Posted on November 5, 2014 by

Staying relevant in the digital economy

Organisations are fighting for relevance in a larger market place where brand names and size are less of a factor. Customers are now looking for the products and services which deliver the outcomes they need, regardless of who provides them. Being able to meet these demands at speed and scale will be fundamental in achieving continued growth and relevance in the customer’s eco system.

Organisations struggle to prioritise areas for change

Organisations are acknowledging that they need to be adaptive and responsive to change, but most struggle to know how to start or where to focus. Balancing the demands of running and evolving the business against a background of uncertainty makes the prioritisation of the outcomes that make a difference a constant struggle. Strategies are formed based on perceived priorities that often miss the outcomes that will deliver the most value.

What focus means is saying no with every bone in your body to something you know is a good idea but you say no because you’re focused on something else.

Understanding when, how and which technology to adopt

Technology will only continue to develop at a faster pace, causing more disruptions than ever imagined. Losing focus on the market and understanding which technology will deliver the outcomes that will enable the company to evolve, restricts new areas of growth. Longer term this can impact their relevance to the customer and the market they operate in.


A service design approach might save costs and it can potentially prevent delays and PR disasters that are the result of fixing the services after their physical and technical delivery.

Competing business priorities lead to disappointing outcomes

When strategies are formed, they tend to be driven by each business function, often resulting in a set of competing priorities. In some cases, duplicate technologies are chosen, or a perceived set of objectives are defined. Very quickly, siloed projects are formed with no clear view of the outcomes they will deliver, or how they will contribute to the wider outcomes the organisation seeks.

85% of rapidly growing businesses consider design to be integral or significant to their operations

Organisations lose sight of what produces value

Designing and delivering real customer and business value requires a laser focus on the outcomes that will succeed. The demands of getting things done often results in the areas of key value becoming blurred with everyday tasks. As a consequence, solutions sometimes fail to deliver meaningful outcomes, potentially missing opportunities to delight and retain customers.

Prioritising where to innovate

Organisations are consistently being advised to innovate and adopt processes that will lead to breakthrough products and services. By clearly identifying business or customer outcomes that matter – i.e. a stronger market position, high customer satisfaction – the organisation can identify the right candidates for innovation and, with that, the right technology to support this.

Begin with the end in mind

Focusing on outcomes enables senior management to identify and forecast the outcomes that will be critical to business success over time. At the outset, stakeholders are asked not to focus on solutions, but to think through the outcomes they require to make the biggest impact. An outcome driven approach anticipates the future by uncovering the desired outcomes at the beginning of the design process, which offer the most value rather than focusing on requirements.

In addition to the impact, which is made on the strategic direction setting, there are some additional benefits worth noting:

  •  Value Driven Change – All business change activities are prioritised based on there value to the business and customer.
  • Technology chosen based on outcomes – Outcomes help shape technology choices, ensuring the right features are chosen for the maximum impact.
  • Holistic View of change – Outcomes shift the focus away from project silos, enabling management to build a holistic view of all the key value deliveries, which starts to identify competing priorities, and non value focused initiatives.
  • Capability planning and realisation – Outcomes help determine the capability gaps, which need closing to successful realise the outcome. The degree of investment to close this gap can be assessed and planned for based on the value it delivers.


Build a multi-year road-map of desired outcomes

As technological change continues at a rapid pace, organisations will need to move quickly to meet new customer and market expectations. For organisations to survive and remain relevant to customers, selecting the right areas for change is going to be essential. Focusing energy and resources on a clear path of value enables the prioritisation of the aspects of change which are worth pursuing, resulting in the delivery of the outcomes that make a real difference to the customer and the business.

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