Working backward from the customer result

constraints, Customer Delight, Customers, ideal customer, Marketing, single target market

When you think you have identified the niche, single target market (ideal client) and you have to figure out how to reach them, a good way to start is by thinking about the result your client will get by using your product or service.

Suppose you know the ideal result you can get for your client. Does that result actually make an impact on your ideal client. If it does not, then you need to rethink about the ideal client and the single target market. If it will make an impact will they become Raving Fans. If not what will need to be done to make them Raving Fans.

If the result you can get is going to make an impact and make them Raving Fans, then you need to think in terms of the journey the client will need to take to reach that stage and then work backwards. Its something similar to the Eli Goldiratt theory of constraints – future reality tree (FRT). You go through the complete logic , starting with the end in mind and then flow backwards to the starting point, to figure out where things could go wrong or the unsaid assumptions.

Recently my team and I were doing a Future Reality Tree for one of our operations and my colleague stopped me from proceeding because we had listed out way to many assumptions for the success of the end result. With so many assumptions not getting into certainty stage, it was going to be a disaster. So now we have one person who is going to work through the next two weeks to figure out how many of the assumptions can be made into certainty by working on platforms like Linkedin etc.

When you do this FRT, you will also be able to work out the medium which can help get you the best/fastest results. It will help you also see the chokes in the system, for you to get the result for your customer.

We will work on the next steps from here in the next post.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Theory of Constraints – and product management

Assumptions, constraints, Marketing, Product Management

Eli Goldiratt in the 1960s formulated this the Theory of Constraints and over the next 30-40 years he went about figuring out the solutions in various manufacturing companies. They had a lot of consultants world wide, some of whom directly still utilise the framework given by this theory or have modified it with changing times.

Goldiratt during his lifetime had written a few books out of which Goal and Goal II are so well written, with the story so tightly woven, that you don’t realise that you are reading a book which is about serious business.

Like with any theory there are proponents and then there are some who don’t realise the value and identify flaws – like in the real world there could be more than one constraint acting in parallel. These could be true.

However , I have found the theory very logical, in that it goes step by step in a well defined manner. If you go through the If… AND If…. AND If ….. Then. If you have done logic circuits using gates(AND, OR etc. ) then it is even more easy to understand.

Aa lot of times we are faced with the dilemma, that we have introduced a product, after identifying a niche in the market, with breakthrough technology, which has a novelty factor also, but the market is not accepting it. So you start figuring out the reasons.

One way to do the analysis and figure out the course correction is using the theory of constraints, by using the If …AND , If …. Then construct. As you start speaking the logic of the conditions you automatically start realising the flaws in your assumptions and start figuring out the possible challenges because of which there’s no pull in the market. I have found it’s a good way to surface the assumptions that you have taken during the launch of the product. Sometimes it actually makes you go down to where you started the buyer’s journey for your product. It can get you down to first principle thinking because it is so logical.

So while you do a lot of careful planning while launching, you should also be ready to work on a course correction if things are not going as per plan. Its your product, so a product management person you have to do whatever it takes to make it successful.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Growing your business in the niche – Part VI – identifying your constraints

differentiation, Marketing, Positioning, Product Management, Sales

In part V we spoke about identifying different channels to reach your prospects.

To grow any business you need to identify the one key constraint which could hold you back.

In professional services its your time, in manufactured products its the time of the slowest machine, products which are dependent on natural capacity like farm produce or eggs are dependent on the the capacity of the farm or number of hens respectively.

If you can plan your business based on the constraint – highly recommend reading the Theory of Constraints by Eli Goldiratt and his second book The Goal – then you can take better decisions.

So if you are in professional services, and you can only work 8 hours a day, you need to figure out which is the niche which can help maximize the return on your time. If you’re a property / real estate agent then you need to focus on the segment where you can get a higher value for your listing as in designer homes versus condos.

Or you build partnerships so that your constraint can be a leverage to someone else.

Till next time.

Carpe Diem!!!