Article

Vincent Manlapaz
Vincent Manlapaz 30 July 2018

How to build a business process that turns into a meaningful story

In order to determine the single most important metric for your growth model, you should look at how your product delivers value to your customers. You should be able to understand the value your customers can get from your product by looking at user engagement and activity level.

Every business plan needs to start with the results that you want to achieve. It is not a big surprise to note since it is the North Star of every business and the kind of business worth rallying for.

In order to determine the single most important metric for your growth model, you should look at how your product delivers value to your customers. You should be able to understand the value your customers can get from your product by looking at user engagement and activity level.

For example, for Medium (the reader and writer network) the metric is "total time reading," for Facebook it is "daily active users," for Airbnb the metric is "nights booked". Early this year - we piloted our very own Thought Leadership series (or campaign), where we get the insights of C-level executives on the topic close to our heart and to our readers. 

This resulted for 50x increased web traffic and popular demand, however, we keep our business goal at the forefront of our success and see to it that our commitment to our partners (and advocates) are not just about a compliment but the essence of what we believe and stand for.

Growth model - an ecosystem of processes you build / set-up

The challenge nowadays is to reach out to target customers /personas and positioning the business value proposition. Yet - if we look closer - the journey of a business is almost exactly the same as the journey of a human being through life. Both started to learn and find ways on how to survive and make sense of their environment. 

To determine the success of any campaign – a good amount of case studies, much focus campaign, and skilled consideration are second to no one. However - having the right process is what holds it all together. It is the glue between the success and failure of a business. 

Remember:

“if you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got”

In other words, when you are looking for a different outcome, think about what you do and change it. The organization should focus on the sum of all these and how they flow together in general business processes.

Let's look at this processes and how it can help the business turns insights into a pot of gold. The best way to put it in a story is to examine and see the silver lining from the wisdom of Carly Fiorina (see below).

Many businesses use data for a variety of reason. Much of which derive from an outcome based perspectives/thinking (example shown below from Fujitsu) to support their decisions.

Why? Because the ecosystem you create in the process is your growth model. It comes down to analyzing your user experience data and using it for deeper insight. You can use the data to segment your customers for more insight into their buyer journey so you can offer a more individualized pitch at each touch point.

“It’s very easy to do things just because they need doing, when really you should be doing them because you want a certain outcome. Fujitsu’s approach has turned our normal thinking on its head - giving our planning process an outcome-based, rather than just an activity-based focus.” - Fujitsu

After all, the ideas in the conception of data gathering and analysis are really valuable if we can translate it into actionable insights. Gaining these insights starts with figuring out what we want from the data finding its value.

In other words - your data must have a purpose akin to the business objectives. Shown below is a feedback loop system that can:

  • (a) test your business assumptions whether your business ideas/strategies are going to be a huge success or with the highest propensity to succeed
  • (b) show or provide a system for finding the best course of actions while incorporating the feedback that has taken and gathered - and use it to refining the business ideas/strategies into a meaningful actions/stories

This model behooves the simple idea that business without a clear process and a plan on how to move forward is a recipe for failure. As the saying goes, “no battle plan ever survives".

Now, we can see why this military model the OODA loop (first conceived by US Colonel John Boyd) aligned the business ideas and squarely set-up for making a good decision which breaks the processes of observing, orienting, deciding, and acting.

The decision process starts with a feedback and validates the data gathered (feedback) if it needs to progress to the next loop. Once validated, it will be reviewed for another set of feedback (or loop). Once the final loop has reached, deployment will be scheduled.

In Thinking with Data, Max Shron offers a helpful framework (see below). It is well-suggested to implement these business metrics (frameworks) within the OODA loop system. Hence, a performance improvement can be measured and justified.

  • Context: What are you trying to achieve? Are there any larger goals or deadlines that can help prioritize the project?
  • Need: What specific needs could be addressed by intelligently using data? What will this project accomplish that was impossible before?
  • Vision: What will meeting the need with data look like? What is the logic behind the solution?
  • Outcome: How and by whom will the result be used and integrated into the company? How will the success of the project be measured?

This is something worth thinking since business frameworks (or processes) have changed in the past 10 or 20 years. Having these loop systems, we can turn these business insights into meaningful stories and present opportunity beyond its own success.

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