actions, resources, and process modifications that are in front of them. Start small, define a team, perform one step at a time. These are all tools that you need to push an action item and bring your company to the next level. Then the challenge of speed-to-market, process automation, and becoming relevant for young professionals won’t seem so un-achievable.