Strategy for software Dummies – part 2
The title for this series of posts is inspired by the extensive series of instructional/reference books, which serve as non-intimidating guides for readers new to the various topics covered, or for readers who need a solid brush up. The title doesn’t imply that software CEO’s are Dummies; only that there is a need for a new type of “strategy framework” that produces more than fluff and which can be completed in a very short time.
This post #2 is introducing this new framework. It will also outline a case story (The ABC Company), which we will use to describe how this framework is applied in real life. The ABC case story will be used throughout the series of posts as the basis for illustrating how this new framework works.
In the first blog post in this series we claimed that a new framework exists, which allows you to develop a clear and unambiguous strategy within two calendar weeks and with a minimum of effort. This framework will leave your management team completely aligned and you will have a much clearer picture of where you currently are, where you’re heading, why and what it will take to get there.
The framework is called ValuePerform
ValuePerform is a 80/20 concept. The concept will take you 80% of the way to a clear and concise strategy in just 20% of the time a traditional strategy process will require. What you need the last 20% for is for you to decide, but I can [slider title=”assure”] I cannot guarantee that your list of things to do after the two weeks will not be long and tough. If you realize that you are not where you thought you were, that you are not heading in the direction you thought you were heading and that your team doesn’t have what it takes to get you where you must go – then you have a lot of work to do. However, I assume you appreciate such “information” sooner rather than later. [/slider]you that it will not consume 20% of the standard “strategy development” time either.
The Case Story
The case we will use to describe how ValuePerform works is the following:
The ABC company is an Independent Software Vendor. They are 12 years old, employ 110 people and have a comfortable market share in their domestic market. They develop software, which is used to optimize certain critical business processes in many types of industries. Projects are a mix of software and consulting services ensuring that the solution is running optimal in each customer situation. A typical customer project is 50% software licenses and 50% consulting services. The software is using components from one of the global platform ISV’s, and the “foreign” content is approximately 20% of the license fee. ABC does have a margin on the “foreign” content, but the customer can also acquire the “foreign” content from a 3rd party. The average order size is € 500.000, but orders may vary from € 100.000 to € 1M and more.
The shareholders and founders (they are the same) of ABC have decided to take the company international. They have asked a ValuePerform consult to help define a strategy for such an endeavor.
The group of people involved in the process are two members of the board, the CEO (founder), the CTO (founder), the HR manager, the VP Professional Services, the VP of sales, the marketing manager and the CFO.
If you want a head start on the subject I recommend you to read “The magical 10 minutes”
Post #1: Strategy? – oh no, not again!
Post #3: The 6 sources for financial growth
Post #4: Why do management teams disagree?
Post #5: Getting the priorities in place
Post #6: The Customer Value Proposition
Post #7: The Customer Value Proposition TODAY
Post #8: The Customer Value Proposition in the FUTURE
Post #9: The Market Situation
Post #10: ValuePerform and the 15 Management Areas
Post #11: What is important and what is not?
Post #12: How are we performing?
Post #13: Identifying the important and the urgent issues
Post #14: The Action Plan
Post #15: Why does misalignment occur?
Post #16: The price of management misalignment
Post #17: Avoiding invisible or suppressed misalignment
Post#18: The cost/benefit ratio of ensuring alignment