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An Integrated Project Management blog post within the category of Product Management used to increase competitive advantage.

Features, Product Strategy, and Product Lines

If you create products with reusable features, then you can offer the same features in multiple product lines and gain a cost advantage, but make sure the product lines offering those features remain aligned to the product strategy.

Great cost advantages can be gained by creating products with features that are reusable in other of your products in one line or another. The trick is understanding how the proposed and prioritized features align with product line strategies and how they support the overall product and/or corporate strategy.

"If you think education is expensive, try ignorance." - Robert Orben

Secondary Education That Isn't

Among many other accolades, Hillsdale College in Michigan is one of Business Insider’s Top 100 Smartest Private Colleges. Its primary product of course is education. Much like other U.S. colleges the 170-year-old Hillsdale fundamental product strategy is to provide areas of degreed, in-demand study in concert with its mission.

However, Hillsdale’s educational strategy also includes offering non-credit lifelong learning opportunities free to the public. How can this organization which has refused government funding since its inception give its education away and remain financially viable and accountable to its donors?

One answer may lie in Hillsdale’s ability to reuse one of its educational features, easy-to-consume prerecorded lectures, in its public courses. For example, the twelve lessons in the free public course, Introduction to the Constitution, are effectively composed entirely of short, video-taped lectures by President Larry Arnn. These same recordings made once, are just as instructive and are likely presented repeatedly in its for-credit, instructor-led college courses on the same subject.

Product Strategy Rules

Rather than simply choosing a feature based on how many times it was requested or much revenue it might bring and making assumptions about how the feature should be used, walk through these steps:

Establish rules for including and excluding features in product lines according to the overall product and/or corporate strategy. For example, a lifelong learning strategy that Hillsdale may pursue to increase its educational marketplace visibility is to increase the appeal of its free online courses to the 65-85 demographic next year. Therefore, one inclusion rule might be features that “increase the usability of free public courses by 65-85 year-olds.”

Evaluate how well a proposed feature meets those rules. For example, a live chat while someone is watching a lecture online is a highly-requested feature. Does that or does that not meet the above strategy? How about an easy way to increase the volume of the video or zoom in on it, even though that was not high on the requested feature list?

Determine how much of that feature can be reused across product lines taking into account each product line strategy. Being able to easily raise the volume or zoom in on a video is not needed by young college students watching a recorded video while sitting in class (though the professor playing the video might find it attractive). But it might be useful to students attending the class online, remotely, especially if they are sight or hearing impaired.

When features are meaningful in and aligned to a product line and product strategy and have the additional benefit of being reusable across product lines, your cost position will improve, which increases your competitiveness.

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Launch Definition Fast-Service™ Package

“If we select the pmNERDS' Fast-Service™ package, then we get rapid performance improvement, but we’ll need to answer questions and provide feedback.”

We all occasionally get major hankerings, it’s usually something that we can’t wait for and need within a very short period of time. For us it is usually food related, the Fast Food Industry utilizes the notion of standardization to produce food at minimal cost and preparation time while maximizing value within their business constraints. The question is can they make a compelling product while being profitable?

At pmNERDS, that’s our goal with these Fast-Service™ packages. Using product templates, standardized processes, and focused training we’re able to deliver consulting products faster than our clients and competitors, with sustainable margins.

Very few of us look forward to overly complex Launch Definition processes. We want it to be easier and faster, so process performance in this area looks rather attractive, but what area should be addressed first?

Using some rapid assessment techniques, the Performance Measure Framework, and our performance constraint analysis tool, we help you identify that practice that is holding you back. Then we will propose modifications or creation of a new practice that addresses your specific constraint. This is not about investing lots of time to do it yourself, or just going without, we are offering a third choice…

Our clients hire us do some of the data collection, constraint analysis, process documentation, and change management activities that are part of effective Launch Definition performance improvement practices. With only a total of 8 hrs. of your time, spread out in 8 sessions over 4 weeks, we complete the analysis and build the necessary deliverables to adopt a new practice, that will improve your Launch Definition performance. All of this is accomplished within 20 business days.

We’re experts in performance improvement and Launch Definition practices, you know your business and organization. By using our Fast-Service™ package, you can leave the specialized practices to us, and focus on running your business.

Below is a set of Fast-Service™ package deliverables used to improve your Launch Definition performance.

SELF-ASSESSMENT REPORT- This is an Excel spreadsheet and chart that is used to identify the major problem areas and bottlenecks of the organizations’ innovation process. The Self-Assessment contains a series of questions related to current practices for gathering ideas, converting ideas into business opportunities, and finally diffusing ideas throughout organization and to market. Using the self-assessment, we can quickly identify the perceived system constraints, and dive deeper into specific process areas that could be causing bottlenecks.

CONSTRAINT ANALYSIS REPORT- This is a set of Power Point diagrams used to identify key system constraints. We use Sufficient Cause diagrams to look at effects and potential causes from the perspective of Resources, Inputs, Controls, and Processes. These diagrams are used to verify effects, validate relationships between causes and effects, and look for additional effects to gain a clear understanding of the current system constraints.

PERFORMANCE MEASURE FRAMEWORK- This is a set of Excel spreadsheets and Power Point diagrams used to manage process improvement. Focusing on 1 of the 16 domains, we will load the selected practice into the Performance Measure Framework. By adding your standardized plans and information assets, such as process diagrams and performance thresholds, into the framework, you can do trade-offs and make process improvement decisions.

PROPOSED PRACTICE EFBD- This is a set of Power Point diagrams used to establish a process definition. The EFBD (Enhanced Function Block Diagram) Illustrates control logic, information flow, and process steps. We build this by looking at past project plans and documenting the current state. Based on constraint analysis, we can make modifications to the EFBD of the practice. We do this with things such as review gates, control activities, additional input screening, and resources inputs. This EFBD standardizes the practice and makes the proposed practice easier to understand, adopt, as well as improve over time.

NEW PRACTICE POLICIES & PROCEDURES- This is a set of Word documents that are used to outline process policies and procedures that enable standardization and improvement. Policies and procedures establish a standard set of minimum expectations and guidelines that are expected to be followed by anyone performing the practice. We create a new baseline of process performance, based on the constraint analysis and EFBD process analysis, by adding policies, process steps or procedural guidelines. This information is used to train people on new process, and monitor process execution and performance.

BUSINESS CASE- This is an Excel spreadsheet that is used to analyze, establish and communicate the business case of implementing the proposed practice change. When change is desired, the value delivered through the change must outweigh the negative impacts, cost, and natural friction that change will cause. All business cases derive from the ability to impact one of the six business drivers: Revenue, Efficiency, Sustainability, Endorsement, Cost and Risk. We will then define the type of value proposition that the new practice will deliver: uniqueness, familiarity, or economy of scale. Lastly, we determine the Cost/Value combination. This process will achieve same value for less cost, or more value for less cost, etc. The business case is used to overcome change hurdles and help people to quickly adopted the proposed change. 

PERFORMANCE SCORECARD- This is an Excel spreadsheet that is used to measure practice performance and drive improvement. The performance scorecard is built from information captured in the Performance Measure Framework. Using the five key performance measures, you can diagnose causes of performance constraints and identify process adjustments to address them. The Performance Scorecard will keep people focused on the key measures that impact overall performance, making improvement efforts more effective.

STRATEGY DIAGRAM- This is a Power Point diagram that is used to communicate the strategic intent of the performance improvement initiative.  The strategy diagram sets a common vision and outlines how different teams/roles work together to perform the key activities needed to deliver the value of the initiative. The strategy diagram helps team members to understand their role, adopt the proposed changes, and buy-in to the initiative solution vision.

COMMUNICATION PLAN- This is an Excel spreadsheet that is used to communicate to and engage all stakeholders and team members of a project. A Communication Plan will identify the target personas and actions that you want them to take, anticipate potential objections, and provide a message that addresses the objections and provokes action. We will develop a communication plan that identifies target stakeholders, develops compelling messages that engage them to act towards the achievement of project objectives.

ROLE BASED TRAINING DIAGRAM- This is a set of Power Point diagrams that are used to identify training needs of job roles. These roles based training diagrams provide standardized capabilities, job role expectations, and training demand analysis by process. These diagrams are used to create training and adoption activities for each role as part of the new practice deployment. Each Role can clearly understand their roles & responsibilities regarding the new practice. This means the activities will get done more efficiently with better performance results. 

PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT MILESTONE ROADMAP- This is a Power Point diagram that is used to communicate the performance improvement efforts of the organization over time. Based on the performance constraints, this roadmap identifies the sequence of performance improvements as well as the target process areas. The Performance Improvement Milestone Roadmap will align team members, resources, and efforts to provide the most rapid performance improvement for the organization.

Want to learn more? Contact us either through email or phone.

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Launch Definition with ‘MEANS’ Process-Service™

“Launch Definition with MEANS is a process consulting offering of pmNERDS. This offering provides a process umbrella of MEANS, and then line-items of an S.O.W. that can be chosen a la carte.”

We use the acronym MEANS to illustrate and teach launch concepts, and increase the perceived value of project deliverables. We use this acronym because it’s our launch MEANS, that make the difference between success and failure.

Do you have the MEANS to carry a message to 1,000,000 contacts in LinkedIn? Do you have an existing customer base of thousands, or are you stretching to engage 20 users? Launch principles are the same regardless of the size of your expected customers.

During our process consultancy, we address:

Map– Will your daily activities and tasks accomplish your product/services objectives? Business strategies, and organizational goals.

Eliminate– Eliminate unnecessary activities, constraints, and requirements.

Acquire– Balance constraints while acquiring resources and stakeholder support.

Nurture– Focus on feeding the launch vision, build anticipation from before the start.

Secure– Lockdown requirements, control change, build the plan and execute.

The pmNERDS process consultancy provides a standard Launch Definition capability described by the acronym above. This is an umbrella capability needed regardless of any additional practices selected from our a la carte practice menu.

Launch Definition practices available for selection from the a la carte S.O.W. include Derive Launch Plan from Product Requirements, Derive Release Plan from Product Requirements, Product Releases Derived from Internal Sources, Cost-Benefit Analysis, Objective Accomplishment, Readiness, Cohesive Nature, Progressive Elaboration, Alpha-Test, Beta-Release to Focus Group, Market Survey, On-Line Opinion Polls, Test Markets, Probabilistic Modeling, Requirement Tracing, Internal Usage, and Client Endorsement.

Organizations that depend on projects to create value and increase process efficiencies, as seen in business units such as IT, Marketing, and NPD, should talk with us if they’re interested in increasing project performance.

After a quick discussion, we can direct you to the best process offering and a la carte practices based on your process improvement goals. By putting together a service package that addresses your key performance constraint, our sales team can help you get the quickest time-to-value while minimizing risk and cost.

Want to learn more? Contact us either by email or phone.

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Launch Definition Performance-Service™

“If we engage pmNERDS’ Consulting for Launch Definition, then we’ll increase the organization’s competitive advantage, realize higher value from projects, and complete projects more efficiently, but it will require change leadership.”

Our Performance-Service™ consulting practice for Launch Definition, begins with gathering information about your organization and engagement goals. We conduct a quick gap analysis to construct an engagement roadmap.

Once approved, we will build this roadmap out into a complete project plan and review it with our clients going over roles and responsibilities. We schedule weekly meetings to review the project and discuss relevant decisions. Depending on the length of engagement, steering committee meetings are also scheduled.

Daily scrums are scheduled to address issues and schedule any needed ad hoc meetings. Performance Improvement Consulting involves a great deal of planning and communicating. Underlying each practice is an element of process improvement and use of a standard performance measure framework.

It's just a dress until it walks down a runway! Give your products life, engage the market, and get quicker returns on project investments. Launch Definition is all about coordinating the various releases of work products into a single product launch.

The launch plan is a primary information asset in the innovation management architecture. Many make the mistake of discarding the other assets used to develop the launch. This is a serious mistake; the launch and all the supporting decisions are the intellectual property of the firm and need to be maintained in the context of each other.

By leveraging our experience, you can reach expected benefits quicker and with less false starts while being assured that you won’t paint yourself into a ‘process’ corner, and isolate information asset flow to downstream processes. Our performance improvement consulting practice requires a discussion to determine goals, the scope of effort, consultant alignment, and the development of a business proposal. We deliver an analysis of current launch definition process performance and constraints, a roadmap to performance improvement, process design, process exercise, process enablement, deployment, and measurement.

It’s critical that the information assets developed within these launch definition practices can flow between the other innovation processes. These practices can be divided into the three categories of Launch Conception, Launch Validation, Launch Execution. Wherever your key constraints are, our team will help you identify the process constraints, and find practices that will improve overall performance by breaking constraints.

A large part of this effort is process training, skills mentoring, and performance coaching. Depending on the engagement, technology configuration or deployment may or may not be part of this effort.

You can discover more about this service offering by clicking the icon (email or phone) in the top right corner of our website. We’d love to explain our services and answer any questions you might have.

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Requirements Definition Fast-Service™ Package

“If we select the pmNERDS' Fast-Service™ package, then we get rapid performance improvement, but we’ll need to answer questions and provide feedback.”

We all occasionally get major hankerings, it’s usually something that we can’t wait for and need within a very short period of time. For us it is usually food related, the Fast Food Industry utilizes the notion of standardization to produce food at minimal cost and preparation time while maximizing value within their business constraints. The question is can they make a compelling product while being profitable?

At pmNERDS, that’s our goal with these Fast-Service™ packages. Using product templates, standardized processes, and focused training we’re able to deliver consulting products faster than our clients and competitors, with sustainable margins.

Very few of us look forward to overly complex Requirements Definition processes. We want it to be easier and faster, so process performance in this area looks rather attractive, but what area should be addressed first?

Using some rapid assessment techniques, the Performance Measure Framework, and our performance constraint analysis tool, we help you identify that practice that is holding you back. Then we will propose modifications or creation of a new practice that addresses your specific constraint. This is not about investing lots of time to do it yourself, or just going without, we are offering a third choice…

Our clients hire us do some of the data collection, constraint analysis, process documentation, and change management activities that are part of effective Requirements Definition performance improvement practices. With only a total of 8 hrs. of your time, spread out in 8 sessions over 4 weeks, we complete the analysis and build the necessary deliverables to adopt a new practice, that will improve your Requirements Definition performance. All of this is accomplished within 20 business days.

We’re experts in performance improvement and Requirements Definition practices, you know your business and organization. By using our Fast-Service™ package, you can leave the specialized practices to us, and focus on running your business.

Below is a set of Fast-Service™ package deliverables used to improve your Requirements Definition performance.

SELF-ASSESSMENT REPORT- This is an Excel spreadsheet and chart that is used to identify the major problem areas and bottlenecks of the organizations’ innovation process. The Self-Assessment contains a series of questions related to current practices for gathering ideas, converting ideas into business opportunities, and finally diffusing ideas throughout organization and to market. Using the self-assessment, we can quickly identify the perceived system constraints, and dive deeper into specific process areas that could be causing bottlenecks.

CONSTRAINT ANALYSIS REPORT- This is a set of Power Point diagrams used to identify key system constraints. We use Sufficient Cause diagrams to look at effects and potential causes from the perspective of Resources, Inputs, Controls, and Processes. These diagrams are used to verify effects, validate relationships between causes and effects, and look for additional effects to gain a clear understanding of the current system constraints.

PERFORMANCE MEASURE FRAMEWORK- This is a set of Excel spreadsheets and Power Point diagrams used to manage process improvement. Focusing on 1 of the 16 domains, we will load the selected practice into the Performance Measure Framework. By adding your standardized plans and information assets, such as process diagrams and performance thresholds, into the framework, you can do trade-offs and make process improvement decisions.

PROPOSED PRACTICE EFBD- This is a set of Power Point diagrams used to establish a process definition. The EFBD (Enhanced Function Block Diagram) Illustrates control logic, information flow, and process steps. We build this by looking at past project plans and documenting the current state. Based on constraint analysis, we can make modifications to the EFBD of the practice. We do this with things such as review gates, control activities, additional input screening, and resources inputs. This EFBD standardizes the practice and makes the proposed practice easier to understand, adopt, as well as improve over time.

NEW PRACTICE POLICIES & PROCEDURES- This is a set of Word documents that are used to outline process policies and procedures that enable standardization and improvement. Policies and procedures establish a standard set of minimum expectations and guidelines that are expected to be followed by anyone performing the practice. We create a new baseline of process performance, based on the constraint analysis and EFBD process analysis, by adding policies, process steps or procedural guidelines. This information is used to train people on new process, and monitor process execution and performance.

BUSINESS CASE- This is an Excel spreadsheet that is used to analyze, establish and communicate the business case of implementing the proposed practice change. When change is desired, the value delivered through the change must outweigh the negative impacts, cost, and natural friction that change will cause. All business cases derive from the ability to impact one of the six business drivers: Revenue, Efficiency, Sustainability, Endorsement, Cost and Risk. We will then define the type of value proposition that the new practice will deliver: uniqueness, familiarity, or economy of scale. Lastly, we determine the Cost/Value combination. This process will achieve same value for less cost, or more value for less cost, etc. The business case is used to overcome change hurdles and help people to quickly adopted the proposed change. 

PERFORMANCE SCORECARD- This is an Excel spreadsheet that is used to measure practice performance and drive improvement. The performance scorecard is built from information captured in the Performance Measure Framework. Using the five key performance measures, you can diagnose causes of performance constraints and identify process adjustments to address them. The Performance Scorecard will keep people focused on the key measures that impact overall performance, making improvement efforts more effective.

STRATEGY DIAGRAM- This is a Power Point diagram that is used to communicate the strategic intent of the performance improvement initiative.  The strategy diagram sets a common vision and outlines how different teams/roles work together to perform the key activities needed to deliver the value of the initiative. The strategy diagram helps team members to understand their role, adopt the proposed changes, and buy-in to the initiative solution vision.

COMMUNICATION PLAN- This is an Excel spreadsheet that is used to communicate to and engage all stakeholders and team members of a project. A Communication Plan will identify the target personas and actions that you want them to take, anticipate potential objections, and provide a message that addresses the objections and provokes action. We will develop a communication plan that identifies target stakeholders, develops compelling messages that engage them to act towards the achievement of project objectives.

ROLE BASED TRAINING DIAGRAM- This is a set of Power Point diagrams that are used to identify training needs of job roles. These roles based training diagrams provide standardized capabilities, job role expectations, and training demand analysis by process. These diagrams are used to create training and adoption activities for each role as part of the new practice deployment. Each Role can clearly understand their roles & responsibilities regarding the new practice. This means the activities will get done more efficiently with better performance results. 

PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT MILESTONE ROADMAP- This is a Power Point diagram that is used to communicate the performance improvement efforts of the organization over time. Based on the performance constraints, this roadmap identifies the sequence of performance improvements as well as the target process areas. The Performance Improvement Milestone Roadmap will align team members, resources, and efforts to provide the most rapid performance improvement for the organization.

Want to learn more? Contact us either through email or phone.

Continue reading
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Requirements Definition with ‘MODEL’ Process-Service™

“Requirements Definition with MODEL is a process consulting offering of pmNERDS. This offering provides a process umbrella of MODEL, and then line-items of an S.O.W. that can be chosen a la carte.”

We use the acronym MODEL to illustrate and teach the concepts necessary to define good market requirements that will deliver satisfied customers. We use this acronym because models give features and their requirements a physical representation. A good charade partner will make you a winner every time, you might even start believing your that good.

But when you get a bad partner, look out, and through your self-esteem out the window. Modeling is about making what seems intangible, tangible. When you have a feature or deliverable you must design, build, and deliver; you need a way of modeling it accurately and visualize it so clearly that it seems tangible within the context of the whole.

During our process consultancy, we address:

Milestones– Requirements should mark the incremental deliverables, and not just the final product or service.

Organized– Requirements should be Organized into BASIC, PERFORMANCE, and EXCITEMENT requirements. Partition your requirements portfolio to gain structural insights into your solution architecture.

Design– Your requirements should specify the design of your operational concept, drive the technical requirements while being constrained by business requirements.

Estimates– Get requirement estimates before  committing to new projects and launches. These estimates also create buy-in besides project scope clarity.

Legitimize– Be sure your requirement set contains all the necessary requirements, and also be sure they are sufficient. Only then can you say that you have a legitimate set of requirements.

The pmNERDS process consultancy provides a standard Requirements Definition capability described by the acronym above. This is an umbrella capability needed regardless of any additional practices selected from our a la carte practice menu.

Requirements Definition practices available for selection from the a la carte S.O.W. include Product Requirements Derived from Internal Sources, Derive Product Requirements from Product Features, KANO Levels to Customer Satisfaction, Requirement Diagramming, Simulation, Prototyping, Cohesive Nature, Lead User Group, Persona Representation, Weighted Sampling, Requirement Validation through Testing, Value Engineering, QFD, Peer Reviews, Cause-Effect Analysis, and Brand Analysis.

Organizations that depend on projects to create value and increase process efficiencies, as seen in business units such as IT, Marketing, and NPD, should talk with us if they’re interested in increasing project performance.

After a quick discussion, we can direct you to the best process offering and a la carte practices based on your process improvement goals. By putting together a service package that addresses your key performance constraint, our sales team can help you get the quickest time-to-value while minimizing risk and cost.

Want to learn more? Contact us either by email or phone.

Continue reading
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Requirements Definition Performance-Service™

“If we engage pmNERDS’ Consulting for Requirements Definition then we’ll increase the organization’s competitive advantage, realize higher value from projects, and complete projects more efficiently, but it will require change leadership.”

Our Performance-Improvement™ practice begins with gathering information about your organization and engagement goals. We conduct a quick gap analysis to construct an engagement roadmap.

Once approved, we will build this roadmap out into a complete project plan and review it with our clients going over roles and responsibilities. We schedule weekly meetings to review the project and discuss relevant decisions. Depending on the length of engagement, steering committee meetings are also scheduled.

Daily scrums are scheduled to address issues and schedule any needed ad hoc meetings. Performance Improvement Consulting involves a great deal of planning and communicating. Underlying each practice is an element of process improvement and use of a standard performance measure framework.

Requirements Definition is all about stating what it takes to satisfy the market. The market requirement is stated in an inward facing voice. The requirement is one of the primary information assets in the innovation management architecture. It states what is necessary to accomplish the goal stated for a product feature.

By leveraging our experience, you can reach expected benefits quicker and with less false starts while being assured that you won’t paint yourself into a ‘process’ corner, and isolate information asset flow to downstream processes.

Our performance improvement consulting practice requires a discussion to determine goals, the scope of effort, consultant alignment, and the development of a business proposal. We deliver an analysis of current requirements definition process performance and constraints, a roadmap to performance improvement, process design, process exercise, process enablement, deployment, and measurement.

It’s critical that the information assets developed within these requirements definition practices can flow between other innovation processes. These practices can be divided into the three categories of Requirements Conception, Requirements Validation, and Requirement Estimation. Wherever your key constraints are, our team will help you identify the process constraints, and find practices that will improve overall performance by breaking constraints.

A large part of this effort is process training, skills mentoring, and performance coaching. Depending on the engagement, technology configuration or deployment may or may not be part of this effort. You can discover more about this service offering by clicking the icon (email or phone) in the top right corner of our website.

We’d love to explain our services and answer any questions you might have.

Continue reading
85 Hits
0 Comments

Roadmap Definition Fast-Service™ Package

“If we select the pmNERDS' Fast-Service™ package, then we get rapid performance improvement, but we’ll need to answer questions and provide feedback.”

We all occasionally get major hankerings, it’s usually something that we can’t wait for and need within a very short period of time. For us it is usually food related, the Fast Food Industry utilizes the notion of standardization to produce food at minimal cost and preparation time while maximizing value within their business constraints. The question is can they make a compelling product while being profitable?

At pmNERDS, that’s our goal with these Fast-Service™ packages. Using product templates, standardized processes, and focused training we’re able to deliver consulting products faster than our clients and competitors, with sustainable margins.

Very few of us look forward to overly complex Roadmap Definition processes. We want it to be easier and faster, so process performance in this area looks rather attractive, but what area should be addressed first?

Using some rapid assessment techniques, the Performance Measure Framework, and our performance constraint analysis tool, we help you identify that practice that is holding you back. Then we will propose modifications or creation of a new practice that addresses your specific constraint. This is not about investing lots of time to do it yourself, or just going without, we are offering a third choice…

Our clients hire us do some of the data collection, constraint analysis, process documentation, and change management activities that are part of effective Roadmap  Definition performance improvement practices. With only a total of 8 hrs. of your time, spread out in 8 sessions over 4 weeks, we complete the analysis and build the necessary deliverables to adopt a new practice, that will improve your Roadmap Definition performance. All of this is accomplished within 20 business days.

We’re experts in performance improvement and Roadmap Definition practices, you know your business and organization. By using our Fast-Service™ package, you can leave the specialized practices to us, and focus on running your business.

Below is a set of Fast-Service™ package deliverables used to improve your Roadmap Definition performance.

SELF-ASSESSMENT REPORT- This is an Excel spreadsheet and chart that is used to identify the major problem areas and bottlenecks of the organizations’ innovation process. The Self-Assessment contains a series of questions related to current practices for gathering ideas, converting ideas into business opportunities, and finally diffusing ideas throughout organization and to market. Using the self-assessment, we can quickly identify the perceived system constraints, and dive deeper into specific process areas that could be causing bottlenecks.

CONSTRAINT ANALYSIS REPORT- This is a set of Power Point diagrams used to identify key system constraints. We use Sufficient Cause diagrams to look at effects and potential causes from the perspective of Resources, Inputs, Controls, and Processes. These diagrams are used to verify effects, validate relationships between causes and effects, and look for additional effects to gain a clear understanding of the current system constraints.

PERFORMANCE MEASURE FRAMEWORK- This is a set of Excel spreadsheets and Power Point diagrams used to manage process improvement. Focusing on 1 of the 16 domains, we will load the selected practice into the Performance Measure Framework. By adding your standardized plans and information assets, such as process diagrams and performance thresholds, into the framework, you can do trade-offs and make process improvement decisions.

PROPOSED PRACTICE EFBD- This is a set of Power Point diagrams used to establish a process definition. The EFBD (Enhanced Function Block Diagram) Illustrates control logic, information flow, and process steps. We build this by looking at past project plans and documenting the current state. Based on constraint analysis, we can make modifications to the EFBD of the practice. We do this with things such as review gates, control activities, additional input screening, and resources inputs. This EFBD standardizes the practice and makes the proposed practice easier to understand, adopt, as well as improve over time.

NEW PRACTICE POLICIES & PROCEDURES- This is a set of Word documents that are used to outline process policies and procedures that enable standardization and improvement. Policies and procedures establish a standard set of minimum expectations and guidelines that are expected to be followed by anyone performing the practice. We create a new baseline of process performance, based on the constraint analysis and EFBD process analysis, by adding policies, process steps or procedural guidelines. This information is used to train people on new process, and monitor process execution and performance.

BUSINESS CASE- This is an Excel spreadsheet that is used to analyze, establish and communicate the business case of implementing the proposed practice change. When change is desired, the value delivered through the change must outweigh the negative impacts, cost, and natural friction that change will cause. All business cases derive from the ability to impact one of the six business drivers: Revenue, Efficiency, Sustainability, Endorsement, Cost and Risk. We will then define the type of value proposition that the new practice will deliver: uniqueness, familiarity, or economy of scale. Lastly, we determine the Cost/Value combination. This process will achieve same value for less cost, or more value for less cost, etc. The business case is used to overcome change hurdles and help people to quickly adopted the proposed change. 

PERFORMANCE SCORECARD- This is an Excel spreadsheet that is used to measure practice performance and drive improvement. The performance scorecard is built from information captured in the Performance Measure Framework. Using the five key performance measures, you can diagnose causes of performance constraints and identify process adjustments to address them. The Performance Scorecard will keep people focused on the key measures that impact overall performance, making improvement efforts more effective.

STRATEGY DIAGRAM- This is a Power Point diagram that is used to communicate the strategic intent of the performance improvement initiative.  The strategy diagram sets a common vision and outlines how different teams/roles work together to perform the key activities needed to deliver the value of the initiative. The strategy diagram helps team members to understand their role, adopt the proposed changes, and buy-in to the initiative solution vision.

COMMUNICATION PLAN- This is an Excel spreadsheet that is used to communicate to and engage all stakeholders and team members of a project. A Communication Plan will identify the target personas and actions that you want them to take, anticipate potential objections, and provide a message that addresses the objections and provokes action. We will develop a communication plan that identifies target stakeholders, develops compelling messages that engage them to act towards the achievement of project objectives.

ROLE BASED TRAINING DIAGRAM- This is a set of Power Point diagrams that are used to identify training needs of job roles. These roles based training diagrams provide standardized capabilities, job role expectations, and training demand analysis by process. These diagrams are used to create training and adoption activities for each role as part of the new practice deployment. Each Role can clearly understand their roles & responsibilities regarding the new practice. This means the activities will get done more efficiently with better performance results. 

PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT MILESTONE ROADMAP- This is a Power Point diagram that is used to communicate the performance improvement efforts of the organization over time. Based on the performance constraints, this roadmap identifies the sequence of performance improvements as well as the target process areas. The Performance Improvement Milestone Roadmap will align team members, resources, and efforts to provide the most rapid performance improvement for the organization.

Want to learn more? Contact us either through email or phone.

Continue reading
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Roadmap Definition with ‘POWER’ Process-Service™

“Roadmap Definition with POWER is a process consulting offering of pmNERDS. This offering provides a process umbrella of POWER, and then line-items of an S.O.W. that can be chosen a la carte.”

We use the acronym POWER to illustrate and teach the concepts necessary to communicate the strategic path of your product or deliverable to both internal and external stakeholders concisely. The roadmap articulates the promised capability which customers’ will gain in a period of time.

The roadmap needs to have enough value to motivate customers to adopt the new capability and anticipate its launch with excitement. It provides a forum for collaboration, asset sharing, and removal of redundant activities. A roadmap like a sun, will turn the heads of your clients, and like the sunflower, provide something for your clients, customers, and stakeholders to focus one.

During our process consultancy, we address:

Possible Alternatives– Roadmaps are a map of how you expect to deliver customer satisfaction. Of course, there are trades based on business constraints. Roadmaps can be different based on the constraints being maximized and minimized. Build power with a choice.

Optimal Advantage– Build roadmaps that deliver the optimal competitive advantage, while maximizing customer satisfaction and balancing business constraints.

Waybill– Like the waybill of a package being shipped, the roadmap maintains accountability on the journey. This creates roadmap credibility and power.

Engage Stakeholders– The roadmap provides focus, and helps engage stakeholders constructively. The roadmap enables you to gain support from all those you impact.

Radio– Think of roadmaps as a radio station that broadcasts multiple radio channels and formats. With multiple roadmaps, you can send the right message to the right people at the right time.

The pmNERDS process consultancy provides a standard Roadmap Definition capability described by the acronym above. This is an umbrella capability needed regardless of any additional practices selected from our a la carte practice menu.

Roadmap Definition practices available for selection from the a la carte S.O.W. include External & Internal Sources, The Roadmap Charter, Boolean Logic & Thresholds, Resource Need Estimating, Capability Development, Buy-Build-Own, Multiple Roadmap Alignment, Perceived Value, Competitive Advantage Scoring, Bidding, Availability, Unified Roadmaps, Roadmap Scoring, Roadmap Threshold Balancing, Utilization Thresholds, Capability Estimation, Buyer-Constraint Elicitation, Historical Comparisons, Gate Management, Formal Consensus for Roadmap Selection, Monitoring, Buyer-Constraint Portfolio Balance, Constraint Management, Product Line Roadmap Balancing, Competitive Advantage computation, Sensitivity Analysis, Value Modeling, Targeted Thresholds, and Competitive Analysis.

Organizations that depend on projects to create value and increase process efficiencies, as seen in business units such as IT, Marketing, and NPD, should talk with us if they’re interested in increasing project performance.

After a quick discussion, we can direct you to the best process offering and a la carte practices based on your process improvement goals. By putting together a service package that addresses your key performance constraint, our sales team can help you get the quickest time-to-value while minimizing risk and cost.

Want to learn more? Contact us either by email or phone.

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Roadmap Definition Performance-Service™

“If we engage pmNERDS’ Consulting for Roadmap Definition then we’ll increase the organization’s competitive advantage, realize higher value from projects, and complete projects more efficiently, but it will require change leadership.”

Our Perfromance-Service™ consulting practice begins with gathering information about your organization and engagement goals. We conduct a quick gap analysis to construct an engagement roadmap.

Once approved, we will build this roadmap out into a complete project plan and review it with our clients going over roles and responsibilities. We schedule weekly meetings to review the project and discuss relevant decisions. Depending on the length of engagement, steering committee meetings are also scheduled.

Daily scrums are scheduled to address issues and schedule any needed ad hoc meetings. Performance Improvement Consulting involves a great deal of planning and communicating. Underlying each practice is an element of process improvement and use of a standard performance measure framework.

Its wide open, and waiting for you to define. Roadmap definition is all about creating an optimal roadmap with alternatives that strategically align with the innovation charter. Roadmaps act as a guideline for integrating other roadmaps used in the enterprise roadmap and for coordinating product launches.

The roadmap (one of the primary information assets) provides a forum for collaboration, alignment, and synchronization between cross-functional organizations. This increases buy-in, the ability to leverage enterprise assets, reduces redundant and cyclic initiatives and coordinates outward facing messaging across platforms.

By leveraging our experience, you can reach expected benefits quicker and with less false starts while being assured that you won’t paint yourself into a ‘process’ corner, and isolate information asset flow to downstream processes. Our performance improvement consulting practice requires a discussion to determine goals, the scope of effort, consultant alignment, and the development of a business proposal. We deliver an analysis of current roadmap definition process performance and constraints, a roadmap to performance improvement, process design, process exercise, process enablement, deployment, and measurement.

It’s critical that the information assets developed within these roadmap definition practices can flow between other innovation processes. These practices can be divided into the four categories Roadmap Conception, Buyer-Constraint Management, Resource Planning, and Roadmap Selection. Wherever your key constraints are, our team will help you identify the process constraints, and find practices that will improve overall performance by breaking constraints.

A large part of this effort is process training, skills mentoring, and performance coaching. Depending on the engagement, technology configuration or deployment may or may not be part of this effort. You can discover more about this service offering by clicking the icon (email or phone) in the top right corner of our website.

We’d love to explain our services and answer any questions you might have.

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Alden Ibbetson
Having worked with IT and IS for many years, I can say that the problems you are talking about are very troublesome. Great articl... Read More
Wednesday, 04 October 2017 11:51
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Feature Definition Fast-Service™ Package

“If we select the pmNERDS' Fast-Service™ package, then we get rapid performance improvement, but we’ll need to answer questions and provide feedback.”

We all occasionally get major hankerings, it’s usually something that we can’t wait for and need within a very short period of time. For us it is usually food related, the Fast Food Industry utilizes the notion of standardization to produce food at minimal cost and preparation time while maximizing value within their business constraints. The question is can they make a compelling product while being profitable?

At pmNERDS, that’s our goal with these Fast-Service™ packages. Using product templates, standardized processes, and focused training we’re able to deliver consulting products faster than our clients and competitors, with sustainable margins.

Very few of us look forward to overly complex Feature Definition processes. We want it to be easier and faster, so process performance in this area looks rather attractive, but what area should be addressed first?

Using some rapid assessment techniques, the Performance Measure Framework, and our performance constraint analysis tool, we help you identify that practice that is holding you back. Then we will propose modifications or creation of a new practice that addresses your specific constraint. This is not about investing lots of time to do it yourself, or just going without, we are offering a third choice…

Our clients hire us do some of the data collection, constraint analysis, process documentation, and change management activities that are part of effective Feature Definition performance improvement practices. With only a total of 8 hrs. of your time, spread out in 8 sessions over 4 weeks, we complete the analysis and build the necessary deliverables to adopt a new practice, that will improve your Feature Definition performance. All of this is accomplished within 20 business days.

We’re experts in performance improvement and Feature Definition practices, you know your business and organization. By using our Fast-Service™ package, you can leave the specialized practices to us, and focus on running your business.

Below is a set of Fast-Service™ package deliverables used to improve your Feature Definition performance.

SELF-ASSESSMENT REPORT- This is an Excel spreadsheet and chart that is used to identify the major problem areas and bottlenecks of the organizations’ innovation process. The Self-Assessment contains a series of questions related to current practices for gathering ideas, converting ideas into business opportunities, and finally diffusing ideas throughout organization and to market. Using the self-assessment, we can quickly identify the perceived system constraints, and dive deeper into specific process areas that could be causing bottlenecks.

CONSTRAINT ANALYSIS REPORT- This is a set of Power Point diagrams used to identify key system constraints. We use Sufficient Cause diagrams to look at effects and potential causes from the perspective of Resources, Inputs, Controls, and Processes. These diagrams are used to verify effects, validate relationships between causes and effects, and look for additional effects to gain a clear understanding of the current system constraints.

PERFORMANCE MEASURE FRAMEWORK- This is a set of Excel spreadsheets and Power Point diagrams used to manage process improvement. Focusing on 1 of the 16 domains, we will load the selected practice into the Performance Measure Framework. By adding your standardized plans and information assets, such as process diagrams and performance thresholds, into the framework, you can do trade-offs and make process improvement decisions.

PROPOSED PRACTICE EFBD- This is a set of Power Point diagrams used to establish a process definition. The EFBD (Enhanced Function Block Diagram) Illustrates control logic, information flow, and process steps. We build this by looking at past project plans and documenting the current state. Based on constraint analysis, we can make modifications to the EFBD of the practice. We do this with things such as review gates, control activities, additional input screening, and resources inputs. This EFBD standardizes the practice and makes the proposed practice easier to understand, adopt, as well as improve over time.

NEW PRACTICE POLICIES & PROCEDURES- This is a set of Word documents that are used to outline process policies and procedures that enable standardization and improvement. Policies and procedures establish a standard set of minimum expectations and guidelines that are expected to be followed by anyone performing the practice. We create a new baseline of process performance, based on the constraint analysis and EFBD process analysis, by adding policies, process steps or procedural guidelines. This information is used to train people on new process, and monitor process execution and performance.

BUSINESS CASE- This is an Excel spreadsheet that is used to analyze, establish and communicate the business case of implementing the proposed practice change. When change is desired, the value delivered through the change must outweigh the negative impacts, cost, and natural friction that change will cause. All business cases derive from the ability to impact one of the six business drivers: Revenue, Efficiency, Sustainability, Endorsement, Cost and Risk. We will then define the type of value proposition that the new practice will deliver: uniqueness, familiarity, or economy of scale. Lastly, we determine the Cost/Value combination. This process will achieve same value for less cost, or more value for less cost, etc. The business case is used to overcome change hurdles and help people to quickly adopted the proposed change. 

PERFORMANCE SCORECARD- This is an Excel spreadsheet that is used to measure practice performance and drive improvement. The performance scorecard is built from information captured in the Performance Measure Framework. Using the five key performance measures, you can diagnose causes of performance constraints and identify process adjustments to address them. The Performance Scorecard will keep people focused on the key measures that impact overall performance, making improvement efforts more effective.

STRATEGY DIAGRAM- This is a Power Point diagram that is used to communicate the strategic intent of the performance improvement initiative.  The strategy diagram sets a common vision and outlines how different teams/roles work together to perform the key activities needed to deliver the value of the initiative. The strategy diagram helps team members to understand their role, adopt the proposed changes, and buy-in to the initiative solution vision.

COMMUNICATION PLAN- This is an Excel spreadsheet that is used to communicate to and engage all stakeholders and team members of a project. A Communication Plan will identify the target personas and actions that you want them to take, anticipate potential objections, and provide a message that addresses the objections and provokes action. We will develop a communication plan that identifies target stakeholders, develops compelling messages that engage them to act towards the achievement of project objectives.

ROLE BASED TRAINING DIAGRAM- This is a set of Power Point diagrams that are used to identify training needs of job roles. These roles based training diagrams provide standardized capabilities, job role expectations, and training demand analysis by process. These diagrams are used to create training and adoption activities for each role as part of the new practice deployment. Each Role can clearly understand their roles & responsibilities regarding the new practice. This means the activities will get done more efficiently with better performance results. 

PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT MILESTONE ROADMAP- This is a Power Point diagram that is used to communicate the performance improvement efforts of the organization over time. Based on the performance constraints, this roadmap identifies the sequence of performance improvements as well as the target process areas. The Performance Improvement Milestone Roadmap will align team members, resources, and efforts to provide the most rapid performance improvement for the organization.

Want to learn more? Contact us either through email or phone.

Continue reading
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Feature Definition with ‘VALUE’ Process-Services™

“Feature Definition with VALUE is a process consulting offering of pmNERDS. This offering provides a process umbrella of VALUE, and then line-items of an S.O.W. that can be chosen a la carte.”

We use the acronym VALUE to illustrate and teach the concepts necessary to communicate your strategic intent to both internal and external stakeholders concisely. The product feature articulates the promised value customers’ gain from a specific product capability. The feature needs to have enough value to motivate customers to adopt the new capability, and anticipate its launch with excitement.

The features’ value could be based on its material and monetary worth, the support it provides towards a goal or objective, its strength in manipulating emotions, or even its ability to meet specific needs. But value is a relative measure, and has as much to do with the condition of the client as it does the product. The water above has higher value here than it does in the supermarket.

During our process consultancy, we address:

Visualization– The feature descriptions need to create crystal-clear promises of capability or functionality to the customer or client. These are not marketing messages but promises engineering and development are making. Everyone needs to have the same vision before they walk away.

Accessibility– The feature shouldn’t require an understanding of industry jargon. Nor should it require an engineering degree to see how it will work. The feature should be accessible like Pop songs, they should be familiar to everyone. The feature should define easily recognizable value.

Lasting Impact– The feature shouldn’t change each launch, or new project. The feature stays, the approach to deliver it may change over time. When talking about feature impact; Duration beats magnitude.

User-Centered– In the feature’s promise, the implied value is always to increase the customers’ competitive advantage. It’s about how this feature will help them do something faster, cheaper, easier, or with less risk.

Evolved Expectations– What is special now, will be expected next time. Expectations evolve. Features don’t go away, by the way they are approached does. Change through successive generations of increasing expectations on the same feature set.

The pmNERDS process consultancy provides a standard Feature Definition capability described by the acronym above. This is an umbrella capability needed regardless of any additional practices selected from our a la carte practice menu.

Feature Definition practices available for selection from the a la carte S.O.W. include Derive Product Features from Problem Statements, Derive Product Features from Market Opportunities, Product Features Derived from Internal Sources, TRIZ, Ranking Features Based on Asset Leveragability, Peugh's method of Feature Refinement, Feature Validation with Call Reports, Surveys, Feedback Portals, Diagramming, Animated Model Simulations, FAST Diagramming, Validation of Features Using Expert Gates, and Lead User groups.

Organizations that depend on projects to create value and increase process efficiencies, as seen in business units such as IT, Marketing, and NPD, should talk with us if they’re interested in increasing project performance.

After a quick discussion, we can direct you to the best process offering and a la carte practices based on your process improvement goals. By putting together a service package that addresses your key performance constraint, our sales team can help you get the quickest time-to-value, while minimizing risk and cost.

Want to learn more? Contact us either through email or phone.

Continue reading
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Feature Definition Performance-Service™

“If we engage pmNERDS’ Consulting for Feature Definition then we’ll increase the organization’s competitive advantage, realize higher value from projects, and complete projects more efficiently, but it will require change leadership.”

Our Performance-Service™ consulting practice begins with gathering information about your organization and engagement goals. We conduct a quick gap analysis to construct an engagement roadmap. Once approved, we will build this roadmap out into a complete project plan and review it with our clients going over roles and responsibilities.

We schedule weekly meetings to review the project and discuss relevant decisions. Depending on the length of engagement, steering committee meetings are also scheduled. Daily scrums are scheduled to address issues and schedule any needed ad hoc meetings. Performance Improvement Consulting involves a great deal of planning and communicating. Underlying each practice is an element of process improvement and use of a standard performance measure framework.

No, it’s not Christmas yet, but your customers might think so when you start getting feature definition right. Feature definition is about getting just enough of the bells and whistles to satisfy your customers, while still retaining value for your stakeholders.

The product feature is stated in an outward facing voice. The feature is one of the primary information assets in the innovation management architecture. It’s used to state a specific goal of the product capability, which can be used to create marketing messages but are not the marketing message.

By leveraging our experience, you can reach expected benefits quicker and with less false starts while being assured that you won’t paint yourself into a ‘process’ corner, and isolate information asset flow to downstream processes.

Our performance improvement consulting practice requires a discussion to determine goals, the scope of effort, consultant alignment, and the development of a business proposal. We deliver an analysis of current feature definition process performance and constraints, a roadmap to performance improvement, process design, process exercise, process enablement, deployment, and measurement.

It’s critical that the information assets developed within these feature definition practices can flow between other innovation processes. These practices can be divided into the two categories of Feature Conception and Feature Validation. Wherever your key constraints are, our team will help you identify the process constraints, and find practices that will improve overall performance by breaking constraints.

A large part of this effort is process training, skills mentoring, and performance coaching. Depending on the engagement, technology configuration or deployment may or may not be part of this effort. You can discover more about this service offering by clicking the icon (email or phone) in the top right corner of our website.

We’d love to explain our services and answer any questions you might have.

Continue reading
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Opportunity Definition Fast-Service™ Package

“If we select the pmNERDS' Fast-Service™ package, then we get rapid performance improvement, but we’ll need to answer questions and provide feedback.”

We all occasionally get major hankerings, it’s usually something that we can’t wait for and need within a very short period of time. For us it is usually food related, the Fast Food Industry utilizes the notion of standardization to produce food at minimal cost and preparation time while maximizing value within their business constraints. The question is can they make a compelling product while being profitable?

At pmNERDS, that’s our goal with these Fast-Service™ packages. Using product templates, standardized processes, and focused training we’re able to deliver consulting products faster than our clients and competitors, with sustainable margins.

Very few of us look forward to overly complex Opportunity Definition processes. We want it to be easier and faster, so process performance in this area looks rather attractive, but what area should be addressed first?

Using some rapid assessment techniques, the Performance Measure Framework, and our performance constraint analysis tool, we help you identify that practice that is holding you back. Then we will propose modifications or creation of a new practice that addresses your specific constraint. This is not about investing lots of time to do it yourself, or just going without, we are offering a third choice…

Our clients hire us do some of the data collection, constraint analysis, process documentation, and change management activities that are part of effective Opportunity Definition performance improvement practices. With only a total of 8 hrs. of your time, spread out in 8 sessions over 4 weeks, we complete the analysis and build the necessary deliverables to adopt a new practice, that will improve your Opportunity Definition performance. All of this is accomplished within 20 business days.

We’re experts in performance improvement and Opportunity Definition practices, you know your business and organization. By using our Fast-Service™ package, you can leave the specialized practices to us, and focus on running your business.

Below is a set of Fast-Service™ package deliverables used to improve your Opportunity Definition performance.

SELF-ASSESSMENT REPORT- This is an Excel spreadsheet and chart that is used to identify the major problem areas and bottlenecks of the organizations’ innovation process. The Self-Assessment contains a series of questions related to current practices for gathering ideas, converting ideas into business opportunities, and finally diffusing ideas throughout organization and to market. Using the self-assessment, we can quickly identify the perceived system constraints, and dive deeper into specific process areas that could be causing bottlenecks.

CONSTRAINT ANALYSIS REPORT- This is a set of Power Point diagrams used to identify key system constraints. We use Sufficient Cause diagrams to look at effects and potential causes from the perspective of Resources, Inputs, Controls, and Processes. These diagrams are used to verify effects, validate relationships between causes and effects, and look for additional effects to gain a clear understanding of the current system constraints.

PERFORMANCE MEASURE FRAMEWORK- This is a set of Excel spreadsheets and Power Point diagrams used to manage process improvement. Focusing on 1 of the 16 domains, we will load the selected practice into the Performance Measure Framework. By adding your standardized plans and information assets, such as process diagrams and performance thresholds, into the framework, you can do trade-offs and make process improvement decisions.

PROPOSED PRACTICE EFBD- This is a set of Power Point diagrams used to establish a process definition. The EFBD (Enhanced Function Block Diagram) Illustrates control logic, information flow, and process steps. We build this by looking at past project plans and documenting the current state. Based on constraint analysis, we can make modifications to the EFBD of the practice. We do this with things such as review gates, control activities, additional input screening, and resources inputs. This EFBD standardizes the practice and makes the proposed practice easier to understand, adopt, as well as improve over time.

NEW PRACTICE POLICIES & PROCEDURES- This is a set of Word documents that are used to outline process policies and procedures that enable standardization and improvement. Policies and procedures establish a standard set of minimum expectations and guidelines that are expected to be followed by anyone performing the practice. We create a new baseline of process performance, based on the constraint analysis and EFBD process analysis, by adding policies, process steps or procedural guidelines. This information is used to train people on new process, and monitor process execution and performance.

BUSINESS CASE- This is an Excel spreadsheet that is used to analyze, establish and communicate the business case of implementing the proposed practice change. When change is desired, the value delivered through the change must outweigh the negative impacts, cost, and natural friction that change will cause. All business cases derive from the ability to impact one of the six business drivers: Revenue, Efficiency, Sustainability, Endorsement, Cost and Risk. We will then define the type of value proposition that the new practice will deliver: uniqueness, familiarity, or economy of scale. Lastly, we determine the Cost/Value combination. This process will achieve same value for less cost, or more value for less cost, etc. The business case is used to overcome change hurdles and help people to quickly adopted the proposed change. 

PERFORMANCE SCORECARD- This is an Excel spreadsheet that is used to measure practice performance and drive improvement. The performance scorecard is built from information captured in the Performance Measure Framework. Using the five key performance measures, you can diagnose causes of performance constraints and identify process adjustments to address them. The Performance Scorecard will keep people focused on the key measures that impact overall performance, making improvement efforts more effective.

STRATEGY DIAGRAM- This is a Power Point diagram that is used to communicate the strategic intent of the performance improvement initiative.  The strategy diagram sets a common vision and outlines how different teams/roles work together to perform the key activities needed to deliver the value of the initiative. The strategy diagram helps team members to understand their role, adopt the proposed changes, and buy-in to the initiative solution vision.

COMMUNICATION PLAN- This is an Excel spreadsheet that is used to communicate to and engage all stakeholders and team members of a project. A Communication Plan will identify the target personas and actions that you want them to take, anticipate potential objections, and provide a message that addresses the objections and provokes action. We will develop a communication plan that identifies target stakeholders, develops compelling messages that engage them to act towards the achievement of project objectives.

ROLE BASED TRAINING DIAGRAM- This is a set of Power Point diagrams that are used to identify training needs of job roles. These roles based training diagrams provide standardized capabilities, job role expectations, and training demand analysis by process. These diagrams are used to create training and adoption activities for each role as part of the new practice deployment. Each Role can clearly understand their roles & responsibilities regarding the new practice. This means the activities will get done more efficiently with better performance results. 

PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT MILESTONE ROADMAP- This is a Power Point diagram that is used to communicate the performance improvement efforts of the organization over time. Based on the performance constraints, this roadmap identifies the sequence of performance improvements as well as the target process areas. The Performance Improvement Milestone Roadmap will align team members, resources, and efforts to provide the most rapid performance improvement for the organization.

Want to learn more? Contact us either through email or phone.

Continue reading
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Opportunity Definition with ‘ALIGN’ Process-Services™

“Opportunity Definition with ALIGN is a process consulting offering of pmNERDS. This offering provides a process umbrella of ALIGN, and then line-items of an S.O.W. that can be chosen a la carte.”

We use the acronym ALIGN to illustrate and teach the concepts necessary to define, review, and prioritize market and business opportunities. The opportunity process leverages the concept of alignment to optimize opportunities.

It’s about aligning to the market by assessing market attractiveness, and aligning to our internal capabilities by assessing business strength. Many times, it might seem like waiting for the planets to align, but, it’s about making the planets align before moving forward. Are you ready to control the planets?

During our process consultancy, we address:

Accumulate– When there are no choices, alignment is a moot point. Create power by accumulating alternative business choices.

Logical Steps– Publish the selection process, and criteria being used. Your team will begin anticipating the selection process and take logical steps to win.

Incentive– Understand what the opportunity is by focusing on the margins, and know the incentive.

GOSPEL– Align behavior using goals, objectives, strategy, plans, execution, and lessons learned. G.O.S.P.E.L.

Neat– Stick to the selection criteria. Keep it clear. Business opportunities should present the facts needed for selection, based on published selection criteria, and nothing else.

The pmNERDS process consultancy provides a standard Opportunity Definition capability described by the acronym above. This is an umbrella capability needed regardless of any additional practices selected from our a la carte practice menu.

Opportunity Definition practices available for selection from the a la carte S.O.W. include Competitive Analysis, Derived Problem Statements, Market Trends & Forces, Feasibility Analysis, Market Sizing, Pricing Strategy, Financial Modeling, Cost/Benefit Analysis, Segmentation, Customer Satisfaction Planning, Capability Analysis, Business Model Canvas, G.O.S.P.E.L., Hierarchical Numbering, McKinsey 7s Analysis, Correlation Coefficients, Cost of Lost Opportunity, Strategic Relationship Analysis, Product Line Analysis, and Criteria Decomposition.

Organizations that depend on projects to create value and increase process efficiencies, as seen in business units such as IT, Marketing, and NPD, should talk with us if they’re interested in increasing project performance.

After a quick discussion, we can direct you to the best process offering and a la carte practices based on your process improvement goals. By putting together a service package that addresses your key performance constraint, our sales team can help you get the quickest time-to-value, while minimizing risk and cost.

Want to learn more? Contact us either through email or phone.

Continue reading
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Opportunity Definition Performance-Service™

“If we engage pmNERDS’ Consulting for Opportunity Definition then we’ll increase the organization’s competitive advantage, realize higher value from projects, and complete projects more efficiently, but it will require change leadership.”

Our Performance-Service™ consulting practice begins with gathering information about your organization and engagement goals. We conduct a quick gap analysis to construct an engagement roadmap. Once approved, we will build this roadmap out into a complete project plan and review it with our clients going over roles and responsibilities. We schedule weekly meetings to review the project and discuss relevant decisions. Depending on the length of engagement, steering committee meetings are also scheduled.

Daily scrums are scheduled to address issues and schedule any needed ad hoc meetings. Performance Improvement Consulting involves a great deal of planning and communicating. Underlying each practice is an element of process improvement and use of a standard performance measure framework.

You can’t catch a fish without fishing. Boy, that looks fun, I’m not sure she’s enjoying it as much as she could though. We’ll help your team find the fun.

Opportunity definition is about identifying market opportunities and transforming them into business opportunities. That just has to be fun.

The opportunity is a living document and is one of the primary information assets of the innovation asset architecture. The opportunity starts as a market opportunity concerned about market size and demand. This is used to determine market attractiveness.

Not enough is known to define the technical approach needed to make any estimates of cost, complexity or needed competencies. These are the types of factors used to determine business strength and will be defined a little later.

In other words, the initial opportunity is a market opportunity and as more of the solution vision is developed, the business opportunity can take shape

It’s critical that the information assets developed within these opportunity definition practices can flow between other innovation processes. These practices can be divided into the four categories of Market Opportunity Definition and Strategic Alignment, Buyer-Gate Management, and Business Opportunity Selection. Wherever your key constraints are, our team will help you identify the process constraints, and find practices that will improve overall performance by breaking constraints.

By leveraging our experience, you can reach expected benefits quicker and with less false starts while being assured that you won’t paint yourself into a ‘process’ corner, and isolate information asset flow to downstream processes.

Our performance improvement consulting practice requires a discussion to determine goals, the scope of effort, consultant alignment, and the development of a business proposal. We deliver an analysis of current opportunity definition process performance and constraints, a roadmap to performance improvement, process design, process exercise, process enablement, deployment, and measurement.

A large part of this effort is process training, skills mentoring, and performance coaching. Depending on the engagement, technology configuration or deployment may or may not be part of this effort. You can discover more about this service offering by clicking the icon (email or phone) in the top right corner of our website.

We’d love to explain our services and answer any questions you might have.

Continue reading
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Problem Definition Fast-Service™ Package

“If we select the pmNERDS' Fast-Service™ package, then we get rapid performance improvement, but we’ll need to answer questions and provide feedback.”

We all occasionally get major hankerings, it’s usually something that we can’t wait for and need within a very short period of time. For us it is usually food related, the Fast Food Industry utilizes the notion of standardization to produce food at minimal cost and preparation time while maximizing value within their business constraints. The question is can they make a compelling product while being profitable?

At pmNERDS, that’s our goal with these Fast-Service™ packages. Using product templates, standardized processes, and focused training we’re able to deliver consulting products faster than our clients and competitors, with sustainable margins.

Very few of us look forward to overly complex Problem Definition processes. We want it to be easier and faster, so process performance in this area looks rather attractive, but what area should be addressed first?

Using some rapid assessment techniques, the Performance Measure Framework, and our performance constraint analysis tool, we help you identify that practice that is holding you back. Then we will propose modifications or creation of a new practice that addresses your specific constraint. This is not about investing lots of time to do it yourself, or just going without, we are offering a third choice…

Our clients hire us do some of the data collection, constraint analysis, process documentation, and change management activities that are part of effective Problem Definition performance improvement practices. With only a total of 8 hrs. of your time, spread out in 8 sessions over 4 weeks, we complete the analysis and build the necessary deliverables to adopt a new practice, that will improve your Problem Definition performance. All of this is accomplished within 20 business days.

We’re experts in performance improvement and Problem Definition practices, you know your business and organization. By using our Fast-Service™ package, you can leave the specialized practices to us, and focus on running your business.

Below is a set of Fast-Service™ package deliverables used to improve your Problem Definition performance.

SELF-ASSESSMENT REPORT- This is an Excel spreadsheet and chart that is used to identify the major problem areas and bottlenecks of the organizations’ innovation process. The Self-Assessment contains a series of questions related to current practices for gathering ideas, converting ideas into business opportunities, and finally diffusing ideas throughout organization and to market. Using the self-assessment, we can quickly identify the perceived system constraints, and dive deeper into specific process areas that could be causing bottlenecks.

CONSTRAINT ANALYSIS REPORT- This is a set of Power Point diagrams used to identify key system constraints. We use Sufficient Cause diagrams to look at effects and potential causes from the perspective of Resources, Inputs, Controls, and Processes. These diagrams are used to verify effects, validate relationships between causes and effects, and look for additional effects to gain a clear understanding of the current system constraints.

PERFORMANCE MEASURE FRAMEWORK- This is a set of Excel spreadsheets and Power Point diagrams used to manage process improvement. Focusing on 1 of the 16 domains, we will load the selected practice into the Performance Measure Framework. By adding your standardized plans and information assets, such as process diagrams and performance thresholds, into the framework, you can do trade-offs and make process improvement decisions.

PROPOSED PRACTICE EFBD- This is a set of Power Point diagrams used to establish a process definition. The EFBD (Enhanced Function Block Diagram) Illustrates control logic, information flow, and process steps. We build this by looking at past project plans and documenting the current state. Based on constraint analysis, we can make modifications to the EFBD of the practice. We do this with things such as review gates, control activities, additional input screening, and resources inputs. This EFBD standardizes the practice and makes the proposed practice easier to understand, adopt, as well as improve over time.

NEW PRACTICE POLICIES & PROCEDURES- This is a set of Word documents that are used to outline process policies and procedures that enable standardization and improvement. Policies and procedures establish a standard set of minimum expectations and guidelines that are expected to be followed by anyone performing the practice. We create a new baseline of process performance, based on the constraint analysis and EFBD process analysis, by adding policies, process steps or procedural guidelines. This information is used to train people on new process, and monitor process execution and performance.

BUSINESS CASE- This is an Excel spreadsheet that is used to analyze, establish and communicate the business case of implementing the proposed practice change. When change is desired, the value delivered through the change must outweigh the negative impacts, cost, and natural friction that change will cause. All business cases derive from the ability to impact one of the six business drivers: Revenue, Efficiency, Sustainability, Endorsement, Cost and Risk. We will then define the type of value proposition that the new practice will deliver: uniqueness, familiarity, or economy of scale. Lastly, we determine the Cost/Value combination. This process will achieve same value for less cost, or more value for less cost, etc. The business case is used to overcome change hurdles and help people to quickly adopted the proposed change. 

PERFORMANCE SCORECARD- This is an Excel spreadsheet that is used to measure practice performance and drive improvement. The performance scorecard is built from information captured in the Performance Measure Framework. Using the five key performance measures, you can diagnose causes of performance constraints and identify process adjustments to address them. The Performance Scorecard will keep people focused on the key measures that impact overall performance, making improvement efforts more effective.

STRATEGY DIAGRAM- This is a Power Point diagram that is used to communicate the strategic intent of the performance improvement initiative.  The strategy diagram sets a common vision and outlines how different teams/roles work together to perform the key activities needed to deliver the value of the initiative. The strategy diagram helps team members to understand their role, adopt the proposed changes, and buy-in to the initiative solution vision.

COMMUNICATION PLAN- This is an Excel spreadsheet that is used to communicate to and engage all stakeholders and team members of a project. A Communication Plan will identify the target personas and actions that you want them to take, anticipate potential objections, and provide a message that addresses the objections and provokes action. We will develop a communication plan that identifies target stakeholders, develops compelling messages that engage them to act towards the achievement of project objectives.

ROLE BASED TRAINING DIAGRAM- This is a set of Power Point diagrams that are used to identify training needs of job roles. These roles based training diagrams provide standardized capabilities, job role expectations, and training demand analysis by process. These diagrams are used to create training and adoption activities for each role as part of the new practice deployment. Each Role can clearly understand their roles & responsibilities regarding the new practice. This means the activities will get done more efficiently with better performance results. 

PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT MILESTONE ROADMAP- This is a Power Point diagram that is used to communicate the performance improvement efforts of the organization over time. Based on the performance constraints, this roadmap identifies the sequence of performance improvements as well as the target process areas. The Performance Improvement Milestone Roadmap will align team members, resources, and efforts to provide the most rapid performance improvement for the organization.

Want to learn more? Contact us either through email or phone.

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Problem Definition with ‘FORCE’ Process-Services™

“Problem Definition with FORCE is a process consulting offering of pmNERDS. This offering provides a process umbrella of FORCE, and then line-items of an S.O.W. that can be chosen a la carte.”

We use the acronym FORCE to illustrate and teach the concepts necessary to define, review, and prioritize problem statements. The problem statement provides the force required to deliver customer satisfaction.

The problem statement highlights the conflict that exists between today and the customer’s desired state. The resolution of this conflict is the driving force of product innovation and will require change. Just as change requires force, to identify and resolve this conflict, the product innovation team will need FORCE.

During our process consultancy, we address:

Familiar Form– Processing time and innovation asset flow is increased if the market problem definitions are expressed in a common format and abstraction level.

Original Perspective– Identify the original perspective producing the problem statement, and then look outside the ‘Box’ for a truly new perspective which is “Original.”

Relevant Progression– Grow market size and perceived value using changes leveraging current market skills. If the gap is too big, then plan a series of change.

Carat, Color, Clarity, Cut– The problem statement is a diamond in the rough. Build the problem’s appraised value with the 4 ‘C’s. Carat: potential market impact. Color: noise in the statement. Clarity: unambiguous statement. Cut: a well-defined market segmentation.

Enlightened Service– It’s one thing to deliver what the client thinks they need, and quite another to deliver what is actually needed.

The pmNERDS process consultancy provides a standard Problem Definition capability described by the acronym above. This is an umbrella capability needed regardless of any additional practices selected from our a la carte practice menu.

Problem Definition practices available for selection from the a la carte S.O.W. include Derived from Market Evidence, Derived from Internal Sources, Help Desk, Cause & Effect Diagraming, Financial Analysis, Source Ranking, Market Sizing, Portfolio Balancing, Levels Of Innovation, Change Impacts, SLOT Refinement, Delphi Process, FAST Diagramming, Pugh's Process, Lead Customer Groups, Creativity Events, Direct Surveys, Remote Surveys, Customer Feedback, Root Cause Analysis, Link Tracing, Observation, Trials, System Constraints, Quality Gates, and Peer Reviews.

Organizations that depend on projects to create value and increase process efficiencies, as seen in business units such as IT, Marketing, and NPD, should talk with us if they’re interested in increasing project performance.

After a quick discussion, we can direct you to the best process offering and a la carte practices based on your process improvement goals. By putting together a service package that addresses your key performance constraint, our sales team can help you get the quickest time-to-value, while minimizing risk and cost.

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Problem Definition Performance-Service™

“If we engage pmNERDS’ Consulting for Problem Definition then we’ll increase the organization’s competitive advantage, realize higher value from projects, and complete projects more efficiently, but it will require change leadership.”

Our Performance-Service™ consulting practice begins with gathering information about your organization and engagement goals. We conduct a quick gap analysis to construct an engagement roadmap.

Once approved, we will build this roadmap out into a complete project plan and review it with our clients going over roles and responsibilities. We schedule weekly meetings to review the project and discuss relevant decisions. Depending on the length of engagement, steering committee meetings are also scheduled.

Daily scrums are scheduled to address issues and schedule any needed ad hoc meetings. Performance Improvement Consulting involves a great deal of planning and communicating. Underlying each practice is an element of process improvement and use of a standard performance measure framework.

Problem Definition is about clearly stating market problems in terms of conflict that needs to be addressed. The problem statement (one of the primary information assets) is written in a common format. This common format of market evidence is critical to the comparison and ranking of market inputs. It provides an additional level of indirection which provides buckets for grouping similar evidence coming from many different directions. This also provides a higher level of abstraction by forcing the innovation team to ask “Why” instead of just reacting to market pressure.

It’s critical that the information assets developed within these problem definition practices can flow between other innovation processes. These practices can be divided into the two categories of Problem Definition and Problem Validation. Where ever your key constraints are, our team will help you identify the process constraints, and find practices that will improve overall performance by breaking constraints.

By leveraging our experience, you can reach expected benefits quicker and with less false starts while being assured that you won’t paint yourself into a ‘process’ corner, and isolate information asset flow to downstream processes.

Our performance improvement consulting practice requires a discussion to determine goals, the scope of effort, consultant alignment, and the development of a business proposal. We deliver an analysis of current problem definition process performance and constraints, a roadmap to performance improvement, process design, process exercise, process enablement, deployment, and measurement.

A large part of this effort is process training, skills mentoring, and performance coaching. Depending on the engagement, technology configuration or deployment may or may not be part of this effort. You can discover more about this service offering by clicking the icon (email or phone) in the top right corner of our website.

We’d love to explain our services and answer any questions you might have.

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Market Sensing Fast-Service™ Package

“If we select the pmNERDS' Fast-Service™ package, then we get rapid performance improvement, but we’ll need to answer questions and feedback.”

We all occasionally get major hankerings, it’s usually something that we can’t wait for and need within a very short period of time. For us it is usually food related, the Fast Food Industry utilizes the notion of standardization to produce food at minimal cost and preparation time while maximizing value within their business constraints. The question is can they make a compelling product while being profitable?

At pmNERDS, that’s our goal with these Fast-Service™ packages. Using product templates, standardized processes, and focused training we’re able to deliver consulting products faster than our clients and competitors, with sustainable margins.

Very few of us look forward to overly complex Market Sensing processes. We want it to be easier and faster, so process performance in this area looks rather attractive, but what area should be addressed first?

Using some rapid assessment techniques, the Performance Measure Framework, and our performance constraint analysis tool, we help you identify that practice that is holding you back. Then we will propose modifications or creation of a new practice that addresses your specific constraint. This is not about investing lots of time to do it yourself, or just going without, we are offering a third choice…

Our clients hire us do some of the data collection, constraint analysis, process documentation, and change management activities that are part of effective Market Sensing performance improvement practices. With only a total of 8 hrs. of your time, spread out in 8 sessions over 4 weeks, we complete the analysis and build the necessary deliverables to adopt a new practice, that will improve your Market Sensing performance. All of this is accomplished within 20 business days.

We’re experts in performance improvement and Market Sensing practices, you know your business and organization. By using our Fast-Service™ package, you can leave the specialized practices to us, and focus on running your business.

Below is a set of Fast-Service™ package deliverables used to improve your Market Sensing performance.

SELF-ASSESSMENT REPORT- This is an Excel spreadsheet and chart that is used to identify the major problem areas and bottlenecks of the organizations’ innovation process. The Self-Assessment contains a series of questions related to current practices for gathering ideas, converting ideas into business opportunities, and finally diffusing ideas throughout organization and to market. Using the self-assessment, we can quickly identify the perceived system constraints, and dive deeper into specific process areas that could be causing bottlenecks.

CONSTRAINT ANALYSIS REPORT- This is a set of Power Point diagrams used to identify key system constraints. We use Sufficient Cause diagrams to look at effects and potential causes from the perspective of Resources, Inputs, Controls, and Processes. These diagrams are used to verify effects, validate relationships between causes and effects, and look for additional effects to gain a clear understanding of the current system constraints.

PERFORMANCE MEASURE FRAMEWORK- This is a set of Excel spreadsheets and Power Point diagrams used to manage process improvement. Focusing on 1 of the 16 domains, we will load the selected practice into the Performance Measure Framework. By adding your standardized plans and information assets, such as process diagrams and performance thresholds, into the framework, you can do trade-offs and make process improvement decisions.

PROPOSED PRACTICE EFBD- This is a set of Power Point diagrams used to establish a process definition. The EFBD (Enhanced Function Block Diagram) Illustrates control logic, information flow, and process steps. We build this by looking at past project plans and documenting the current state. Based on constraint analysis, we can make modifications to the EFBD of the practice. We do this with things such as review gates, control activities, additional input screening, and resources inputs. This EFBD standardizes the practice and makes the proposed practice easier to understand, adopt, as well as improve over time.

NEW PRACTICE POLICIES & PROCEDURES- This is a set of Word documents that are used to outline process policies and procedures that enable standardization and improvement. Policies and procedures establish a standard set of minimum expectations and guidelines that are expected to be followed by anyone performing the practice. We create a new baseline of process performance, based on the constraint analysis and EFBD process analysis, by adding policies, process steps or procedural guidelines. This information is used to train people on new process, and monitor process execution and performance.

BUSINESS CASE- This is an Excel spreadsheet that is used to analyze, establish and communicate the business case of implementing the proposed practice change. When change is desired, the value delivered through the change must outweigh the negative impacts, cost, and natural friction that change will cause. All business cases derive from the ability to impact one of the six business drivers: Revenue, Efficiency, Sustainability, Endorsement, Cost and Risk. We will then define the type of value proposition that the new practice will deliver: uniqueness, familiarity, or economy of scale. Lastly, we determine the Cost/Value combination. This process will achieve same value for less cost, or more value for less cost, etc. The business case is used to overcome change hurdles and help people to quickly adopted the proposed change. 

PERFORMANCE SCORECARD- This is an Excel spreadsheet that is used to measure practice performance and drive improvement. The performance scorecard is built from information captured in the Performance Measure Framework. Using the five key performance measures, you can diagnose causes of performance constraints and identify process adjustments to address them. The Performance Scorecard will keep people focused on the key measures that impact overall performance, making improvement efforts more effective.

STRATEGY DIAGRAM- This is a Power Point diagram that is used to communicate the strategic intent of the performance improvement initiative.  The strategy diagram sets a common vision and outlines how different teams/roles work together to perform the key activities needed to deliver the value of the initiative. The strategy diagram helps team members to understand their role, adopt the proposed changes, and buy-in to the initiative solution vision.

COMMUNICATION PLAN- This is an Excel spreadsheet that is used to communicate to and engage all stakeholders and team members of a project. A Communication Plan will identify the target personas and actions that you want them to take, anticipate potential objections, and provide a message that addresses the objections and provokes action. We will develop a communication plan that identifies target stakeholders, develops compelling messages that engage them to act towards the achievement of project objectives.

ROLE BASED TRAINING DIAGRAM- This is a set of Power Point diagrams that are used to identify training needs of job roles. These roles based training diagrams provide standardized capabilities, job role expectations, and training demand analysis by process. These diagrams are used to create training and adoption activities for each role as part of the new practice deployment. Each Role can clearly understand their roles & responsibilities regarding the new practice. This means the activities will get done more efficiently with better performance results. 

PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT MILESTONE ROADMAP- This is a Power Point diagram that is used to communicate the performance improvement efforts of the organization over time. Based on the performance constraints, this roadmap identifies the sequence of performance improvements as well as the target process areas. The Performance Improvement Milestone Roadmap will align team members, resources, and efforts to provide the most rapid performance improvement for the organization.

Want to learn more? Contact us either through email or phone.

Continue reading
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